The following letter was sent to the Redwing City Council.
Dear Sir(s) and/or Madame(s),
Which person on the City Council devised the genius idea to fine and/or arrest people exercising their state and federal constitutional 1st Amendment rights for freedom of assembly and freedom of association? I have attached a picture of the city directive for reference.
Was an official vote taken during council session (regular or special) to implement the directive that has the city police enforce the Governors order? Where can I access records for said vote? Were there any dissenting votes to implement the directive? Are you aware Sheriff Kelly will not be providing mutual aid to Red Wing Police for this specific enforcement matter?
Will every city official submit they have not gathered with people outside their family unit in their home or public space, and have refused to visit another family unit in private or public, outside of their official work duties?
I look forward to your response, and thank you for your consideration. I want to be accurate before informing the public on any city government involvement in this matter, past the public records and chain of command descriptions available on the city website.
This is their response:
The intent of the press release is just one more way the city is working to educate individuals of Governor Walz’s Executive Order 20-99 to decrease the spread of Covid-19 while numbers of cases are on the rise and medical facilities increasingly reaching capacity. It’s another way to educate residents of the harm and violation of large group gatherings and other high risk behaviors in the city of Red Wing to help reduce the spread of Covid-19. Activities allowed under Governor Walz’s Executive Order are not impacted. I expect the city to follow the Executive Order to the best of our ability as created by the best team of experts reviewing the situation with the best information available at the time to supporting the public health and safety of the community, where education is a key step in that support and citations are another means of enforcement should individuals knowingly continue to put the community at risk. Law enforcement uses citations often for the sake of public health and safety.
It is my personal hope that we can reduce the spread through education so that the pressure on our medical facilities is reduced and that those who need medical service Covid-19 related or otherwise will have staffing and beds available. It is also my personal hope that the numbers and community spread will be reduced that we have enough staffing in our schools to bring the children back to in-person learning.
The Governor has asked people to voluntarily take actions that reduce community spread. He has asked law enforcement to educate first and then enforce through citations. I support the enforcement via citations when individuals have been informed and educated that they are in violation of the Executive Order and yet continue to put the public safety and welfare at risk.
It is not the intent of the Press Release to encourage citizens to report on each other. Admittedly, the wording can be easily read that way. At the end of the day we are human and flawed and a better wording could have been found. The intent was to echo the options available should a resident wish to report violations. Unfortunately, residents have felt their health and safety has been put at risk by businesses, employers, fellow residents and have reached out to me with concerns for their health and safety and have asked for this information. Residents may be put in more harm’s way be dealing with those issues individually. This also allows for individuals more familiar with the orders to review the concern and then educate the community first if necessary.
I am obligated to and take seriously the constitutional rights of our residents and work to protect those rights inclusive of public health and safety as well as the right to free speech and to assemble among others.
Again, overall the intent was to to continue to educate residents on best practices developed by a team of individuals studying and researching the situation who make recommendations to the Governor to keep themselves, their friends, their neighbors safe. This seems like something as a council member I should be, in fact am, obligated to support for the good of the community I serve.
I want our residents to be safe and healthy, our businesses to be thriving, our residents to be employed, our children to be in school, our health care workers to get rest and our facilities to be fully staffed again. I ask that residents please follow the recommendations by the team of experts who have the most knowledge about this situation at this time to support each other during this very difficult time.
Red Wing City Council – Ward 3
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