Minneapolis mayoral candidates agree: Put charter in modern English

The leading candidates for mayor of Minneapolis all support a proposal to simplify the city’s charter.

In addition to electing a new mayor on Nov. 5, Minneapolis voters will also decide whether to rewrite the city’s charter in modern English. The plain language charter revision makes no changes to the structure of city government, but it strips away outdated sections related to the cleaning of stables and the discharge of steam by locomotives.

It also removes antiquated words like “doth” and “shall.”

At a Wednesday night debate, seven of the leading candidates supported the revision, including former city council president Jackie Cherryhomes. “Government doesn’t work if people can’t understand the documents that are governing them,” she said.

Current city council member Don Samuels agreed: “Thou shouldst have modern language for thy laws, so that everybody can understandeth.”

The Minneapolis city attorney’s office opposes the proposed charter revision, fearing it will create unforeseen legal problems.