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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Minneapolis Police Department would be replaced with a new entity responsible for "various public safety functions" under a draft ballot measure introduced by three council members.

What's happening: The proposed charter amendment would maintain a division with police officers but remove a requirement to maintain a minimum head count based on population.

How we got here: The lawmakers who drafted the measure — Phillipe Cunningham, Steve Fletcher and Jeremy Schroeder — were among those who vowed to "begin the process of ending" MPD following George Floyd's killing.

  • Schroeder said the revised approach will "expand our public safety toolbox," making the city "safe and equitable for all.” 

The other side: Frey told The Star Tribune he's concerned the change would "dilute accountability by having the head of public safety report" to both him and the 13-member council.

What's next: The proposal is subject to review by the council and the city's Charter Commission before appearing on the November ballot.

  • Authors say this year's timeline means the proposal can move ahead with or without the commission's support.
  • Ultimately, voters would have to sign off.

This story first appeared in the Axios Twin Cities newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

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Go deeper

Downtown Minneapolis remains in pandemic-induced hibernation

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Most of the 218,000 people who worked in downtown Minneapolis before the pandemic still have jobs — they're just working remotely.

Why it matters: Restaurants, retailers and hotels have been hit hardest by the lack of office workers, and years' worth of momentum for downtown has halted.

Jan 29, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

A sneak peek inside Minnesota's only 5-star hotel

This rendering shows what the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel in Minneapolis will look like. Photo: Smallwood Architects

Developer United Properties shared this not-yet-publicized rendering of the Four Seasons lobby in downtown Minneapolis with Axios.

The state of play: The 222-room hotel — which will be Minnesota's only five-star property — is part of the 37-story RBC Gateway Tower office-retail-condo project at Nicollet and Washington, the largest current development in the Twin Cities at a cost north of $400 million. It's set to open in 2022.

The mad dash for COVID vaccines among Minnesota seniors

Data: Minnesota Department of Health; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Minnesota's system for scheduling COVID-19 vaccination appointments for citizens 65 and older again saw extraordinary demand this week.

By the numbers: More than 226,000 seniors entered the lottery for one of just 9,425 doses available at state pilot sites this week, MDH told Axios.