‘Safe Streets’ or ‘Street Safe’ — take your pick, it’s all the same

During the spring and summer of 2010, there was much discussion throughout the city about a program known as Operation Ceasefire. The entire odyssey was covered in great detail in my August 4, 2010 column in which we reported $2.2 million expected to come into the city, with at least $1 million being allocated to the group identified by Booker T Hodges in his columns over the last eight months.

Once the announcement was made that Operation Ceasefire would not be coming to Minneapolis, I wondered what the next move would be. Now we are beginning to see.
Federal sources and bloggers in Boston, Massachusetts reported that the weekend of December 10-12 a delegation from Minneapolis arrived in Boston to work on plans to bring a program and monies to Minneapolis. Those monies would be “Safe Street” monies, which, according to the website of the Minneapolis Council of Churches, would be funneled through the organization to a consortium of clergy and civil rights leaders.

Bloggers are now reporting a meeting was held here in Minneapolis on December 13, comprised of the key principals in the plan, during which there was an in-depth discussion on how the proceeds would be assigned.

During the December 13 discussion, a member of the ecumenical community indicated that his cut would be 43 percent off the top. In addition, the group discussed who would be revealed and who would not be revealed as principal operatives in this “Safe Streets” program.
During the discussion it was pointed out that length of service, whatever that means, determines the cut of the pie. Of course, this position led to some philosophical debates, but it was quickly determined that there was nothing to debate, that it was a done deal. And feeling they had no place else to go, they relented.

The Black Ministerial Alliance of Boston, of course, is running interference in endorsing the credentials of the Minneapolis group. To the best of our knowledge, the executive director of the Black Ministerial Alliance in Boston has never been in our beloved city to evaluate the environment and current operational programs in existence. But the presentation in Boston was tied to the following: personal relationships, the failed Operation Ceasefire, political endorsements in Minneapolis, and now, how the payouts would take place.

An announcement of the date of the arrival of “Safe Streets/Street Safe” was discussed. Of course, with the publishing of this column, dates and timelines will no doubt be changed. In fact, we would expect that the leadership group would say no such meeting took place.
The only problem is that inside the group, as of their reading this column, the folks are looking at each other cross-eyed and sideways. At some point, it will be revealed to the planners that they have been under surveillance by federal authorities for quite some time. In fact, they don’t even realize that when they arrived at Boston’s Logan International Airport, they had ghosts walking with them.

Why is it important for this story to be written? Because of what Booker T Hodges and others have said for some time: It is way past time for transparency and to truly care for the community at large that these self-proclaimed leaders are supposed to serve, not serve the “leadership community.”

The goal should be our safe streets, not their safe bank accounts.

For more background, we list earlier columns — from 2010: February 10, June 9, July 7, and August 4; from 2006: July 7, August 4, March 1, May 10, July 5, August 16, October 11, and November 22.

We hope the Minneapolis Council of Churches will do the right thing. Let us hope that consultation is with their conscience and their God, and not with the institutions and members of profit and corruption. We pray for all those involved in this season of the Savior, in the tradition of justice and righteousness. Happy holidays.

Vikings en route
to California?
When the Dome collapsed early Sunday morning on the Mall of America Field, dumping snow onto the field, was the legal door opened for Ziggy Wilf to pull up stakes and take our beloved Vikings to the greater Los Angeles area?
We noticed that all of the media in the Twin Cities have stayed away from “breach of contract.” It was no accident that during the Vikings’ 21-3 defeat to the Giants in Detroit, Ziggy Wilf was caught constantly looking up at the roof and all of the other amenities. He probably, this close to Christmas, had delusions of profit dancing in his head.
And it must have been tough that because of a breach of contract by the Metropolitan Facilities Commission, Ziggy Wilf had just taken a financial bath in the cold rotunda of Detroit, Michigan, not to mention the cold bath he’ll take in the University of Minnesota’s outdoor TCF Stadium.
Sounds confusing, doesn’t it? But thank God for the University of Minnesota. Ziggy is looking for something in his Christmas stocking. Will he get it from Minnesota or Los Angeles?
Stay tuned.

Ron hosts “Black Focus” on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm and co-hosts Blog Talk Radio’s “ON POINT!” Saturdays at 5 pm, providing coverage about Black Minnesota. Order his books at www.BeaconOnTheHill.com. Hear his readings and read his solution papers and “web log” at www.TheMinneap olisStory.com.