A Verdict, a Federal Probe, and the Future for Ward 10
Now it's our turn.
As Special Prosecutor Schleicher made his closing arguments to the jury in the Derek Chauvin murder case he said that when George Floyd died he was surrounded by strangers, but he did not die alone. The “human bouquet of people chosen by fate” were powerless to stop his murder, but they did their very best to record in video and in their memories every horrible moment of what they witnessed so they could bring his murderer to justice. Over the past couple of weeks that remarkable gathering of bystanders handed their experiences off to another group of people chosen by fate -- the jurors. Both of those groups of strangers -- everyday Minneapolitans -- were powerless to stop the murder of George Floyd, but they faithfully completed their responsibility to Mr. Floyd, his family, and their city by holding Derek Chauvin accountable for his cruelty.
Today it is our job to pick up that torch to transform all the racist systems that led to George Floyd’s murder – policing to be sure, but much more than that – we have to undo racist economic systems and we have to learn new ways of doing the work of city governance that makes meaningful inclusion one of its central tenants.
This is why my campaign does much more than call for reform or transformation or reimagining. I am outlining specific tools to make that possible while maintaining a commitment to effective law enforcement, which is a basic necessity for a functioning society.
Convene precinct-by-precinct truth and reconciliation commissions to start the public reckoning with systemic racism that is needed, and finally embark on the year of citywide engagement we were promised (and denied) so we can build consensus on what public safety means across all our diverse communities, create community-driven initiatives, and begin racial reconciliation.
Expand the restorative justice network in our ward and across the city to develop alternative pathways for resolving conflict when harm occurs based on well-established programs and voluntary participation, while also actively training neighbors in new ways of being in community with one another. As president of the Lowry Hill Neighborhood Association I started this work of training our neighbors in these processes right here in our ward, have hosted a community conversation with a restorative facilitator from The Legal Rights Center, and have another community conversation with facilitators from Restorative Justice Community Action planned for May 8 that you can register for here.
Adopt a community policing model that meets our needs. Neighbors in Ward 10 describe being stuck between a rock and a hard place, between their fear of the very real increase in violent crime and the fear that our police union will not adopt the systemic reforms needed to stop racialized state brutality. I have said that we will shape our policing institution to be what we need it to be, either with police union agreement or by taking them to court for civil rights violations and asking the Justice Department to intervene. Well, today the Justice Department announced a federal probe into our police practices. As your council member I will work with our federal partners to see that this law enforcement transformation occurs swiftly and with meaningful community partnerships. Minneapolis will become a model for policing across this country to bring justice to our communities of color who have waited too long for this moment.
Launch a new Neighborhood Revitalization Program that enables neighbors to distribute reparations for housing discrimination in the form of housing grants, and to sustainably landbank affordable housing in order to build long term community ownership.
Serve as an incubator city for economic development including universal basic income for low-income neighbors from historically marginalized communities. This would include federal, private, and public grants with a focus on long term investment and growth.
Please Register for the DFL Caucus by April 30th and Make Me Your First Choice. With everything happening around us, the DFL caucus process may not seem important, but it is: this is an opportunity for you to put your values into action. Dr. Cornell West tells us that “justice is what love looks like in public.” This understanding of justice is the ethos of my campaign and informs the path of unity through innovative, practical, principled and progressive community-driven plans that I offer Ward 10 voters.
Caucus at https://caucus.dfl.org -- if you have already caucused you can re-caucus at any time and rank me if you did not do that the first time.