Twin Cities Voters Pass Rent Control, Re-elect Mayors

Many racial justice activists were disappointed to see Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey re-elected and the public safety charter amendment rejected.

A small group of protestors marched to the home of Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey after learning he was re-elected. One disappointed voter said “Everybody here really thought that he wasn’t going to win again,” but after two rounds of tabulation, Jacob Frey was re-elected with 49 percent of ranked choice votes. His re-election was criticized by some residents who felt he didn’t effectively use his position to bring forth changes in policing following the murder of George Floyd.

“He’s reverted, he’s gone back and made deals with…[Minneapolis Police Chief] Arradondo,” said another protester.

In St. Paul, incumbent mayor Melvin Carter was re-elected with more than sixty percent of the votes. 

The controversial Minneapolis charter amendment on public safety was defeated. The final count revealed 56 percent of people voted “No” on the ballot question. However even those voting no said policing and public safety are still prominent issues.  

Ballots in both Saint Paul and Minneapolis included questions on rent control. The proposal in St. Paul caps rent increases at three percent; the Minneapolis ballot question allows policy makers to begin working on a similar plan. The measures passed in both cities. 

“It’s really clear to us that housing justice is racial justice,” said one of the advocates for the St. Paul rent cap, “that Saint Paulites care for one another, that they’re going to show up to the polls for one another and we saw that in victory tonight.”

Advocates for both measures said they are key to making housing affordable to low income renters. Opponents said the rent restrictions will discourage new housing construction. 

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