Operation Safety Now is a grassroots movement of local residents advocating for urgent and common-sense public safety measures and the election of qualified officeholders capable of sane, sound, 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 have no budget or financial backing locally or from outsiders. This stands in contrast to the local police abolitionist group that received a $500,000 contribution from the Open Society Policy Center, as reported in the Star Tribune and Minnesota Reformer. Everything we accomplish is solely through volunteers who share our vision for justice, safety and sane government devoid of off-the-rails ideology.
We support a sensible “both/and” approach to public safety (both reform and more cops). And we support the deployment of non-police response services, when appropriate and properly vetted.
Proposed amendments to the city charter are still evolving. But if the election were held today, we’d back the “Executive Mayor” model of governing, which is used by the vast majority of U.S. cities. And we’d vote against the two amendments proposing a new Public Safety Department. These are trojan horses backed by radicals to achieve their goal of police defunding and abolition.
Finally, the quality of candidates we elect is critical to the future success of Minneapolis. 2020 exposed widespread incompetency within the City Council. People who’ve never run anything of significance were entrusted with the leadership of a $1.5 billion enterprise. They failed miserably and we paid the price. Never again!
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” 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! This is why you must get involved in the DFL caucus process from April through June.
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 and not divide us with common-sense approaches instead of 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.