February 14, 2021
This weekend the newly minted astroturf group, Yes4Minneapolis, launched their signature campaign to get 20,000 Minneapolis voters to sign their petition before March 31st. Securing these signatures would allow their proposed public safety charter amendment to be on the ballot in November. This is the group that Black Visions and Reclaim the Block are behind, flush with cash from the George Soros Open Society Foundation. Open Society made a generous donation of $500,000 in 2020 and we have observed Yes4Minneapolis job postings for community organizers at $90,000 per year salary.
Some news outlets are buying the marketing they are serving up, calling them "grassroots." There is nothing grassroots about a Washington DC foundation outfitting Minneapolis with all the finances, marketing and staff needed to sell an alternate charter amendment to create a new Department of Public Safety. Welcome to the Minneapolis, the national lab rat for well-funded social experiments made possible by people that don't even live here.
We were curious about what is being pitched at the petition event, so VoxMN sent some concerned citizens to watchdog this and report back.
First off, let's review the minimal Yes4Minneapolis amendment language we could get our hands on:
7.3. Public Safety.
(a) Department of Public Safety.
(1) Function: The Department of Public Safety will be responsible for integrating its public safety functions into a comprehensive public health approach to safety, including licensed peace officers if necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of the department.
(2) Commissioner of Public Safety Department.
(a) The Mayor nominates and the City Council appoints a commissioner of the department of public safety under section 8.4.
The "if necessary" indicates there may be some point licensed peace officers are deemed unnecessary. This is a massive loophole.
In an effort to be Covid-friendly, the canvassers allowed signers to pull up in front of Moon Palace Books or take advantage of a "drive-thru" (didn't City Council ban those?) where a bundled-up clipboard-holding Yes4Minneapolis representative approached your car. They asked if you wanted to sign the petition. Our VoxMNers wanted to know what exactly they were signing, but one was told "it isn't quite ready yet" while the other was offered the language written above.
If you choose to sign, here is what the Petition Form looks like: