A different perspective: The Minneapolis Mayoral Race

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June 22, 2013
By: Andrew Degerstrom
Andrew Degerstrom

In a letter to the editor on Thursday, Patrick Kelliher shared his thoughts on the Minneapolis Mayoral race and why he supports Mark Andrew for Mayor. I would like to share my own thoughts as a supporter of Betsy Hodges for Mayor.

This past Saturday, June 15, I also had the chance to participate in the Minneapolis DFL Convention. I was able to see friends from all over the city, and I enjoyed talking to fellow delegates about why I support Betsy Hodges for Mayor.

I’m a senior at the University of Minnesota, about to complete my Bachelor of Science degree in Urban Studies. Through my studies, I’ve learned about the complexity of city life. Betsy is the candidate who best understands that complexity, and has the experience necessary to navigate it. I took two separate classes regarding city budgeting and finances, and learned how complicated it can be. With Betsy’s experience the past two terms on the City Budget Committee, and as Chair of the Committee for the past term, Betsy is the candidate that understands how to ensure that Minneapolis remains financially stable and can be prosperous in the future.

I took a class on urban environmental issues in which I learned about pollution and environmental justice issues such as the garbage burner. Betsy opposes increasing the amount of garbage burned at the HERC, and she is the candidate that will best protect and strengthen the environmental health of our city. I took two separate classes on transit in which I learned the importance of having an all-mode transportation network. Betsy’s vision for transit and transportation is most in line with that ideal. These are just a few examples of what I have learned from my studies and why that makes me believe Betsy Hodges is the best candidate for Mayor of Minneapolis.

But most of all, I support Betsy Hodges because of her genuineness and integrity. Out of all the candidates that I have met, Betsy is the only one who I feel genuinely cares about others to the point where she takes on other peoples’ problems as her own. It’s an empathy quality that I always look for in elected officials, and Betsy exemplifies it.

At the convention it became clear to me that the system was broken. The convention was unnecessarily taking too long, and was prohibitive to participating in the process. Delegates couldn’t necessarily stay for 10+ hours, as they had to get home to relieve their babysitters or go to bed because they had to work in the morning. That is no way to pick our next mayor. We chose ranked choice voting for a reason, to give the voters choice.

I hope you will join me in supporting Betsy Hodges for Minneapolis Mayor by giving her your 1st choice vote in November.

Andrew Degerstrom
East Isles