In late 2020, the Citizens League was selected by the City of Saint Paul to lead a Community-First Public Safety Commission to help shape the City’s continued work to take a holistic and sustainable approach to building safer outcomes in our neighborhoods.

The Citizens League will present on the process and recommendations publicly to the City Council on Wednesday, May 19, at 10am, which can be viewed on the City’s website.

The final written report will be made publicly available within the following week on our project website at Visitors to the project website can also find background materials, a list of commission members, recent news & media, and meeting materials. 

Consisting of 48 members appointed by the Mayor, the Commission met from December 2020 to April 2021, bringing together community members with wide ranging experiences to explore how the City can build upon its current strategy, and consider new strategies, for alternative response models to calls for service.

The Commission, led by co-chairs Acooa Ellis of Greater Twin Cities United Way and John Marshall of Xcel Energy, consisted of community members from a range of backgrounds and affiliations, including intergovernmental partners, education, youth, business, cultural and other affinity groups, law enforcement, advocacy organizations, faith, philanthropy, and others in the community. 

Citizens League Executive Director Kate Cimino and Director of Public Policy Amanda Koonjbeharry served as staff project leads.

The Commission’s charge was to make recommendations to the Mayor and City Council regarding:

  1. Alternative first response options to priority 4 and priority 5 calls for service
  2. Approaches for ongoing community involvement in the City’s community-first public safety framework
  3. Consideration of the creation of a city staffed office to drive and integrate community-first public safety initiatives and strategies i.e. office of violence prevention

The process included ten bi-weekly meetings, four public town halls, research, Commission surveys, and calls for public input via email and voicemail, concluding with the development of recommendations to the Mayor and City Council.

About the Citizens League and Our Process

The Citizens League is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that empowers people to engage in civic life and public policy, to make Minnesota a better place to live and work for everyone. Through our work, Minnesotans of all backgrounds, parties, and ideologies are engaged, inspired and empowered to take an active role in public policymaking, fueling Minnesota’s ability to implement innovative and effective policy solutions.

The Citizens League is unique in how we approach policymaking. Our process involves bringing people with diverse backgrounds together; seeking insights from research, data, and lived experiences of individuals and communities; acknowledging that there is a historical context to all policies, systems and structures, which invite new approaches to move forward; and advancing policy solutions in collaboration with a broad base of support.

The Citizens League followed these tenets as we progressed through this project, and we believe this process is foundational to building a safer and stronger community.

If you have any questions about this project, please reach out to our dedicated email address: [email protected].