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Betsy Hodges becomes 47th mayor of Minneapolis

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: January 2, 2014 - 1:19 PM

Betsy Hodges became the 47th mayor of Minneapolis on Thursday morning at a brief ceremony focused primarily on children.

In a converted warehouse in Northeast, Hodges was sworn in before a crowd of city officials, activists and other local politicians. The event, dubbed the "kids inaugural," preceded Hodges formal inauguration on Monday.

Her first remarks were directed at a group of children assembled in front of the stage. "I promise to work to make sure that -- as much as possible -- we as a community are good and kind to one another," Hodges said.

"Do you pledge to help make Minneapolis a great city?" Hodges asked the children, who responded in unison: "Yes, mayor Hodges!" She then asked them to encourage people to be kind to each other.

"It is not lost on me, and it is not a coincidence, that the first people to call me mayor are the kids of the city," Hodges said to the room.

"These kids have what we want. They have what we want all kids in the city of Minneapolis to have: Adults here caring about them, protecting them, thinking about their health and their success and their futures, their happiness and their place in the world."

The new mayor thanked outgoing mayor R.T. Rybak for "charting the course that brought us so well to this moment." Following her speech, the pair took a selfie together.

"Thank you to the people of Minneapolis for entrusting me with this leadership and trusting me to take us into the future of the city, all of us together," Hodges said.

Thursday's swearing in kicked off a 10-day "One Minneapolis" tour that will touch on a new topic each day, ranging from transportation to winter tourism.

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