Investment Fuels Action: Mayor Hodges’ 2018 Budget

Key investments in combating climate change, housing, public safety and community trust represent Minneapolis values

September 12, 2017 (MINNEAPOLIS) — Mayor Betsy Hodges today delivered a 2018 budget for the City of Minneapolis that is rooted in the belief that investment fuels action. These investments include growing the City’s power to combat climate change, getting Minneapolis closer to the day when all our residents have a home in our growing city, and continued investment in a system and culture of policing that brings the City closer to ensuring that every single person in Minneapolis feels safe and is safe.  +

Video of the Budget Address || Text of the Budget Address

“It’s important for leaders of all stripes to communicate clearly and transparently, but it’s even more important to see those words become action that has a positive impact in people’s lives,” Mayor Hodges said. “That’s our responsibility as government.”

The Mayor’s budget proposes a 5.5 percent increase in the property-tax levy for 2018, which is consistent with the five-year financial direction that the City Council passed in the 2017 budget. The levy increase will continue to fully fund the historic 20-year Parks & Streets agreement reached with the Park Board in 2016, and the property-tax increases needed to fund it that were codified in City ordinance.

Top highlights of Mayor Hodges’ 2018 budget proposal include:

“Our values form the foundation of our budget, our budget forms the foundation for our actions, and our actions get positive results for the people of Minneapolis,” Mayor Hodges stated.

Climate

Mayor Hodges noted that “our changing climate represents the single greatest threat to our city and our planet.” Because the federal government is unlikely to act, Mayor Hodges said “it is up to cities like ours to lead both the fight against climate change and the work to adapt to it.  Minneapolis has long been on the forefront of this effort, and we intend to stay there.”

Mayor Hodges proposed the following investments and initiatives related to climate change in 2018:

Mayor Hodges noted that Minneapolis has an opportunity in 2018 to continue work in environmental justice. “People and communities of color have borne the brunt of the industries that lead to climate change, and we have to make treating those impacts a top priority,” Mayor Hodges said. 

Housing

“The challenge that we face is twofold—finding ways to retain our current supply of affordable places to live, and finding ways to add to that supply, without pricing longtime residents out of the neighborhoods they’ve invested in for years, and sometimes generations,” Mayor Hodges said.

Mayor Hodges is proposing $24 million in housing investment in 2018 across a number of programs, including:

Mayor Hodges noted, “All of these investments in housing are in service of our shared goal: ensuring that all of our residents have high quality housing choices, regardless of race or income.  These aren’t just dollars on a spreadsheet. These investments get results, and change lives.”

Public Safety and Community Trust

Mayor Hodges proposes a $4 million investment in strategies that will continue to build community trust and ensure public safety, including investments requested and prioritized by Chief Arradondo:
 

“When we start from a place that recognizes the humanity in communities and in law enforcement, it’s easier to understand the tension that exists between the urgent need for action, and the fact that culture change takes time,” said Mayor Hodges. “This budget comes from that understanding. The investments in community trust and public safety will strengthen our foundation for action, increase the pace of change, and deliver positive results for all Minneapolis neighborhoods.”

Donald Trump

In her budget address, Mayor Hodges also discussed the many challenges being faced by the City due to the present White House administration.

“Minneapolis is facing a challenge that we couldn’t have conceived of a year ago,” Mayor Hodges said. “Though we are shocked by the damage he does every day of his presidency, we have to anticipate that Donald Trump will remain in the White House through 2020. In the next three and a half years he can wreak untold damage to our country with his authoritarian tactics and his policies of oppression and suppression. Once he was elected, we knew it would be a disaster for our country, but even just six months in, it’s already far more disastrous than we anticipated.”

To address these challenges, Mayor Hodges proposes investing in strategies to offset attacks from the Trump administration, related to seven areas: immigrants, the transgender community, voting, media, arts, workers, and economic stability.

Highlights of these investments include:

“So, as flawed as our democracy may be, with its longstanding issues of inequity and injustice, we value the way our form of government allows us to fight to correct those flaws,” Mayor Hodges noted. “So as Donald Trump comes after what we value—our diversity, our right to vote, our artists, our independent media, our workers—we aren’t just talking about protecting those values. We’re investing, and taking action.”

In conclusion, Mayor Hodges said, “These proposed investments are born of those values. They’re designed to keep moving us toward our vision for our city, and get real, tangible results for the people of Minneapolis. Words matter, but when history judges our time as leaders, only a handful may remember the very best of our words. The lasting impact of leadership comes from the positive change we make through action.” 

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Last updated Sep 13, 2017

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