Reader comments are published every month (or so) and may be edited for clarity and length. You can send feedback on our reporting through the Add Context box found at the end of every story.
“Lived at 200 Oak Grove St for 7 years. One of the three legitimate individuals allowed to, albeit within 24 hours, take some stuff. Lost most other stuff including a 2014 vehicle I eventually turned into a Kars4Kids.” -Bunmi O.
“Thank you for reporting on George. As a resident of the Wedge, it has been incredibly frustrating watching all this important missing-middle housing stock decay, not to mention the homelessness brought on by what feels like the city's only option which is to condemn the properties. How can the community and our jurisdictions intervene to prevent the complete loss of these structures? Even now, the cost of their repair by a future owner/developer will likely outweigh the cost to tear them down and replace with more market-rate housing - further alienating our low-income neighbors. What can be done to prevent this? Is there any process by which the city can seize the properties? Or otherwise remove him from ownership?” - Rachel U., The Wedge
“I would like to know what the next step is in the city’s condemnation process. Will the buildings be torn down or sold to another developer? What are the likely next steps and how long might it take to get these sites back to usable affordable housing?” -Susan H., Lyndale
“At what point does the City acknowledge that to amass a bunch of beautiful original old stock buildings that add texture and vibrancy and character to our neighborhoods, only to just let them rot, will eventually result not only in condemnation of buildings and displacement of residents, but possibly even leading to them having to be torn down? We’ve lost two businesses at 24th and Lyndale - at least one due to safety concerns of the staff due to that George building (I personally spoke with the owner just before they closed). Leaning Tower is hanging in there, but it’s sketchy for the staff after dark (also had first hand accounts from female staff, all of whom have since quit). The Leaning Tower is a staple of our neighborhood. Are we just going to do nothing? Aside from the obvious concerns about safety and cleanliness, this derelict owner faces zero consequences for being a slumlord and slowly killing our neighborhood nodes. I just don’t understand how the City either has so little power or is so unwilling to act to help its own neighborhoods and tax-paying residents. Properties with so much potential in prime locations that are key to neighborhood vibrancy. Help yourself out a little, Minneapolis, and take action. Thank you for writing this article. I’ve been helplessly bitching about David George for years. Maybe more awareness will lead to some form of change.” -Catherine B., The Wedge
“Thank you for your article. Please write an article focused on what we can do as individual city residents to help address homelessness and the unhoused. Who should we call when we see encampments pop up on the streets and under overpasses? Where should we volunteer? Where should we donate funds? What policies seem to be working and how do we advocate for them with our city council, Hennepin County and state officials? While I appreciate the activists' passion, their proposed solution (let people live in tents anywhere they want until the affordable housing and addiction crises are solved) is unsafe and destructive for the unhoused, city residents and city businesses. How do we amplify actual solutions?” -Terry H., East Bde Maka Ska
“This is a really difficult issue to solve right now. People need safe affordable housing. But is allowing encampments anywhere the answer? Some encampments have caused hazards to the surrounding community, sometimes very serious like fires. Have you read the book The King of Skid Row about the Minneapolis history of the Gateway District? There were people back then who had no place to go, and dangerous conditions where they ended up concentrated in the Gateway District. Seems like the same problem. It never gets solved :(“ -Toni
“At the end of March, U.S. Attorney Andy Luger was sworn in and shifted his office's resources to prosecuting adult carjackings, and federal gun and drug crimes. The DEA, FBI, HSI, and ATF have poured investigators into this effort and directly helped Minneapolis PD due to their severe officer shortage. The feds have taken dozens of dangerous criminals off the streets over the summer and they are getting substantial time unlike they do in the state system with weak county prosecution and liberal judges, many of whom were appointed by Governor Walz. This is not sustainable forever.” -Chris, Downtown
“Thanks for putting this summary together Charlie. I agree that there are likely multiple forces at work here that are finally coming together prior to the start of Operation Endeavor, and now accelerated by it, where we started to see declines in shots fired and violent crime. Have you read the HEALS report? This group has been meeting since February 2022 to address juvenile carjackings in Minneapolis as well as addressing serious violent crime in Minneapolis and nearby suburbs. I think that some of the HEALS efforts as well as coordination and focused enforcement work have also impacted violent crime and may be responsible for the earlier decline. Of course we've still got a long way to go but we do have to celebrate the good news and the hard work of this law enforcement collaboration that is having some success.” -Julie W.