MINNEAPOLIS – Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges was named one of the three worst mayors in the country today by the New York Observer.
The Observer mayoral ranking assessed multiple factors including rankings of best-run cities, mayoral approval ratings, and peer recognition. They also called on political consultants and media pundits to weigh in on mayors across the country. The assessment judged mayoral performance rather than the current state of the city.
Hodges landed in the top three of worst mayors in the U.S., listed alongside Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Unlike Emanuel and de Blasio who have external forces working against them, the Observer believes Hodges problems are mostly self-inflicted. They listed weakness in public safety, the mishandling of the Jamar Clark protests, and mismanagement of public works as some of her worst issues.
The Observer’s critique comes at a bad time for Hodges. With her term coming to an end in November, Hodges has just over six months to convince Minneapolis residents to give her another shot. The Observer had some suggestions for how she should spend the next few months.
“Rewarding on-time and on-budget projects, fighting crime head-on with police officers that mirror the communities they are policing, and focusing on incentivizing new employers to bring jobs to the city would be a good start,” the Observer article suggested.
With several Democrats vying for the title of Minneapolis mayor, Hodges has to find a way to distinguish herself. In a speech given Monday titled “One Minneapolis in the Time of Trump,” Hodges seems to be branding herself as the anti-President Donald Trump force in the race.
The Star Tribune reports about 90 people attended the speech at the Shir Tikvah Congregation synagogue in South Minneapolis. Over the course of the speech, Hodges mentioned Trump by name 58 times. She attacked his positions on issues like immigration and treatment of the LGBT community.
“So, Minneapolis, we — and cities like us, and the people who live in our city and cities like us — are at the forefront of attacks in the time of Trump. In response, we get to lift up and support all our communities that are under attack,” Hodges said. “We get to lead the country in resisting. In this perilous time, resistance to Trump’s policies is necessary.”
Hodges said she believes Trump is trying to take away a city’s power to respect and engage with one another.
“This is why Trump’s agenda of suppression and undermining democracy is so pernicious: while we have and are the tools to fight his attacks on people, his suppression agenda and his attacks on our very democracy are actively designed to disassemble the tools we have for respecting, engaging, and connecting to one another,” Hodges said.