About the Mayor
Betsy Hodges was sworn in as the 47th mayor of Minneapolis on January 2, 2014, after decisively winning the first open seat for mayor in two decades in the 2013 mayoral election. She was elected on a clear message of growing a great city, continuing to run it well, and eliminating the many gaps — in jobs, income, housing, health and education, among others — that separate white people and people of color in Minneapolis.
In the service of those three goals, Mayor Hodges is focused on making Minneapolis a safe place to call home, creating economic opportunity, better connecting our city through improved transit, building a sustainable city, and ensuring that all our children succeed, no matter their race, culture or zip code. She believes firmly that we are One Minneapolis, a city where every person and every community is responsible for, and benefits from, each other’s successes.
Prior to becoming mayor, Betsy Hodges served on the Minneapolis City Council for eight years as the representative of Ward 13. On the Council, she served as chair of the Ways and Means/Budget Committee, in which role she significantly shaped structurally-balanced budgets that led to lowering or holding the line on property taxes for up to 70% of Minneapolis homeowners for three successive years. She also led the fight to reform a broken closed-pension system that served neither pensioners nor taxpayers well, and in the process helped avert a $20-million rise in property taxes in 2012.
On the Council, she also served as chair of the Intergovernmental Relations Committee. In that role, she helped lead the City of Minneapolis’ successful, years-long fight to restore Local Government Aid and balance the State of Minnesota’s budget honestly, and built relationships across the entire Minneapolis–Saint Paul region and the state of Minnesota. She is an active member of the League of Minnesota Cities and served as that organization’s president in 2012–13.
Before running for public office, Betsy Hodges was an organizer. She worked for TakeAction Minnesota and the Minnesota Justice Foundation, and helped found a program in Albuquerque, New Mexico to get HIV-positive women the help and resources that they needed.
In her spare time, Mayor Hodges works on staying physically fit, writes, reads poetry and enjoys seasonal viewings of “Die Hard,” her favorite movie. She is known for her extensive collection of Wonder Woman memorabilia. She is an occasional karaoke singer with a limited range.
A Minnesota native, Mayor Hodges is married to Gary Cunningham, vice president and chief program officer of the Northwest Area Foundation and a member of the Metropolitan Council. They have two children, four grandchildren, a dog and a slightly neurotic cat.
Last updated Jan 3, 2014