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The complaint against Sen. Nicole Mitchell is damning enough in itself, in which she clearly states she knows she "did something bad" ("Burglary charge for Minnesota lawmaker," front page, April 24). But then enter the lawyer, in an interview, with a truly unbelievable spin about how Mitchell was merely checking on an elderly relative. Sure, middle of the night, dressed like a ninja, entering through a basement window (even though she has a key to the house)!

If Mitchell had acknowledged her horrible behavior or shown a hint of remorse, she may have garnered a smidgen of sympathy, but no, instead she doubled down through her lawyer, further victimizing her elderly stepmother by claiming her to be demented and paranoid. The stepmother lives on her own, appears to communicate effectively with the police and proves exactly why she fears Mitchell.

As one of her constituents who voted for her, I demand Mitchell step down immediately. If the DFL continues to support this woman, perhaps it's time to start voting Republican.

Lisa Citak, Woodbury


Making the moral choice

While I generally agree with Naomi Breazeale's commentary "When is it antisemitism? Jewish people are in the best position to know" (Opinion Exchange, April 23), it has become increasingly apparent that any criticism of the horrific actions currently undertaken by the Israeli state against the Palestinian civilian population has been swiftly denounced as antisemitic in an attempt at squashing any negative views of Israel and its perception as a perpetual victim. This bludgeoning tactic has been quite effective, particularly when tied to institutions of higher education dependent on ongoing massive donations from pro-Israel billionaires, leading to either the downfall of several university presidents or, as in the current case of Columbia University, the de facto sapping of any moral courage or integrity.

As it now stands, Israel is far from being a shining beacon of humanity and has devolved into an indiscriminately murderous regime bent on the displacement and persecution of an entire ethnic group, and speaking out against it is the moral thing to do. This is not antisemitism, but rather empathy and solidarity for a forsaken people. Someone has to.

Walid Maalouli, Eagan


For a week now, campus protests against the ongoing Israeli genocide have been growing ("Gaza protests roil college campuses," April 23). Last week over 100 were arrested at Columbia, then 45 arrested at Yale, dozens at New York University and nine on a recent morning here at the University of Minnesota ("U police arrest 9 at pro-Palestinian camp on campus," April 24). As I write this, large student protests are reported at the New School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, the University of Michigan, as well as the University of California, Berkeley, and California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt. Another local aspect of this story was the arrest and suspension of Fifth District Rep. Ilhan Omar's daughter, Isra Hirsi, last week. By all accounts, the demonstrators were nonviolent and did not resist arrest as they were removed from the university and taken to jail.

There are some who conflate opposition to Israel's genocide as antisemitic. I do not. Evil is evil, whether the atrocities of Oct. 7 or the current genocide in response. I praise these demonstrators for following in the nonviolent footsteps of Martin Luther King Jr. There are real acts of antisemitism, of course, which must be condemned and punished under the law. But nonviolent opposition to Israel's policies follows in the best Jewish traditions of justice and support of human rights. Just as an example, I was truly touched by the account of Jewish, Muslim and other protesters sitting down for the traditional Jewish Passover Seder meal, right in the middle of their pleas for the victims in Gaza.

I can only offer my heartfelt praise. These young people of conscience are giving me hope.

Charles Underwood, Minneapolis


Is this council for real?

I read the article "Council rejects 3rd Precinct plan" with amazement. Although, in truth, there's no longer any reason to be amazed at the uncanny ability of the so-called progressive majority of the Minneapolis City Council to do anything but govern and, indeed, rush into solutions before having listened to all of the evidence or considering the consequences (for example, the council's rideshare minimum-wage ordinance).

In reading the article, I learned that the "council-ordered survey of about 3,600 people who visit, live or work in the immediate area found 44%, the largest group of respondents, wanted to restore 3000 Minnehaha Av. to a police station." I learned that the Longfellow Community Council received feedback from 118 participants (yes, 118), 94% of whom wanted "the community to determine the building's use" and only 20% of whom were people of color. Statistically, the council-ordered survey of 3,600 is likely more representative than the Longfellow Community Council's survey of 118.

Council Member Andrea Jenkins summed up the governing policy of the majority and asked those members whether they will accept the results of whatever additional community engagement does happen if it doesn't meet their "predetermined conclusion." That policy seems to be, "Let's disregard community engagement we don't like and string out the process until we get what we want." 3000 Minnehaha Av. has been vacant, burnt-out, boarded up and surrounded with barbed wire for nearly four years. How much longer will it take for the City Council to make a decision?

The council's inaction and obstruction of the mayor on all things related to the Third Precinct location and site, its badly handled and incendiary resolution on Palestine, apparently symbolically chosen as its opening act, and the rideshare minimum-wage ordinance fiasco, lead to an inescapable conclusion: the City Council is too large and has too much time on its collective hands. St. Paul is governed by a part-time council of seven. Does Minneapolis, having voted very recently and very decisively to invest full executive powers in the mayor, really need a full-time City Council of 13 members, each making more than $100,000 per year? It's time that the Charter Commission looked more deeply at the governance of Minneapolis. If we have a part-time Legislature, surely we don't need a full-time City Council.

Louis Hoffman, Minneapolis


It seems like there is new evidence on a daily basis that proves you get what you vote for. This is not about the upcoming presidential election. My comments relate to the Minneapolis City Council. Whether it is the ludicrous decision that may cause us to lose Uber and Lyft, the posturing around the Palestine/Israel situation or today's craziness around the Third Precinct building, the council never fails to fail.

Instead of attracting business to our city, it chases business out. Instead of taking on crime and violence in our city, it makes grand proclamations about conflicts in the Middle East. Instead of making practical, reasonable decisions about the Third Precinct that would benefit the whole community, it votes it down because it isn't the perfect solution for some small but loud subset of people. The list goes on.

I so appreciate Michael Rainville, my council member, for being the adult in the room as other ineffective, unqualified, ill-informed, self-important council members continue to take on the wrong issues and make horrible decisions. This proves that when you vote for people who have no experience, or you don't get out and vote for more qualified, mature and community-focused candidates, you get what you vote for (or don't vote for). And the result has led to failure on almost every front.

Mike Carey, Minneapolis