We need both policing and community-based solutions
There seems to be an attitude that police funding is an "either/or" situation. Either the money goes to the police, or it goes to community-based solutions. Why? Substitution is not a proven path to success, it's a desperation move.
The more rational approach is to run both groups in parallel. We need to fully fund the police because, frankly, the need has never been greater. We can also fund community-based solutions because we want to test their effectiveness.
I don't see how any serious community leader could ever contemplate gambling on public safety. If you screw up public safety, then we are all dead.
Jack Kohler, Plymouth
You have my thanks for the Sept. 2 editorial "Trusted voices oppose Mpls. police gambit," about the position of Don and Sondra Samuels regarding the public safety charter amendment question. It is clear to me that attention must be paid to respected leaders of their community telling us their point of view about that community.
I completely agree with Sondra Samuels' comment that both police reform and police presence to curb violence are necessary. The problem with the ballot question is that it is about only one side of the issue with no specificity on how to implement change. There must be more effort to find the both/and way toward a public safety solution that respects the need for the safety of each and every person in Minneapolis. I would like more attention paid to the charter amendment question regarding the structure of city government. This proposed change might allow the public safety question to find an answer.
Sylvia Moore, Minneapolis
Dear Star Tribune editorial page,
Please stop using Black people to prop up your own rickety white arguments. You did that when you quoted the Samuelses and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo in the Sept. 2 editorial. In addition to using the insinuating term "gambit" it misleadingly states that the Yes 4 Minneapolis ballot question would "abolish the police."
My white spouse and I were two of the thousands of signatures on the Yes 4 Minneapolis petition. We've lived in Minneapolis for more than 20 years; we vote every year, and our children attend Minneapolis public schools in our neighborhood. I believe the Minneapolis police and mayor have failed this city and that we need sweeping, constructive, change to address root causes, not increased police in response to crime spikes due to COVID-related instability and an ongoing lack of gun reform, for example.
By perpetuating the opinion that more crime needs more police, an institution rooted in returning slaves to their "owners," the Star Tribune is stoking fear. By quoting the Samuelses and Chief Arradondo, the Editorial Board is doing what Mayor Jacob Frey does, using people of color as tokens to gain credibility.
How about hearing from any people of color who signed that petition? How about running a piece on Cincinnati, Ohio, a city that has achieved some success wrestling with its own racist legacy of police violence? How about working with reporters from the Sahan Journal, whose cogent piece on the ballot question is streets ahead of anything your larger, better-funded paper has done?
With editorials like this, where our local paper peddles lies to inspire fear, you lose all credibility with me. I subscribed to the Strib to combat the lies of the Trump administration. If you traffic in your own lies, you will lose me as a subscriber.
Kristin Boldon, Minneapolis
THE MESS IN TEXAS
Abortion and more
Yipes! Texas Republicans who "rowed and waded" into the Scummy Pond of Screw Civil Rights now let its citizens sue anyone who aids and abets a woman getting an abortion. Why not cut to the chase and sue the pants off the person who got her pregnant in the first place?
Linda Wright, St. Paul
In Texas, over the past year, it has become:
1. HARDER to vote.
2. HARDER to have reliable power due to extreme weather.
3. HARDER for a woman to obtain an abortion, even if she is a victim of rape.
4. EASIER to carry a gun in public, even if the carrier doesn't know how to use it (no permit required).
5. EASIER to get and spread COVID.
I'm glad that I and my family live at the other end of Interstate 35!
Peter V. Hall, Edina
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is quoted as saying, "Texas will always defend the right to life." He should have added "but only until birth." The state has executed two prisoners this year and seven more are scheduled to be killed before the end of the year.
Sally Thomas, Edina
Let's add precision and call this Essential Workers Day
The name of Labor Day has always seemed like a poorly named holiday. How do you define "Labor"? The day was created in the late 19th century to celebrate labor unions. Is the day for just labor unions? Or is it for any worker or any employed person? Given the attack on labor unions by billionaire capitalists in this country, does it even make sense to celebrate labor unions now?
After living through the COVID year of 2020, I like to propose a new, more precise name for the first Monday of September: the Essential Worker Day. Yes, I know that there are movements out there to start a new holiday for essential workers, but we don't need another holiday. Let's just rename Labor Day to make it more meaningful for the 21st century.
Jerry Gale, Brooklyn Park
LOOK AT THE TIME
Just stop messing with nature; keep the clocks consistent all year
Most agree that if we want to deal with climate change, a gracious thing would be to re-establish acquaintance with the natural world. To get back into the healing rhythms of the planet, I would advocate doing away with daylight saving time (DST) permanently and returning to yearlong standard time.
We need to stop wrestling with Mother Nature and accept the touch of the dancing of light. We could do this by refraining from switching the clocks back and forth as we attempt to suit nature to fit our demands. When we can see the natural cycles of day and night, ebbing and flowing of each season, we see more clearly the beauty of creation.
While I was in high school I attended a monthlong summer course funded by the National Science Foundation. I learned a lot about science and a great deal the benefits of natural time. These were especially true as we camped 10 days/nights in the pristine environment of Beartooth Wilderness area in Montana. Whenever we wanted to know the time, we would ask our trip guide. He would always pause, look to the sky and respond, "The sun is about right here now" — pointing his hand in the direction of the most light. We would chuckle.
This helped me to understand that time as the position of the sun to the Earth — a natural thing. Morning glories, sunflowers, sundials, Stonehenge and the Mayans all exemplify simple wisdom of following the sun. If we could only bring ourselves to do the same-year round.
Donna Draves, Minneapolis
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