To the Editor:

My husband and I have been residents of Golden Valley for 17 years. We love this community for its diversity, green spaces, and central location. I am writing to express my strong support for Andy Johnson in his bid for a seat on the Golden Valley City Council.

Like many folks, I admit my level of knowledge of local politics has been limited. It took a crime spree in our neighborhood this past spring to shake me awake. Mea culpa. What I learned from that event is that our local police force has lost 14 of 31 officers since July 2020 and that sitting council members and the mayor seemed reluctant to take accountability for their departures.

As I prepared my research on candidates this fall, I placed a high priority on public safety and reached out to those who appeared to place the same emphasis on the issue. When Andy called me back and spent an hour on the phone with me, I came away impressed. He seemed confident without ego, he presented as a leader embracing accountability; but more importantly he didn’t act like a politician, playing the blame game or speaking in a partisan manner.

My research also led me to learn more about the new PEACE Commission whose mission is to evolve public safety away from a focus on criminal detection, prevention, and enforcement. Its membership does not specifically include residents, has no counterbalance to the four members that may have had a negative experience with police, and the two police department members had their voting rights removed at the last minute. How can we say we want to rebuild trust in policing, when we do not trust them to have a vote at the table?

In closing, I fully support Andy Johnson’s vision for Golden Valley, which includes a critical assessment of the PEACE Commission and whether it truly serves its intended purpose, namely a safe and welcoming community for all. I encourage you to view Andy’s two-minute video: andyjohnsongv.com/public-safety-video

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