Yesterday a veto-proof majority of the Minneapolis City Council pledged to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department. In its place, they committed to creating a new public safety system. At Our Streets Minneapolis we are excited to see our local government take steps toward de-policing our city. We are especially grateful to organizers with Black Visions Collective, Reclaim the Block, and MPD 150, and all of the protesters and activists who brought us to this point in Minneapolis.
We know there is a lot of work ahead of us to make a police-free Minneapolis a reality.
As we move away from policing in our city we must also move away from policing transportation. Now is the time to fundamentally re-imagine how we keep people biking, walking, and rolling safe.
Just like other areas of policing, traffic enforcement amplifies harsh racial disparities putting Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color at risk.
And, just like other community safety challenges, safety on our streets is best addressed through a public health approach that focuses on creating an environment where violence does not happen in the first place.
We must leave behind punishment-based models that only address car violence after it happens. Instead, we need to focus our resources on preventing crashes through better street design.
But, the City’s draft Transportation Action Plan and Vision Zero Action Plan both call for traffic enforcement, including possibly adding a Traffic Enforcement Unit to the Minneapolis Police Department. As transportation advocates it’s our responsibility to tell our elected officials and City transportation staff this is not what we want.
In Minneapolis we have a unique opportunity to be leaders. We can be the first city to have a Vision Zero program without traffic enforcement. Together, we’ll make history as we make our streets spaces for everyone.
Use this template to contact our leaders today:
I’m [name] and I live in [neighborhood]. I [bike/walk/use a mobility device/take the bus] to get around. I’m writing today to ask that you remove all traffic enforcement policies from the draft Transportation Action Plan and Vision Zero Action Plan.
As someone who is a vulnerable road user, I take car violence and preventing traffic crashes very seriously.
I am also committed to ending the harm traffic policing and traffic enforcement cause in Minneapolis.
That’s why I demand that you not spend any more time or resources pursuing traffic enforcement as a solution to street safety, including no longer exploring reinstating the MPD Traffic Enforcement Unit or seeking permission from the state to implement traffic enforcement cameras.
I urge you to focus on what we know works: designing streets that put people first. With your help, we’ll be the first city to have a Vision Zero program that doesn’t rely on traffic enforcement as a strategy. Thank you for helping us show our neighbors, and the world, that in Minneapolis, our streets are for everyone.
Send your message to your City Council Member, and City staff working on the Transportation Action Plan and Vision Zero. Feel free to copy them all on the same email. Thank you for being part of our movement!
Transportation Action Plan: email@example.com
Vision Zero: firstname.lastname@example.org
City Council Members:
Find your representative by your address here.
Ward 1: Kevin Reich, email@example.com, (612) 673-2201
Ward 2: Cam Gordon, firstname.lastname@example.org, (612) 673-2202
Ward 3: Steve Fletcher, email@example.com, (612) 673-2203
Ward 4: Phillipe Cunningham, firstname.lastname@example.org, (612) 673-2204
Ward 5: Jeremiah Ellison, email@example.com, (612) 673-2205
Ward 6: Jamal Osman, firstname.lastname@example.org, (612) 673-2206 (updated 9/8/2020 to include new Council Member information)
Ward 7: Lisa Goodman, email@example.com, (612) 673-2207
Ward 8: Andrea Jenkins, firstname.lastname@example.org, (612) 673-2208
Ward 9: Alondra Cano, email@example.com, (612) 673-2209
Ward 10: Lisa Bender, firstname.lastname@example.org, (612) 673-2210
Ward 11: Jeremy Schroeder, email@example.com, (612) 673-2211
Ward 12: Andrew Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org, (612) 673-2212
Ward 13: Linea Palmisano, email@example.com, (612) 673-2213