Mayor of Minneapolis Betsy Hodges had the party of the year in northeast Minneapolis to celebrate her inauguration. Lots of local musicians, local food and hundreds of people gathered Saturday night this evening at the Historic Thorp Building to congratulate Hodges and newly elected city council members and other city leaders.
The event was free to the public and judging by the music and dancing, the night wasn't about politics -- it was about having fun and thanking voters.
Hodges was elected the 47th mayor of Minneapolis in November and sworn in on Jan. 2, succeeding R.T. Rybak. She ran for mayor on the platform of trying to eliminate opportunity gaps in education, housing and jobs, especially between whites and minorities. Now, before becoming mayor, she served two terms on the Minneapolis City Council and chaired its ways and means and budget committee. The city council also has seven newcomers and three firsts: a Somali immigrant, a Hmong-American and a member of the Latino community.
Looking forward, Hodges agreed her inauguration party reflected and represented the city and, she looks forward to seeing her goals through as she embarks on her first year as mayor.
"Overall, we talk about three things, we've got to grow the city, we've got to continue to run it well and we've got to eliminate the gaps we have between white folks and folks of color," Hodges said.
The day before she was sworn in, Hodges witnessed the aftermath of the Cedar Avenue apartment explosion that shook the community as crews braved the cold to search for missing persons and clear the swarming debris.
"It was a tragic situation for everybody involved and they're still in my prayers every day," Hodges said of the New Year's day tragedy.
"You can't anticipate everything as mayor, but what you can do is be as prepared as you can be to represent the community and tell the community you are there for them and you represent the city," Hodges said.