Police reform measure fell short in Minneapolis, but this is why we still won

Even in the face of a well-oiled, fear-mongering disinformation machine, funded largely by wealthy interests outside the city, people power prevailed and inspired nearly half of Minneapolis voters to dream bigger than a notoriously violent police force. And many people who rejected the measure were not endorsing police; they simply wanted to know more about how a Department of Public Safety would protect them.

More clearly articulating a new public safety vision is a critical next step, and there are already successes to point to. Minneapolis residents now have more options for non-police interventions because of groups like Relationships Evolving Possibilities mounting a community emergency hotline, training dozens of people as street medics, and creating non-police emergency response guides. This bump in the road will not stop progress.

Backlash and fear-mongering are classic reactions to people-centered radical organizing. Integration, voting rights for Black Americans, food benefits for families in poverty, and the basic right of LGBTQ people to public life were all met with violent pushback. The backlash didn’t stop us then, and it won’t stop us now. Despite failing to pass Question 2, Minneapolis and the entire nation is one step closer to a broad reimagining of public safety.

We CAN shift the responsibility of emergency response away from police, and we CAN keep each safe. This fight is not over, and we need you to keep it going. One way you can do that is to chip in to support these organizations mounting resistance to police abuse and advancing community alternatives.  

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