This Sunday is Father's Day, a federal holiday that dates back to June 19, 1901, and honors our nation's fathers.
Americans are expected to spend more than $20 billion this year on Father's Day gifts to show their love and appreciation. I may be wrong, but probably one of the better gifts that Dad could get that he may really appreciate Sunday is your presence (not virtual) and time. Combined with a simple "thank you" for everything that he has done for you since birth. Combined with: "I love you, Dad."
Some words that describe my own father, and may be the words chosen by other sons and daughters: protector, sacrificer, teacher, mediator, leader and role model. Just to name a few.
I wish I could have the chance again to see my own father Sunday. But I will be visiting him again at Fort Snelling, to let him know just how proud I am to be his son.
Neil F. Anderson, Richfield
MINNEAPOLIS MAYORAL RACE
Wide open election? It's clear residents know what they want
The Star Tribune's June 17 article, "Minneapolis DFL fails to endorse in mayor's race, but challenger Nezhad finishes ahead of Frey," misleadingly claims that no DFL endorsement translates to "a wide open election this fall." The results show a clear mandate for a new approach to public safety, as well as clear support for the two candidates, Sheila Nezhad and Kate Knuth, who share that vision.
With more than twice as many people in the caucus process as there were four years ago, Mayor Jacob Frey only received 36% of the first-choice votes. As the ranked-choice voting rounds played out, and Knuth was forced to drop out, it became clear that Knuth voters overwhelmingly supported Nezhad as their second choice and she finished with a majority of the votes at 53%. Frey hardly picked up any, ending at 40%.
These results don't reflect an electorate content to stick with the status quo. Instead, the results are a clear statement that after seeing the current policing system fail year after year, Minneapolis residents are ready for a new mayor with a new approach to public safety, who is ready to work toward a future where everyone — regardless of race, income or neighborhood — can truly be safe.
Sarah Pawlicki, Minneapolis
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The June 15 editorial, "Looking for clues in Mpls. council picks," claimed the DFL endorsement process gave "mixed signals" about residents' feelings around public safety and policing. But I think those results — and the mayoral endorsement results just finalized Thursday — paint a very clear picture that Minneapolis neighbors are ready to create a new Department of Public Safety and have soundly rejected the status quo and those candidates pushing to keep it.
Twice as many people caucused this year compared to four years ago. They endorsed seven candidates, five of whom publicly support the charter amendment for a new Department of Public Safety (Elliot Payne, Phillipe Cunningham, Andrea Jenkins, Jason Chavez and Andrew Johnson). None of the new challengers publicly opposing the amendment got endorsed.
These are not mixed signals. Minneapolis residents are ready to create this new, holistic approach to public safety so that all of our neighbors — regardless of race, income or ZIP code — can be safe and thrive in our city. This work is already underway and council members presented on it at a May 12 City Council meeting. All candidates and current elected officials would be wise to read these clear signals and continue working with the community to make this happen.
Mariken Wogstad-Hansen, Minneapolis
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I took notice of the June 13 article "Defense attorneys seek more diverse jury pools," having just finished my jury service the previous week. I am a white man who was called to the Hennepin County jury pool and sent to jury selection on two separate criminal trials (I was not selected to be a member of either jury). I certainly noticed the primarily white, middle aged, male demographic in the jury room and courtroom, but I have a separate demographic observation that wasn't mentioned in the article. The plaintiff in each case was a Black man — a rate of 100% of defendants. While this is a small sample size, it nonetheless stood out to me in hindsight as a more pressing issue of justice. I would like to see more written about the demographics of law enforcement intervention and state prosecutions, and the impact that past prosecutions can have on the decision to bring new charges to the court system.
Paul Schiller, Minneapolis
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In a Star Tribune article published June 13, defense attorney Emmett Donnelly argues for more diversity on Hennepin County juries, citing various statistics to show that Black people are underrepresented in county jury pools.
Why is this a problem? Mr. Donnelly's motion in a current case provides the answer: "Donnelly's motion comes in the second-degree assault case against his client Keenan Crawford, who the lawyer argues will be denied his constitutional right to a jury of his peers because Hennepin County's selection process 'habitually' results in panels that don't include a representative number of Black jurors."
Yes, that's right. The plain lesson here, apparently, is the fundamental truth that people of other races are not our peers. I have to admit that I am a little shocked to see the lofty goals of "diversity" so crassly diminished.
Stephen Grittman, Buffalo, Minn.
This system is imbalanced, dangerous
"'Straw buyers' fuel gun violence" (front page, June 13) is a good description of the twisted logic used to design our response to gun violence. While straw purchases are illegal in Minnesota, reporter Andy Mannix points out "they can be difficult to identify while balancing the rights of legal gun owners." How are the rights of legal gun owners violated by requiring that every new gun buyer have a background check? How are those rights violated by passing red flag laws? How are legal gun owners penalized, or even inconvenienced, by restricting conceal and carry permits? The equation of lives lost by gun violence vs. rights lost by legal gun owners is significantly imbalanced.
The article also notes the proposed law by Rep. Jeremy Munson, R-Lake Crystal, that would preempt any enforcement of red flag laws — i.e., laws that would allow a court to temporarily remove firearms from a person who poses a risk to himself or others. Does this mean Munson believes that once you have a gun you have a right to use it forever, regardless of your mental or physical condition?
Finally, the article suggests the possibility that retailers should be called upon to identify suspected straw buyers. It's nice when it happens, but don't ask retailers to defend a terminally flawed system where people can buy guns out of a car. There are now more guns in the U.S. than people, and we are reaching a tipping point for gun violence. Change will come when voters demand it.
Fred Beier, Edina
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An unaddressed and deadly consequence of the proliferation of illegal firearms is that we have hundreds of people on our streets brandishing guns who have no idea how to use them: They simply grab the gun, load it up and start shooting. No training, no target practice. Thus we have wildly shot bullets striking innocent children and bystanders.
I think and hope that the shooters do not intend to kill children.
Can anyone disagree that our society needs to take whatever steps necessary to guarantee that every person who touches a gun has had sufficient training on how to use it accurately?
Lynn Maier-Belair, Blaine