13th Ward News - June 30, 2023

13th Ward


June 30, 2023

Dear Neighbor,

On Wednesday, there was a proposal on the City Council agenda for formal introduction and referral for creation of a strict rent control ordinance, such that it would appear on the ballot in the November municipal election. This ordinance would have been among the strictest policies in the nation, mandating an annual 3% rent cap with few exceptions. I have been consistently on record that I do not support such a drastic proposal. I made a motion to return the item to authors, essentially meaning it will not move forward with these policy parameters, and that passed.

The City Council has been presented a multitude of data showing the negative impacts of a rent stabilization ordinance and recommending against its implementation. On April 18, City staff presented a comprehensive analysis to the Business, Inspections, Housing & Zoning Committee. In this analysis, staff found that the proposed ordinance would: 

  • Disincentivize housing maintenance and improvements to housing quality
  • Slow the production of housing across the spectrum of affordability, especially without an exemption for new construction and subsidized affordable housing 
    • Based on data from the St. Paul market pre and post rent stabilization, City staff anticipates the cumulative loss of new rental housing to be between 25,000 to 30,500 units over the next ten years.
  • Encourage property owners to raise rents the maximum amount allowed (3%) annually rather than in accordance with market values 

The Star Tribune has an article today (June 30) reflecting on the actual experiences of St. Paul renters since rent control was implemented there. St. Paul rental rates increased more than Minneapolis rates between 2022-2023, 4.4% to 2.5%. Additionally, some landlords are automatically raising rents each year by 3% across the board, even while delaying capital improvement work in their properties. This is not what we need in Minneapolis as it most assuredly will not help ease our affordable housing crisis.

My focus is and always has been on data-driven policymaking, not political expediency. As we face a nationwide affordable housing crisis, the last thing we need is less access to housing and diminished quality of existing housing. I cannot and will not support a policy that is proven to worsen the very problems it intends to solve. With the possibility of a rent stabilization ordinance off the table, the City Council can now shift its focus to policies proven to help renters and increase housing availability. Staff has recommended increased support for policies like Guaranteed Basic Income, Stable Homes Stable Schools, and policies that promote the creation of new housing units and incentivize affordability.

I want to be clear: I am committed to protecting our most vulnerable residents and providing real, practical help to our city’s renters. Solving the housing crisis requires a multifaceted approach, and our work is far from finished. Throughout my tenure at City Hall, I have supported–and the City Council has passed–a number of ordinances and policies that have expanded our affordable housing stock, preserved hundreds of existing affordable homes, and created programs for property owners of all sizes to provide and build affordable housing units across the city, including the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, the Inclusionary Zoning Policy, the Single Room Occupancy Ordinance, and the 4d Affordable Housing Incentive Program. These policies are known to be effective, and I will continue to champion them as I have in the past. 

I also chair our city’s Audit Committee, and this week we received a report on the audit of the contracting processes and expenditures of the I Am My Ancestors Wildest Dreams Expo held in February. This was the first phase of inquiry regarding the Expo and we will pursue additional investigation.

The results of the Audit are very concerning to me. The City itself needs to do a better job training staff on how to use our procurement processes, and we will take on that work. But much more sobering are the findings of disregard for process, rules and consideration of benefit for the residents of Minneapolis, including:

  • Our employees need to be held accountable to the existing process, following the rules and accepting help when offered. Many of the findings in this audit may have been avoided had that happened.
  • One entity in Georgia seemed to operate under different names within multiple businesses and not all of the businesses were registered in Georgia. 
  • There were 14 duplicate invoices and 49 total invoices were all generated by one user.
  • I am extremely disappointed that this event, which was promoted as a celebration of Black History Month and a support of local small Black businesses ended up spending as many City funds to out of state businesses than those in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Our Audit Director, Ryan Patrick, is already digging deeper into these results and will come back to us with a plan for further follow-up. If he identifies the possibility of fraud, which I believe is a possibility based on this presentation, then he is obligated to pursue those findings. 

I have faith in our ability to fully review this event and that we will use those findings to better our processes to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Special events like this are important to racial healing and show our values as a united city… and when we spend time and taxpayer dollars on these events, it is really important to do them effectively and invest in them so that it benefits Minneapolitans.


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July 11: Experience MSP Event Open House

Experience MSP

Tuesday, July 11 | 4:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Sabathani Community Center
310 E 38th St, Minneapolis, MN 55409

This is the last of a four-part event series for the public to learn about MSP Airport’s long-term planning process and to provide input into that process. The long-term planning presentation begins at 5:30 p.m. We look forward to your feedback and questions.

Written comments on the draft Long-Term Plan will be accepted until Monday, August 21. Comments can be submitted via email, or mailed to: 

Metropolitan Airports Commission
Attn: Airport Planner
6040 28th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55410

Protect Yourself from Poor Air Quality

Know how to protect yourself and your family from poor air quality. Air quality issues can affect everyone, especially people with lung or heart disease, children and elderly people, and people working and exercising outside.

Ways to protect yourself and your family

  • Stay inside.
  • Use HEPA air filters and air cleaners designed to reduce particles.
  • Wear a N95 or KN-95 mask.
  • Get medical help if you’re feeling ill or have breathing issues.

Help reduce air pollution, especially during air quality alerts

  • Avoid recreational fires.
  • Reduce driving: Carpool or use public transportation if you can.
  • If you’re driving, do not idle your vehicle.
  • Avoid using gas lawnmowers and other gas-powered equipment.

Sign up for alerts

To get air quality alerts, sign up for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s daily air quality forecasts and alert notifications.

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board's Red, White, and Boom Island Event July 3

Red, White, and Boom Flyer

New Red, White and Boom Island Event
Monday, July 3 | Boom Island Park, 724 Sibley St. NE

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board invites everyone to celebrate American Independence Day with a laser light show at Boom Island Park Monday, July 3.

Food trucks will be available at 8 p.m. A spectacular laser display set to music with the beautiful backdrop of the Mississippi River and downtown skyline begins at 10 p.m. This family-friendly event is free and open to all.

Note: the laser light show is only visible from Boom Island Park. It will not be visible from across the Mississippi River.


  • The Boom Island parking lot will be reserved for people with a disability parking certificate.
  • General parking will be available in the nearby Teachers Federation and Graco parking lots.

Find more information on the Park Board website

Summer Events and Activities

Get your summer plans started. Find events and activities for all ages including sports and nature, music and dance, and performances and movies.

Find summer activities with the Park Board, public schools, libraries and more.

Meet with Council Vice President Palmisano

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One of the best parts of my job is getting to meet with my constituents, learn more about you and hear your questions, concerns, hopes and dreams for our shared community. 

If you'd like to schedule a time to meet with me, send me an e-mail and my staff will help get it scheduled. Please let me know what you'd like to talk about and a convenient place to meet- a coffee shop, a park, your home, my office, etc. I try to reserve Fridays for constituent meetings, but can work them in other times, as necessary, too.

Contact the 13th Ward Council Office

People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000. TTY users can call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-673-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.