Citizen go to city hall, ask that their voices be accounted for


Longfellow Community Council (LCC) and community partners hosted a press conference in the City Hall Rotunda on Tuesday, May 16 at 10 a.m. to stand together against the current engagement process and ask the city to commit to an engagement process that provides more clarity, transparency, and resources to enable the community of the 3rd Precinct to influence and understand the scope of this consequential decision-making process surrounding the future of the 3rd Precinct. 

“The Third Precinct is an incredibly sensitive and traumatic topic for neighbors. After three years of silence, it’s confusing and offensive for the city to suddenly present residents with two options that aren’t informed by any data or background information. No evidence has been offered to explain why these are the only options.  I want to be clear that what is being presented to the public is a false choice,” stated Minneapolis Council Member Robin Wonsley, Ward 2.

From a statement from the Longfellow Community Council: LCC was thankful and energized to be a part of the community engagement efforts around the future site of the police building in the Third Precinct as it is vital to bring residents, businesses and community organizations into the conversation. The work of taking down the barbed wire and bringing the site at Lake Street and Minnehaha Avenue back to community use has to not only consider, but center the voices of the constituents; however the outreach process and timeline set by the City of Minneapolis did not allow for intentional, community-based engagement across the full Third Precinct community.

LCC is the neighborhood organization for the Greater Longfellow neighborhood, in which the Third Precinct site is located. LCC was contracted to organize community conversation sessions in what was originally set to be a 12-month engagement process. The first intended focus of this process was to determine from community input if the precinct building should return to Lake St. and Minnehaha Ave.  But the timeline quickly changed to a matter of weeks and a scope of choice between two predetermined locations for the future site. 

“After nearly three years of inaction with the promise of intentional and thoughtful outreach, the accelerated timeline from the city with this process, now that it's in motion, is opposed to the concept of real engagement,” LCC Executive Director Rachel Boeke said. “The Third Precinct is made of roughly 139,000 residents, not including business owners, employees, etc. The amount of outreach and work required to communicate with a large, representative constituent of this precinct, is considerable. The sudden urgency of the city to have a response from residents has reduced our timeline to four weeks for organizing locations, informing the community about each event, and gathering residents into conversation.

“Our goal with these conversations was to involve as many community members as possible so the results are undeniable and cannot be pushed aside,” Boeke said. “ We believe that any decision around the future of the Third Precinct site needs to be made by the people.”

The LCC Board of Directors passed a resolution (linked here) rejecting any decision made though this process and demanding the creation of a community-led intentional and respectful outreach process that focuses on restorative justice. As of May 9, 2023, additional signers to that resolution include nine neighborhood organizations representing 16 neighborhoods within the Third Precinct as well as 17 businesses and organizations.

Seward Neighborhood Group and Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association both passed additional statements, linked as well.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here