Haves vs. have-nots in Minneapolis tax debate

Minneapolis residents confronted the Minneapolis City Council last night over that body’s previous cuts to energy and racial equity programs.

It was democracy in action. Or it was insulting. It depends on whom you ask.

Mayor Betsy Hodges’ $1.2 billion budget proposal passed after a series of 7-to-6 votes to shift money to fund the programs previously cut by the council.

But it was Council Member Abdi Warsame who slipped in what appeared to be the most interesting comment of the night, rebuking people who challenged him over his support of the cuts, particularly when some council members ran on equity platforms.

They suggested he had turned his back on them, an allegation he said was insulting and cautioned the audience not to second-guess council members.

“It’s insulting that you say you are more black than I am, that you care more about black lives than I do. It’s insulting and it’s unacceptable,” he said. “But we will listen to you and we have listened to you.”

But the evening highlighted a reality that recent protests in the city have illuminated: it is increasing split — geographically and politically — between the haves and have-nots.

Related: Show us your property tax statement (NewsCut)

Meet the young activists behind the I-35W shutdown (Minnesota Public Radio News).