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As a longtime citizen and downtown resident of Minneapolis, I would like to commend the Community Safety Work Group appointed by Mayor Jacob Frey last December for giving our city leaders a clear, well-organized and practical set of recommendations for tackling the complex and seemingly intractable challenge of both transforming our Police Department and keeping our citizens safe ("Minneapolis will play a leading role in reshaping policing," Opinion Exchange, June 26).
I also would like to commend the mayor for unequivocally endorsing the report's recommendations, and for in fact already beginning to implement some of them. He was clear that some action steps will take longer than others and will require additional organization, collaboration, budget appropriations, etc., but his commitment to the endgame was steadfast.
Thank you, Working Group — a true "team of rivals" from all segments of our community — for coming together to create a robust report with such clarity and focus, and thank you, Mr. Mayor, for trusting them and committing to the hard work of implementing their recommendations.
John Satorius, Minneapolis
I was disappointed that Frey's commentary on policing had nothing to say about the impact the Behavioral Crisis Response team (BCR) is already having on both the city and the Minneapolis Police Department. We're just four months into the BCR pilot program and they've already responded to 1,600 calls with limited staff and transportation. That's a substantial reduction of the MPD workload that will only increase as the BCR presence is expanded.
It's very likely the success of the BCR will dictate the number of police officers we'll need in the city. It's possible that we'll never return to the level of law enforcement we had prior to the pandemic, or perhaps not until we approach the thresholds imagined in the 2040 plan. The situation is fluid, and everyone needs to understand that, up to and including the state Supreme Court ("Ruling should end cop funding nonsense," editorial, June 26).
Dale Jernberg, Minneapolis
The hope I have
To those who are celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to reverse Roe v. Wade:
I am not one of you, but I believe you to be people who genuinely care about children — that the idea of someone making a choice to not bring a child into the world is abhorrent to you. I believe this issue to be so much more complex, but I also believe there is more here that we agree on than you might think.
However, debating abortion today isn't going to move us forward. I wish we could have this complicated conversation without the stranglehold of politics, or influenced by the agendas of powerful people who want to hold onto their power at any cost — but that is not a world we have manifested yet.
So instead I write with some suggestions for the next issues you might consider championing that are inherently about protecting life.
Demand that all children be supported and accepted — especially those who are LGBTQ+. Every child is on their own journey, and they all deserve love.
Demand that it be harder for people who shouldn't have guns to get guns and take lives with them. How many more school or church shootings is it going to take for us to come together behind meaningful gun law reform?
Demand that companies and governments take action to protect the Earth so that our children can live in a world that supports abundance, generosity and peace. We don't have to agree on climate change to know that we need to take better care of the water, soil, air and all living creatures we share this planet with.
Let's find the things that unite us. Let's live our lives with love at the center, not fear. Let's work for things, not against each other. The world can be a dark place. Let's try to bring more light to each other's lives, for our children.
Meagan Bachmayer, Circle Pines
Of all the pro-life reactions I've heard to the dismantling of Roe v. Wade, I find the one by former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant the most repugnant.
"Well, I think people will start thinking about something called individual responsibility," he said in a June 24 interview with NPR's Mary Louise Kelly.
"This is not the most complicated thing in the world. Any seventh- and eighth-grader probably begins to realize where babies come from," he continued. "And so for an adult female to say, well, you know, I just don't I don't think this is what I want to do right now, I hope they will see more clearly through that process."
I've got news for him: If every woman in the world had complete freedom to engage in intercourse only when she wanted to, there would be much less need for abortion.
I'm not just talking about outright rape, but all the other forms of cajoling, coercing, begging, bribing, deceiving, expecting and the like that some men use to get women to have intercourse with them. I don't think I'm alone in saying that I could tell you many pitiful examples of such behavior. And I could tell you about the times when I endured sex during my marriage because I was told it was my "duty" and because I felt I had no choice if I wanted the marriage to continue. (Thankfully, it did not.)
I feel great compassion for women who choose abortion for physical, financial and other reasons, even though it's not been my personal experience.
But when some self-righteous clown tells me I need to "see more clearly" or take "individual responsibility" before having sex, I find the insinuation that I am a 100% willing partner in the act to be just one more example of willfully ignorant, patriarchal excrement.
I'm one of the many women whom Gloria Steinem rightly noted get more radical with age. I am outraged by regressive, right-wing patriarchy, and I am ready to fight.
Allison K. Schmitt, Le Center, Minn.
Now that the Supreme Court majority has changed its mind and decided that abortion rights are not "settled law" and that women no longer have a right to make decisions about their own bodies, a lot of people are really angry. I understand the rage of wanting to "burn it all down," but I have a different response. When the authorities believed that kidnapped Africans did not have a right to their own bodies, some people bravely and courageously created an Underground Railroad to smuggle enslaved people to free states. I want to suggest that Minnesota is bordered on the west, south and east by states that now either ban reproductive choice or are likely to ban it within weeks. Some of us have cars we could use to pick people up. Some have spare bedrooms we could offer for a few days. Let us offer our famous hospitality and show people how wonderful it is to live in a free state.
Charles Underwood, Minneapolis
DE-EXTINCTING A TIGER
I read, with interest, the article in the June 26 Science+Health section, republished from the Washington Post, about Australian scientist Stephen Frankenberg's efforts to "de-extinct" the Tasmanian tiger ("Cell by cell, bringing back a tiger"). If his experiment goes awry, might we end up with a real, live Frankenberg's monster?
Len Yaeger, Minneapolis