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Letters: In favor of Minneapolis ballot question three, one

Our weekly roundup of letters from MinnPost readers.

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MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

Question 3 protects renters

On November 2nd, Minneapolis voters can take a big step towards making our city a more stable and affordable place to call home by voting in favor of rent stabilization, Question 3 on the ballot. By voting yes for rent stabilization, residents will say loudly and clearly that the era of massive rent increases has gone on for too long.

Right now, renters have no protection from rent increases that have consistently grown faster than incomes. As a renter, I saw this firsthand last summer. As COVID-19 was taking off, my wife and I (like many across the country) faced uncertainties with our jobs and our health. Yet, as our lease was up, the company that managed my apartment building felt this would be a good time to raise my rent $200 a month. The offer was so disconnected from reality and so callous, it was hard to believe. While rents have been rising for a long time, this moment really showed me how vulnerable renters are in Minneapolis, and how renters — the majority of residents in the city — need to be protected from these greedy actions that place a higher value on profit than on stable housing.

I’m privileged to now own a home and know that I have stable housing costs for years to come. All residents should have that security, whether they are owners or renters. Like many of you, I’ve received mailers making bold and baseless claims against rent stabilization. But the data from the University of Minnesota’s study is clear: rent stabilization increases housing stability, limits price increases, and does not limit construction of new housing.

Everyone, no matter their race or income, should have secure and affordable housing, both now and tomorrow. Voting Yes on Question 3 for rent stabilization will create stronger communities, making Minneapolis a better place for all residents, whether you are a renter or a homeowner.

—Mike Samuelson, Minneapolis

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Question 1 and Civics 101

I have heard both scholarly explanations and histrionic interpretations of Minneapolis Charter Amendment #1 on government structure.

A Civics 101 explanation might suffice. The president is the executive and Congress is the legislative body. Our governor is the executive and our Legislature the legislative. Mayor Carter is the executive and the St. Paul city council is the legislative body. In Minneapolis Mayor Frey is the executive and the the city council is the legislative and executive. We lack the American principles of Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances that assure no branch of government becomes too powerful.

For 101 years the Minneapolis City Council has been too powerful and it does not serve the city well.

—Gregory Hestness, Minneapolis

MinnPost welcomes original letters from readers on current topics of general interest. Interested in joining the conversation? Submit your letter to the editor. The choice of letters for publication is at the discretion of MinnPost editors; they will not be able to respond to individual inquiries about letters.