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Hodges, who has long touted the importance of increasing Minneapolis’ population, told the crowd that a city focused on reducing inequalities will grow better, faster, and over a longer period of time. But cities need tailored policies to bring people in different places to the same goal, she said — and they need to make everyone believe there is something in it for them.
“Let’s say we have a goal and we want everybody to be able to look over a 6-foot fence to see a ballgame — we are not all Bill de Blasio,” said Hodges, in a crack about the New York mayor’s height of 6-foot-5 that prompted laughs.
Some people over 6 feet tall can see over the fence without a problem, Hodges continued, while shorter people (like her) need to stand on a box or ladder. Others who can’t see well may need someone to help describe the scene.
She also displayed a slide showing people struggling with a rising tide flooding a boat and van, noting, “A rising tide isn’t doing what we need it to do.”
Hodges sees some of her role at such events as promoting the city.
“If people don’t know about Minneapolis, they don’t think of us for partnerships or funding,” she said afterward. “Part of my job is, ‘Here’s who we are, here’s what we’re doing.’ ”
Maya Rao • 612-673-4210