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Community-First Public Safety

We are the keepers of our own community, and the surest way to fund public safety is to fund people’s futures. Everyone deserves to be safe in our city, no matter who they are. We must vocally challenge city and departmental culture so reforms and police accountability measures are implemented in practice – not just on paper. We also need to reframe safety from a community vantage point, and work with people who are disproportionately at risk of experiencing violence or unjust law enforcement to create policies that protect and uphold the rights of all.

As someone who has both fought people’s deportations and walked alongside people of color whose lives were forever interrupted or lost to police violence, this work is deeply personal to me and necessary for the very future of our city. The institution of policing is squarely rooted in our nation’s history of chattel slavery, and there is no reimagining of public safety that can take place without acknowledging that this is where we have been. Today, though, we can - and must - urgently seek out the change that we need now.

I WILL KEEP PUSHING FOR COMMUNITY-FIRST PUBLIC SAFETY AND RE-IMAGINING SAFETY BEYOND POLICE:

  • Voted for the creation of a $100,000 immigrant legal defense fund in the 2019 budget, an idea I championed during my first run for office

  • Vocally opposed the addition of 9 backfilled officers in the 2019 budget without additional community input on other ways to invest in prevention

  • Advocating for the creation of the community idea of a People’s Cabinet on Public Safety to envision safety beyond policing and formally propose policy to City Council and Mayor

  • Participated in the community-led use-of-force policy reform process by SPPD

  • Continuing to bring Ward 4 resident input directly to Chief Axtell and Mayor Carter on how to keep improving these and other policy reforms

  • Ensuring that the Saint Paul Police Department continues to draw a clear line between their duties and that of federal immigration enforcement

  • Working with Saint Paul Police Department to continue efforts to issue significantly more U-Visas so that undocumented people who are victims of a crime can safely receive help

  • Continuing to advocate for the civilian review board to remain a true civilian-only entity

  • Pushing our city to explore volunteer and/or city-funded weapons-free resident patrol for large-scale city events, instead of relying on an overly militarized police presence

  • Advocating for an audit and comprehensive results report on the existing mental health responders unit of SPPD

  • Pushing for the exploration of an additional pilot that dispatches trained mental health professionals or social workers in crisis situations without armed officers in qualifying situations

  • Advocating for mandated regular collection and public release of SPPD data on residents stopped or detained by city police by location, race, age, gender, and more

  • Lead conversation with affected communities on how municipal IDs for all could benefit residents needing access to documentation while we work toward immigration reform

  • Support community-led efforts to prevent violence against trans, non-binary and/or gender-nonconforming people in our city from police, residents, business or government

  • Support proven successful initiatives like SPPD’s gun buyback program to reduce gun violence and address economic instability at the same time

  • Support and help promote additional successful efforts like Ramsey County Warrant Forgiveness Day

  • Support formerly incarcerated people in returning fully to life, health and community through city landlord education and other efforts that remove common barriers to housing and employment