UNITED STATES NEWS

With Muslim members away for Eid, Minneapolis City Council kills rent control measure

Jun 29, 2023, 1:30 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — While three Muslim council members were away to observe the Eid al-Adha holiday, the Minneapolis City Council narrowly voted to kill a measure that would have put a rent control question on the ballot this fall.

A majority of the council supports a 3% annual residential rent cap. But with Aisha Chughtai, Jeremiah Ellison and Jamal Osman out on Wednesday, the council voted not to move the measure forward, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

“Islamophobia!” one person in the audience blurted out during the meeting, the Star Tribune reported. Such accusations raged on Twitter, while at the same time, rent control opponents expressed relief the issue was off the table.

The Wednesday meeting was scheduled more than a year ago to accommodate Eid, which at the time had been predicted to fall on Thursday, Minnesota Public Radio reported. But the date is subject to change depending on lunar observations.

According to City Clerk Casey Carl, the first time anyone raised a concern about Eid was on Monday — too late to change the date of the council meeting under state law, the Star Tribune reported. Carl apologized, but added that for years the city clerk’s office has relied on council members to make it aware of religious or cultural conflicts.

In a statement released after the vote, Ellison, Osman and Chugtai criticized the vote as going against “the spirit of inclusion Minneapolis prides itself on,” adding that council leadership could have scheduled the meeting at a later date, delayed the vote to the next full council meeting or advanced the policy to committee for further changes.

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With Muslim members away for Eid, Minneapolis City Council kills rent control measure