The Archives of Minneapolis Property Rights Action Committee

This web site concerns a group of landlords in Minneapolis who brought change to Minneapolis city government. The group, Minneapolis Property Rights Action Committee, was founded by Charlie Disney (of table tennis fame), Frank Trisko, Bob Anderson, Steve Meldahl and other Minneapolis property owners in 1994 in response to mounting pressure upon landlords by neighborhood groups and Minneapolis city officials. Its first move was to file a class-action lawsuit against the city in federal court. The suit was dismissed.

From a handful of landlords who met bimonthly in a rental office, the group grew rapidly in membership. Meetings, which were moved to community centers in south Minneapolis, were videotaped and shown weekly on the Minneapolis and regional cable-television stations. The program has evolved from landlord gripe sessions to a public-affairs show centered in housing and crime issues.

Most memorable have been the group's picketing events whose locations have ranged from City Hall to the northside police precinct station to the sites of city-owned buildings scheduled for demolition. An action in the Mayor's anteroom in April, 1998, forced city officials to be sensitive to the relocation needs of tenants when the city forced apartment buildings to close because of crime. "Crack tours" given by the group's leaders in the Phillips neighborhood have forced the city to devote more police resources to that crime-ridden area. More recently, the group gave the incoming mayor early warning of rising rental-property vacancies and forced the subsidized nonprofits to accept their fair share of troubled tenants.