Nearly $ 1 million in national and local campaign funding is flowing to Minneapolis to support a ballot measure asking voters to decide in November to replace the city’s police department, raising concerns that outside dollars stifle concerns of local residents as violent crime escalates.
The Yes 4 Minneapolis group, which supports amending the city’s charter to allow public officials to replace the police department with a public safety agency, has raised around $ 983,000 in donations over the past year, according to a 49-page campaign fundraising report filed Tuesday.
Among the biggest donors was MoveOn.Org, a Washington, DC-based campaign organization dedicated to “committed to an inclusive and progressive future,” according to its website. The group donated approximately $ 430,000 to Yes 4 Minneapolis in the form of “in-kind donations,” which represent staff value, access to mailing lists or other services in the form of non-monetary contributions.
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The American Civil Liberties Union donated $ 75,000 in cash and nearly $ 4,000 in labor time.
“We got involved because white supremacy is ingrained in many institutions that are supposed to protect us – including the police and our criminal justice system, and we are committed to eradicating it and repairing the evil that continues to be. inflicted on communities of color, ”says the ACLU.
Local groups Black Visions and Reclaim the Block also donated to Yes 4 Minneapolis.
That compares to just $ 109,000 in funding raised by an opposing group, All of Mpls, over the past three weeks. Campaign manager Leili Fatehi told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the group supports reform of the police and public safety agencies, but does not believe a charter amendment is necessary.
All MPs seek to distinguish themselves from other political committees as being more of a “local effort,” arguing in a statement Tuesday that “those pushing to eliminate the police service are largely funded by people and organizations outside of Minnesota who hope to use Minneapolis as a national experiment to abolish the police. “
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In defense of foreign dollars, JaNaé Bates, spokesperson for Yes 4 Minneapolis, told the Tribune: “We have always known that there were a handful of people who benefited from power and possession of resources, and they’re not going to give it up. power very easily. ”
She argued that the donations demonstrate that people “are ready for real change, a real difference” and that those who have contributed to the campaign “have the same answer as to their next step, and that removes that obstacle in the way. city charter. “