My name is Bruce and I live in Uptown. In small and large ways, so many parts of my life have changed since crime began surging in Minneapolis. For example, I have close friends who are leaving the city. Two have left the state, others have fled to the suburbs from downtown and Uptown.
Here’s another: I have a 30-something jeweler I mentor. He has a store near my home. His store was broken into three days in a row during the riots. He was devastated both personally and financially. Even with insurance, he took a hit in the thousands, money he could ill afford to lose and keep his business afloat.
He turns off his sign at night now that the Chauvin trial has started. He is afraid if there is more rioting and no police response, like last time, he will lose his business for good if more break-ins occur.
I see many empty storefronts, most of them businesses that I frequented close to my home. They have closed or are struggling to survive. Some say it is Covid, but we who live in the neighborhood know it is an exodus of people from uptown.
I am now hyper-vigilant. I watch my surroundings as I back into the garage so when I exit my car I am facing out of the garage to watch for the carjackers who have swept into my neighborhood.
I drive with a 2-foot by 1-inch thick solid steel pipe next to my door. I take it with me when I exit my car. I watch my garage door until it touches the ground before I go into my building.
I am involved with Operation Safety Now because I strongly believe we need police and the protection they provide. I am not an activist by nature, but feel now is the time to stand up and be heard. We need to make Minneapolis safe again.
I am 64 years old and this is not something I planned on doing, but enough is enough. We need a city council that understands that police are not the devil. Yes there need to be changes and Operation Safety Now and I as a member support change in the police department – but WITHOUT a reduction in police.
We need to elect officeholders who are capable of understanding the complexities of city government, budget processes and the need for thriving business and residential communities.
Operation Safety Now wants this, we all do.
I want to make changes that will benefit all, not radical promises that cannot possibly be fulfilled. I do not want another Detroit, Portland or Seattle.
I know others have been impacted more than me, and I feel for them. I am involved with Operation Now for all of the above reasons and many many more. Please join us so we can make the changes needed to live and enjoy beautiful and diverse city.