Operation Safety Now is a grassroots movement of people who live, work or have family in Minneapolis. We advocate for urgent and common-sense public safety measures and the election of qualified officeholders capable of sane and smart governance.
Most of us are crime victims or have friends and family who are. We are nonpartisan – united as Democrats, Republicans and Independents in our desire to wipe crime from our neighborhoods and restore competency to our City Council.
We intentionally do not accept contributions, nor do we make them. We do not buy advertising of any type nor produce glossy propaganda materials. In short, we have no money, no budget, no financial interest in any political campaign or public issue.
Everything we do is solely through non-paid volunteers who share our vision for safety, fairness and sane government devoid of off-the-rails ideology.
This stands in contrast to the local police abolitionist group that’s received more than $1 million in donations – 80% from OUTSIDE our state, including $500,000 from Open Society Policy Center, as reported in the Star Tribune and Minnesota Reformer.
We support a sensible “both/and” approach to public safety (Minneapolis needs both police reform and more cops). And we support the deployment of non-police response services, when appropriate and properly vetted.
Regarding the two proposed amendments to the city charter: We are YES on #1 (Governing Structure) and NO on #2 (Public Safety).
Vote YES on #1 (Governing Structure). The first ballot question proposes to restructure our city government to operate the same as our federal government, all state governments and virtually all municipal governments in the U.S.
This means one elected leader (the Mayor) serves as the city’s Chief Executive, with oversight for all city departments and accountability for their work. This also means the legislative body (the City Council) is restricted to passing ordinances, establishing budgets and providing constituent services to the Wards they were elected to serve.
The Council would no longer have a role in telling city departments what to do. This is good since the city’s senior directors have testified that reporting essentially to 14 bosses is unworkable.
Most council members have no business or management experience; they’ve never led teams in complex organizations. Department heads say the sheer number and ineptness of so many bosses has created a workplace where chaos and inefficiencies reign. And this has led to unprecedented turnover.
We’re wasting talent and tax dollars. It’s time to improve how our city is run and limit the damage that an extremist City Council can inflict. Vote YES on Question #1.
Vote NO on #2 (Public Safety). The second ballot question proposes to abolish the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a yet-to-be-defined, make-it-up-as-you-go-along “Department of Public Safety” that “could” include police officers “if necessary.”
This proposal is being pushed by extremist police abolitionists who have acknowledged in media interviews and blogs that the amendment is nothing more than a Trojan Horse to achieve their ultimate goal: The complete elimination of police.
They’ve put forth quotes like this one: “We understand that abolition is the long game. We’re in it for as long as it takes.”
And this one: “Our true vision is to abolish the police altogether. The amendment is a step forward.”
This kind of naive, out-of-the-mainstream thinking might make for a good high school debate, but it’s unthinkable that grown, responsible adults with families to raise, property to protect and businesses to run would seriously ever consider living in a “police-free” community.
Yes, public safety can be enhanced by adding emergency response and violence prevention services that do not require police – but we do not need to change the city charter and threaten the police with extinction to make this happen. Vote NO on Question #2.
We are against police defunding – and the “police-less society” envisioned by some council members and their radical supporters. We need more cops, not fewer. Studies show the presence of uniformed law enforcement is the best deterrence to crime.
City leaders have been inept and unimaginative in creating and communicating a plan to restore order and safety. They have delayed the release of an independent study that is being relied on to provide objective analysis on how many officers are truly needed in Minneapolis.
When founded, we called for a 60-day emergency plan, marshalling federal, state, county and local resources. It was not until the Derek Chauvin trial that the city moved aggressively in this direction. Imagine, the shootings, assaults, car-jackings and deaths that could’ve been spared with quicker, bolder, decisive action!
We want urgent, meaningful police reform, including curbing excessive and unnecessary police violence. Though giving lip service, city leaders have failed to clearly spell out a roadmap for reform and cultural transformation. Reform has come to mean a hodgepodge of policy changes, some more esoteric than others. Residents deserve a longer-term roadmap that we can understand and rally around.
A real plan must have benchmarks against which to measure progress and hold leaders accountable. The police budget should be tied to those benchmarks. If the benchmarks are missed, cut the budget and bring in leaders who can do better.
Of course, we should consider emergency response services that do not require the police. Mental health crisis teams and gang-related violence prevention are often cited as examples.
However, it must be understood that these services do not succeed long-term without a foundation of strong, stable law enforcement. Without adequate training and police coordination, groups like the “Violence Interrupters” are unprepared for the dangerous situations they encounter.
Moreover, services must be tested, proven and non-duplicative of similar offerings by the County or other government entities. And they should not be funded solely through police dollars that are needed to put more cops onto our streets.
Being an “activist” or “organizer” is a noble calling – but it does not necessarily qualify you to run a city our size. As a community, we were asleep at the switch during the last election and allowed radicals to elect unfit candidates. Not this year!
We need officeholders experienced in running large, complex organizations. Skilled in managing people and processes. Capable of thinking strategically, listening with an open mind, and astute with numbers.
We must elect mature leaders who can respectfully and professionally represent our city and achieve meaningful results. They should unite us with common-sense approaches rather than divide us with utopian fantasies better suited for Portland than Portland Ave.
Not every Council member is likely to fit this profile, but we need more of them to bring our city back.