Activism and recognition
Yes4Minneapolis is a Multiracial coalition led by blacks Consists of 39 organizations, including local unions, non-union workers’ rights groups, and community-based racial justice organizations. Others, including the hotel workers’ union Unite Here Local 17, have supported voting issues and possible amendments to the bylaws.
Organizers collected 22,000 signatures in order to ask questions on the ballot-twice as many as needed. The new system will be managed by a commissioner from the local Ministry of Public Safety, who will be accountable to the mayor and city council. The envisaged Ministry of Public Safety will include police officers, mental health professionals, sexual violence responders, social workers, housing experts, etc. Proponents describe the rules for voting as part of the “public health approach” of public safety.
“Everyone realizes that there will always be some criminal element, but at the same time, Minneapolis only has an armed response, which is not what we need,” Willis said. “Sometimes you just need one advocate.”
Members of the Yes4Minneapolis Alliance and other supporters of the amendment gathered outside Minneapolis City Hall on September 17. One of the groups in attendance was the Minneapolis Local 59 Teachers Federation (MFT59), a member of the Yes4Minneapolis Alliance.
“Last spring, the executive committee of our union voted unanimously on the 2nd,” said Shaun Laden, chairman of the MFT59 Education Support Professional. “What educators intuitively understand is that we need to solve a series of crises and services required by the public safety system. [and] We need the right tools to do this. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when dealing with the extensive needs of our current police department. “
Business members including Fair State Brewing Cooperative in northeast Minneapolis also attended the September 17 rally.
Evan Sallee, co-founder of Fair State Brewing Cooperative, said: “We believe that being able to call and get spiritual support is important.” “We believe that our business needs more than badges and guns. [Fair State Brewing] Be organized as a cooperative because we believe in the power of democracy. We believe that the voice of the people can bring about change and improve our own communities. “
The Yes4Minneapolis voting issue is also the work of City Councillors Phillipe Cunningham, Jeremy Schroeder and Steve Fletcher, who Introduction language Amendments to the Public Safety Charter in January this year. At the time, the proposed wording attempted to allow Minneapolis voters to vote on the city’s future public safety structure, but was opposed by some who believed it weakened the Minneapolis Police Department’s responsibilities. The charter amendment has caused a lot of dialogue. Critics argue that the issue is too vague and that there is no sufficient clear plan after the election.
Minneapolis Public Schools Board member Don Samuels and his wife, Northside Achievement Zone President Sondra Samuels, and Minneapolis resident Bruce Dachis filed a lawsuit to prevent Yes4Minneapolis voting issues from appearing in the polls. Samuel is a famous black leader in Minneapolis. Samuels and Dachis did not respond to requests for comment, but Sondra Samuels was interviewed recently Star Tribune, There she talked about her objections.
The lawsuit filed by Samuels and Dachis against the City of Minneapolis was originally intended to modify the ballot question.They believe that the voting issue misinterpreted or concealed important information about police and the future of the Minneapolis Police Department. Associated Press. With the decrease of property crimes and minor rise In the violent crime in Minneapolis, these facts are affecting public debates about public safety.
“We filed lawsuits for all the children who were shot and all our neighbors,” Sandra Samuel said. “We are the pawns of an unplanned political experiment.”
According to the organizers of Yes4Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Police Department will continue to exist until the city council votes in a different way and begins to implement the proposed Department of Public Safety, but some people, such as Samuel and other opponents of the voting issue , Believes that their concerns have not been taken into consideration.
“There are many voices that are ignored and turned away,” Don Samuel told the media Star Tribune.
The forthcoming mayor Jacob Frey, Governor Tim Walz, Senator Amy Klobuchar and other state leaders all opposed the amendment. Representatives of Minneapolis and surrounding communities, Rep. Ilhan Omar, and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison both support the Yes4Minneapolis charter amendment.
Minneapolis has already started voting early, and election day is November 2. Yes4Minneapolis is the second of the three voting questions voted by the city of Minneapolis this year.
Dr. Cirien Saadeh is an Arab-American community journalist, community organizer, and university professor. He teaches social justice and community organization at Prescott College. Saadeh believes that journalism can be a tool that can be used to build strength in historically marginalized communities.
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