Contact: Johanna Kichton, [email protected], 202.660.0605
WASHINGTON, D.C.—People’s Action and its member organization, TakeAction Minnesota, today released the following statement by Movement Politics Director Brooke Adams and TakeAction Minnesota Executive Director Elianne Farhat after results came in on a charter amendment in Minneapolis that would transform public safety by replacing the Minneapolis Police Department with a new department of public safety:
“We’re disappointed by the results but it’s been clear since the beginning that the political establishment was going to do everything they could to undermine this campaign including lying, spreading misinformation, and attempting to block this vote from happening in court.
“The Black-led, multiracial Yes 4 Minneapolis campaign began after the murder of George Floyd. In the dead of winter, organizers collected 22,000 signatures from across the City to put this amendment on the ballot. Black organizers and activists have worked toward this for years before 2020, and the work for a better future where everyone can feel safe in their communities will continue.
“We’re grateful to the thousands of Minneapolis residents, volunteers, and elected leaders including Attorney General Keith Ellison and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar who supported City Question 2 and the power of our local democracy to create change. It’s unfortunate that established elected leaders who failed to pass police reform at the state and federal level also came out against the amendment. The U.S. Senate stopped negotiating on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in September.
“Regardless of tonight’s outcome, there’s broad agreement that Minneapolis residents want more tools for public safety. There’s also consensus that the status quo is not an option. We are urgently waiting for action by the Department of Justice to hold the Minneapolis Police Department accountable, and will not stop organizing for change.”
In the summer of 2020, Mayor Frey used the unelected Charter Commission to block the council-led public safety charter amendment from being added to the ballot. This year he and various dark money groups spread misinformation, coordinated communication with the police chief, and raised millions of dollars to stoke fear among voters. While 22,000 Minneapolis residents petitioned to get the amendment on the ballot, Mayor Frey’s allies repeatedly filed erroneous lawsuits for its removal, which were struck down in the eleventh hour by the Minnesota Supreme Court.
People’s Action is a national network of 40 state and local grassroots, power-building organizations in 30 states, united in fighting for justice. We operate the largest progressive rural organizing project in the country. People’s Action and its member organizations coordinated one of the biggest distributed organizing programs in rural areas this past election season.
TakeAction Minnesota is a statewide, multiracial grassroots organization advancing justice and equity through organizing, policy, and campaigns. Offices are located in St. Paul, Duluth, and St. Cloud.