What has been done in the last term?

In order to hold city officials accountable to the advancement of racial equity, in 2016, a team of community partners  set out to develop a report - The OUR MPLS Report on Racial Equity. This report is an outgrowth of the Legislative Report Card on Racial Equity  that Voices for Racial Justice has produced for 10 years to hold legislators accountable to efforts to advance racial equity within the state.

For the OUR MPLS Report on Racial Equity, our research team looked at data from 2014-2016, and assessed every city council legislative action to determine which ones had an impact on racial equity. The ability to determine the racial equity impact of each piece of legislation was achieved by examining each city council legislative action within the context of a set of criteria that was established by Voices For Racial Justice (VRJ).


1: Legislation explicitly addresses racial disparities and works to eliminate racial inequities

2: Legislation helps eliminate barriers to access to public benefits and institutions for communities of color

3: Legislation advances enfranchisement and full civic participation for everyone in the state

4: Legislation protects against racial violence, profiling, discrimination

Researchers looked at 564 city council legislative actions. According to the criteria, eleven of the legislative actions were determined to have a positive impact on racial equity and five were determined to have a negative impact on racial equity. Below is a breakdown of select legislative actions and the racial equity criterion it corresponds to.



2014 2014-Or-012 Renter Protection

Author: Cam Gordon | Date Passed: 3/28/2014

Description (Maybe we should call this section “Racial Equity Code”?): 2 - Amend ordinance 244.275 to require property owners to notify tenants of environmental contamination abatement, removal or remediation.

2014-Or-018 Prepackaged food sales

Author: Lisa Bender | Date Passed: 5/9/2014

Description: 2 - Allow the sale of prepackaged foods from non-motorized carts; expands access to business at a lower cost.

2014-Or-092 Fresh food access in food deserts

Author: Cam Gordon | Date Passed: 10/31/2014

Description: 1 - Explicitly addresses racial disparities regarding access to healthy foods, 2 - reduces barriers to obtaining healthy foods locally.

The fresh food access ordinance requires small markets and corner stores across Minneapolis to carry fresh fruits and vegetables (This statement needs to be connected better - it seems to be floating).

Ordinance Title

Author: Alondra Cano | Date Passed:12/12/2014

Description: 2 - Barriers to healthy food access in communities of color; 3 - Allows small business owners who serve low-income (often nonwhite) populations to have greater control over the success of their businesses.




Ordinance Title: 15-00853 Lead Abatement

Author: Frey 

Description:4 - Discrimination (health). Lead poisoning in older rental housing stock often found to have a disproportional impact on people of color.

Ordinance Title: Promoting voting registration information for renters

Author: Frey 

Description: 3 - Civic participation. Requiring landlords to provide new tenants information on signing up to vote.

Ordinance Title: Repealing an ordinance that makes spitting a crime

Author: Gordon & Yang 

Description: Disparate impact. 

Ordinance Title: Repealing an ordinance that makes lurking a crime

Author: Gordon & Yang

Description: Disparate impact. 

Ordinance Title: Repealing an ordinance regarding wearing hats in theatres

Author: Andrew Johnson

Description: 4 - Hats in theatres (inconsistent enforcement rule).

Ordinance Title: Creating new Civil Rights Director position

Author: Quincy

Description: Creation of new Civil Rights Director Compliant Investigation (protecting civil rights) 

Ordinance Title: Easing regulations on placement of homeless shelters in city

Author: Bender

Description: 3, 4 - Makes it easier for homeless shelters to be located in more areas of the city. Homelessness disproportionately affects people of color.



Ordinance Title: Paid Sick Time

Authors: B. Johnson, Glidden, Bender, A. Johnson, Reich, Frey, Warsame, Cano, and Palmisano

Date Passed: May 31st, 2016

Description: 1, Mandates the availability of paid sick time