Mayor Hodges has been enjoying a number of great community events the past few weeks.Tour de Camden, the Racial Equity convening, the FLOW Northside Arts Crawl, the opening of the Dinkytown Greenway trail, National Night Out, the Uptown Arts fair and more. She also hosted a roundtable with the city’s Urban Scholars and helped recognize a long-time dedicated city employee upon his retirement. Here are some snapshots from the past few weeks.
Public safety is the most important part of running a great city well. As mayor, it’s my number-one priority. It’s also the number-one priority for the Police Department, the Fire Department and everyone who works for the City of Minneapolis, be they in the Health Department, Public Works, Animal Control, or in any of the core services that we offer residents and businesses.
But really, public safety is all of us, and our neighbors. That’s why I’m thrilled that this evening, Minneapolis is again number one in America for the 31st Annual Minneapolis National Night Out, shattering the record – well, our own record, because we’ve been number one for many years now – for registered events.
National Night Out, held every year on the first Tuesday evening in August, is a time for us to pause for a few moments in our busy lives, get out into our neighborhoods and communities, and get to know each other – or know each other even better – at block parties and other fun, local events. National Night Out is also a great way to get to know by name the police officers who work in our areas. Above all, it’s a great way to build cohesive, connected, safe neighborhoods.
There are already more than 1,470 National Night Out events registered this evening in Minneapolis – that’s like 25 per square mile in our city. If you are already planning to host or attend one of these block parties, thank you for your investment in your community and in public safety. If you aren’t currently planning to attend one, I encourage you to find one in your neighborhood and take some time to stop by tonight. You can find the full list of registered events here. I’m planning to hit several of them myself.
Thank you for doing your part to keep our neighborhoods healthy and safe. We couldn’t do it without you. Have fun tonight!
Today the City Council approved Mayor Hodges’ nomination of Craig Taylor as the new Director of the Community Planning & Economic Development (CPED) Department at the City of Minneapolis.
“Craig Taylor has had a lifelong personal dedication to the City of Minneapolis,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges, who nominated Taylor on June 26. “He is clearly excited about the work of growing the city, while ensuring we grow inclusively and advance equity. Craig’s background in the private and public sector, combined with his experience in the economic development world will greatly enrich and inform the work of CPED moving forward. I thank the City Council for approving this nomination, and I look forward to Craig’s visionary leadership at the City of Minneapolis.”
Craig served as the Executive Director of the Office for Business & Community Economic Development and the Business & Technology Center at the University of Minnesota for the past 12 years. Prior to that, he was manager of Corporate Small Business Development at Xcel Energy. He began his career managing the employment and training program for the Minneapolis Urban League.
This is a return to the City of Minneapolis for Craig. He worked four years in the Office of Women & Minority Business Enterprise, including one year as interim director.
“The opportunity to serve my community in a key leadership role at CPED is not only an honor and a privilege but, I am inspired at the thought of being in a position that will be instrumental in contributing to the success and future of our city,” Craig Taylor said. “I am looking forward to getting to know and working with the entire CPED Staff.”
Craig has also served on the boards of some organizations and non-profits, including the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce, the Vikings Stadium Authority-Implementation Committee, the National Association of Minority Contractors (where he served as the foundation’s vice president) and the Minnesota Business League. He’s also received numerous awards, including the Minneapolis-St Paul Business Journal Business Advocate of the Year in 2010. He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs and a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Government, both from the University of Minnesota.
Craig is set to begin work at the City on Friday, Aug. 29. We extend to him a warm welcome (back) to the City of Minneapolis.
Today First Lady Michelle Obama penned an op-ed about the effort to end veteran homelessness, writing about the number of mayors, governors and county officials from across the country who have joined the effort. Mayor Hodges joined that effort locally in January; below is a statement she posted after reading today’s op-ed.
I am so proud to be one of the mayors who joined the Mayors Challenge to End Veterans Homelessness. Back in January, Mayor Chris Coleman and I partnered together to finish the job of ending veteran homelessness in Minneapolis and Saint Paul by 2015.
In this op-ed, First Lady Michelle Obama provides an update on the growing effort to tackle this issue across the country. She specifically calls out the progress we’ve made in Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Much of that progress is thanks to Cathy ten Broeke, the State Director to Prevent and End Homelessness, who is doing incredible work.
Our cities should be places where every person can thrive. All people – especially our veterans – deserve a home. While we have made significant progress, there is still work to be done. Thank you to the First Lady for her leadership on this issue.
Today the Minneapolis Police Department released a statement from Chief Janeé Harteau regarding the termination of 2 officers following an incident in Green Bay, WI last summer.
“Last week, the Minneapolis Civil Service Commission upheld my December 3rd, 2013 decision to remove two police officers from the Minneapolis Police Department following their conduct in Green Bay, Wisconsin last year. It is never easy to face the decision to terminate one’s employment and I don’t take that responsibility lightly. However, please be assured of my commitment to take every step possible to ensure the public trust necessary to an effective police force and the community it serves. This decision is indicative of the Minneapolis Police Department’s continued focus on a culture of accountability. We appreciate the patience members of the community and members of the MPD have shown throughout this lengthy process.” – Chief Janeé Harteau
Mayor Hodges added the following statement:
“I am pleased to see this decision upheld. It shows the community that the process works and misconduct can be addressed. Thank you, Chief Janeé Harteau, for your continued leadership, and thank you to the community, members of the MPD and the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis for your patience and cooperation during this process.” – Mayor Betsy Hodges