In the State of the City address last Tuesday, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges addressed the city’s continued racial disparities, distrust between communities and the police department, and gun violence. She also said she is “disgusted” by the anti-transgender policies popping up across the country, and called out Islamophobia in Minneapolis’ communities.
Our city’s deep truths — that we are awesome and we are challenged, that we come together for the common good and strain to come together through our divisions — are nowhere more evident than in the lives and prospects of our children and youth. It is an inspiration to me to watch our city put aside our adult divisions and fears and come together to support our children and youth.
And I must take a moment to acknowledge especially our trans youth and, frankly, all of our trans Minneapolitans.
There are politicians right now who seem to take perverse delight in finding false pretexts for discriminating against you. I am disgusted by it. Those are not Minneapolis values.
Rather, in Minneapolis, we started the Trans Issues Work Group in 2014. It has been quietly leading the country in building City-led work that seeks to confront the discrimination that the community faces, and tackle topics like healthcare and employment. This year, we will be holding the third annual Trans Equity Summit.
Thank you to our community partners in this work: Roxanne Anderson of the Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition, Andrea Jenkins, trans oral historian at the University of Minnesota, here with me today, and Phil Duran of Outfront Minnesota. And thank you, Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden, for your ongoing leadership in this work.
To lift a powerful line directly from Attorney General Loretta Lynch: “We see you, we stand with you, and we will do everything we can to protect you.”
And to our Muslim young people – to all our Muslim brothers and sisters.
For some people in this country right now, questioning your humanity is a pasttime.
Not in Minneapolis. Here in Minneapolis, we know you are a strong, valuable part of our community. We know we aren’t great without you. And we know Islamophobia is wrong – we will not stand for it, and we will stand with and for you.
The full State of the City can be viewed here: