Minneapolis voters, many organized by Neighborhoods Organizing for Change and Black Lives Matter, spoke of their frustrations feeling ignored by the mayor and City Council over the last several months. "First you stop fair scheduling, then you try to give $600,000 to the 4th Precinct," said Sondra Jones, a member of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change. "Is this a joke? I know don't have $500 shoes or a fancy suit, but am I invisible too?"
The mood turned jubilant when it became clear that the community had stopped the controversial amendment.
"What we've seen at the 4th Precinct occupation is the community coming together to demand not only justice for Jamar, but racial equity throughout the city," said Rod Adams, an organizer for Neighborhoods Organizing for Change. "Tonight we saw the political power of these voices. For the first time in a long time, the City Council listened to us. People who feel their voices have been drowned by the political process should know that when we speak up, we can win."
"Our communities need resources, not more police," said Anthony Newby, executive director of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change. "We must begin to imagine what public safety looks like beyond the police. The moment demands that our public resources be routed away from militarized and punitive law enforcement in favor of transformative justice and the mental health, education, and employment needs of the community. Tonight's budget victory was a first step toward divesting public money from the police and reinvesting in the communities that need it most."