“In my experience, having the conversations, has been an opening to what else can exist…there is that tapping into people’s imaginations and helping remove the box that people’s imagination has maybe been in because ‘this is the way it has always been.’ I think the conversations really remove some of those barriers to seeing these new ways of being.”Lindsay, TakeAction Minnesota Member, Minneapolis
At TakeAction Minnesota, we know that elections are one important step in building a people-centered democracy that works for all of us. In 2021, we went to the polls to make our voices heard on the issues that matter most: safe communities, affordable housing, climate action, and true representation in our local governments.
This year, we ran our largest municipal elections program ever in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Duluth. We elected endorsed candidates for Minneapolis City Council, St. Paul School Board, and Duluth City Council and together, we passed rent stabilization in St. Paul and changed the rules so we can do the same in Minneapolis.
Here’s what happened, by the numbers:
- 220 volunteers talking to neighbors about what’s at stake in local elections
- 1,205 voter contact shifts
- 1.9 million impressions with our messages
Across the state, we elected progressive champions who are dedicated to working alongside constituents to fight for structural change to level the playing field so that each and every Minnesotan is free to live joyfully and in abundance – no exceptions. For the first time in history, the majority of Minneapolis City Councilors are people of color. We passed rent stabilization in St. Paul, and changed the rules so we can do the same in Minneapolis.
While City Question 2 didn’t pass, we’re clear that the Black-led, multiracial Yes 4 Minneapolis campaign moved the needle: most Minneapolis residents want more tools for public safety, beyond our police-only model and nearly 45% of the City voted YES to change the charter. This work started after the murder of George Floyd, and it’s far from over.
Social change is a marathon, not a sprint. As we reflect on this election season, we are clear how far corporate interests, the wealthiest landlords, and the police department will go to maintain a failing status quo that works for them.
This year, Minneapolis voters passed an amendment to the City Charter that concentrates power across all departments in the hands of the Mayor, re-elected Jacob Frey, and elected new City Councilors who oppose rent stabilization. In Minneapolis, it’s clear that political leaders who opposed City Question 2, including Jacob Frey, have no plan for holding MPD accountable or transforming public safety. In St. Paul, large developers are retaliating against the new rent stabilization measure by pausing development work, putting pressure on political leaders.
While we made great strides in 2021, there is still work to be done.
- Passing a 2022 Minneapolis City Budget in December that invests in true public safety and community needs
- Co-governing with newly elected City Councilors
- Holding Mayor Frey accountable to his campaign promises to transform public safety
- Passing rent stabilization in Minneapolis and upholding it in St. Paul
When our new Minneapolis City Council is sworn in next January, we’re committed to holding the entire body accountable to delivering on their promises to transform Minneapolis into a city where everyone – no matter our race, gender, documentation status or income – is safe, healthy, housed, and cared for. (All City Councilors will be up for re-election with new districts in 2023.)
In St. Paul, rent stabilization will go into effect on May 1, 2022. The policy must be powerfully enacted and enforced to ensure landlords won’t be able to raise rents by more than 3% a year. Families deserve to stay in the communities they love. Kids must be able to stay in schools that feel like home. More people deserve to save to become homeowners. And no one should have to worry about being pushed out of their neighborhood because of predatory landlords and unreasonable rent increases.
Our movement is powerful, and we are building for the long haul. Join us: become a TakeAction Minnesota member today to fuel our work. Together, we’re creating the joyful, caring, and abundant future we deserve.