Senators Kari Dziedzic and Bobby Joe Champion (both DFL-Minneapolis) released the following statement today in response to Minneapolis City Council member Michael Rainville’s harmful comments at Friday’s Ward 3 community meeting.
“We represent Minneapolis in the Minnesota State Senate and we strongly condemn the harmful comments made by Minneapolis City Council member Michael Rainville at a community meeting where he blamed the Muslim Community and Somali youth for the crime and unlawfulness that took place on July 4 in the city.
We did not attend the meeting, but we have heard from many constituents who, like us, found his comments both dangerous and unacceptable. Since the community meeting, we have both had discussions with Council member Rainville to express our disappointment and to urge him to meet with members of both the Muslim and Somali communities to advance his understanding of those communities, and to hear why his comments were so hurtful.
While Council member Rainville has apologized, we are all accountable for our actions. As state legislators we do not have authority to hold individual city elected officials accountable. We urge his city colleagues to determine what next steps should be taken for accountability.
We remain committed to supporting and protecting all of our constituents, including our Somali and Muslim neighbors. Elected officials must be held to a higher standard and should not amplify stereotypes with hurtful and dangerous statements. Instead we should be building connections and community trust. We stand ready and remain committed to rebuilding and expanding that trust.”