NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Wednesday July 6th 2022

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First Black Police Chief in Minneapolis Leaves Much Undone

By DWIGHT HOBBES This commentary first appeared on the Minnesota Reformer, https://minnesotareformer.com It is difficult to countenance Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo’s betrayal of the Black citizens who greatly helped put him in that job. Indeed, before he assumed the position in 2017, it would’ve been unthinkable. But, well, here you have it. Rondo, as he’s informally known, did nothing concrete about the department’s occupying-army treatment of a population desperately in need of a strong ally, beyond mandating body cams. His ordering fewer marijuana stops is laudable but not much more than politically correct. And he hardly deserves a pat on the back for the no-brainer of firing Derek Chauvin and his accomplices, taking a bow by testifying in court. At length, however, he sided with the enemy, then, with the announcement that he’s retiring next month, he blithely went on about his business. When Arradondo’s name came up for consideration, the roar of support from Black folk, led by the likes of such veteran activists as Rev. Jerry McAfee, Spike Moss and Bill English, was not to be ignored. Had it been denied, all hell likely would’ve broken loose: protests up and down the streets and sidewalks in front of City Hall, demands for Mayor Jacob Frey’s head on a spike, the whole nine.  Rondo rode that wave of popularity to a position that gave him the opportunity to make change in which people could actually believe. And he’d proven himself the perfect person to do it. Rondo, hometown hero, came up through the ranks and, importantly, there was a time he was committed to improving the MPD. As a lieutenant, alongside Sgt. Charlie Adams, Lt. Lee Edwards, Lt. Dennis Hamilton and Lt. Don Harris, he filed suit to do something about the department’s entrenched racism, specifically a history of systemic discrimination and a hostile work environment for Black officers. The city settled for [...]

How Phillips Voted: Ballot Questions, Mayor, and Turnout

How Phillips Voted: Ballot Questions, Mayor, and Turnout

By LINDSEY FENNER The Phillips Community is split between two wards - 6 and 9. Ward 6 includes Phillips West and Ventura Village in Phillips, as well as neighborhoods to the north, east, and west: parts of Cedar-Riverside, Elliot Park, Seward, and Stevens Square. Ward 9 includes East Phillips and Midtown Phillips, as well as neighborhoods to the south: Corcoran, Powderhorn Park, Central and parts of Longfellow. Ward 6 has 4 precincts in Phillips and Ward 9 has 2 precincts in Phillips (see map of the six precincts in the Phillips community) Charter Questions: Breaking down the charter amendment votes at the precinct level, Phillips voters overwhelmingly voted in favor of Question 3, which authorizes the City Council to enact a rent control ordinance. All six Phillips precincts voted against Question 2, which would have created a city Department of Public Safety. Precincts in Ward 6 all voted strongly against Question 2, whereas precincts 9-3 and 9-4 in Phillips saw a much more evenly divided vote, with 51.57% voting no in 9-3 and 52.81% voting no in 9-4. Phillips voters were split on Question 1, the Government Structure Amendment. Four Phillips precincts voted against the so-called “Strong Mayor” amendment: 6-6, 6-8, 9-3, and 9-4. The Yes and No votes in Precincts 6-6 and 9-4 were separated by less than one percentage point. Mayor: In the mayoral election, incumbent Mayor Jacob Frey had the most first round votes in all Phillips precincts, though he didn’t receive a majority in any precinct. Kate Knuth had few first choice votes, but consistently did well on second choice votes. AJ Awed did well in Ward 6 Phillips precincts. Voter Turnout: City elections typically have much lower voter turnout than national or state elections, and this election year was no different. The citywide voter turnout in the 2020 general election was 81.3%. Citywide voter turnout for the 2021 city election was 54%. Both Wards 6 and 9 had lower voter turnout than the [...]

Police, Adjective & The Ghost Writer

Police, Adjective & The Ghost Writer

by Howard McQuitter Police, Adjective (2009) *** Twentieth Century Fox Lagoon Running Time: 115 minutes Language: Romanian Director: Corneliu Porumboiu Bucharest detective Cristi (Dragos Bucur) trails a teenage boy who may be a hashish user, trying to find his supplier. Cristi would rather stop what seems to be overkill in finding small quantities of drugs on a 16 or 17 year old boy. Examining cigarette butts after the boy or his friends leave isn”'t what Cristi relishes doing. Cristi”'s boss (Vlad Ivanov, “4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days”) wants convictions; Cristi wants a far softer approach, clemency if you will, for a conviction can mean 15 years and ruin the boy”'s life, which is against his conscience. Perhaps his boss”' draconian approach to the boy (we never know his name) is rooted in the Ceausescu regime (1965-1989), a former iron-fisted Communist rule in Romania. “Police, Adjective” is certainly not for everyone unless one has extreme patience. Waiting for something is an excruciating experience. (more…)

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