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Navigating your 2021 Minneapolis Municipal Election ballot

The election, beginning Friday, Sept. 17 with early voting, uses a ranked-choice system.

MINNEAPOLIS — The city of Minneapolis is poised to potentially undergo a litany of changes in both policy and people this November.  

Notably, the mayor's office and city council are up for grabs, following turbulence in the city amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by a former Minneapolis police officer.

The election, beginning Friday, Sept. 17 with early voting, uses a ranked- choice system, meaning voters can choose up to three candidates in order of preference. 

Voters will also have the opportunity to weigh in on issues concerning policing, the city's power structure and rent control.

To find your polling place on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 2.), click here.

To see a full list of candidates and questions that will appear on this year's ballot, click here.

To see what your specific ballot will look like, click here.

Offices on the ballot:


Mayor

Incumbent Mayor Jacob Frey (DFL), who was first elected to the office in 2017, is running for re-election. This year, he faces a pool of 16 other candidates vying for the position.

City Council

The Minneapolis City Council consists of 13 members, each from their respective district.

Incumbents Vice President Andrea Jenkins (Ward 8); Majority Leader Andrew Johnson (Ward 12); and Minority Leader Cam Gordon (Ward 2) have all filed for re-election. 

President Lisa Bender (Ward 10) announced in November 2020 that she would not seek re-election. She was one of nine council members calling for an end to the current model of policing in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.

Click here for a full list of candidates by Ward.

Board of Estimate and Taxation

The Board of Estimate & Taxation (BET) coordinates various taxing and borrowing powers for the city. 

The board members consist of the mayor, city council president, a representative from both the city council and Park and Recreation Board, and two elected members, who hold the titles president and vice president.

Neither the current president nor vice president are seeking re-election.

You can find the full list of candidates here.

Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board

The Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) works to maintain and improve parks and recreational areas in the city. There are three MPRB commissioners at large, in addition to six commissioners serving their respective districts.

Incumbents Londel French and Meg Forney (Commissioners at Large); AK Hassan (District 3); Jono Cowgill (District 4); and Steffanie Musich (District 5) have all filed for re-election.

A full list of candidates can be found here.

Questions on the ballot: 

City question one
Government Structure: Executive Mayor-Legislative Council

Shall the Minneapolis City Charter be amended to adopt a change in its form of government to an Executive Mayor-Legislative Council structure to shift certain powers to the Mayor, consolidating administrative authority over all operating departments under the Mayor, and eliminating the Executive Committee?

The current structure of the city of Minneapolis says all chartered agencies are governed by the City Council, except for the Minneapolis Police Department, which is governed by the mayor.

In the event the amendment passes, more executive power would be delegated to the mayor. The city council would then shift to become, according to the Charter Commission, "the primary actor in matters of local legislation and policymaking.” 

The entire proposed amendment can be found here.

City question two
Department of Public Safety

Shall the Minneapolis City Charter be amended to remove the Police Department and replace it with a Department of Public Safety that employs a comprehensive public health approach to the delivery of functions by the Department of Public Safety, with those specific functions to be determined by the Mayor and City Council by ordinance; which will not be subject to exclusive mayoral power over its establishment, maintenance, and command; and which could include licensed peace officers (police officers), if necessary, to fulfill its responsibilities for public safety, with the general nature of the amendments being briefly indicated in the explanatory note below, which is made a part of this ballot?  

YES ______

NO  ______

Explanatory Note:

This amendment would create a Department of Public Safety combining public safety functions through a comprehensive public health approach to be determined by the Mayor and Council. The department would be led by a Commissioner nominated by the Mayor and appointed by the Council. The Police Department, and its chief, would be removed from the City Charter. The Public Safety Department could include police officers, but the minimum funding requirement would be eliminated.

After a weeks-long, back-and-forth discussion regarding the language to this proposed amendment, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in favor of the city of Minneapolis and Yes 4 Minneapolis, allowing recently revised language already printed on ballots to remain as is.

You can find the full proposed amendment here.

RELATED: What happens if "Vote Yes" wins defund/dismantle MPD ballot issue in November?

City question three
Authorizing City Council To Enact Rent Control Ordinance

Shall the Minneapolis City Charter be amended to authorize the City Council to regulate rents on private residential property in the City of Minneapolis, with the general nature of the amendments being indicated in the explanatory note below, which is made a part of this ballot?

YES ______

NO  ______

Explanatory Note:

This amendment would:

  1. Authorize the City Council to regulate rents on private residential property in the City of Minneapolis by ordinance.
  2. Provide that an ordinance regulating rents on private residential property could be enacted in two different and independent ways:
      1. a. The City Council may enact the ordinance. b. The City Council may refer the ordinance as a ballot question to be decided by the voters for approval at an election. If more than half of the votes cast on the ballot question are in favor of its adoption, the ordinance would take effect 30 days after the election, or at such other time as provided in the ordinance.

You can find the full proposed amendment here.

RELATED: Minnesota Supreme Court reverses injunction, Minneapolis police reform ballot question will go forward

RELATED: Major Democratic politicians speak out against MPD ballot question