Relevant History: Why We Need a "Strong Mayor" System

Shared by Mary Pattock

April 4, 2021

The new issue of “Minnesota History” features a story on the Minneapolis Police Federation (Union) and its long — and successful — campaign to politicize the Minneapolis Police Department.

Among other things, the Federation fought repeated efforts to bring Minneapolis under a “strong mayor” system, preferring the more easily politicized, diffused-responsibility system we still have today.


"Established in the 1950s and early 1960s, the Police Officers Federation’s ability to police city politics as well as city streets ensured that the MPD continued to enforce deep and painful racial divides in Minneapolis."

This history deserves careful thought as we evaluate the amendment being brought forth by the Charter Commission calling for a new government structure that makes the Mayor hold an executive capacity, similar to a CEO. This may be the right path to take, for clearer accountability of both the Mayor and MPD, and less influence from the 13 Council Members and their dueling perspectives.

Read this fascinating history here.