An Opportunity of a Lifetime on Hennepin Avenue

It was a moment that forever shaped the way I think about street reconstructions. A mom speaking at a public meeting, holding her child, asking the city’s public works department for a street with sidewalk space to push a stroller. Even more than that, she wanted a street designed with aspiration for the future — because whatever we decide today, we’re going to be stuck with it from now until the time her little baby is middle aged.

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Mapping the 10 Landlords Suing the City of Minneapolis Over Renter Protections

There are 10 landlords (spread across 43 legal entities) suing the city of Minneapolis over tenant screening restrictions passed by the City Council last year. The ordinance limits how far back a landlord can look into a tenant’s criminal or eviction history. It also prohibits the use of credit scores or insufficient credit history as a criteria to eliminate prospective tenants.

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Where is violent crime on the rise in Minneapolis?

I get a lot of crime notifications on my phone (2020 was the wrong year to install the Citizen app). I think it’s warping my perception of crime in my neighborhood. I’m very good at ignoring everything my phone sends at me. Don’t expect me to answer your emails or text messages. But I will read all the crime notifications. If a man is stabbing the McDonald’s drive thru window with a knife, or a car is overturned on Lyndale Avenue, I’m very interested to know.

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Minneapolis Charter Commission acting to stall City Council’s public safety priorities

On Wednesday, the Minneapolis Charter Commission voted 8-6 to reject a ballot question that would have let voters decide whether to remove minimum police staffing requirements from the city charter. The vote against this scaled back compromise — which was put forward by Commissioner Giraud-Isaacson — suggests the Commission will likely reject (by delay tactic at their meeting next Wednesday) a ballot question advanced by the City Council. That proposal would allow voters to remove the Minneapolis Police Department as a required charter department and replace it with a new department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention.

(Worth pointing out that MPD could go on existing for an indefinite period of time even if not explicitly required by city charter. Both of the charter amendments simply give the Council varying degrees of flexibility to withdraw funding from MPD in order to fund public safety alternatives.)

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Charter Commission LIVE Spreadsheet

Just like last week, we’re covering today’s Charter Commission public hearing using the purest form of journalism ever invented — the live spreadsheet.

The previous two hearings were to solicit comment on the City Council’s version of the public safety charter amendment. Today’s hearing is about the Charter Commission’s significantly scaled back alternative proposal. Read about the differences here.

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Minneapolis Ward 6 Candidate Survey – Special Election, August 11, 2020

Due to a vacancy on the Minneapolis City Council (created by Abdi Warsame’s appointment as executive director of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority), Ward 6 is having a special election. Though the election falls on primary day, it’s not a primary. The winner will fill the rest of Warsame’s term on the City Council through 2021. Election day is August 11. Voters are already casting early and absentee ballots.

A few weeks ago we sent some public safety related questions to all the candidates. We also pestered them with reminders. Five of the 11 candidates responded with answers:

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Charter Commission Considers Competing Police Ballot Questions

The Minneapolis Charter Commission is considering an alternative amendment to the city charter regarding police and public safety. This means voters could be faced with competing ballot questions in November.

The newest proposal would eliminate a minimum staffing requirement for the Minneapolis Police Department — same as the City Council proposal. But it would leave in place language specifying how that department is embedded within city government. It would also preserve language giving the Mayor “complete power over the establishment, maintenance, and command” of MPD.

The City Council’s original proposal would do more than simply eliminate the minimum police staffing requirement enacted in 1961. It creates a new department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention. It gives the council the option to create a law enforcement division within that new department. Council members have previously stressed how important it is for the new department’s law enforcement capacity to take a subordinate role to the “holistic” public safety approach of the new department.

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Delay tactics from Charter Commission would deny urgent citywide conversation

[Would you like to send a message to the Charter Commission? Sign up to deliver your words over the phone at two public hearings to be held on July 15 and 21.]

Dear Members of the Charter Commission:

It’s clear that some of you have strong opinions on this public safety charter amendment. I won’t try to change your mind about the specifics of this proposal. It’s okay to disagree. I accept there’s a diversity of opinion from across the city–if not on this commission. Your role, if you think this shouldn’t be on the ballot, is to say so. Say no.

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