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LHiNC Statement on Public Safety Charter Amendments

At the August 4 meeting of the Linden Hills Neighborhood Council, board members approved this statement to be submitted as public comment to the Minneapolis Charter Commission regarding the inclusion of proposed public safety charter amendments on the November ballot.

August 5, 2020

Barry Clegg 
Chair, Minneapolis Charter Commission 
350 S 5th Street, Room 304 
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Re: Proposed Public Safety Charter Amendments 

Dear Chair Clegg, 

The murder of George Floyd has shone a light on the well-documented history of systemic racism that has plagued our city since its founding. There now exists at this moment in our shared history an urgent need for transformational change to community safety and policing in Minneapolis. The Linden Hills Neighborhood Council (LHiNC) recognizes the urgency of this moment, and we believe that voters must have the ability to weigh in on a Charter amendment to determine the future of community safety in Minneapolis. 

The current City Charter places outdated restrictions on how the City and our elected leaders can work for our safety by dictating a minimum level of staffing. It also places sole control over the Police Department in the hands of the Mayor. Neither of these barriers exist for other City departments. That must change before we can achieve, for the first time in our history, fair and equal outcomes for every resident.

We believe that the best path to finding solutions to the problems facing our community should consider input from the community itself. It is the peoples’ democratic right and responsibility to ensure proper oversight and accountability from the departments that we fund. While the demands for change in public oversight are not new, this level of broad public support is.

LHiNC applauds and stands in solidarity with the various Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-led grassroots organizations who are leading the call for change, and we echo their call. We respectfully ask you to fulfill your civic duty by supporting expedited approval of a Charter amendment so that Minneapolitans can make their voice heard on the November 2020 ballot. 


Steve Birch
Linden Hills Neighborhood Council