Lessons from the Front Lines: Progressive Policing Challenges in Minneapolis

  • 4:00-5:30 pm
  • Wasserstein Hall at Harvard Law School, Room 2036 Milstein East A

Former Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges’ tenure was challenged by two high-profile officer-involved shootings that killed Jamar Clark and Justine Damond. She successfully promoted a series of progressive police reforms during her tenure, using the energy from advocates to hasten the pace of the work. Hodges will be joined by Phillipe Cunningham, former community advocate and current member of the Minneapolis City Council and Nicole Archbold, former mayoral staff member who worked on public safety and twenty-first century policing, to discuss the challenges they faced.

Betsy Hodges was the 47th mayor of Minneapolis (2014 – 2018), and a current fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics. Among the key accomplishments of her administration were: creating a Zero Waste Minneapolis, improving police-community relations, helping small businesses thrive, and launching the city’s successful efforts to raise the minimum wage and mandate sick leave for all workers. Prior to becoming mayor, Hodges served on the Minneapolis City Council for eight years as the council member from Ward 13. During that time she served as chair of the Ways and Means/Budget Committee and the Intergovernmental Relations Committee. One of her major accomplishments was leading the fight to reform a broken closed-pension system that served neither the pensioners nor taxpayers well, which helped avert a $20-million increase in the property tax levy in 2012.

Nicole Archbold is Special Projects Coordinator for Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, tasked with development and implementation of the Minneapolis Police Department’s new Community Navigator Program. Formerly Senior Policy Aide for Public Safety to Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, Nicole served as liaison to the Police and Fire Departments, the Office of Police Conduct Review, and Public Health Youth Violence Prevention team. Nicole has over 20 years of local government experience, including 13 years at the Minneapolis Police Department. During her time there, she worked as an Evidence Technician and an Administrative Analyst, specializing in police policy and procedure. She has a B.S. in Law Enforcement and a M.A in Public Safety Administration.

Phillipe Cunningham is the 4th Ward City Council Member representing Minneapolis’ most diverse community, North Minneapolis. Phillipe was elected in 2017 after unseating a 20 year incumbent Council President. He is the first transgender man of color ever elected to office in the United States. Prior to being elected as a Council Member, Phillipe was a special education teacher in Chicago Public Schools and a youth worker. His top goal as the 4th Ward Council Member is to build community wealth and true affordable housing so North Minneapolis can thrive.