Leading Democratic politicians speak out against MPD ballot issue

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If passed in November, a voting initiative would replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a new Public Safety Department under city council control.

MINNEAPOLIS – Thanks to the scene in Powderhorn Park last year where nine members of the Minneapolis City Council pledged to fund and dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department, many people believe the new voting measure regarding the Minneapolis Department Minneapolis Police is the “Defund Police” question.

If passed, the ballot initiative would replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a new Public Safety Department under city council control. It would not fund the police, but would create the landscape where the council could then do it.

Now the initiative – championed by the most progressive of Minneapolis Democrats – is being criticized by party moderates.

“They perceive that the police movement funding the Minneapolis voting proposal is very unpopular,” said political analyst David Schultz.

Schultz says whether supporters of the amendment like it or not, the policing issue and the phrase “police funding” resonate well beyond the borders of Minneapolis.

And the GOP took note.

Is this something Republicans will use in 2022?

“There is no doubt about it,” Schultz said.

This week, Democratic Congresswoman Angie Craig said in a statement that the referendum was “short-sighted, misguided and likely to harm the very communities it seeks to protect.”

Democratic Governor Tim Walz followed suit – criticizing the “defund” movement.

“I just think the debate seems oversimplified. I think it’s just dangerous to use a slogan like Defund the Police, ”Walz said.

And on Friday, a spokeswoman for Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar wrote that she was advocating for police reform legislation but: “She has also repeatedly stated her opposition to police funding. does not support this voting measure. “

Supporters of Vote Yes are frustrated and say these politicians do not understand what the amendment does.

“It is unfortunate that these lawmakers and the governor have weighed in on something they are not entirely clear on yet,” said JaNae Bates, spokesperson for Vote Yes Minneapolis.

“Even though that technically doesn’t fund the police, that was the message council members were sending over a year ago,” Schultz said.

A year ago, KARE 11 conducted a science poll and found that 73% of voters in Minneapolis at the time supported MPD money to other services. Few surveys have been carried out since. But the most recent poll, conducted earlier this month, found 72% of voters nationwide are against “funding” the police. There will certainly be a lot more polls done in the weeks leading up to November.


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