OUR MPLS is Not One Minneapolis

On December 1, the Minneapolis City Council Budget Subcommittee voted 7-6 to cut the mayor’s proposed property tax levy by .2 percent, meaning about $620,000 less in revenue. This decreased revenue would hit programs we as Voices for Racial Justice and OUR MPLS partners know add to the process of breaking down the disparities in Minneapolis. It was just about one year ago that the OUR MPLS partnership came together after an election that promised greater city leadership for racial equity to begin envisioning what we thought racial equity would look like. The result was the OUR MPLS Agenda for Racial and Economic Justice. Now a year later, we are faced with a City Council that shows lack of vision and deep division on the issues that should matter the most to a city with some the worst racial disparities in the nation. It is clear that OUR MPLS is far from being One Minneapolis.

The Problem

The issue is where these cuts would take place: funding for the One Minneapolis initiative (to support diverse leadership development and community engagement, which is already underfunded and currently supports the Politics is Local training); a racial disparities study that Council Member Glidden has stated is necessary to justify City efforts to close disparities in contracting; counseling and outreach for new homeowners; and substantial reduction of the funding for the Clean Energy Initiative.

Council Member Palmisano also moved to cut the funding for the new Office of Equitable Outcomes in half (from $250,000 to $125,000). This was prevented (but just barely) by a 7-6 vote.
These actions display deep division on our City Council on commitment to racial equity and climate justice. See the notes from the Budget Subcommittee and this Star Tribune article for more information.
What Can We Do
We have time before the December 10 final approval of the budget to change their minds. Please attend the December 10 6pm meeting to show support for racial equity and climate priorities.
But before then and as OUR MPLS partners and allies, please take the time to contact City Council members. Those who voted in favor of these cuts were CMs Reich, Frey, Barb Johnson, Yang, Warsame, Goodman, and Palmisano. Please contact them and encourage them to reconsider their position in the final vote. Ask them to support the community’s desire for a movement toward a more equitable Minneapolis that is inclusive of all residents. Even these small investments matter and decreasing property taxes by an average of $2.50 per residence is not worth cutting these important investments. While you are at it, contact a City Council member who is standing with racial equity and climate justice (Council Members Gordon, Glidden, Cano, Bender, Quincy, and Andrew Johnson) and thank them. Here is a chart with all City Council contact information:
City Council Phone Numbers

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