The Archives of Minneapolis Property Rights Action Committee

Charlie Disney Dec. 3, 1941 - April 15, 2014 - Charlie's obituary


MPRAC meeting at Whittier Park in late 1990s left: Charlie Disney, Jim Swartwood, Mark Stenglein and others at front table right: a typical audience in those days


a civic duty

From a landlord's perspective, the political fault line runs not between landlords and tenants (who are their customers) but between landlords and predatory elements within local government.

Facing abuse from local government, most landlords try keep a low profile, hoping that they will not be singled out for further punishment. This only encourages the abusers. In Minneapolis, a group of inner-city landlords tried another approach: They picketed and protested and generally became a thorn in the side of the city administration. In the process, they changed public opinion. The payoff was that in 2001 the mayor and half of the City Council were defeated.

This web site is about the Minneapolis group: their tactics, history, and grievances that landlords had. It describes types of experiences which, perhaps for reasons of social class, pass under the radar of public attention and understanding. Click on the following to explore areas of interest:

site directory - 187 links to sub-pages

Minneapolis landlord "horror stories" - 23 links

Property owners in St. Paul & their "horror stories" - 15 links

Minneapolis landlord experiences predating MPRAC - 2 links

History of Minneapolis Property Rights Action Committee (MPRAC) - 35 links

MPRAC - its issues & activities - 35 links

What others have said of MPRAC - 2 links

Articles written about housing - 50 links

Media bias: Our "love-hate relationship" with the news media - 11 links

Email Wars - 12 links

A letter for former MPRAC members on the email list - a good introduction to this website and MPRAC's activities

Links to other web sites, landlord reports from other places - 3 links

contact: mailto:


What's this group all about? ***** Photo gallery

left to right: (1) Charlie Disney (2) front table with Steve Meldahl, Jim Swartwood, Eve White, Natalie Johnson Lee, and Vickie Heller (3) Bill McGaughey

An ad in the local newspaper, January 8, 2008 - how landlords, with their negative image, helped bring on the housing crisis.


Note: MPRAC has not had regular meetings since early in 2010. Neither has the Watchdog newspaper been published recently.

Several pages in this website have been translated by machine into French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, and Italian. Along with the English originals, they appear in another website, To see the translations, click on the following links and then click on the links at the bottom of the page for whichever language one wishes to see: Condemnation of William McGaughey's apartment building Sam Czaplewski's triplex condemned and hospitalized tenant becomes homeless. City of St. Paul and St. Bernard's church put pressure on Diva's bar after a shooting Landlords picket St. Paul city hall and Mayor Kelly is defeated in the next election. Picketing landlords disrupt meeting of Minneapolis city council after rental license revoked Some embarrassing questions asked at Council Member Helgen's neighborhood meeting The racial "lawsuit from Hell" brought against Rey and Pat Mattson City of St. Paul demolishes Nancy Osterman's house after she refuses to sell to inspector's friend Can landlords be "progressive" or are they inherently selfish and evil? Minneapolis officials refuse to accept Floyd Ruggles' tax payment and take his building. St. Paul officials condemn Betty Speaker's house while she is in the hospital near death. Minneapolis officials condemn Dave Sundberg's mansion for lack of a full basement Vagrants overrun Jim Wu's apartment buildings as nonprofit schemes to take them away.