A letter to state leadership in support of police reform
We are proud to join six other major Minnesota healthcare systems in support of police reform legislation proposed by the People of Color and Indigenous Caucus during the current special session. As our letter says, it’s time to reclaim community oversight, reform accountability, and reimagine public safety. We believe the proposed legislation will provide momentum to get to a place of equity, justice, trust, and healing.
June 18, 2020
Governor Tim Walz
Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka
Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent
Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman
House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler
House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt
Dear Governor Walz, Lt. Governor Flanagan, and House and Senate Leadership,
We, the undersigned health care providers urge your support of police reform legislation proposed by the People of Color and Indigenous Caucus during the current special session. These proposals support reclaiming community oversight, reforming accountability, and reimagining public safety which is crucial to shaping our collective response to the root causes that lead to George Floyd’s murder and the events that followed.
Minnesota is at a crossroads. What happened, and what is happening, unmasked generational pain and trauma in communities of color that will require our collective focus for the long journey ahead. Minnesotans and the world will be watching how we respond to this latest chapter in an unacceptably long book of our history. The reality that the broader population is waking up to is that our system imbeds the marginalization of people and underpins inequity among entire segments of our society including people of color, Indigenous people, people who have disabilities, and children. It is time to change our public policies in response to these voices.
As hospitals and health care providers, we have a front-row seat to the health impacts of injustices, injuries, and assaults on the most vulnerable among us. Each day we care for children, people without insurance, citizens, and non-citizens who have been marginalized, young people and adults who have a disability or complex medical needs, and patients who have a mental illness, many of these individuals’ challenges may be compounded by the color of their skin.
Please consider the following:
- Nearly half of those who die at the hands of police have some kind of disability.
- Police violence affects the mental well-being of Black Americans.
- Generational trauma experienced in communities of color contributes to chronic stress, which negatively impacts mental health and development.
- Witnessing violence in the home or community is a defined Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs), or potentially traumatic event that occurs in childhood. ACEs are linked to chronic health problems, mental illness, and substance abuse in adulthood.
As caregivers who serve everyone in our surrounding communities, we speak with one voice and humbly urge you to pass the People of Color and Indigenous Caucus legislative proposals. These changes are vital for creating the momentum that will carry us to a place of equity, justice, trust, and healing.
Fairview Health Services
Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare
Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn
Rep. Aisha Gomez
Rep. Hodan Hassan
Rep. Kaohly Her
Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein
Rep. Fue Lee
Rep. Alice Mann
Rep. Carlos Mariani
Rep. Rena Moran
Rep. Mohamud Noor
Rep. Ruth Richardson
Rep. Samantha Vang
Rep. Jay Xiong
Rep. Tou Xiong
Sen. Melisa Franzen
Sen. Foung Hawj
Sen. Jeff Hayden
Sen. Bobby Joe Champion
Sen. Patricia Torres Ray