Every resident, of every neighborhood, has the right to feel safe in their own home. If our neighborhoods are not safe, families suffer, our schools can’t be successful, businesses become reluctant to invest in our communities making good, accessible jobs harder to find and our city will fail to reach its full potential. Tom believes that our current city leaders have not done enough to address the degradation of trust in the Minneapolis Police Department and rising violent crime rates in our neighborhoods.
Tom supports outcome-based policy making. We need to set our ultimate goal, then create clear, measurable benchmarks and a consistent, transparent tracking system to measure our progress. For public safety, Tom believes that the following goals are attainable for Minneapolis:
90% of residents in EVERY neighborhood should tell us that they feel safe at home.
90% of residents in EVERY neighborhood should tell us they are satisfied with the professionalism of the Minneapolis Police Department.
Arrest rates for the most serious, violent crimes should increase by 10%.
Tom supports the following policies to begin addressing these issues:
It is unacceptable that African American and Native American men are six to nine times more likely to be arrested for petty crimes like smoking marijuana than their white counterparts. Tom believes we should follow the example of cities like Kansas City that have decriminalized marijuana possession and expanded access to drug treatment programs.
Minneapolis is and will remain a sanctuary city. We pride ourselves on being open and welcoming to everyone…it is in our DNA. Our immigrant communities are the lifeblood of our culture and our economy and they deserve every opportunity to realize the American Dream.
Our police officers should not be expected to participate in Donald Trump’s cruel immigration policies. On Tom’s watch, they never will.
Arrest rates for violent crimes in Minneapolis are shockingly low. Aggravated assaults result in arrest only 35% of the time. For robberies, it’s 24%. Rapes result in arrests just 15% of the time. It may seem like a good idea to just put a few more officers on the street, but the beat cop in a patrol car is not the one actually investigating and solving these serious crimes. We must invest in more investigative resources if we hope to make improvements.
So why should you choose Tom on public safety?
Tom has a long history of working with law enforcement, non-profits, businesses, and social service organizations to make Minneapolis safer. As the chair of the Downtown Council, Tom helped found the Downtown Improvement District. The DID’s “people in green” help make downtown Minneapolis cleaner, greener, safer and more welcoming to all.
While leading Hennepin Theatre Trust, Tom and his staff pioneered a program called “5 to 10 on Hennepin”. This initiative, using no tax dollars, helped to develop programming on Hennepin Avenue from 5 th -10 th streets from 5:00pm-10:00pm on Thursdays. With a homemade soundstage, chess boards, cooperation with local artists, and support from MAD DADS, his team was able to develop relationships with people on Hennepin Avenue. As that trust grew, they were able to connect with individuals and begin to build relationships to serve those most in need. This regular programming enabled everyone on Hennepin Avenue to feel welcomed and created an atmosphere of mutual respect and tolerance. As an added benefit, police officers were better able to focus on actual law enforcement issues.
Programming that felt relevant and accessible to a broad range of visitors was an essential component to our overall success.