Mayor Betsy Hodges’ State of the City address scheduled for May 23 at a mosque in north Minneapolis will not, it turns out, be an official City Council meeting, after officials determined it would be best to avoid any First Amendment concerns about holding city proceedings at a place of worship.
“It will just be a speech,” Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal said in a statement. “There will be no official council meeting.”
Hodges planned to give the speech at the Masjid An-Nur (the Mosque of the Light), at 1729 Lyndale Av. N., to “send a strong signal” to Muslims that their mayor and city stand with them.
Hodges, who is campaigning ahead of November mayoral elections, last gave a prepared public speech at the Shir Tikvah synagogue in south Minneapolis on April 18, where she outlined what she called the “pernicious” threat of Donald Trump’s presidency for cities like Minneapolis.
Typically the State of the City address counts as an adjourned City Council meeting, but that won’t be the case this time, Segal said.
The City Council will receive the address in written form at the next regularly scheduled meeting and the speech “will be noticed as an event,” not an adjourned council meeting.
Hodges faces several challengers in her re-election bid, including Nekima Levy-Pounds, Ray Dehn, Jacob Frey and Tom Hoch.