Open letter by Local Organizations to City about Lack of Transparency and Strategy (Disclaimer)

Disclaimer: The Seward Neighborhood Group is NOT a signatory to the following letter, was NOT asked to sign the letter, and had no advanced knowledge about the contents of the letter.  SNG is posting this letter for informational purposes only.

Dear Mayor Frey and Minneapolis City Council,

As representatives of businesses, community organizations and residents in areas impacted by the rioting after the murder of George Floyd, we are concerned by the lack of leadership, transparency and coordination by our elected officials and government agencies, particularly at the City level. We are requesting answers to the following questions:

1. Rebuilding: We appreciate hearing the recommendations from Minneapolis Forward: Community Now Coalition. Can you please provide greater detail around process and timeline of implementation and how the larger community will be involved?

2. Future of Policing: How will the City purposefully engage with residents to envision, educate and collaborate on the future of policing in our City? Are there plans to rebuild the 3rd Precinct building in the same location? If not, what are alternative plans for that property and for the relocation of the 3rd precinct building? Who is informing the direction of those plans?

3. Funding: Will the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County or the State of Minnesota be allocating financial resources to businesses, local community-based and neighborhood organizations to assist in rebuilding our communities? What have you done to secure those financial resources?

4. Coordination Among Elected Officials: Are you working with your fellow elected representatives at all levels to align around a specific plan for rebuilding and to lobby the state legislature for funding to stabilize our communities over the long-term?

5. Community Engagement: How do you plan to engage residents, community organizations and businesses in plans to rebuild our communities and to find out the actual needs on the ground? If we organize the voices of businesses and residents, what processes and plans are in place for those voices to be heard?

6. Racial Equity: Please explain how your efforts (fundraising, policy, coordination etc.) are and will be done with an intentional focus on racial equity.

Until hearing the recommendations of Minneapolis Forward, few community organizations, businesses and residents of the impacted areas had received information or communication on the efforts of our City elected officials and departments. We still need responses to the above questions and action by the City to support the rebuilding of our communities. Please respond by Friday, September 4th. A lack of response will be interpreted as disregard for the voices of all of those who have been most deeply impacted by the recent rioting and unrest. Your responses will be shared with our communities through social and print media.

Our organizations, businesses and residents are currently engaged in many efforts and we are eager to share them with you. We are working hard on these same issues that we are asking you about, but we cannot and should not be forced to act without leadership and resources from our City, County and State governments. A more coordinated and inclusive City response is still absent, so we respectfully request that you do not direct us towards our individual City Council Members. The City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County and State Officials are responsible for a coordinated response to our communities that cannot be delayed and requires your cooperation.

Please send your response(s) to info@longfellow.org.

Sincerely, Corcoran Neighborhood Association, Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Association, Seward Civic and Commerce Association, Standish-Ericsson Neighborhood Association, Longfellow Business Association, Longfellow Community Council

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