The author, a Yale graduate, owns three rental properties in a rundown neighborhood of Minneapolis. As a member of Minneapolis Property Rights Action Committee, he planned the event which led to the disruption of a Minneapolis City Council meeting in November, 1998. He is also proprietor of http://www.landlordpolitics.com which contains more than 200 documents relating to landlord problems with city government.
RAMPAGING LANDLORDSby William McGaughey
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W ho says you can’t fight City Hall? Once in a blue moon, it is done effectively. Such was the case in November 1998. A group of landlords belonging to Minneapolis Property Rights Action Committee shut down a meeting of the Minneapolis City Council when it revoked the rental license of a property owner in north Minneapolis in an arbitrary and capricious manner. The Council Members, mostly Democrat, dared not call the police and risk adverse publicity because of an important election taking place on the following Tuesday. (Among other things, Jesse Ventura was elected Governor of Minnesota in that election.) The landlords propagated their views through a cable-television show, a free-circulation newspaper, and direct action. The ultimate triumph came when the incumbent mayor and half the City Council were replaced by the voters. The once-reviled landlords had become a political force.
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