N4MN Delegate Guide

Hello N4MN Minneapolis Delegates,

Thank you for your recent decision to register as a delegate for the upcoming Minneapolis elections. Your commitment to civic engagement and the democratic process is amazing, and it is because of dedicated volunteers like you that our community thrives.

This is a powerful position: you are one of roughly 400 people in that role, and candidates want your vote. They will call you and ask for your support. Before committing to them, let them know that you’re a member of Neighbors for More Neighbors, and you want to know where they stand on ensuring everyone in Minneapolis has access to a stable, affordable home in the neighborhood they choose. 

What to expect:

Being a delegate is a valuable learning experience that allows you to engage with fellow community members, build relationships, and develop leadership skills. 

You can expect to be called or emailed by your ward’s city council candidate(s).

Your goal is to confirm their support for abundant homes, or to have a conversation where you can educate them about the issue. It’s OK for you to end the conversation by saying that you need to talk to the other candidates before you make up your mind.

Under each question are a few talking points you might use in your conversations. Remember that most candidates don’t know much about our issues, and this is an important chance to help them learn and begin building relationships with future council members. It should not be an adversarial conversation.

  N4MN Delegate Question Guide 

  1. Our city has grown by 55,000 people in the last 10 years, and we are becoming a climate and political refuge for people from other states. How should Minneapolis make space for more people as our city grows? What is the best way to do that and also ensure that BIPOC communities and people who made Minneapolis their home before the current growth can stay in their communities if they want?
    • Minneapolis has enacted a number of reforms recently to expand access to more housing types in all neighborhoods — including legalizing ADUs, triplexes, and apartments in some places they’d previously been banned. This helps us make space for new neighbors.
    • SROs and rooming houses have historically been the most affordable homes available, and an important option for people transitioning out of homelessness. They were largely outlawed during zoning reforms decades ago. Local nonprofits like Alliance Housing that manage some of the few remaining rooming houses say they do not have enough space. 
    • 83% of current land parcels in Minneapolis are single-family homes. Building plexes or small apartment buildings on 1 lot per block translates into a dramatic increase in homes in our city.
    • The city regulates height and other aspects of building size. Allowing more flexibility would allow more family-sized triplex units.
  2. What does a “complete neighborhood” look like to you? What will you do as a council member to make every Minneapolis neighborhood complete? 
    • Currently, just 2-4% of all parcels in the city allow commercial activity like cafes, corner markets, or anything else. These rules are being revised right now, and the city’s proposal increases this by 50%… which is still just 6%. These rules make it impossible to have a short walk to morning coffee in every neighborhood.
  3. In a city where more than half of people rent, what housing policies would you focus on to ensure that every Minneapolis resident has a safe, stable, affordable home? 
    • There are many policy options that work well in other cities. 
    • Examples include rent stabilization, just cause protection, pay or quit, city-funded legal services for those facing eviction, and other tenant protections
    • Ballot Question 3 in 2021 passed with a significant margin, and it directed the Minneapolis City Council to implement rent control/stabilization. Minneapolis wants to protect renters from huge rent increases.
  4. What is your understanding of the cause of the housing crisis in Minneapolis? What are three things you’ll do to address our housing shortage in Minneapolis?
    • We have a significant housing shortage. 
    • Minneapolis rents are rising more slowly than in almost any big city in the country, and the only thing different about Minneapolis is how many homes we’ve built in the last decade. We need to keep building more homes to keep rents stable.
    • Which is more important, building more homes for people that need them or making sure current residents are happy? (How will you deal with people who oppose building enough homes to accommodate our city’s growing population?)
    • Affordable housing funding is precious, and today public subsidy often builds homes that are still too expensive for the people struggling the most, with studio apartments renting over $1,000, and a 4-bedroom renting up to $1800. 
    • Encampments of unhoused people have become common on public land in Minneapolis in recent years. We need to both protect the people who see encampments as their best housing option and to connect them to a safe and stable permanent home. 

After your phone calls with candidates, please keep notes about what you’ve learned from your candidates. N4MN would love to know this information!

What if nobody calls me?

First, you need to know your Ward.

Second, you can look up the candidates in your Ward on the DFL website.

Third, you can Google the candidates’ names to find their websites and contact them directly.

If you don’t receive a call and do not know how to contact your candidates, please email us at neighborsformoreneighbors@gmail.com and we’ll figure it out with you!

Once again, thank you for your commitment to our community and for taking the time to sign up as a delegate. We could not do this without you!