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Request for Committee Action

A briefing memo explaining the purpose, background, and impact of the requested action.
Contracts with community organizations for public safety and engagement services (RCA-2021-00237)

City Coordinator's Office
To Committee(s)
# Committee Name Meeting Date
1 Policy & Government Oversight Committee Feb 24, 2021
Lead Staff:
Mark Ruff
Presented By:
Mark Ruff
Action Item(s)
# File Type Subcategory Item Description
1 Action Contract/Agreement

Authorizing contracts with community organizations for up to $1,181,500 to engage service providers for public safety, communications and engagement services related to the upcoming trials in the killing of George Floyd.

Ward / Neighborhood / Address
# Ward Neighborhood Address
1. Not Applicable
Background Analysis

The City is preparing for the upcoming trials related to the killing of George Floyd and planning for the necessary public safety and engagement services. 

Through the Communications and Neighborhood and Community Relations departments the City will ensure that communities and elected leaders have direct access to information in real time leading up to the trial, during the trial and when the verdict is announced. We intend to offer enhanced community services during the trial to keep people informed and safe, especially non-English and Black, Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) communities and small businesses that do not rely on traditional media. 

Throughout the trials, a Joint Information System (JIS) will be in operation, coordinating communications and engagement work across multiple partners and jurisdictions. The goal is to create multiple channels (on the ground and online) to share timely and relevant information to the public as well as receive input and feedback from the community throughout the three phased trial operational period (pre-trial, trial, verdict phases) for both trials. 

Engagement strategies include: 

  • JIS Community Partners: A group of community members and leaders who meet on a regular basis leading up to and throughout the trial. The purpose of this group is to develop two-way communication between community and the JIS to understand questions and concerns from community members to create relevant City messaging and content. 

  • Preparation toolkit: Safety tips, best practices and information for residents, neighborhoods and community groups on how to prepare for and manage for situations leading up to, during and after the trial. 

  • Local media partnerships: Enhanced partnerships with local media who have reach into our BIPOC and under-represented or under-served communities and residents who don’t rely on mainstream media/City channels for their news. Ensure partnerships with Black-led media. 

  • Social media influencers: Paid partnerships with community members who are considered trusted messengers and have large social media presence to share City generated and approved messages. These partners also support our JIS situation monitoring so we can address/dispel incorrect information. 

  • Community information network: Create a list of local community leaders, organizations, groups who are “on the ground” to share regular electronic updates and information with. 

  • Leverage existing City roles: Utilize the network of staff who have roles relevant to the work around 38th and Chicago, community safety and engagement to share information out and share back community concerns. 

Additionally, through the Minneapolis Health Department's Office of Violence Prevention, we plan to engage community organizations in a Request for Application process (RFA). Through the process several community organizations will be selected for the City to enter into contract with for up to $175,000 each. The total amount for all contracts will not exceed $1,050,000. Following the RFA process the City will enter into contract with the selected service providers. A list of the selected service providers will be submitted to the council in a final report. 

Highlights of the RFA include: 

  • Funding will support a network of community-based groups that can be activated during periods of heightened community tension during the remainder of 2021, including the trials of the former officers who are standing trial for the killing of George Floyd. 

  • Community-based groups’ skills and credibility position them to effectively conduct proactive and responsive community engagement, communicate accurate information to community, and share resources with people in community. These groups will not be expected to and will not provide any law enforcement duties.

  • Some groups will have distinct areas of focus—e.g. geography, specific communities (with community broadly defined). Others will have a broader, citywide focus. 

  • A priority will be placed on funding groups that are culturally responsive, groups that have existing credibility and reach within communities, and groups that have the infrastructure and organization in place to take on this effort. A comprehensive process that incorporates input from various parts of the City enterprise is anticipated for the selection of groups. 

The services outlined in this request will be paid for out of the general fund budget and will require future support through other funding sources.