This Juneteenth, as we reflect on the historic importance of this day that celebrates the liberation of slaves in the United States, the Minnesota House spent the early hours passing meaningful legislation on racial justice and police accountability. While Juneteenth is certainly worthy of celebration, this day also serves as a reminder of the work that remains to truly break the shackles of oppression in our society.
The bill we passed, the Minnesota Police Accountability Act of 2020, is a combination of extremely important reforms and measures, several of which I’ve been honored to champion in the Minnesota House - such as Restore the Vote. These reforms still face an uphill battle, especially with leadership in the Republican-controlled Minnesota Senate, but now is not the time for promoting half-measures. These are the components of systemic change that our community and our state deserve. You can listen to my closing comments from the floor debate here.
The legislation includes the following:
- Reclaiming Community Oversight
- Putting power into the hands of the people and neighborhoods that police officers are sworn to serve and protect.
- The Reforming Accountability Act
- Restoring confidence and trust in the systems that are meant to provide justice for all Minnesotans.
- The Re-Imagining Public Safety Act
- Ending the unacceptable culture that is responsible for the murder of George Floyd and far too many others who look like him.
The Promise Act
Today, the Minnesota House is also preparing to pass the PROMISE Act, which is inspired by the voices, stories, and strength of Minnesotans who are dedicated to rebuilding our cities and communities.