Minneapolis City Council’s Rejection of Rent Control Vote During Eid Al-Adha

In a city known for its progressive spirit and diverse population, the recent decision by the Minneapolis City Council to strike down rent control on the ballot this November raises serious concerns about fairness and equity. Even more alarming is the fact that this decision was made during Eid Al-Adha, a significant religious holiday for Muslims, without the presence of three Councilmembers of Muslim faith. Whether intentional or not, such a course of action not only demonstrates a lack of respect for religious diversity but also perpetuates discrimination against some of the very communities most affected by these decisions.

The absence of three Muslim Councilmembers (Jeremiah Ellison, Aisha Chughtai, and Jamal Osman) during an important council session held this past Wednesday on Eid Al-Adha, which led to a narrow majority (5-4) that will now prevent rent control from being on the ballot this November, reflects a disregard for the religious observance of a significant portion of Minneapolis’ population. This unfortunate oversight adds weight to the already existing misgivings that policymakers fail to account for the needs and perspectives of minority groups, especially immigrants and refugees who face unique challenges in their pursuit of a better life. A diverse and representative council is vital to building a cohesive and equitable society. Discrimination in any form undermines the fundamental principles of justice and contributes to further marginalization of already vulnerable communities.

It is worth noting even further that the Rent Control motion that was previously passed was authored by Councilmembers Chughtai and Osman, 2 of the 3 Muslim Councilmembers who were absent.

Rent control is not just a progressive policy to address housing affordability; it is a vital tool to safeguard the interests of vulnerable communities, including immigrants and refugees, preventing these communities from becoming victims of gentrification and displacement. CAPI USA, as a nonprofit that has been serving individuals from diverse backgrounds since its foundation in 1982, strives to provide support and advocate for fair housing rights. CAPI USA firmly believes in the power of diversity and the strength it brings to communities. Constructing an inclusive society takes concerted effort from both citizens and civic institutions. It requires respecting the various cultural practices and religious observances that coexist within our city.

To that end, we ask that the City Council address their decision to hold a vote of this magnitude during a time that was not conducive for all, and, to follow that with a review of their decision-making processes to ensure that there is no room for discriminatory practices in the future.

We urge those wishing to express their concerns regarding this motion to contact their City Council Members. Their contact information can be found at: https://www.minneapolismn.gov/government/city-council/.

In hope of a fair and equitable tomorrow,
The Public Policy Team at CAPI USA


Download the letter here