Minneapolis repeals lurking, spitting laws that criminalize people of color

Minnesota Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (MN NOC) June 5, 2015
Today, after months of organizing and community pressure, the Minneapolis City Council voted 12-1 to repeal laws against lurking and spitting. These laws, disproportionately enforced against people of color, had been criticized as "Minneapolis Black Codes."
The repeal comes on the heels of a new ACLU report showing that in Minneapolis, black and Native American people are over 8 times more likely to be arrested for low level offenses than white people. 11295548_10152782166511813_1726647757530142842_n
The Twin Cities' racial disparities, among the worst in the nation on every measure, have long shadowed a region consistently cited as one of the best places to live--for white people.
"In many ways Minnesota and Wisconsin have become the new south. The disparities we're seeing rival anything in the Jim Crow era," said Anthony Newby, executive director of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change. "Today's repeal is a small, important first step toward ending racial disparities in our police system. We thank the city council for listening to the community and look forward to working with them on further police reforms."
Repealing these ordinances has been a priority for Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, and the ACLU.
In the months leading up to the repeal, community members packed the council chambers at two public hearings to testify about their experiences being racially profiled by the police. At today's council meeting, council members thanked the community for sharing their stories.
Council Member Cam Gordon, who co-authored the repeal, at one point read aloud from Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow during the council meeting, describing the effects of low-level arrests on the lives of people of color. "Today it is perfectly legal to discriminate against criminals in nearly all the ways that it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans," he read. "This isn't a police problem. This isn't a court problem. This is our problem. We need to own it."
“The ACLU-MN is thrilled that the Minneapolis City Council is taking this important first step in reforming our criminal justice system by repealing the lurking and spitting ordinance,” stated Charles Samuelson, Executive Director of ACLU-MN. “These ordinances were completely unnecessary and only used to further strain relations between the community and the police. We hope that this is a sign that we are starting on the right path to remedy the deep racial disparities that pervade our criminal justice system.”
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Redefining the social & employment contract: NFG's May 2021 Newsletter

The imagination, ingenuity, and power of workers, neighbors, and organizers in regions across the country are bigger than the crises they face. NFG’s Building Power in Place (BPP) project bridges organizers and funders with place-specific research highlighting groundbreaking community and worker organizer strategies. BPP showcases the realities of what building power in place looks like and offers funder recommendations for supporting the work.

Photo courtesy of Workers Defense Project.

In Houston, Texas, communities face climate change-fueled hurricanes and disastrous freezes. Shameless voter suppression. Runaway speculation on development. Unchecked evictions. Giant corporate tax havens that allow companies off the hook — even for worker’s compensation.

Houston’s grassroots organizations are holding corporate developers, city and county officials, fossil fuel companies, land-grabbing universities and more to task for creating a haven for low-wage work, climate insecurity and displacement. Spurred by turning points like Hurricane Harvey, new coalitions have solidified that are connecting the dots between issues like voter’s rights, speculation-driven construction, gutted public services, and xenophobia targeting migrants. Movements are successfully shifting power at the county level and on contracting while piloting a new generation of green infrastructure and just transition from fossil fuels.

Following the model set by Houston funders, NFG’s Funders for a Just Economy program is bringing together funders across economic justice, civic engagement, housing, immigration, environmental justice and more. We are organizing grantmakers to join us next Thursday, May 27th at 12-1:30pm CDT to learn more and strategize about the expanding movement infrastructure redefining the social and employment contract in Houston. We’ll dialogue directly about where funders can develop local partnerships that carry a national impact. See more information in the newsletter, and register today for this dynamic meeting.

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May 4, 2021

Introducing Philanthropy Foward: Cohort 3

 

We are excited to announce the launch of Philanthropy Forward's Cohort 3 in partnership with The Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions!

Philanthropy Forward is a CEO fellowship community for visionary leaders who center racial and gender justice and community power building to disrupt and transform the future of philanthropy. This fellowship brings together CEOs of foundations who are supporting racial & gender justice and community power building to make deeper change at the individual, organizational, and philanthropic field levels.

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  • JENNIFER CHING, she/her — North Star Fund
  • JOHN BROTHERS, he/him — T. Rowe Price Foundation
  • KIYOMI FUJIKAWA, she/her — Third Wave Fund
  • LISA OWENS, she/her — Hyams Foundation
  • MOLLY SCHULTZ HAFID, she/her — Butler Family Fund
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  • PHILIP LI, he/him — Robert Sterling Clark Foundation
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  • RINI BANERJEE, she/her — Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation
  • TANUJA DEHNE, she/her — Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
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learn more about each Fellow!

With a framework focused on liberated gatekeeping, accountability practices, and strategic risk taking, Philanthropy Forward is a dedicated space for leaders to organize together and boldly advance the transformed future of the sector. This growing fellowship of visionary CEOs from progressive philanthropic institutions is aligning to disrupt and transform the future of philanthropy.

Philanthropy Forward is a joint initiative started in 2018 by Neighborhood Funders Group and The Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions. Learn more about the fellowship here.