|Progressive Calendar 03.21.10||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Sun, 21 Mar 2010 12:30:35 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 03.21.10 1. Stillwater vigil 3.21 1pm 2. Amnesty Intl 3.21 3pm 3. Atheism/humanism 3.21 6:30pm 4. Steve Brandt - Dolan & CRA & discipline 5. Dave Bicking - CRA appointments - & my reappointment 6. ed - Bicking for CRA sign-on --------1 of 6-------- From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net> Subject: Stillwater vigil 3.21 1pm A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2 p.m. Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be positive. Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers. If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it. Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to <http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/>http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/ For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560 --------2 of 6-------- From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net> Subject: Amnesty Intl 3.21 3pm Join us for our regular meeting on Sunday, March 21st, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. We will share actions on human rights cases around the world and get updates on the work of our sub-groups. All are welcome, and refreshments will be provided. Location: Center for Victims of Torture, 717 E. River Rd. SE, Minneapolis (corner of E. River Rd. and Oak St.). Park on street or in the small lot behind the Center (the Center is a house set back on a large lawn). A map and directions are available on-line: http://www.twincitiesamnesty.org/meetings.html --------3 of 6-------- From: August Berkshire <augustberkshire [at] gmail.com> Subject: Atheism/humanism 3.21 6:30pm March 21, 2010, 6:30-8:30 p.m. - "The Humanity of Atheism: What can be done to incorporate more humanism into the atheist movement?" presented by Minnesota Atheists president August Berkshire. First Unitarian Society, 900 Mount Curve Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55403. Sponsored by The Humanist Center. Free and open to the public. Program format: 6:30 - 7:00 p.m. - Gathering time and conversation 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. - Presentation 8:00 - 8:30 p.m. - Q & A 8:30 p.m. - Adjourn From shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu Sun Mar 21 14:07:01 2010 Date: Sun, 21 Mar 2010 01:41:26 -0500 (CDT) From: David Shove <shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu> To: GP discuss <discuss [at] mngreens.org>, Green Party of StPaul <gpsp-list [at] mngreens.org>, Mpls Greens <Mpls-5thDistrictGreenParty [at] yahoogroups.com> Subject: Steve Brandt on Dolan --------4 of 6-------- Discipline given in four of 24 misconduct cases forwarded to Tim Dolan. The Minneapolis police chief often refuses to discipline officers when a complaint is sustained by the Civilian Review Authority, a Star Tribune review finds. By Steve Brandt, Star Tribune Last update: March 20, 2010 - 10:06 PM Last year, Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan imposed discipline in just four of the 24 police misconduct cases sustained and forwarded to him by the city's Civilian Review Authority. In 2008, he didn't impose discipline in any of the five cases the CRA forwarded after investigating and agreeing with citizens' complaints. The Star Tribune examined Dolan's record on discipline after several high-profile incidents that resulted in the city paying nearly $1.5 million in 2009 to settle complaints against police, part of $11 million the city paid for such claims in the past seven years. Among the claimants paid were a Hmong family whose home police mistakenly raided in 2007 and a public housing resident who needed two brain surgeries after an officer punched him to get him out of the path of a 2008 police raid. Dolan declined to comment for this story. But he recently told the City Council that "If I believe discipline isn't warranted because the investigation is unfair or beyond [the] reckoning period, then that discipline would not be meted out." Mayor R.T. Rybak said Dolan strikes a "complicated balance" between the citizen panel's judgments, fair labor practices and the police union contract, and has done "a good job with that." But the low discipline rate is comparatively "alarming," said Philip Eure, president of the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement. Police disciplined officers in all nine cases sustained by his Washington, D.C., agency in 2008. San Francisco police acted on 90 percent of sustained complaints. "If I were a member of the public, I would have serious questions about police accountability in Minneapolis," Eure said. Dogged by questions The CRA was created to restore confidence after incidents such as a 1989 North Side drug raid in which a police stun grenade started a fire that killed an elderly couple. Two weeks later, more than 200 people protested after a confrontation between police and partiers at a hotel resulted in five arrests and allegations of police harassment. Citizens may complain to the CRA, as most do, or to the police Internal Affairs Unit. Blacks file more complaints than all other races combined. CRA investigators interview police and citizens involved. Panels of board members hold hearings, and then the board forwards sustained complaints for discipline. In the first half of 2009, the CRA took 224 complaints and sustained eight. Often, investigations find evidence contrary to the complaint, or a panel decides that evidence is lacking. Critics have questioned whether the CRA is effective. It can't impose discipline itself, and its funding level has meant large caseloads for its two investigators. It couldn't hear complaints for much of 2008 because Rybak and the council hadn't appointed a chair and enough of its 11-member board. It takes more than 200 days to resolve the average complaint. CRA Manager Lee Reid said it would take a bigger budget to be faster. He has one investigator for every 425 police. San Francisco has one investigator for every 150 officers. When the council appointed Dolan in 2006, it mandated that he work toward imposing discipline in every sustained case and do better than his predecessor, Bill McManus. In his first year Dolan issued discipline in half the sustained cases. But by last year, Dolan's rate was as low as McManus'. This month, disappointed Council Member Cam Gordon told Dolan: "We could be celebrating a new level of trust and confidence in the department today." Examples of Dolan's discipline include his reprimand of Officers John Ochs and Mark Bohnsack last year for requiring a couple in their 40s to hike up a freeway ramp after their car was impounded. He also reprimanded Sgt. David Mathes and Officer Clark Goset after they cited a woman for obstruction of justice; she had objected when one of them pulled an unlit cigarette from a man's mouth. A CRA-sustained complaint from 2008 that didn't elicit any discipline from Dolan involved officers spraying a chemical irritant on a man who wouldn't let go of the arm of a friend he thought was under the influence of drugs. The officers also arrested and took away a bystander whose pants were down. Neither officer would give badge numbers when the citizens asked. Identities are not disclosed in cases that don't result in discipline. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights urged in 2000 that cities let civilian boards impose discipline. But Eure said he's not aware of any city where that's happened. Minneapolis police and their union, which didn't return calls, have long fought that idea. "The civilian-review controversy has nothing to do with review and everything to do with who controls the disciplinary process," former chief Tony Bouza wrote in 1989. "The cops know that in dealing with street people they must sometimes use force. ... They do not trust outsiders, even decent ones, to make judgments about their actions." The city attorney ruled in 2006 that by city charter the mayor and chief have sole disciplinary power. Evidence and reckoning In nine of the 25 sustained cases Dolan has declined to act on since 2008, he said evidence wasn't sufficient. "I don't reinvestigate the case, but I do review whether the evidence warrants discipline," Dolan told the council this month. The CRA argues that Dolan's action violates a 2006 council ordinance that removed police discretion to re-examine the facts. A recent CRA performance review of Dolan argued that he had violated that ordinance and should be disciplined. But Council Member Elizabeth Glidden, who helped write the ordinance, disagrees that Dolan's practice violates it. The CRA also urged Dolan to ask the CRA to reconsider sustained complaints; he did so recently for the first time. Although the ordinance requires an evaluation of Dolan's compliance, the city did not ask the CRA for its opinion before Dolan was renominated, according to CRA chairman Donald Bellfield. Dolan told the council that he also declines to discipline when a complaint is too old, beyond the "reckoning period" formalized last year in a department policy. The CRA law requires only that a citizen complain within a year of the incident, and the agency formally objected to the department's use of that policy Council Member Betsy Hodges said Dolan is "not following the spirit of the CRA agreement and quite possibly the law of it." Advocates of citizens review aren't likely to be satisfied as long as chiefs are allowed to ignore what reviewers recommend. "It's not that we haven't hit on the right design. It's that we haven't hit on a critical mass of elected officials willing to make this thing work," said former CRA Chairman Michael Weinbeck. Weinbeck said he still believes what he told policymakers in 2006: "We're empowered to make a decision on citizen complaints, but the Police Department rarely issues discipline. This isn't the way good police accountability works. And it's not the way to build trust between the Police Department and the community." Steve Brandt . 612-673-4438 --------5 of 6-------- From: Dave Bicking <dave [at] colorstudy.com> Subject: CRA appointments - & my reappointment Dear friends, We now know the timing and the process for appointments to the board of the CRA (Mpls Civilian Police Review Authority). At this troubled time for the CRA, these appointments are critical to the future of civilian review and police accountability in Minneapolis. Powerful interests want the CRA to be quiet and ineffective. They are working to prevent my reappointment to another term on the CRA. Your help could be influential! This is an issue where your calls and emails to City Council members could have a real impact. First, briefly, what you can do, when, and how. Then, more explanation of what is happening and why. 1) Tuesday, March 23, 7pm, at Walker Community Methodist Church (basement), 3104 16th Ave. S., Mpls: COMMUNITY FORUM on the issues facing the CRA and information for action on the appointments and other ways to strengthen the CRA. Please come! In addition to receiving more information, you can express your views, and help show the level of community support for an effective CRA. Sponsored by New Broom and CUAPB. Full announcement at the bottom of this email. 2) SIGN THE PETITION in support. You can read the petition and sign it here: http://www.petitiononline.com/CUAPB004/petition.html This petition was initiated by David Shove of New Broom, and put online by Michelle Gross of CUAPB. Instead of, or in addition to, signing online, you can send your approval, with name and affiliation (optional) as you would like them to appear, to David Shove at: shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu 3) Wednesday, March 24, 1:30pm, in Council Chambers, Room 317, City Hall (the big stone building just north of the LRT stop): PUBLIC HEARING on CRA appointments, at the Public Safety & Health Committee of the City Council. Applicants will have a chance to speak and answer questions. Public comments are also taken. If you can manage to get downtown during the day to show support - or better yet, speak - it would make quite an impact. Or, before the meeting, contact the City Council members on the Committee: Samuels, Gordon, Johnson, Hofstede, Hodges, and Tuthill. Full list of contact information below. Normally, these sort of public hearings for appointments to city boards and commissions are very low-key - just the applicants come and speak. But these are not normal times, and it is not normal to try to deny another term to a board member who wishes to continue. 4) Friday, April 2, 9:30am, in Council Chambers, Room 317, City Hall: Meeting of full City Council, which will take the FINAL VOTE on the appointments. There is no opportunity for public comment at these meetings, but people's presence can send a message. Please contact the mayor and all city council members before this meeting. 5) Wednesday, April 7, 6:30pm, Room 333, City Hall: The next monthly MEETING OF THE CRA BOARD. I may or may not be on the board for this meeting, but I promise I WILL be there! A large turnout of the public will send a strong message to the board about community expectations. For years, there have been only a handful of the public who have attended these meetings. But given the recent controversy, and the clear struggle for the direction of the board, public attendance has swelled: over 20 in February, many of whom spoke during the public comment section, most in anger at what had happened. The March meeting was cancelled on short notice, with no reason given, by the CRA board chair, Don Bellfield. Nevertheless, two members of the CRA board showed up along with 30 members of the public, and we had a public, unofficial meeting to discuss and strategize. I guarantee that April's meeting will be interesting and important. Please come. You can get a feel for February's CRA board meeting, and a summary of public comments, by looking at the meeting minutes online. The minutes include relevant documents, such as the chair's email telling me I need to resign, his comments on a Star Tribune article, and my responses. That is online at: http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/cra/CRA-02-03-2010.pdf APPOINTMENT PROCESS: [these details are helpful for those who wish to think about strategy, or are interested in how power works in the city. All that your Council members need to know is that you support my reappointment, and why.] There has been some confusion around the CRA appointment process, as the new City Council has rearranged some of its committees and changed which departments report to which committees. The last Council meeting voted to have CRA appointments be handled by the Committee of the Whole, which is the new "home committee" for the Civil Rights Department. Nevertheless, it is now certain that the Public Safety Committee will be doing the hearing this coming Wednesday, March 24, at 1:30pm. There has been less notice than usual - as an applicant, I just received notice in the mail last Wednesday, one week before the hearing. Normally, hearings are "set" at the previous committee meeting, two weeks earlier. I was watching for that, but it never happened. I am told that this is "customary", but not required. There has been some question raised as to whether anyone other than the applicants can speak at the hearing. I have been assured that anyone is welcome to speak (normally for three minutes - be prepared). There are currently 4 positions open on the 11-member CRA board. Terms are for four years. Three postions are currently empty; one is my position, for which I needed to reapply, and for which I must be reappointed. It is unprecedented not to reappoint a reliable board member who wishes to continue. But I know the mayor does not want me reappointed, and I have heard from a reliable source that the CRA board chair is working behind the scenes to block my reappointment. [Until the last several months, I have had a good working relationship with the board chair. That has suddenly changed - see previous emails for more explanation, or for a good overview, see the Daily Planet article at: http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2010/02/13/controversy-cra ] There are 15 applicants for the 4 positions. CRA members are appointed by the Mayor and the City Council. Half are appointed by the mayor with Council approval; half are appointed by the Council with the mayor's approval. In the past, that has made little difference in actual practice. What normally happens is that applicants show up at the hearing, or give notice if they can not come. The hearing is held, and the committee sends all the names forward to the full City Council, "without recommendation". That is, the committee does not actually vote on which applicants it wishes to approve. When the motion comes to the City Council, it is amended to a recommendation to approve a certain list of applicants. In the meantime, Council members, the mayor, and CRA board chair and staff look at the applications and the results of the hearing, and come up with that recommended list. [When I was first appointed two years ago, I did not get on that recommended list, but Cam Gordon successfully introduced an amendment to add my name.] [Incidentally, I am up for reappointment now, after less than two years, only because I was appointed to the remainder of an unexpired term, rather than to a full four-year term like everyone else.] This time, it looks like it will happen a little differently - there will be more of a distinction in how the mayoral and City Council appointments happen. Due to the vagaries of terms, and who has left the board, the mayor gets to appoint 3 members, the City Council gets only one. The details are given in a staff report, along with a list of applicants, available at: http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/council/2010-meetings/20100402/Docs/CRA-RCA.pdf That staff report is interesting: three of the applicants are listed as mayoral appointments. The City Council gets to choose one from the remaining 12 applicants - including me. That gives the impression that the mayor has already made his 3 choices, and the Council just votes on whether to approve those three. That would generally be pretty routine and automatic - but it doesn't have to be if there is enough constituent input. The three mayoral appointments that are listed are: Alexandra Jasicki, who works for the Hawthorne neighborhood organization; Dean Kallenbach, the DFL-endorsed City Council candidate who ran unsuccessfully against Dean Zimmermann in 2001, and Arlene Santiago, a lawyer and public defender. It is interesting to note that the staff report has a heading for reappointments, but I am listed under appointments with all the new applicants. I also am not included in the list of current CRA board members. I AM a current CRA board member, at least until new appointments are made. The mayor also has to appoint a board Chair and Vice-Chair. They serve two year terms in those postions, even though their terms on the board are four years. The staff report lists current CRA board member Justin Terrell as his pick for Vice-Chair (a new postion under the recently revised CRA ordinance). It is interesting that the staff report does not list a mayoral choice for Chair. Does that mean the mayor has not yet decided whether to reappoint current Chair Don Bellfield? I don't know, but it appears that way. Perhaps he wishes to pick one of his new appointees as the new Board Chair. Don Bellfield's recent actions have been strange, to put it charitably. In an interview with City Pages, he has repudiated an important part of the CRA's recent report on Chief Dolan, even though he voted to approve that report. There have been his attacks on me, in which he appears to speak for the board, but without any consultation with the board. And finally, he cancelled the last CRA meeting with little notice and no reason given. Other than that cancellation, he has had no communication with the board for over 7 weeks, in the midst of all this controversy. So, when commenting on CRA appointments, you may wish to also say something about the appointments for the Chair and Vice-Chair positions. CONTACT INFO: Mayor R.T. Rybak: mayor [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us 612-673-2100 Kevin Reich, Ward 1 kevin.reich [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Cam Gordon, Ward 2 cam.gordon [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Diane Hofstede, Ward 3 diane.hofstede [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Barb Johnson, Ward 4 barbara.johnson [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Don Samuels, Ward 5 don.samuels [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Robert Lilligren, Ward 6 robert.lilligren [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Lisa Goodman, Ward 7 lisa.goodman [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Elizabeth Glidden, Ward 8 elizabeth.glidden [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Gary Schiff, Ward 9 gary.schiff [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Meg Tuthill, Ward 10 meg.tuthill [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us John Quincy, Ward 11 john.quincy [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Sandra Colvin Roy, Ward 12 sandra.colvin.roy [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Betsy Hodges, Ward 13 betsy.hodges [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Phone number for all Council members is 612-673-22xx where xx is the Ward number, examples: Keven Reich 612-673-2201, Betsy Hodges 612-673-2213 Please make those phone calls or send those emails! The CRA is the result of years of struggle following serious incidents of police brutality. Our system has been revised several times in the hope of greater effectiveness, through numerous studies and reports and political action. We must not lose this important reform and protection, or let it become powerless. As in all cities, there is a constant tension between whether civilian oversight of the police will be a real protection and a hard-won reform, or whether it will be mere window dressing to deflect community anger. The decisions made in the next two weeks will be important in determining which it is in Minneapolis. Thanks for any help you can provide. Please forward this widely. Dave Bicking 612-276-1213 Here is the announcement for this Tuesday's Community Forum: COMMUNITY FORUM ABOUT THE CIVILIAN POLICE REVIEW AUTHORITY (CRA) Sponsored by the New Broom Coalition and CUAPB (Communities United Against Police Brutality) What is the future of the Minneapolis Civilian Police Review Authority (CRA) in view of its recent and long-standing problems? Tuesday, March 23, 2010, 7:00pm Walker Community Methodist Church 3104 16th Ave. S., Mpls What is the future of the CRA? Will it be an effective agency to reduce police abuses? Or will it be window dressing to deflect community anger? Will it become so obviously powerless that it is either discarded or redesigned once again? The CRA board is currently in turmoil. Some important progress has been made by the board, particularly in its evaluation of Police Chief Dolan's performance relative to the CRA. Recently, internal divisions have led to the Board Chair's unilateral cancellation of the last board meeting, with no reason given. The board chair has also called for the resignation of one of the most active members, Dave Bicking. How can the CRA board move forward? How can the CRA be more effective? How can we help Dave Bicking, who is up for reappointment by City Council and the Mayor? These questions will be addressed by past and present members of the CRA and other long term activists against police brutality. All are welcome to come and share ideas, areas of disagreement, or any relevant information or experience. Speakers: Michelle Gross, Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB) Dave Bicking, member of the CRA* Pam Franklin, member of the CRA* Michael Friedman, Executive Director of Legal Rights Center, and past Board Chair of the CRA Papa John Kolstad, sometime candidate, musician, small businessman, and political activist *for identification only, not speaking on behalf of the CRA board This forum comes just before the appointment of new members to the CRA and the possible reappointment of Dave Bicking. We hope to engage the community at this important time for the CRA and to provide information for action. New Broom Coalition: www.newbroomcoalition.net, or call Dave or Jan at 612-276-1213 CUAPB: www.cuapb.org, or call their hotline at 612-874-STOP --------6 of 6-------- From: ed Subject: Bicking for CRA sign-on Here is THE Bicking support statement: [statement approved by Dave Bicking] [See signatures at end and add yours!] Greetings Do you want to sign on personally? If so, email me at shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu and say "sign me on", write/spell your name as you would like it to appear, and if adding an affiliation, write out how you want that to appear (Affiliations for identification purposes only). Thanks! -David Shove -begin statement- IN SUPPORT OF THE REAPPOINTMENT OF DAVE BICKING TO THE CRA We, the undersigned, support the reappointment of Dave Bicking to the board of the Minneapolis Civilian Police Review Authority (CRA). For nearly two years, Dave Bicking has been an active and effective member of the CRA. He has strengthened the important work of civilian oversight of the Minneapolis police. We see his reappointment as an indication of whether the Mayor and City Council are committed to the importance and independence of the CRA. In addition to the central work of hearing cases, Bicking has taken the initiative in other important roles for the CRA, and has worked with other board members to gain support for these ideas and projects. Bicking led the work to bring to light the Police Departmentīs overturning of the Taser policy that was developed by the CRA and passed by the City Council. He did much of the work of bringing together CRA data and board membersī observations to produce the CRA report on the performance of the Police Chief. Dave Bicking has brought to the board a long history of activism, hard work, and skills. He has remained outspoken in his support for police accountability and civilian review, and in his critique of current police policies and leadership. That has not precluded fair and impartial adjudication of the complaints against individual officers, nor has he been criticized for bias by any who have witnessed his work on hearing panels. It would be unprecedented to not reappoint a dedicated CRA board member who wishes to continue on the board. Four year terms for CRA board members help insure the independence of the CRA. Bicking is up for reappointment after less than two years only because he was originally appointed to fill an unexpired term. Effective civilian review has always been opposed by powerful interests. The attempt to remove Dave Bicking from the CRA is part of an effort to eliminate the CRA or make it too weak to matter. We support strong provisions for police accountability and we support those who stand up for victims of police misconduct. We appeal to the Mayor and the City Council to reappoint Dave Bicking to another term on the CRA. Signed by: Organizations: CUAPB (Communities United Against Police Brutality) New Broom Coalition Individuals: (affiliations for identification purposes only) Paul Busch, Metro Watchdog Gary Carlson, 4CD Green Party Kevin Chavis Ted Dooley, attorney Michelle Gross, CUAPB Andy Hamerlinck George Hamm, Green Party Melissa Hill John Kolstad, president Mill City Music, candidate for Mpls mayor Bill McGaughey Janet Nye David Shove, Progressive Calendar Chuck Turchick Dorian J Ullman Charley Underwood and you!... ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments vote third party for president for congress now and forever Socialism YES Capitalism NO To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8 Research almost any topic raised here at: CounterPunch http://counterpunch.org Dissident Voice http://dissidentvoice.org Common Dreams http://commondreams.org Once you're there, do a search on your topic, eg obama drones
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