On November 2, several states and municipalities held various elections; some municipalities also held ballot measures. In Minneapolis, an initiative to defund the police was on the ballot. The measure failed miserably.
Tuesday saw some historic elections take place. In major cities, largely Democratic, candidates who had campaigned on a platform that included defunding the police saw their efforts rejected. This is in addition to the ballot measures, such as the one held in Minneapolis.
In New York, a former police captain, Eric Adams was elected to the mayoral position. He will replace Bill de Blasio, a more leftist Democrat who had promoted cutting the NYPD’s funding and had relaxed the stop and frisk policy made popular during Rudy Guillani’s term in office.
Although he ran on the Democratic ticket, Adams’ experience as a police officer meant he had a bit of different platform. He was outspoken on his disdain for a defunding of the police by reallocating funds from the NYPD to other programs. During his time as a police officer, Adams had openly advocated for black police officers. He also spoke out against injustice within the New York Police Department.
In Minneapolis, a ballot measure known as Question 2 was presented to voters. This proposed amendment would have changed the city’s charter so that the Minneapolis Police Department was replaced with a Department of Public Safety. The measure would have divided control of public safety between the mayor and the City Council. It would have removed language from the city’s charter which included the minimal funding requirements for the Minneapolis Police Department.
By Tuesday’s end, the ballot measure failed 56 percent to 44 percent. These results were released by the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office. The measure required a 51 percent approval to pass, and the 44 percent approval did not meet this requirement.
Minneapolis also elected a new mayor. Jacob Frey, the incumbent Democrat mayor, was outspoken about his lack of support for Question 2. Frey’s top two challengers had supported the measure.
Seattle, another city that has been ravaged by violent protests over the last year, elected former City Council President Bruce Harrell to the position once more. He maintained a sizable lead over the current City Council president. Harrell did not support a proposal to cut the Seattle Police Department budget by half, although his opponent did.
The city attorney and City Council candidates who had made clear their support for the police department also held a lead over their opponents who did support cutting police funding.
Cleveland, OH residents passed a charter amendment which would establish the Community Police Commission. This is a civilian oversight board that will be the final authority on discipline issues within the police department. The charter passed with a margin of 59 percent to 41 percent.
Although the mayor-elect of Cleveland is a Democrat, he was quite vocal that he does not support defunding local police.