I graduated from High School for Recording Arts in Saint Paul where I earned the opportunity through a Black History Project, to travel the country and present the presentation in partnership with BAEO, (Black Association for Educational Options) at their annual Symposiums which presented in a world class fashion to families the many, many options for educating our children emphasizing that a quality education can not mean a one size fits all approach within our educational systems. I knew even then, that God had me destined for something even greater, something that will personally touch the lives of families through him and cause a positive change that not only the family, but also our communities as well as our City as a whole can appreciate and benefit from.
I then went on to study Urban Education at our very own MCTC, Minneapolis Community and Technical College which launched me into a position in partnership with Ramsey County working with High School Seniors preparing them to graduate by working with them through the Naviance System which is checks and balances of what is already completed verses what is still needed and providing the necessary assistance to get it all completed including their Free Application for Federal Student Aid. For the students who were ready, we were even able to submit applications and watch the acceptance letters roll in as a result of the hard work that was put in on both the part of those tremendously gifted and talented students as well as us staff that fought every single day to serve them with nothing more than a brighter future in mind.
My Aunt and Uncle, Apostle Bettie Jean Williams and Apostle Arnold Park Williams are the late great founders and visionaries’ of River of Life Christian Church, which is now one of two campuses with Waters of Life Outreach Ministries in North Minneapolis. Our mission is building strong men, strong women, and strong families in the community through the healing of the races while seeing souls saved and people set free! Although I have been connected with the church my whole life, it was not until recently in my adult years that I truly desired, and discovered a connection with God. Through ups, and downs, ins, and outs, lesson after lesson, I have arrived at a place where I have come to know there is nothing better to do than to serve. Therefore, that is what I did! After volunteering for a length of time and working on different projects, I was hired on as the Facilities Manager. We currently operate our East and West Campus, serving both Saint Paul and Minneapolis with a 3rd facility on Selby Avenue in Saint Paul, named after the churches founder, my Uncle, Apostle Arnold P. Williams Community Outreach Center which houses the Bettie Jean Williams Kitchen and Banquet Hall there for the community to use for any and every life event from a Baby’s Christening, to everything all the way up to funerals, we’ve been there to serve.
Aside from our weekly Sunday worship service and mid-week Bible Study, we are tremendously involved (mostly virtual right now) with our community and continue the work of increasing that involvement and bringing more like minded communities of faith together to positively impact the lives of people individually and collectively. We do this through our outreach ministries such as our Food Shelf, 12 Step Free-Indeed Program, Building Strong Marriages, Women of Wisdom and Grace (Women’s Fellowship) , Men of Vision (Men’s Fellowship) , Prison Ministry which goes into several Correctional Institutions to teach the inmates the word of God, equipping and encouraging them in preparation for the next chapter of their life once they serve their debt to society and are finally able to come home to their families, learning to do what is right by practicing doing what is right. We also have Dance Ministries for Adults, Youth, and our children.
We have ministries strictly geared towards our youth, because even more important than our future is their future! To assure its bright and all that God has created it to be, we have to invest in them up front and give them the knowledge and as they grow older, they’ll gain an understanding. There is 2Smart2Start ministry in conjunction with the 12 Step Free-Indeed but geared towards our youth and prevention. Giving them the knowledge that will armor them up and equip them to deal with the things, the issues that our children are faced with today and preventing them from traveling down a road that would ever cause for a recovery. We also have a ministry pointed towards our young adults, L.I.T. (Leaders in Training) Training today to be leading tomorrow!
In addition to refreshments served after every Sunday service open to the public, we also serve hot meals after all other services operating the kitchen on average 3 days a week to serve the community. For the ones that can’t make it out, we have a Monthly Food Shelf in partnership with Second Harvest Heartland to serve the community and provide food including vitally important fruits and vegetables as well as other essential items from toilet paper to backpacks filled with back to school supplies.
True Community outreach is one of the most important things we can do showing the love of God in every moment and being thankful and grateful that we have the opportunity to make the world a better place. Its not that we HAVE to but we GET to. Our Bishops been teaching on having an attitude of Gratitude and the fact that the issues we are dealing with today are not what they appear to be. It is not simply about race, gender, political party or gang affiliation, social class… although they can be factors, what we see today is about the love for humanity, each and EVERY human life. The love of God is the love of and for HUMANITY!
How much humanity is in our hearts when we are willing to pull out a gun and take another human life? How much humanity is in our hearts when we know exactly what happened but do not come forward providing the information which at times is the only thing that gives families closure after loosing a loved one to violence? The love of God is the love of and for HUMANITY!
How much humanity was in the Minneapolis Police Officers heart who sat right here for basically 9 whole minutes with not only his knee on George Floyd’s neck, but his hands in his pocket showing he wasn’t working very hard nor struggling with keeping Mr. Floyd on the ground as George begged and pleaded for humanity to kick in and save his life. A HUMAN life. A part of HUMANITY period, yet here we are.
Yes, we are angry about this. Some of us enraged, outraged, sad, frustrated and hopeless because we are seeing this repeatedly which brings us to disappointment and left feeling unheard. More than anything, we are disappointed in this officer and every other officer who even remotely behaves like this one. Disappointed in the police as a whole institution. Disappointed in the justice system, which is supposed to protect us and serve as a guardrail against injustice. A guard rail for the people. None of which seem to operate efficiently, effectively nor equally if at all working on behalf of EVERY citizen. Disappointment? Of course! The love of God allows us and permits us to yet possess the love for humanity. We do not want the officers hurt, or even worse, as he did to Mr. George Floyd, we do not want the Officer killed. That is just not, what we want. All that we do want is JUSTICE! For this officer to be put in jail and KEPT there just as anyone of us would be instantly for killing another human being. Someone said the other day that they are just killing us in the streets like dogs. We would have to respectfully disagree because even dogs get justice! We remember Mike Vick. A Black American male who served time not for killing a dog, but as inappropriate as it may have been, he was said to have been neglecting or mistreating the animals and yet we have to question whether or not this Officer deserves freedom after taking a HUMAN life? UNACCEPTABLE. Yet still, we have love for humanity.
We as Minneapolitans, Native, Black, White, Hispanic, Asian and every beautifully shaded color in between. As communities across the city of Minneapolis and across this great nation, we do not hate the police or anyone else for that matter. We may not like some of the actions they take or maybe the words some spew from their mouth. Hate them? No! We actually LOVE the police. We know they come to our rescue at times we call on them, sometimes showing up even when we do not call… we know they come to protect and serve us. They keep our children, our grandchildren, our parents, our elders in the community, our schools, churches, community centers, they keep them all SAFE. We know that and not only do we love and appreciate them for that, we have an attitude of gratitude! We are grateful! We also know that most police officers are good, kind, caring people operating in integrity, the up most respect and love for humanity they exhibit towards every person regardless of race, gender, religious beliefs all while protecting our rights to make decisions about all of those things. However, we also know that out of most police officers, there are always a few bad apples. In the eyes of some, those bad apples now seem to have tainted the whole Apple Orchard.
The good thing about this situation is that with our love for humanity, it does not have to stay this way. We NEED the good officers to step up and step out, acknowledge we have issues that need to be addressed and call them out as you see them. We need HELP! It is going to take more than us marching through the streets. It is going to take more than speeches and poems, candle light vigils, more than the celebrities and political surrogates. We need…We DESPERATELY need the good officers, the ones that sincerely believe that the city they serve is worthy of their service and at the same time the people within the city are worthy of the protections they provide. We need those kinds of Officers to support us. Us, the citizens of this great city of lakes. Officers who will stand for HUMANITY and against injustice while bringing your thoughts, prayers, your ideas, your integrity, and your love for humanity, bring it all to the table to not only be a resolution to this issue but assist us in making reforms to assure that we will NEVER have to stand here and ask for this again as we’ve been forced to do thus far over and over time and time again. Everyone bring your LOVE. Officers, citizens and everyone in between.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never looses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last FOREVER! Show love to people around the globe, YES! But especially show love to our fellow Minneapolitans. The love of God freely given from him to us. Purposed for us to give to EACH OTHER! We are talking about right here in the city of Minneapolis! Your city, my city, OUR city!
I would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication on the parts of many, many, many people, groups, and organizations. Work that has been drawn up and executed for the very people of this community, our city, state, again, our great country, and again for HUMANITY! Many, many, many people involved with contributions from small too big. Work done in the fight for change.
We’ll focus for now on the NAACP whom has been on the front lines of this fight since the very beginning of the problems inception. Organizations like BLM, Black Lives Matter who have been consistently consistent in the fight for our voices to be heard and acted upon regarding Police Brutality. Organizations like Youth Link, Sabes JCC of Minneapolis, Minneapolis American Indian Center, Minneapolis Urban League, Islamic Center For Peace, The Office of Violence Prevention, SCLC, Pastors across faiths including Pastor Danny Givens have lent a helping hand. People like the Chief of Minneapolis Police Department, Chief Medaria Arradondo. Ms.Toni Carter, Mr. Al Flowers, Ms. Lisa Clemons Founder of A Mother’s Love Initiative, awesome groups with physical boots on the ground. Guns Down Love Up, Next Step, Interrupters, Safe Streets Initiative, Be The Voice, We Push For Peace, G.V.I, Salem Inc, MPD officers, Coaches, principals, Park Board Directors ,School Board Directors.
Do we know the one issue they all agree on? It is that the lives and well-being of EVERY Human Life MATTERS! Speaking to principles, to morals, values, how we were and are being raised, how we think about and treat those around us near and far. Regardless of what people around us may say or do, do not say or fail to do, whether they stay silent or speak up, none of it matters when we think of HUMANITY and more importantly, think about ourselves personally meaning our hearts as individuals. Search your heart as I search my heart. Let us remember the good that has been taught to us, invested and sown into our lives including again principles, morals, values, our FAITH, our regards for other human life. Our love for humanity as a whole. As we search our hearts, let us ask ourselves this one last question: Do the lives of ALL Americans matter to me? Do the lives of EVERY human matter to me? If the answer is yes or with the help of God, when we get to yes. That is when Justice wins!
Another person that we can include as a positive contributor to the continued growth of people here in Minneapolis on behalf of many issues that impact our lives affordable housing, police community relations enacting changes to our cities body cam policies, expanding early voting access to make sure every voice is heard from every citizen in the city of Minneapolis. Finally joining community activist and leaders in “The Fight for 15” to create a living minimum wage of $15 an hour for every working person in the city of Minneapolis. Jumping head first into the problem of climate change with plans to combat the pollution that not only we but also our children and our grandchildren are going to have to live with and possibly suffer through. Positive contributions and sacrifices he and his family have made to serve us. Positive contributions we as citizens of this great city of Minneapolis greatly appreciate. A man that currently serves Minneapolis citizens as our Mayor, Mr. Jacob Frey.
Again, I have listed some positive contributions we as citizens of Minneapolis greatly appreciate and that is wonderful and we are grateful. However, after seeing, experiencing and living through 2020, we now see clearly that we are past simply accepting the positive contributions we as citizens of Minneapolis greatly appreciate, but we now see clearly we are at the point where it is time to take those contributions that much further and demand what we, as citizens of Minneapolis greatly DESERVE!
We deserve to not just feel safe, but we deserve to be safe. Rather we are children playing in the neighborhood, at home with our significant other, out in the community, walking to school, hanging out with our friends, or we are warming up or driving our car, walking our dog, walking to the store or to work, seeing, calling or simply having an interaction with the Police, we ALL deserve to be safe. Safe from violence including child abuse, domestic violence, community violence, gang violence, police violence, and gun violence, etc.. We deserve to be safe. We deserve to be safe from crime including theft, home invasions, robberies, carjackings, assaults both physical and sexual, drugs, shootings, and the worst and most devastating , having the biggest impact on children and families across our city, homicides. We deserve to be safe.
We deserve to be safe from COVID-19 with free testing if and when we want it, free mask and other necessary Personal Protective Equipment including vaccinations for everyone that wants one prioritizing Teachers and School staff so that we can get our children back into physical classrooms . We deserve to be safe!
We deserve to be safe from the outside elements including whether and other people which is reason to work even harder in assisting our homeless brothers and sisters off of the streets. We deserve to be safe! We deserve to feel safe in our neighborhoods, even enough to let our children go out and play without fearing for more than their safety but without fearing for their life whether it is a stray or intentional bullet, from community members or the police. We can move away from fear by mixing the facts with our faith so that we may walk in the truth. We deserve to be safe.
We deserve to see our communities built up, old abandoned, condemned buildings torn down, especially on Lake Street for example resulting in job creation within the communities that have been affected with programs implemented and expanded to invest directly into young people ages 12-35 years old and help them stay off of the streets and out of trouble.
We deserve Affordable Health care at any healthcare provider of our choosing covering everything the Doctor deems necessary to keep us in good health.
We deserve Affordable Housing that not only helps us in renting someone else’s property, but we deserve an Affordable Housing program that helps us in buying our own! Affordable Home Ownership!
We deserve a quality education at ANY school we give the privilege to educate our children.
We deserve to be able to work one job and earn a wage to provide for ourselves, our families and taking care of our beloved children, or paying college tuition and be able to have a social life without working paycheck to pay check and still have something left over for ourselves. We work hard, we deserve it!
We deserve to have Police that are not viewed as an adversary but an ally! We deserve to have police that respect the community in which they serve just as we deserve to have a community that respects the Officers whom serve them. We deserve a body cam program that for the protection of both the officer and the citizen, we deserve a body cam program that not only has a higher Officer compliance, but we deserve a body cam program that has TOTAL Officer Compliance and accessible to the public 24/7 to bring accountability to the Community Members as well as the Police Officers. We deserve a Police force that is genuinely here to protect and serve with a mandate of using Deadly Force ONLY against Deadly Force.
Between COVID-19 and the "Summer Riots" after the death of Mr. George Floyd, we deserve funding for small businesses. Some are just starting, some rebuilding. Some installing safety precautions,while some weathered the storms altogether and are still standing. These businesses are the backbone of our City's economy and we can support and serve their needs as they have and continue to support and serve the needs of communities throughout our City.
Like all of those things that we as citizens of this great city of lakes, Minneapolis deserve, we also deserve someone that will fight to make it happen. That person is I! The issues here affect us all or the people we love in one way or another. I am asking you to please allow me to stand with you and your family as we fight together to bring about the change that is so desperately needed. By no means am I perfect. We have all had our ups and downs, ins and outs, failures and successes, we have made good and sometimes bad decisions, even some we are ashamed of. We can not regret any of those decisions because although they pushed us to make a detour going through a place where we had to rely on God and God alone to bring us through, gaining invaluable experiences and perspectives, it has all enabled us to become even more effective leaders. Looking at our experiences as positives instead of negatives. We can not regret any of our decisions because no matter how good or how bad, they have made us into the people we have become today!
I am not running for Mayor because I am the most qualified or the most experienced. i am running because we are at such a pivitol point in our City's history, I feel in my heart that I have no choice. We must have a change in leadership. Given multiple awesome opportunities, our current leadership has led us to this place and with your help and your vote, TOGETHER, we can lead us FORWARD! I am asking you to please give me the opportunity, the privilege, the honor and allow me to stand and serve you and your family as Mayor for ALL people of Minneapolis!
Thank you! Much love, and may God consistently Bless!
Jerrell R. Perry
#SAFETY FOR ALL
#DEADLY FORCE USED ONLY AGAINST DEADLY FORCE
#POLICE REFORM INCLUDING MONITORED BODY/DASH CAMS ACCESSIBLE TO THE PUBLIC 24/7
#DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, GUN VIOLENCE & CRIME PREVENTION
# VOLUNTARY GUN, CLIP, AND AMMUNITION BUY BACK
#AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE & MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES FOR ALL
#AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND HOME OWNERSHIP
#CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
#MAYORS FOR A GUARANTEED INCOME
#REFUSE REIMBURSEMENT FOR RECYCLING