Dear Local Progress Members,
We write with an urgent update and a plea for solidarity.
Last night in Minneapolis, at a protest for racial justice, three people, with their faces covered, were reported to use racial slurs and then shot peaceful protesters, injuring five separate victims.
Indiscriminate violence, which could have resulted in a person’s death, was perpetrated in the name of hatred and bigotry. We are thankful for quick work to arrest two perpetrators and hope that soon all will be in custody, charged with a hate crime and domestic terrorism or to the fullest extent of the law.
Black lives matter. And our need to speak out against white supremacy and white privilege, bias and hatred, has never been greater. This is where we, as progressive local elected officials from around the country, can stand in solidarity – silence on this subject is statement in itself.
We can speak out in our conversations with each other. We can speak out at the Thanksgiving dinner
table. We can speak out with our stand on issues and causes. We can unite around our need for collective change and attention to the violence perpetrated by systems that promote racial inequity. We ask that you speak out publicly, via statements, on social media, and however you see fit.
As policy makers, elected by city residents to lead in our city, we view our role as making changes and improvements to the status quo, not accepting it. Racial equity guides our actions in creating transformative public policy change. Policy and budget decisions are where we can act to reverse white privilege: by fighting for paid sick leave, implementing policy to prevent wage theft, pushing for real criminal justice reform, and ensuring that our budgets invest in our communities and reflect our values. We hope others join our rallying cry for change in policy and budget priorities all the way from the federal government to states, cities, and localities around the country.
We hope that you have a safe and happy long weekend. We will be giving thanks for what we have and re-committing ourselves to the fights ahead.
Elizabeth Glidden, Minneapolis City Council, Board Member, Local Progress
Lisa Bender, Minneapolis City Council, Member, Local Progress
Cam Gordon, Minneapolis City Council, Member, Local Progress