Betsy Hodges was officially sworn in as the 47th mayor of Minneapolis shortly after 11 a.m. today at the Thorpe building in Northeast Minneapolis.
The event was billed as a "Kids' Inaugural" and children in attendance were encouraged to sit in the front row as Hodges first turned her attention to them after she took the oath of office, which was officiated by City Clerk Casey Carl. Hodges' husband Gary Cunningham was by her side when she was sworn in as the city's new mayor.
She asked the children to take a pledge to do three things she has promised to do as well: help make Minneapolis a great city; do the best they can everyday to be good to people and kind; and help people in the city have good lives. After agreeing to each pledge, the children loudly said: "Yes, Mayor Hodges."
"It is not lost on me — and it's not a coincidence — that the first people to call me mayor are the kids of the city," she said.
Hodges has pledged to make improving educational opportunities for the city's youth her central focus as mayor.
Today's event also kicks off Hodges' 10-day "One Minneapolis" tour, which will feature a new theme each day.
Hodges is scheduled to give a formal inaugural address in City Hall's rotunda on Monday. The seven newly elected and six returning City Council members will also be sworn in and will have their first meeting of the year to elect Council leadership and finalize committee posts.
State Sen. Scott Dibble will serve as the master of ceremonies at the inauguration ceremony. Rabbi Michael Adam Latz of Shir Tikvah Congregation will offer the invocation and Rev. Dr. Alfred Babington Johnson will offer the benediction.