Campaigns surrounding Minneapolis initiative to replace police department raised $4.56 million, with supporters out-raising opponents by 2-to-1
On Nov. 2, voters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, will decide Question 2 to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a Department of Public Safety. Under the citizen initiative, the DPS would be responsible for “a comprehensive public health approach to safety,” including the employment of licensed police officers if needed to fulfill the department’s responsibilities. Question 2 would remove the minimum funding requirement for police (1.7 police employees per 1,000 residents) from the Minneapolis Charter.
The campaign Yes 4 Minneapolis proposed the ballot initiative. Through October 19, 2021, Yes 4 Minneapolis had received $2.97 million, including $650,000 from Open Society Policy Center (OSPC) and $625,000 from Reclaim the Block. In 1993, George Soros founded the Open Society Foundations. Reclaim the Block is an organization founded in 2018 to encourage the Minneapolis City Council to reallocate money from the police to other services. Officials that support the measure include U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-5) and Attorney General Keith Ellison.
All of Mpls, a political action committee, is opposing Question 2. Through October 19, All of Mpls had received $1.59 million, with $585,000 from Plan for Progress, a nonprofit associated with All of Mpls, and $210,000 from James Lawrence, non-executive chairman at Lake Harriet Capital, LLC. Officials that oppose the measure include U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D) and Tina Smith (D), Gov. Tim Walz (D), and Mayor Jacob Frey (D).
Question 2 has been debated by the mayoral candidates in the upcoming election. Incumbent Mayor Jacob Frey and candidate AJ Awed oppose the ballot measure. Candidates Katherine Knuth and Sheila Nezhad support the ballot measure.
Ballotpedia is tracking six notable local police-related ballot measures, including Minneapolis Question 2, that voters will decide on Nov. 2, 2021. Others on the ballot include Austin, Texas, Proposition A and Cleveland, Ohio, Issue 24.