Statement from LMC President and Executive Director on Chauvin Verdict

The Derek Chauvin trial has ended, and a momentous measure of accountability has been served. As demonstrated time and time again, however, the dialogue about racial disparities within our communities needs not only to continue, but to do so with a renewed sense of priority.

Positive change begins at the local level — the level of government closest to the people. We’ve seen it and experienced it in communities of all sizes. Our cities in Minnesota have a long history of showing the way for positive change. It’s the product of working together to achieve common goals that benefit all residents.

Let’s do it again. We can seize the moment to lead constructive and inclusive dialogue about racial disparities and differences of all types in our own communities. We can draw from this dialogue to engage in honest and persistent self-examination, followed by action.

With Tuesday’s verdict, some long-simmering tensions may have been temporarily calmed. That doesn’t change the fact that there is much work to be done to empower those who feel threatened and frustrated with policies and systems that have contributed to inequities. In city government, equitable outcomes require honest conversations and deliberate actions.

In closing, we offer this for our city officials: No matter where you serve, meaningful leadership at this time will make a positive difference in your community’s future, and the future of our state. Government should be of all people, by all people, and for all people — regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, or disability.

We know that issues of race and racism are difficult topics for city leaders. A reminder that the League stands at the ready to help you. We have compiled a variety of resources to support cities in their work. We are working on a race equity strategy that is designed to support cities where you need it the most. Please let us know how we can better serve you.

Brad Wiersum
League of Minnesota Cities

David Unmacht
Executive Director
League of Minnesota Cities