Election & Organizational Issues
Pursuant to the City Charter, the city is partitioned into thirteen separate but contiguous wards of roughly equal population. Wards are redrawn at least once every ten years following the federal census to assure the population remains evenly apportioned among the thirteen wards. This is intended to ensure equitable community representation. A Council Member is elected from each of the thirteen wards; these thirteen elected Council Members constitute the City Council—the legislative body of the City of Minneapolis.
Council Members are elected in non-partisan elections held in November of odd-numbered years. All thirteen Council Members stand for election at the same time and serve concurrent, four-year terms, with no limit on the number of terms that may be served. Under the state constitution and laws, Council Members must be citizens of the United States, registered electors within the State of Minnesota (a qualified voter), at least 21 years of age on the date of taking office, and residents of the city for at least 30 days before the date of the election. Additionally, all Council Members must be residents of the wards from which they are elected throughout their entire term in office.
Following the general municipal election, the Council convenes on the first Monday in January that is not a holiday and proceeds to organize its membership to transact city business. As part of this organizational meeting, the Council elects from amongst its membership a President to serve as its presiding officer. The President is responsible for setting the Council’s agenda and managing its schedule; for determining and making referrals of all matters to the appropriate standing committees; and for appointing the chairs, vice-chairs, and members of the various standing committees. In addition, the President functions as a sort of “speaker” for the City Council, giving voice to its policies and positions, its interests and priorities, and functioning as a first among the body of equals. The current President of City Council is Fourth Ward Council Member Barbara A. Johnson.
During its organizational meeting, the Council elects from its membership a Vice-President and other offices it deems necessary, and establishes the formal lines of succession to the offices of Mayor and Council President. The current Vice-President of City Council is Eighth Ward Council Member Elizabeth Glidden. Council Member John Quincy (Eleventh Ward) is the Majority Leader, and Council Member Cam Gordon (Second Ward) is the Minority Leader. As part of its organization, the Council also establishes its standing committee structure, where the bulk of its legislative and policy-making work is conducted. The Council generally meets in plenary session twice each month, usually the second and fourth Fridays, beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the Council Chamber (Room 317) of City Hall. See calendar of meetings and agendas.
For more information about elections, please visit the Election & Voter Services Division website, or contact that division at 612-673-3000.
Last updated Jan 8, 2015