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Two St. Paul CEOs demand action to end gun violence

Letters were sent to the mayor and city council from the CEOs of two downtown St. Paul businesses: Ecolab and Securian Financial.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Leaders in St. Paul, both in government and the business world, are calling the gun violence in their city a crisis.

Some of the biggest employers in St. Paul are reaching out to help.

The latest push for accountability comes in the form of two letters sent to the mayor and city council from the CEOs of two downtown St. Paul businesses: Ecolab and Securian Financial.

"I welcome the interest, I welcome their input," said St. Paul City Council President Amy Brendmoen. 

In the letters, both company leaders demand bold action be taken to address the crisis, saying the city's economic development and growth are at stake. 

But they didn't just demand change, they offered to be part of the solution.

A solution that Council President Brendmoen says involves a two prong approach.

"Including the reactive but also the proactive," said Council President Brendmoen. "Do things like redirecting people, providing them basic needs like housing, job training, conflict resolution skills, trying to get involved with folks and families before things get to an escalated point."

A statement from Mayor Melvin Carter's office says the mayor has reached out to leaders at both companies to discuss the city's Community-First Public Safety plan. 

The plan includes a collaboration of roughly two thousand St. Paul residents and leaders and $1 million from the American Rescue Plan for officers working overtime downtown.

"We love this city, those businesses love this city," said Council President Brendmoen. "We all want what's best for it and that's why I think that looking to our neighbors and saying, you know, are you making a good decision right now, identifying when issues are arising, and being part of a team to solve the problem."

Members of the city council plan to hold a virtual discussion with the public Thursday evening regarding the incident at Seventh Street Truck Park to discuss ways to move forward.