Fund Communities Not Cops: City Council Budget Hearing #1

At nine o’clock in the morning Thursday Nov. 1, twenty-five people came to speak on behalf of their organizations or simply as community members to make a statement for a 5% divestment of funds from the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) budget to be invested in our city’s communities.  

Speakers conveyed to the city council their own experiences with related topics, often of police violence targeting marginalized communities, or the current housing crisis. They urged the council members to consider the divestment, and to begin prioritizing the funding of community-organized safety, affordable housing, and restorative justice practices.

As Black Visions Collective and Reclaim the Block explained in their facebook event’s “About” page, The 2019 Budget proposed by Mayor Jacob Frey makes little contribution to these efforts, favoring the funding of the MPD and the likely addition of 1,000 police officers over the course of the next few years.

Black Visions Collective tweeted, “Safety doesn’t mean more cops on streets, it means affordable housing, quality healthcare, living wages, and community led safety solutions”, and this was echoed throughout many of the testimonies. 

It seemed that the council heard our community, and there will be two more hearings that Minneapolis community members are encouraged to attend and speak to their experience at 6:05 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28 and again at 6:05 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5.  

The City Council will be making their votes on the budget after the hearing on December 5th. Both hearings will be taking place at Minneapolis City Hall in Room 317. It is also possible to submit comments online or over the phone.

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