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Minneapolis Mayor-elect Betsy Hodges names transition advisory committee

Minneapolis Mayor-elect Betsy Hodges has named a transition advisory committee to help her set the agenda for her first 10 days in office.

The 27-member committee will be chaired by activist and writer Laura Waterman Wittstock.

“I am grateful to these outstanding community leaders for their willingness to advise me as I prepare for my first term as mayor of Minneapolis,” Hodges said in a news release announcing formation of the committee.

The list includes Larry Redmond, who served as finance chairman for the Mark Andrew campaign; Peter Bell, a Republican and former chair of the Metropolitan Council; Olga Viso, director of the Walker Art Center; and Sondra Samuels, CEO of the Northside Achievement Zone and wife of mayoral candidate Don Samuels.

The committee will make plans for the Jan. 2 swearing-in ceremony and the Jan. 6 formal inauguration. Plans currently include a tour of Minneapolis neighborhoods.  A separate committee that will focus on the inauguration will be named shortly.

“Cradle-to-K and K-12 education are a top priority for my first term as mayor,” said Hodges. “We will discuss education during the transition, and when I become mayor, I will give the issue my full attention.”

Kristin Beckman of Habitat for Humanity and longtime DFL activist Jeff Blodgett will serve as volunteer transition co-coordinators.

Here is the full membership of the transition committee:

 Laura Waterman Wittstock (chair) — president and CEO, Wittstock & Associates, author

Alfred Babington-Johnson — president and CEO, Stairstep Initiative Cos.

Anthony Newby — executive director, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change

Bill McCarthy — president, Minneapolis Regional Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO

Daniel Yang — director of organizing and community building, Native American Community Development Institute

David A. Wilson — managing director, Accenture Minneapolis

Frank Brown — co-chair, DFL African American Caucus

Greg Hestness — assistant vice president of public safety and chief of police, University of Minnesota

John Griffith — executive vice president of property development, Target Corp.

Julie Ristau — co-director, On the Commons, and co-chair, Homegrown Minneapolis

Ken Rogers — chair, Minneapolis Advisory Committee on People Living with Disabilities

Kyle Makarios — director of government affairs, North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters

Larry Redmond — principal, Redmond Associates

Majdi Wadi — CEO, Holy Land

Margot Imdieke Cross — accessibility specialist, Minnesota State Council on Disability

Megan O’Hara — youth outdoor employment director, Wilderness Inquiry; senior fellow, endowed chair, Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture

Michelle Dibblee — organizing director, OutFront Minnesota

Olga Viso — director, Walker Art Center

Peter Bell — Former chair, Metropolitan Council

Rabbi Michael Adam Latz — senior rabbi, Shir Tikvah

Sarah Harris — managing director, University of Minnesota Foundation Real Estate Advisors

Shay Berkowitz — owner, ReGo Electric

Sheik Abdirahman Sharif — imam, Masjid Dar Al-Hijrah

Shirley Nelson — executive director, Women Candidate Development Coalition

Sondra Samuels — president and CEO, Northside Achievement Zone

The Rev. Michele Morgan — priest associate, St. John’s Episcopal Church

Veronica Mendez — organizer, CTUL (Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha).

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Beth-Ann Bloom on 11/21/2013 - 04:58 pm.

    Off to a wonderful start

    What an amazing team of advisors!

  2. Submitted by Pat McGee on 11/22/2013 - 02:28 pm.

    Education to get her full attention?

    I thought she was elected to be Mayor and tend to the business of running the city of Minneapolis. She’s not the superintendent of schools nor on the school board. I hear this comment as that of a Mayor already shirking her job.

  3. Submitted by Bruce Anderson on 11/23/2013 - 10:47 am.

    What exactly will all those people be doing?

    27 people to cover the first 10 days?

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