Money from liberal billionaire George Soros is fueling an initiative to “dismantle” and replace the Minneapolis Police Department, campaign finance records show.
The Open Society Policy Center, an advocacy nonprofit in Soros’ network, provided a $500,000 donation to Vote Yes 4 Minneapolis in November, one month after it was established, the records show. The group, a coalition of at least 33 activist organizations, is pushing a ballot initiative to amend the city charter to replace the police department with a public safety agency.
Since then, Vote Yes 4 Minneapolis has raked in slightly more than $1 million in total cash, according to campaign finance records released Tuesday, with Soros’ being the most significant contribution.
“Open Society is a longtime funder of efforts to secure racial justice and equity,” an Open Society Policy Center spokesperson told Fox News. “We’re proud to support local organizations who are engaging their elected leaders, city officials, and neighbors on how best to achieve community safety and well-being.”
“This has included a wide range of approaches to public safety and we defer to the judgment of our grantees on what works best to achieve safe and healthy communities,” the spokesperson continued.
Other outside liberal groups have also stepped in to provide significant assistance to the efforts since the time of Soros’ donation.
The Washington, D.C.-based MoveOn.org provided $430,000 in in-kind contributions, including staffing, access to email lists, and other services that come as non-cash contributions, according to campaign finance records. The American Civil Liberties Union added $75,000 in cash and $4,000 in staff time, the records show.
Vote Yes 4 Minneapolis collected $1,022,000 in cash contributions since its formation late last year, according to the records. After expenses, the group reports a current cash balance of roughly $475,000.
Meanwhile, a group called All of Mpls, which opposes the ballot initiative but supports police reform, has taken in $109,000 in the past three weeks, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Vote Yes 4 Minneapolis, which includes activist organizations such as Color of Change, ACLU Minnesota and Socialist Alternative, formed after the death of George Floyd.
The coalition successfully gathered enough signatures to get the charter amendment added to the November ballot. If successful, the amendment will replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a “Department of Public Safety.”
“The Department of Public Safety will change the current police-only model of public safety, to allow the City of Minneapolis a funded, accountable and comprehensive public health approach to public safety,” the coalition’s website states. “This will allow us to be both proactive and responsive to the community, adding a range of strategies, right-sized responses, experts, professional personnel, and licensed peace officers (also known as, police officers), when necessary.”
Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.