In their letter responding to Will Rolf's Tuesday opinion piece, "Let's not relive the rent control nightmare others endured," two Wednesday readers write in "What other solutions do opponents suggest?" that Rolf's position makes them more likely to vote "yes" on rent control. Their logic: Because people need reliably affordable homes, this is the right thing to do. No consideration for what the actual effects will be on the housing stock — and average rents — in the city.
My family has owned and operated a small number of rental units since before I was born, and my life has largely revolved around the needs of tenants and the demands of aging buildings. Operational costs make the finances marginal, but we've tried to keep rents affordable. Flexibility in raising rents is critical for us and other small operators to remain viable.
Minneapolis City Question 3 could give the City Council the right to enact rent control unilaterally. While council members may choose to seek more data and/or put a proposal to voters in a future election, I do not trust them. The current council has already shown its unwillingness to adequately consider real-world consequences because its members are fixated on the righteousness of their cause.
Make no mistake: If rent control is enacted in the city, naturally occurring affordable housing units will be permanently lost, and average rent will go up faster than it otherwise would have. Please consider this when deciding how to vote.
Sarah Rohwedder, Minneapolis
On Oct. 6, a letter writer claimed that owners of rental property do not support the rent stabilization initiative. My husband and I have been small rental owners for nearly 20 years in South St. Paul but live in St. Paul. We will vote "yes" on rent stabilization. We have rarely raised rent across those years and have never raised them anywhere near 3%. Because of that, our renters stay for long periods of time, generally only moving because they have saved enough to buy a home. We have had great tenants and appreciate renter stability. We don't lose money to vacancies, don't need to market the property, etc.
It is a win for renters and mom-and-pop landlords.
Jean Giebenhain, St. Paul
I hope others saw the absurdity on Oct. 6 of the front-page story "Rent control foes align" (or, online, "Twin Cities landlords to voters: Just say 'no' to rent control" — more accurate would have been "Corporate landlord lobbyists to voters ... ") telling us to oppose rent stabilization when on the same day "City clears homeless camp in South Mpls." was published, describing how police and bulldozers were once again our city's response to neighbors without housing. Could the disconnect be more obvious?
I've experienced homelessness before and my current apartment costs over 70% of my income. This inequity is a choice we've made as a community, and we can make a different one this fall. We don't have to accept homelessness and housing insecurity as part of the norm in our community. Everyone deserves a safe and stable place to call home and this should matter more than corporate profits. I want to live and be safe in the city I love.
I'm voting "yes" on City Question 3 to stabilize rent prices and prevent myself and my neighbors from being displaced out of our homes. While I'm at it, I'll vote "yes" on City Question 2 so we can have a Public Safety Department with professional housing specialists instead of just bulldozers. We get to decide the future of our city's housing situation this fall — please vote with me.
Theresa Dolata, Minneapolis
Department isn't making a convincing case for itself
I want to thank your reporters for the Oct. 5 story "Attorney for man cleared of returning fire in self-defense at Minneapolis police during riots releases evidence, body camera footage." What this story reveals is shocking: Minneapolis police officers went out on a rampage in an unmarked van, firing rubber bullets at civilians without warning. If this is in accordance with MPD policies and procedures, those need to be changed. If this behavior is not in accordance with MPD policies and procedures, where is MPD leadership? What disciplinary action has been taken? I don't see mention of any.
If Mayor Jacob Frey and Chief Medaria Arradondo want City Question 2 to be defeated, they need to show that they can control the MPD by imposing disciplinary measures when necessary. If they cannot do so, then not only should they stop asking city dwellers to vote against Question 2, they should resign, because they are not doing their jobs. This is their chance to show that reform is possible within the system, and they are dropping the ball.
Robert P. Goldman, Minneapolis
Come on, Star Tribune,
"Attorney for man cleared of returning fire in self-defense at Minneapolis police during riots releases evidence, body camera footage" is a headline worthy of the Onion, which would run it to satirize a media outlet missing the point of an important story.
A one-time bad headline is excusable, but it comes on top of the Star Tribune's already meager coverage of the trial and acquittal of Jaleel Stallings for shooting at Minneapolis police during last summer's unrest.
Given the prominent debate over the future of policing here, it seems like a case showing Minneapolis police shooting first and identifying themselves second, beating up a compliant suspect, and then lying about it in their reports — with no apparent repercussions for the officers involved or for the county attorney who still decided to prosecute Stallings — would warrant extensive and up-to-the-moment coverage. Please do better.
Dan Gilchrist, Minneapolis
TWIN CITIES MARATHON
C'mon, it's only one day
I laughed out loud when I read the letter from the woman complaining about people cheering on the runners in the Twin Cities Marathon ("When support goes over the top," Readers Write, Oct. 6).
Loud music, bells ringing, mind-numbing striking of a gong.
It's a few hours out of one day a year! I have two words: Bah humbug.
Kay Ruud, Brooklyn Park
The NIMBY-ism in a recent letter to the editor about the Twin Cities Marathon and its spectators is overwhelming. On my very first run 13 years ago, an older man in his yard cheered me on — while I was very obviously going slow and doing something difficult — saying, "You can do it! Keep going!" I thought about him during the 4 hours and 49 minutes I was on the marathon racecourse on Sunday, and I thought with gratitude about every single person who has come to cheer me on during a race.
Race spectators are amazing humans. They stand and cheer for complete strangers, encouraging runners while they're pushing their limits and doing an incredibly hard thing. As I ran through Mile 23 (the writer's loud mile), my friends and fellow runners at Mill City/Saint City Running cheered me on with an intensity that moved me to tears and gave me the energy to keep going. If the writer wants to meet some of the most encouraging and supportive people in this community, any local running group would welcome her to join them. And honestly, I feel immense sadness for anyone who looks out at spectators on Summit Avenue on race day and sees "perpetrators" instead of the best of humanity.
Lindsay Bacher, Minneapolis
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