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Can Downtown Businesses Take Back Nicollet Mall?


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Center Of The American Experiment

Tom Steward

Oct. 7 2020

It’s no secret downtown Minneapolis was in decline due to violent crime and disorder before Covid-19 turned the business district into a ghost town. Riots and looting following George Floyd’s death in police custody and other incidents further cemented the center city’s image as a no-go zone, not only after dark but in broad daylight, as well.

With the Minneapolis City Council in favor of defunding the already depleted police force, remaining downtown businesses have come to the realization they will need to lead the effort to restore public safety and confidence.

It will come as a surprise only to the city council that the business leaders’ plan starts with more cops on the streets, according to the Star Tribune.

(Snip)

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‘Afraid to leave my home’: Residents describe city on the brink at Minneapolis committee meeting

"You’ll be presiding over the biggest exodus of businesses and families that this town has ever seen just as some of you are running for reelection next year."

Anthony Gockowski

October 11, 2020

“We have never seen anything like this.”

“I’m scared to even drive after dark.”

“I don’t feel safe walking around my neighborhood.”

“Everybody feels the same way. We all want to move.”

That’s just some of the feedback the Minneapolis City Council received during an Oct. 8 meeting of the Public Health and Safety Committee.

More than 60 residents signed up to speak their minds at the two-hour virtual meeting, grilling council members on their “irresponsible rhetoric” and failure to adequately staff the Minneapolis Police Department.

“We should all know as adults that words such as ‘defund,’ ‘dismantle,’ and ‘abolish’ have severe consequences. We are a city in crisis and need action now,” said one resident who lives in the Loring Park neighborhood.

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As far as solutions go, residents said they’ve heard a lot from the council about “community engagement.” The Public Health and Safety Committee approved a resolution Thursday to hire additional employees for “community safety engagement efforts.”

“I hear the word engagement and I don’t even know what that means because how can you engage a community that’s afraid to go out at night?” said one resident. “Not because of the pandemic but because of crime.”

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