Newsletter – August 30th, 2021

Hi Neighbor,

The public safety charter amendment (amendment #2 on your November ballot) was in the news a lot this past week. A few politicians weighed in with uninformed opinions on the pro-amendment campaign led by “Yes4Minneapolis.” You may have also received a mailer from a PAC called “All of Mpls” with some bold–and false–claims about the amendment.

Fortunately, local leaders, neighbors, and journalists have been setting the record straight. Let’s look at a couple of the claims others have made this week and why they are false.

  1. Multiple politicians have said that this amendment would “defund” or “abolish” the police. This is not true. Under state law, only licensed police officers can respond to most 911 calls, and they will continue to do so if the amendment is passed. So what does the amendment do? Currently, the MPD is the only city department accountable exclusively to the Mayor. Ballot amendment #2 places the police department under the control of a new Department of Public Safety, which will be accountable to residents and their representatives on the City Council, just like every other city department.



  2. The All of Mpls mailer claims that the amendment will eliminate Chief Arradondo’s job. This is not true. There’s nothing in the proposed language that would fire Arradondo. In fact, regardless of whether the amendment passes, Chief Arradondo’s term is up in January. Mayor Frey will decide then whether to re-appoint him for the job and Chief Arradondo will decide whether he wants to accept it. A public safety system that depends on one reform-minded leader in order to function is not a healthy system.

When politicians and big-money PACs ask us to vote “no” on the public safety amendment, they are really asking us to vote “yes” on the status quo. The status quo is working great for the people donating thousands of dollars to All of Mpls while leaving our most vulnerable residents further behind. The status quo is what killed Jamar Clark, Justine Ruszczyk Damond, and George Floyd. The status quo did not de-escalate the unrest of last summer, and it has not prevented or solved the recent gun deaths and carjackings in our city.

The whole world was watching Minneapolis last summer and they will be watching us again in November. Will we choose the status quo? Or will we choose to take this one, small but significant step toward a more transparent and accountable system? I’m voting “yes” for the same reason I decided to run for office: I’ve seen the countless ways the status quo has failed us and I want to try to be part of the solution. How about you?

For more information, I encourage you to check out this excellent FAQ by journalist Becky Z. Dernbach in the Sahan Journal and this forum featuring the Director of Communications for Yes4Minneapolis, JaNaé Bates.