The tragic death of George Floyd has shocked and saddened all of us. It comes at a time when we are already struggling to get our bearings from the pandemic-driven changes we’ve seen over the past three months. Together, we have watched what has happened in the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul and, this afternoon, we brace ourselves for a weekend of unknowns.
The League of Minnesota Cities (LMC) has been in contact this week with Andrew Johnson, Minneapolis city councilmember and LMC Board member, and other leaders in the City of Minneapolis. We have opened lines of communication with Minneapolis, St. Paul, and other member cities that are responding to dynamic situations in their communities. We are offering guidance and assistance where we can and when needed. We have reached out and made personal contact with peers and colleagues working hard in their communities to ensure the safety of their staff and residents.
In recent years, at the request of our members, the League has assumed an intentional leadership role when it comes to advancing race equity. That role is to support our cities as they, on their own terms, work to promote race equity in their communities. The last few days have certainly demonstrated the importance of that work. I want you to know we remain committed to continuing that role, even throughout our process of adapting to the new world of COVID-19.
As public servants, we know that communicating with our residents and with each other is a two-way street. To gain mutual understanding, it requires listening as well as talking. Consider this message I’m sharing today as another invitation for both. My virtual door is always open, and I remain eager to hear your thoughts and concerns about the next few days and months. How can we at the League continue to position ourselves to be the resource you need in an ever-evolving and changing world? That’s the question for me and the entire League staff.
We want to help you, and the League needs your help as we strive to be a better association. Not only can we lend an ear, we are able to connect you with skillful and sympathetic colleagues and peers. Together, through our partnerships, there exists a unique foundation for dealing with challenges resulting from the current crises in our state. Please take care and stay well.