Minneapolis City Council

Coordinates: 44°58′38″N 93°15′56″W / 44.97722°N 93.26556°W / 44.97722; -93.26556
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Minneapolis City Council
Coat of arms or logo
Elliott Payne, DFL
since January 8, 2024
Aisha Chughtai, DFL
since January 8, 2024
Political groups
By party
  Democratic–Farmer–Labor (12)
  Independent socialist (1)

By affiliation[1][2][3]

  DSA + Mpls for the Many (6)
  All of Mpls (5)
  None (2)
CommitteesSee Committees
Instant-runoff voting
Last election
November 7, 2023
Next election
November 4, 2025
Meeting place
Minneapolis City Hall
350 S Fifth St.
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415

The Minneapolis City Council is the legislative branch of the city of Minneapolis in Minnesota, United States. Comprising 13 members, the council holds the authority to create and modify laws, policies, and ordinances that govern the city. Each member represents one of the 13 wards in Minneapolis, elected for a four-year term. The current council structure has been in place since the 1950s.

In recent elections, council membership has been dominated by the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL). As of 2024, 12 members identified with the DFL, while four identified with Democratic Socialists of America (three members identify as both DFL and DSA). Until the 2021 Minneapolis City Council election, the city's government structure was considered a weak-mayor, strong-council system. However, a charter amendment was passed that gave the mayor more power and reduced the council to purely legislative duties.


Council chambers in 1900
Council meeting in 2015

The city has never had more than 13 wards, but at one time there were three representatives from each area, for a total of 39 members of the city council. The city council assumed its current size in the 1950s.

The Minneapolis City Council represents the city's thirteen districts called wards. The city adopted instant-runoff voting in 2006, first using it in the 2009 elections.[4] The council has 12 DFL members and one from the Democratic Socialists of America. Election issues in 2013 included funding for a new Vikings stadium over which some incumbents lost their positions.[4] That year, Minneapolis elected Abdi Warsame, Alondra Cano, and Blong Yang, the city's first Somali-American, Mexican-American, and Hmong-American city councilpeople, respectively.[4][5][6]

The city council passed a resolution in March 2015 making fossil fuel divestment city policy.[7] With encouragement from city administration, Minneapolis joined seventeen cities worldwide in the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance. The city's climate plan is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 15 percent in 2015 "compared to 2006 levels, 30 percent by 2025 and 80 percent by 2050".[8]

In 2018, the city council passed the Minneapolis Comprehensive 2040 Plan and submitted it for Metropolitan Council approval. Watched nationally, the plan rezones predominantly single-family residential neighborhoods for triplexes to increase affordable housing, seeks to reduce the effects of climate change, and tries to rectify some of the city's racial disparities.[9][10] After the Metropolitan Council approved the plan,[11] in November 2019 the city council voted unanimously to allow duplexes and triplexes citywide.[12] The Brookings Institution called it "a relatively rare example of success for the YIMBY agenda" and "the most wonderful plan of the year."[13]

Controversial incidents[edit]

In July 2001, DFL Council Member Brian Herron pleaded guilty to one count of felony extortion. Herron admitted to accepting a $10,000 bribe from business owner Selwin Ortega who faced numerous health and safety inspection violations at his Las Americas grocery stores.[14][15] Herron served a one-year sentence in federal prison.[16]

On November 21, 2002, ten-year DFL Council Member Joe Biernat was convicted of five federal felony charges, one count of embezzlement, three counts of mail fraud, and one count of making a false statement.[17] Biernat was found not guilty on extortion and conspiracy to extort charges.[18]

In September 2005, Green Party Council Member Dean Zimmermann was served with a federal search warrant to his home by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The affidavit attached to the warrant revealed that the FBI had Zimmermann on video and audiotape accepting bribes for a zoning change.[19] Zimmermann subsequently lost his re-election campaign, and was convicted in federal court on three counts of accepting cash from a developer and found not guilty of soliciting property from people with business with the city. Zimmermann was released from prison in July 2008.[20]

In 2009, Council President Barbara A. Johnson was accused of misusing campaign funds for personal spending. An administrative hearing was held January 26, 2010.[21] The administrative judges at the hearing dismissed six of the eight charges; it upheld two charges—that AAA services were paid for both her and her husband's vehicle and that not all charges for hairstyling or dry cleaning were reasonably related to the campaign. Johnson paid a $200 fine for these violations, the lowest fine possible.[22]

In 2015, DFL Council Member Alondra Cano used her Twitter account to publish private cellphone numbers and e-mail addresses of critics who wrote about her involvement in a Black Lives Matter rally.[23]

In 2020, after the murder of George Floyd, nine city council members announced their highly controversial goals to disband the Minneapolis Police Department. Their plan included amending the city's charter to remove the requirement for a minimum number of officers, along with replacing the MPD with a broader public safety agency.[24] The city council was then discovered to have been utilizing private security at a cost of $4,500 per day for three of their members.[25] The plan made it to the ballot in 2021, but ended up failing with only 43% of votes in support of it;[26] along with six of the nine city council members who wanted to get rid of the police either voted out or having not ran for reelection.[27]

In 2021, while leaving a Pride Day event, a car containing Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins was surrounded by protesters who blocked her from leaving until she signed a list of demands, which included not interfering with the occupied George Floyd Square and the resignation of Mayor Jacob Frey. Jenkins was stuck for over 90 minutes before signing the list so she could go.[28][29]

In July 2022, City Council Member Michael Rainville said during a meeting with his constituents that he was going to go to a mosque in Northeast Minneapolis to "meet with Somali elders and tell them that their children can no longer have that kind of behavior,"[30] in response to incidents on the 4th of July in Downtown Minneapolis, in which groups of people were seen launching fireworks at buildings and other people.[31] His comments drew criticism, including from fellow City Council Members, who attempted to censure him.[32] Jamal Osman, Jeremiah Ellison, and Aisha Chughtai, the city council's three Muslim members, issued a statement calling Rainville's comments "incorrect," "inappropriate," "disturbing," and "dangerous."[33] Rainville has since apologized for the comments.[34]

Electoral system[edit]

In 2006, Minneapolis voters approved the use of the single transferable vote for its municipal elections. The first use of ranked-choice voting was in the 2009 municipal election. However, since the City Council uses single-member districts, the single transferable vote functions the same way as instant-runoff voting.[35] This system of voting is commonly known in the United States as ranked choice voting.

Each member's term is normally four years, and there are no limits on the number of terms a member may serve. In 2020, however, voters approved a plan to amend the city charter to establish city council elections in 2021 and 2023 for two-year terms instead of the regular four-year terms, with four-year term elections restarting in 2025. The amendment also granted the ability for the city to use this method whenever regular city council elections do not fall in a year ending in a 3 in order to comply with a state law designed to require city council elections in years ending in 2 or 3 after a census.


Council Members have a base salary of $109,846 in 2024.[36] Raises for council members and the mayor are based on "averaging out the increases included in the union contracts they approved the previous year."[37] The rate was $106,101 in 2021. In 2018, all Council Members were paid a base salary of $98,696 annually, plus mileage, free parking, and the usual employee benefits. This salary included an increase of $10,000 approved in late 2017.[38]


The council is made up of 13 members. The DFL holds 12 seats, while one member (Robin Wonsley) sits as an independent democratic socialist. New members took office January 2024.[39]

Ward Name Party Additional affiliation(s) First elected Neighborhoods
1 Elliott Payne DFL 2021 Audubon Park, Columbia Park, Como, Holland, Logan Park, Marshall Terrace, Northeast Park, Waite Park, Windom Park.
2 Robin Wonsley Independent socialist DSA[1] 2021 Cedar-Riverside, Como, Cooper, Longfellow, Prospect Park, Seward, University
3 Michael Rainville DFL All of Mpls[3] 2021 Beltrami, Bottineau, Downtown East, Downtown West, Marcy Holmes, Nicollet Island/East Bank, North Loop, St. Anthony East, St. Anthony West, Sheridan
4 LaTrisha Vetaw DFL All of Mpls[3] 2021 Cleveland, Folwell, Jordan, Lind-Bohanon, Shingle Creek, Victory, Webber-Camden
5 Jeremiah Ellison DFL Mpls For the Many[2] 2017 Harrison, Hawthorne, Jordan, Near North, North Loop, Sumner-Glenwood, Willard-Hay
6 Jamal Osman DFL 2020 Cedar-Riverside, Elliot Park, Phillips West, Seward, Stevens Square, Ventura Village
7 Katie Cashman DFL Mpls For the Many[2] 2023 Bryn Mawr, Cedar-Isles-Dean, Downtown West, East Isles, Elliot Park, Kenwood, Loring Park, Lowry Hill, Stevens Square
8 Andrea Jenkins DFL All of Mpls[3] 2017 Bancroft, Bryant, Central, Field, King Field, Lyndale, Northrop, Regina
9 Jason Chavez DFL DSA[1] 2021 Central, Corcoran, East Phillips, Longfellow, Midtown Phillips, Powderhorn Park
10 Aisha Chughtai DFL
2021 East Calhoun, East Harriet, Lowry Hill East, South Uptown, Whittier
11 Emily Koski DFL All of Mpls[3] 2021 Diamond Lake, Hale, Keewaydin, Northrop, Page, Tangletown, Wenonah, Windom
12 Aurin Chowdhury DFL
2023 Ericsson, Hiawatha, Howe, Keewaydin, Minnehaha, Morris Park, Standish
13 Linea Palmisano DFL All of Mpls[3] 2013 Armatage, East Harriet, Fulton, Kenny, Linden Hills, Lynnhurst, West Maka Ska


The Minneapolis City Council operates through several standing committees, each focusing on specific areas of city governance.[40]

Administration & Enterprise Oversight Committee

  • Chair: Robin Wonsley (Ward 2)
  • Vice-Chair: Linea Palmisano (Ward 13)
  • Focus: Oversight of general government, enterprise, and administration operations. Regular evaluation of the City’s Strategic Racial Equity Action Plan and the Mayor’s Office.

Business, Housing & Zoning Committee

  • Chair: Jamal Osman (Ward 6)
  • Vice-Chair: Jeremiah Ellison (Ward 5)
  • Focus: Oversight of community and economic development, housing policy, land-use and zoning policy, and employment and training programs.

Public Health & Safety Committee

  • Chair: Jason Chavez (Ward 9)
  • Vice-Chair: Robin Wonsley (Ward 2)
  • Focus: Oversight of public health and social service programs, civil rights, environmental justice, community safety services, and police reform initiatives.

Climate & Infrastructure Committee

  • Chair: Katie Cashman (Ward 7)
  • Vice-Chair: Emily Koski (Ward 11)
  • Focus: Oversight of community infrastructure, climate resilience, transportation, public works, utilities, and recycling.

Budget Committee

  • Chair: Aisha Chughtai (Ward 10)
  • Vice-Chair: Emily Koski
  • Focus: Oversight of the city's budget, financial wellbeing, and approval of financial policies.

Committee of the Whole

  • Chair: Jason Chavez (Ward 9)
  • Vice-Chair: Aurin Chowdhury (Ward 12)
  • Focus: Oversight of strategic goals, enterprise-wide initiatives, and Mayor’s Cabinet appointments.

Settlement Agreement & Consent Decree Subcommittee

  • Chair: Elliott Payne (Ward 1)
  • Vice-Chair: Andrea Jenkins (Ward 8)
  • Focus: Oversight of the settlement agreement with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, coordination on police reform and accountability.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "2023 Endorsements". Twin Cities DSA. 2023-04-27. Retrieved 2023-11-10.
  2. ^ a b c d e "MplsForTheMany". MplsForTheMany. 2023-07-03. Retrieved 2023-11-10.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Our 2023 Minneapolis City Council Voter Guide". All of Mpls. 2023-10-26. Retrieved 2023-11-10.
  4. ^ a b c Regan, Sheila; Coleman, Nick; Nelson, Kathryn G. (November 6, 2013). "Minneapolis Mayoral Election: Betsy Hodges Almost Claims Her Almost Victory; RCV Count Goes Slow". The Uptake. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  5. ^ Turck, Mary (November 6, 2013). "Election results updated: Hodges in as mayor; Cano, Yang, Palmisano win city council seats; St. Paul counts on Monday". TC Daily Planet. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  6. ^ Helal, Liala (November 8, 2013). "Voters bring more racial, ethnic diversity to Minneapolis City Council". MPR News. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  7. ^ McKenzie, Sarah (March 20, 2015). "City Council passes fossil fuel divestment resolution". Southwest Journal. Minnesota Premier Publications. Archived from the original on April 18, 2015. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  8. ^ McKenzie, Sarah (March 27, 2015). "City joins international alliance committed to curbing greenhouse gas emissions". Southwest Journal. Minnesota Premier Publications. Archived from the original on April 17, 2015. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  9. ^ "City Council approves Minneapolis 2040 plan". Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. December 7, 2018. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
  10. ^ Grabar, Henry (December 7, 2018). "Minneapolis Confronts Its History of Housing Segregation". Slate Group. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
  11. ^ Wan, Elder (September 26, 2019). "Minneapolis' 2040 plan wins Met Council approval". VOXMN. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  12. ^ Otárola, Miguel (November 8, 2019). "Minneapolis moves forward with allowing triplexes citywide". Star Tribune. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  13. ^ Schuetz, Jenny (December 12, 2018). "Minneapolis 2040: The most wonderful plan of the year". Brookings Institution. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  14. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2019-11-09. Retrieved 2019-11-09.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ Demko, Paul (October 10, 2001). "City council member Brian Herron's disgrace left a vacuum in his Minneapolis district". City Pages. Archived from the original on July 15, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  16. ^ "Feds Indict Minneapolis City Councilman & Union Boss". UNION CORRUPTION UPDATE. National Legal and Policy Center. April 29, 2002. Archived from the original on 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2007-12-01.
  17. ^ "Criminal Enforcement Actions 2002". Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS). United States Department of Labor. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  18. ^ Williams, Brandt (November 21, 2002). "Minneapolis councilman convicted on five fraud charges". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved December 1, 2007.
  19. ^ "FBI says it has Zimmermann on tape accepting bribe". KARE. September 10, 2005. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  20. ^ Brandt, Steve (July 10, 2008). "Back from prison 'sabbatical'". Star Tribune. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  21. ^ Brandt, Steve (December 21, 2009). "Mpls. council president faces hearing over campaign spending". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on April 11, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  22. ^ "Warren E. Kaari v. Barbara Johnson" (PDF). Findings of Fact, Conclusions and Order. Office of Administrative Hearings. Retrieved February 14, 2013.[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ "Minneapolis City Council Member Alondra Cano under fire for posting phone numbers, e-mail addresses of constituents". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2019-09-17.
  24. ^ Neale, Spencer (26 June 2020). "Minneapolis City Council advances plan to disband police". Washington Examiner. Washington Examiner. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  25. ^ Lyden, Tom. "Minneapolis Council members get private security after threats". Fox9. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  26. ^ "Minneapolis voters reject making consequential changes to the city's police force". Insider. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  27. ^ "5 MPLS. City Council members ousted as final races are called". Bring Me The News. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  28. ^ "'It Was Very Violent': Outrage Grows After Video Shows Mpls. City Council VP Andrea Jenkins Being Held By Activists". CBS Local. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
  29. ^ "Council Member Andrea Jenkins says protesters held her 'hostage' at Minneapolis Pride event". Bring Me The News. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
  30. ^ "Minneapolis councilmember's comments draw contempt: some forgive while others demand action". cbsnews.com. July 9, 2022.
  31. ^ "Watch: Fireworks fired at people, buildings in downtown Minneapolis". bringmethenews.com. July 5, 2022.
  32. ^ "Some Minneapolis council members want to censure Rainville, but it's not so easy". startribune.com. July 15, 2022.
  33. ^ "Pressure mounts against Minneapolis City Council's Rainville". startribune.com. July 12, 2022.
  34. ^ "Minneapolis councilor's apology for singling out Somali youths over Fourth of July incidents". bringmethenews.com. July 9, 2022.
  35. ^ "How the 2009 RCV Election Works". City of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  36. ^ Palmisano, Linea; Jenkins, Andrea (2023). "Resolution: Setting the annual salary for Council Members for the 2024-2025 Term" (PDF). City of Minneapolis. Retrieved April 4, 2024.
  37. ^ Navratil, Liz (21 January 2021). "Minneapolis mayor, some on City Council will donate raises". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  38. ^ Callaghan, Peter. "Minneapolis City Council approved $10,000 raises for new council, mayor". Minnpost.com. Minnpost. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  39. ^ Frasier, Krystal (November 21, 2023). "New Minneapolis city councilor sworn in". KSTP.
  40. ^ Minneapolis, City of (2024-01-08). "City Council organizes for new term". City of Minneapolis. Retrieved 2024-01-11.

External links[edit]

44°58′38″N 93°15′56″W / 44.97722°N 93.26556°W / 44.97722; -93.26556