The city of Minneapolis is deep into the cultural revolution driving the Democratic Party ever further to the left. The city is run entirely by Democrats. Boy mayor Jacob Frey is a Democrat, as are 11 of 12 current members of the city council. The twelfth — Cam Gordon, Ward 2 — is a member of the Green Party. That’s diversity, Minneapolis style.
The current council lineup is displayed here. At full strength the council has 13 members. The seat for Ward 6 is vacant. The seat was held by Abdi Warsame, who resigned in April to join the Walz administration. The seat is to be filled by a special municipal election on August 11.
The eight candidates for the Ward Six seat are briefly profiled here. One is a self-identified Democratic Socialist. I find him guilty of redundancy. One is a self-identified member of the Green Party; he is looking to beef up its ranks on the council. Where is the man from the Legal Marijuana Now Party when you need him?
The city council has taken up the charge to abolish/defund the police. The Minneapolis city charter actually requires the council to fund a police department at something approaching its current size. The council has thus undertaken the process necessary to amend the charter.
Last week the council voted unanimously to advance a proposal that would substitute a new Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention for the police department. I have embedded the text of the ordinance with the proposed charter amendment below. Among other things, the charter amendment would have to be placed before the voters for adoption before it could become law.
The Star Tribune story on the proposed amendment by Liz Navarati is vague on the text of the charter amendment. Navarati’s story includes a video of Mayor Frey’s criticism of the proposed amendment. It would be going too far to say that the boy mayor is the adult in the room, but at some level he is in touch with the reality principle.
Steve Karnowski and Amy Forliti cover the adoption of the ordinance setting forth the proposed charter amendment here. The AP story conveys a more accurate sense of the ordinance than the Star Tribune story, although the Star Tribune story better conveys the madhouse that Minneapolis has become.
The Star Tribune also reports, by the way, “Gun violence soars amid crises of health, public trust, officer reluctance.” Funny how that works. Reality bites.
The city council members appear to be the thought leaders of Minneapolis. The residents of the Powderhorn Park neighborhood profiled in the astounding New York Times story last week are the thought followers. They love Big
The New York Review of Books takes a look at the local doings and undoings in Krithika Varagur’s story “Pulling Down ‘the Wall of No’ on Police Reform in Minneapolis.” By contrast with the Star Tribune’s coverage of events, Varagur’s story is full of Black Lives Matter events and activists. With good reason, everyone in town is afraid of this crowd.
One other takeaway from Visagur’s article is that the state senate, under the control of a narrow Republican majority, is the sole remaining obstacle standing in the way of this crowd. That’s not the way Visagur puts it, of course, but the translation isn’t difficult and the statement is accurate as translated.
The Star Tribune is the dominant media voice in Minneapolis. For the sake of the city it badly needs to articulate the voice of civic responsibility. It needs to stand up for law enforcement. It needs to name and shame the crazies. It needs to take stock of the damage that the city has sustained and peer into a lawless future, yet the paper’s editorial board is otherwise engaged. They give eunuchs a bad name.
One would think that the self-interest of voters would assert itself if the proposed charter amendment were put to a vote. I can’t see it passing. When your life and property are at risk, who ya gonna call?
The proposed amendment has to jump through a few more hoops to make it onto the ballot in November. Let us find out just how far gone we are.
NOTE: Coincidentally, one of the two best books I have read about Minnesota politics is Ward Number Six, by David Lebedoff. The other one is The 21st Ballot, also by David Lebedoff.
MPD Charter Amendment VII 062420 Final by Scott Johnson on Scribd