3/12/2010 Newsletter

Contents:

  • Thanks to you, HF2609 is Dead
  • Last Shot to Challenge Dolan's Reappointment

THANKS TO YOU, BILL HF2609 IS DEAD

We wrote you earlier this week to ask for your help to oppose HF2609, a bill in our state legislature that would have eliminated access to information about complaints against staff at secure treatment facilities and state correctional facilities (prisons), effectively wiping out access to the complaint histories of prison guards and bringing us one step closer to losing access to complaints against police.  Apparently legislators heard from plenty of folks and has decided to take this awful bill off the table for this year.  Barring any little tricks (and we'll be watching) this bill is dead.

Thanks for your quick action in this matter--your efforts really make a difference.


LAST SHOT AT DOLAN

From our friend, Dave Bicking:

Now is a critical time to make your voice heard for better policing in Minneapolis. This morning the City Council will vote whether to reappoint Police Chief Tim Dolan to another 3-year term. Based on his record, he should NOT serve another term. The City Council needs to hear from you NOW, before they meet at 9:30am on Friday, March 12.

There has been some good news. Many people showed up for the public hearing held by the Public Safety Committee last Wednesday, March 3. Though that Committee voted to pass on the reappointment of Dolan to the full Council, there was dissent. Two members out of the six abstained from voting, and one member, Cam Gordon, Green Party Council member from Ward 2, voted against Dolan. Cam has provided a thorough and excellent explanation of his opposition, which can be found on his blog, at: http://secondward.blogspot.com/2010/03/performance-reveiw-on-safe-city.html

Cam has received a lot of praise both for his vote, and for his willingness to communicate with the public about his reasons. I hope other Council members take note. Also, the Green Party has issued a statement opposing Dolan's reappointment.

One of the reasons to oppose Dolan is his contempt for the Civilian Police Review Authority (CRA) and his persistent failure to discipline officers. The CRA issued a report on his performance relative to CRA responsibilities. Though the CRA does not take a position on the reappointment, their report was highly critical, with documentation of inadequate acccountability. That report is available online at: http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/cra/docs/CRA-Board_Chief-Dolan_review_2009.pdf

Council member Betsy Hodges (Ward 13) questioned Chief Dolan about the findings of the CRA report during the Public Safety Committee meeting. She abstained during the vote, saying that she wanted to evaluate his answers, which I found to be evasive. Her constituents, especially, should thank her for that questioning, and urge her to follow through by voting no tomorrow.

It is easy to contact your Council member, or write to all Council members. A persuasive email with your reasoning is great, but it is most important just to convey your position. It would be very helpful if Council members received lots of emails with just the subject line: Oppose Dolan's Reappointment! You can also call. Chances are you won't reach your Council member in person, but it is most important that they just know you called and you care. Leave a phone message, or tell their staffer that you oppose the reappointment.

Here's how to make contact:

Kevin Reich, Ward 1 kevin.reich@ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Cam Gordon, Ward 2 cam.gordon@ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Diane Hofstede, Ward 3 diane.hofstede@ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Barb Johnson, Ward 4 barbara.johnson@ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Don Samuels, Ward 5 don.samuels@ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Robert Lilligren, Ward 6 robert.lilligren@ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Lisa Goodman, Ward 7 lisa.goodman@ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Elizabeth Glidden, Ward 8 elizabeth.glidden@ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Gary Schiff, Ward 9 gary.schiff@ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Meg Tuthill, Ward 10 meg.tuthill@ci.minneapolis.mn.us
John Quincy, Ward 11 john.quincy@ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Sandra Colvin Roy, Ward 12 sandra.colvin.roy@ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Betsy Hodges, Ward 13 betsy.hodges@ci.minneapolis.mn.us

Phone number for all is 612-673-22xx where xx is the Ward number, examples: Keven Reich 612-673-2201, Betsy Hodges 612-673-2213

OR, Minneapolis residents can call 311 and ask who their Council member is, or have 311 connect you directly to their office.

Please do this!! It is a matter of justice for the people who have been abused.

Whatever the vote on Friday, we must continue our work to improve the police department, to bring greater accountabiltiy to reduce the level of misconduct, and to support the survivors of police abuse. But it is most urgent now, when the police chief is being evaluated for reappointment, and while public attention is focused on the issue.


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