Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has launched a community safety working group that will be tasked with developing "public safety and accountability recommendations."
A news release from the mayor's office says the workgroup brings together "leaders from across the city" who have a "variety of perspectives, expertise and lived experience."
Attorney and civil rights activist Nekima Levy Armstrong will co-chair the 35-member workgroup with Rev. Dr. DeWayne Davis, who has worked as a senior legislative and policy assistant to several members of U.S. Congress and in the nonprofit sector.
“Minneapolis deserves a critical examination of the practices, laws, and policies that underpin policing and community safety,” Levy Armstrong said. “This workgroup’s focus will be on developing evidence-based, detailed proposals that reflect the different voices across our city.
"I look forward to working with Mayor Frey and this team to continue developing concrete change and reforms.”
Other members of the workgroup include Minneapolis mayoral candidate Sheila Nezhad, who is a policy organizer for Reclaim the Block; Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo; Steve Cramer, the president and CEO of the Downtown Council; NAACP Minneapolis President Angela Rose Myers; former Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton; LaZya Smith, a 13-year-old member of the Young People's Taskforce; and Bridgette Stewart of the Agape Movement. (See a full list of workgroup members at the bottom of the page.)
“Minneapolis has an extraordinary opportunity to show the rest of the country that true progress is within reach,” Frey said. “That’s why we’ve brought together leaders with deep expertise, community connections, and – most importantly – varied perspectives on the same goal: a safer, more just Minneapolis.
"By setting aside politics and honing in on outcomes, we will be well-positioned to enact lasting, meaningful change in our city," Frey said.
Frey was elected to a second term in November after a tumultuous year and a half that included the murder of George Floyd and subsequent unrest, ongoing questions about aggressive police officer behavior and an alleged internal "pullback" within the Minneapolis Police Department.
He also promised to push further police reform measures in the coming years, though he has faced criticism during his tenure from opponents for the lack of meaningful police reform, particularly in the wake of the murder of George Floyd
“As a city, we have the opportunity to respond – with decisive action – to the trauma and grief we’ve experienced over the last 18 months,” Davis said. “The eyes of the world remain fixed on Minneapolis, and this workgroup will be collectively resolved to show that we are serious about instilling accountability and enacting reforms. I’m grateful to the mayor for taking on these challenges in a substantive way and look forward to the hard work ahead.”
The mayor's workgroup will hold its first meeting the week of Dec. 13.
This is the "third and final transition team" the mayor has established ahead of his second term in office, a news release says. Economic recovery and government structure groups were launched in November.
Full list of workgroup members
- Rev. Dr. DeWayne Davis (Co-Chair), Lead Minister, Plymouth Congregational Church
- Nekima Levy Armstrong (Co-Chair), Founder, Racial Justice Network; Executive Director, The Wayfinder Foundation; CEO, Black Pearl, LLC
- Charles Adams III, Director of Team Security, Minnesota Twins; Coach, North High Football; previous Minneapolis Police Department
- Sue Abderholden, Executive Director, NAMI Minnesota
- Mohamed Y. Ali, previously Puntland Human Rights Association
- Nicole L. Archbold, MA, Director of Community Affairs, Minnesota Department of Public Safety
- Susan Bass Roberts, Vice President and Executive Director, Pohlad Foundation
- Rev. Ian D. Bethel, Senior Co-Pastor, New Beginnings Baptist Ministries; Unity Community Mediation Team
- Steve Cramer, President and CEO, Downtown Council; board member, Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce; board member, Meet Minneapolis; board member, Opportunity Partners; board member, Catholic Charities; co-chair, Hennepin County Workforce Leadership Council; co-chair, Heading Home Hennepin Executive Committee
- Chela Guzmán-Wiegert, administration, Hennepin County
- Autumn Dillie, board chair, Bdote Learning Center; Street Outreach Worker, American Indian Community Development Corporation (AICDC)
- Michael Goze, CEO, American Indian Community Development Corporation (AICDC); board member, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis; board member, Mni Sota Fund
- Michelle Gross, President, Communities United Against Police Brutality
- Brandon Jones, MA, Executive Director, Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health
- Rev. Carmen Means, Pastor, The Movement Church; Executive Director, CANDO
- Abdikadir Mohamud, CEO, TH Security Group, veteran
- Angela Rose Myers, President, NAACP MPLS
- Sheila Nezhad, Policy Organizer, Reclaim the Block
- Lul Osman, Grants Specialist, Minnesota Department of Administration; Founder, B.R.A.V.E. Foundation Incorporated
- Sondra Samuels, President and CEO, Northside Achievement Zone
- Sharon Sayles Belton, Vice President of Government Relations and Community Affairs, Thomson-Reuters; former Mayor of Minneapolis
- LaZya Smith, Member, Young People’s Taskforce
- Chanda Smith-Baker, Chief Impact Officer and Senior Vice President, Minneapolis Foundation
- Mark Thompson, Chief Courts Administrator, Hennepin County
- Bridgette Stewart, Communications, Agape Movement Co.
- Christopher Uggen, Professor, University of Minnesota
- Jan Unstad, President, Unstad Project LCC
- Marquise Wilkins, EMERGE
- Antonio Oftelie (Facilitator), Executive Director at Leadership for Networked World, Harvard University
- Chief Medaria Arradondo (Staff), Chief, City of Minneapolis Police Department
- Sasha Cotton (Staff), Director, City of Minneapolis Office of Violence Prevention, director
- Andrew Hawkins (Staff), Chief of Staff, City of Minneapolis Civil Rights
- Jared Jeffries (Staff), Principle Policy Aide, City of Minneapolis Office of Mayor Frey
- Fatima Moore (Staff), Director, City of Minneapolis Intergovernmental Relations
- Heidi Ritchie (Staff), Policy Director, City of Minneapolis Office of Mayor Frey