Tomorrow, as the Minnesota State Legislature begins its special session, I am excited to see that legislation will be introduced to address many of the conditions of equity that have plagued our state for decades, including several topics related to police conduct and the recent murder of George Floyd. Some of the legislation that I have been working on will be included in a package of bills that were put forward by the People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus - bills that address many reforms that have been needed for far too long.
I’ve served as a member of the House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Committee for several years, and I have been proud to work on and carry legislation that would bring monies to community groups and organizations to fight crime and violence, change the current police ‘use of force’ standard in law, establish police training for encounters with individuals who are autistic, and many more. Now is the time for us to lift up Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), and to allow voices of those who are impacted directly to be leading the dialogue regarding what is needed at this time. I’ll be fully supporting the proposals of the POCI Caucus and holding them in the highest priority during the special session.
Earlier this week, I led legislative colleagues and community leaders through a tour of West Broadway, showcasing not only the damage from the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, but also the needs and history of our neighborhood. As we work to enact the measures proposed by the POCI Caucus, it’s important that my colleagues understand the communities impacted by the status quo.