Budget should target inequality

Daily Editorial Board

The Minneapolis City Council finalized the city’s 2016 budget proposal on Dec. 9. However, we feel it could have done more to allocate funds to the north side of Minneapolis, the recent site of the 18-day-long Black Lives Matter protest. 
 
In a testimony before the City Council on Dec. 10, residents said North Minneapolis has long suffered from anti-black policing and economic starvation. They also denounced a proposal to add “safety and accessibility improvements” to the 4th Precinct police station, calling it an attempt to “fortify” the building. 
 
We fail to understand how the proposal would have benefitted community members. Thankfully, hours of testimony prevented it from passing. 
 
In contrast to our disappointment with the budget, we commend the city’s sponsorship of other programs to alleviate inequality in North Minneapolis. Among these, Grow
North offers incentives for job investment in the area. Also noteworthy is an ongoing project to construct an “employment, education and healthy living center” on West Broadway Avenue. The building will open in fall 2016.
 
However, residents of North Minneapolis will continue to feel unsafe around the police and unappreciated by the city unless Minneapolis publicizes its outreach efforts.
 
Deliberate and strategic funding is essential to lessen Minneapolis’ pervasive racial disparities — just as deliberate and strategic awareness campaigns are essential to spread the word about outreach programs that currently exist. 
 
Ultimately, we urge the City Council to continue investing in the north side community and to listen to its members.