Statement by Councilmembers Ellison, Osman, and Chughtai on the June 28 Rent Stabilization Vote

Community, Eid Mubarak!  

Like many of you, we wanted to be celebrating Eid al-Adha with our families and community, but instead, we must address the inappropriate, purposeful, and exclusionary vote to kill any further work on Rent Stabilization this year.  

Today’s vote was about advancing a democratic process: it was a step towards discussing and amending a rent stabilization policy to best meet Minneapolis residents’ needs, holding a public hearing, and potentially sending a finalized policy to Minneapolis voters for your approval. This work has been years in the making, both in community, and at City Hall. 

The policy that Councilmembers Chughtai and Osman brought was the recommendation of the Work Group created by the Council — it was a framework to start a conversation between Councilmembers. To vote against this process step is to cut off the conversation before it’s even started, and it shows that we are still not a Council ready to put renters, working people, and democratic policymaking first.

Minneapolis is a majority renter city. Nearly 70% of Ward 5 residents, 95% of Ward 6 residents, and 80% of Ward 10 residents are renters. Our constituents voted to approve Question 3 in 2021. They deserve a transparent exploration of this policy.

Regardless of where you fall on the issue, the way this vote was taken today violates the spirit of inclusion Minneapolis prides itself on. Muslims have been serving on the Minneapolis City Council for a decade now, and thousands of Muslims live in our city. Our holy days and celebrations are not unknown or mysterious.

Council Leadership had plenty of opportunity to proceed ethically today: they could have scheduled the meeting to a later date; delayed this item to the next full Council meeting, giving us enough time to still meet the ballot deadline if that would’ve been the Council’s will; or, most importantly, given that this was only an introduction and not a finished policy, the Council could have simply advanced the policy to committee the way we do all other ordinance introductions.

Rent Stabilization is out of reach for this year’s ballot. It’s a denial of our democratic process and obligation. This is not transparent policymaking. Further, by taking this action at the expense of their Muslim colleagues, the Council took an action that not only neglected the will of the voters, but the manner in which they did it violated trust and understanding with a significant portion of our community. Reasonable people can ultimately disagree on the issues, but the alienation will linger. Our colleagues will have to figure out how they plan to repair this harm.

We won’t stop fighting for Rent Stabilization, we know you won’t either. Onward.

Jeremiah Ellison, Ward 5 Councilmember

Jamal Osman, Ward 6 Councilmember 

Aisha Chughtai, Ward 10 Councilmember