“After nearly 20 years of public service, I realize that sustainable solutions come from all of us sitting down together in a spirit of openness to share our truth. The facilitated, structured dialogues provided by OCDR enabled that sharing and helped me hear the important and necessary words and feelings that will make me a better neighbor and community leader.”
Mayor Peter Lindstrom, City of Falcon Heights, MN
“I never wanted to come to the Community Conversations. I thought the City was just checking a box. Mayor Lindstrom and (Task Force co-chair) Melanie Leahy kept calling me asking me to go. Finally I said ok ok and everything that I thought about it was totally different. I was seated at a table with (St. Anthony Police) Chief Mangseth and I got to talk to him. Now I don’t agree with him on everything but I said lets work on this thing. Am I mad? Yes I am mad, but I got to tell him and he apologized. And I was seated at a table with Mayor Lindstrom. I had never talked to him before. I just yelled at him. Now I see he is crying and I realize that he is young and a new mayor and now I realize I have some things to figure out. I lost Philando and that was all I was thinking about. I didn’t think about how Mayor Lindstrom was young and a new mayor. If I hadn’t been at the Community Conversations I would still have these feelings.”
John Thompson, friend of Philando Castile
"We were a small metro city in shock and upheaval. Early on as we began to put a plan together the Office for Collaboration and Dispute Resolution was introduced as part of the equation to bring healing and rebuild trust. Together we did something that had never been done before. As a result our city, its residents, and others in the larger metro community are on a path of healing. This pathway could not have been made possible without the process we undertook together".
Melanie Leehy, Co-Chair of Falcon Heights Task Force on Policing and Inclusion