Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ward 10 Convention

Precinct 10-5 adopted the following resolution in March and referred it to the Ward 10 Convention, which approved it Saturday, 18 April 2009.

- - -
We urge the City Council to support the efforts of Senator Linda Berglin to eradicate graffiti in Minneapolis.
- - -

Senator Berglin knows from experience that parents hold a key to solving the graffiti problem. That's why she introduced Senate File 194.[1] The bill follows the road map crafted by the U.S. Supreme Court - civil proceeding, respect for liberty, high standard of proof, simplified procedure, and due regard for legitimate concerns of the state.[2] The Minnesota Supreme Court concurred.[3]

According to the Mayor, graffiti is a "tough issue." What he should say is, the menace is worse today than when he took office eight years ago. Sadly, it "costs the city and its property owners $2.5 million annually",[4] accomplishing nothing.

To a thinking people, S.F. 194 is a no-brainer: punish vandals, not victims or taxpayers. The General Membership of the Lyndale Neighborhood Association approved unanimously Senator Berglin's efforts to eradicate graffiti in Minneapolis years ago (23 April 2007). Nevertheless, requests for a public hearing to discuss the bill consistently fall on deaf ears. Why? The grupthink of the majority party defies the U.S. Supreme Court (see poll results).

The minority party, harbors an open mind (see poll results), a willingness to explore decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court. Mayor R.T. Rybak attended the Ward 10 Convention. He offered to cooperate with the minority party in its request for a public hearing. Meeting jointly with the Mayor and City Attorney is a promised first step. Letting legal scholars debate arguments for and against S.F. 194 (see pro/con matrix) at a public hearing is an obvious second step.

S.F. 194 allows a police investigator who is not an eye-witness to present "credible testimony" to identify in an informal hearing who is responsible for the graffiti. Synergy, the element missing from current City policy, is what draws parents into the graffiti solution.

The Graffiti Task Force,
Ward 10, Minneapolis, Minnesota USA

- - - - -
[1] Originally S.F. 587 (session 2007). Objections of the City Attorney were addressed and incorporated by Senate Counsel into S.F. 3760 (session 2008), which was re-introduced as S.F. 194 (session 2009-2010).
[2] Addington v. Texas, 441 U.S. 418, 431, 60 L.Ed.2d 323, 995 S.Ct. 1805 (1970)
[3] State v. Alpine Air products, 500 N.W.2d 788, 790 (Minn. 1993)
[4] Tom Horgen. "Leaving their mark across the metro," Star Tribune, 14 Oct. 2006, p. A8

No comments:

Post a Comment