Mpls City Council drops Cano ethics complaint

Alondra Cano reacts to Council dropping ethics complaint

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minneapolis City Council Friday dropped an ethics complaint a citizen had filed against a council member who posted critics addresses and phone numbers to Twitter.

The council adopted a resolution dismissing the complaint against Ward 9 Council Member Alondra Cano.

According to the document her actions fell short of "ethical aspirations" for government employees, but didn't violate the rule barring unauthorized use of city property.

"I’m glad that the council can get back to its real work, so I’m just thankful that it’s over," Cano told KARE after the meeting.

"The future of Minneapolis is the future of justice, and I think that’s what this whole struggle has been about."

Cano is a rising star in progressive DFL politics, and in 2013 became the first Mexican immigrant elected to the City Council. Just a day earlier she was one of the featured speakers at a Clinton campaign Latino voters event that also featured Chelsea Clinton.

But Cano drew criticism last winter from some constituents when she joined protests at the Minneapolis Police Fourth Precinct headquarters, in the aftermath of the officer-involved shooting death of Jamar Clark.

At the time she posted a screen shot of an email from a constituent who used rude, insulting language to describe Cano. As part of her post she declared, "I will publish every piece of hate-mail plus sexist attack that comes my way."

When Cano decided to take part in a Black Lives Matter protest at the Mall of America Dec. 23, she found herself on the receiving end of many more messages, filed by people using the online comment form on her City Council member page.

Cano posted screen grabs of several of those messages to Twitter, without redacting the senders' names, phone numbers, email addresses and home addresses in some cases.

She took down the posts after the "doxing" episode drew widespread criticism. One of Cano's constituents who was shocked to see his private information placed on Twitter filed an ethics complaint just days later.

The city staff concluded the information people posted to Cano's online form was actually classified as public data, although it's not readily accessible for the public to view.

As a result of Friday's vote Cano won't be subject to any sanctions or discipline.

And city staff pointed out, per Minnesota's data practices laws, council members wouldn't be allowed discuss the content of the complaint once it was dismissed.

With that restriction in mind, Ward Five Council Member Blong Yang took the opportunity before the vote to denounce Cano's actions.

"Whether it was retaliatory or not it appeared that way," Ward Five Council Member Blong Yang remarked. "When you do that you lose faith that people have in government."

He also chastised Cano for not being apologetic enough.

"What was most egregious about this whole thing is that there just was no remorse," Yang said. "Even if we as a council body don’t impose discipline, I would hope that the good folks in Ward 9 would take care of it next year."

Cano did not speak from her council seat, and the other 11 city council members remained silent.

"I think if there’s any remorse it should be about the City’s lack of an ability to address the racial disparities in our city," Cano said after the meeting. "We need to stop pretending we want to just move the dial on racial inequities and actually end them."

She said she would handle things differently if she found herself under a barrage of criticism again in the future, but isn't going to shy away from being an activist for important causes.

"I’m not here to protect the status quo. I’m here to end the racial disparities in our city," Cano explained.

"That’s going to take some significant leadership and bold leadership we haven’t seen before, and I think people are trying to get used to that."


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