Reform Needs to Come from Inside and Out.

What we know is this: change can not come from one place. Racial Equity does not appear when people of color or indigenous people are elected. Racial Equity does not appear when a person is hired to facilitate its creation. Progress towards racial equity requires intentional, complex and concerted effort

2017 is a critical year for Minneapolis. Housing prices are soaring and the housing stock is at a record low. If the city doesn’t invest in real changes to create and protect affordable housing and to create wealth in communities of color, Minneapolis will look incredibly different in a decade. Communities of color will be displaced as gentrification creeps in, and our city’s population will reflect cities like  San Francisco or Seattle, where poor and working class people cannot afford to live.

If we really want to close the racial equity gaps in our city, we need to move beyond broad policy directives, slogans and incremental changes. We need substantial policy change, and we need it quickly.

We have laid out the goals below for both internal and external changes that would help our city create racial equity in the time necessitated by our current disparities.

Click the theme to read our agenda for each area.

+ A Place to Live

  • Address the housing shortage by upzoning the lowest density residential zones
  • Reform antiquated zoning rules based on racist ‘redlining’ maps
  • Create Mandatory inclusionary zoning policies
  • Build more affordable housing and pass policies that make it easier to build new housing
  • Invest in ending the dispartity in housing inspectors between multi-family and single-family housing to keep housing safe and healthy over time
  • Reprioritize internal health and safety concerns in housing inspection over external cosmetic issues
  • Adopt an ordinance that gives tenants in rental properties the right of first refusal
  • Adopt a Just Cause Eviction ordinance to protect tenants from unfair eviction
  • Require lead testing as a precondition of rental licensing for homes built before 1950
  • Work to preserve housing that’s affordable, sometimes called naturally occurring affordable housing
  • Reform over-occupancy codes
  • Allow the Minneapolis Public Housing authority the power to levy taxes
  • Establish a rent-escrow account program

+ A Place that is Safe & Just

  • Amend the City Charter to give the City Council direct oversight over the Minneapolis Police Department in addtion to the mayor
  • Address youth violence proactively, through proven public health approaches rather than only through policing
  • Further invest in programs that divert police funding into programs that fund first responders trained in mental health care, as well as restorative justice programs
  • Repeal all ordinances used to unfairly target people of color and the poor
  • Enforce the total decriminalization of marijuana
  • Bring back an empowered and independent civilian review authority
  • Create a program for City-issued IDs, to prevent deportation of undocumented residents
  • Negotiate a police contract that holds police accountable for unjust actions and violence

+ A Place to Prosper

  • Raise the minimum wage to $15 for all workers
  • Pass a fair scheduling ordinance
  • Enforce laws against wage theft
  • Address known problems within specific industries, like adult entertainment businesses
  • Add a zoning classification for cultural marketplaces to ensure safety and health of vendors
  • Allow food shelves and nonprofit or cooperative financial services in all zoning classifications
  • Prevent redlining in internet service contracts
  • Establish a policy for negotiating community benefits agreements for development and transportation projects in low-income communities of color

+ A Place to Move

  • Ensure that all parts of Minneapolis are served by high-quality transit routes, bike infrastructure, and sidewalks.
  • Add racial equity measurements to the Capital Long-Range Improvement Committee's metrics

+ A Place to Thrive & Breathe

  • Adequetly fund recently created Green Zones program
  • Make all homes in our city safe and healthy by removing lead, asthma triggers and other contaminants
  • Channel funding to increase energy efficiency in rental housing
  • Make it easier for multi-family buildings to compost and recycle
  • Ensure equitable and transparent rates for solid waste fees

+ A Place That Empowers & Connects

  • Increase language accessiblity in all city communications and services
  • Create a process to use participatory budgeting
  • Hold neighborhood organizations accountable for representing the diversity of their neighborhoods as condition of funding
  • Commit to accessible early election centers spread across the city and centered in communities that are tradionally marginalized
  • Mail information about elections to all Minneapolis homes, not just the homes of registered voters, with registration and a sample ballot.