A Fundraising Letter to MPRAC Members

October 20, 2002

Dear Friend:

Minneapolis Property Rights Action Committee is facing a financial squeeze. Each month we need to pay for production of our cable-television show and its airing in a regular time slot on Channel 6. There is also the cost of mailing postcards which announce the monthly meetings. Future notices will be sent by email.

Regrettably, we must send you this dues statement, raising the annual dues to $70.00 per year (from $55.00).
The question is whether the Property Rights group should continue to exist. After all, we have accomplished much of our original mission. We have become a respected, even feared, player on the Minneapolis political scene. Rents and rental-property values are rising. The city has backed off somewhat in its punitive approach to our business. But will this relatively favorable situation continue if MPRAC folds? The consensus is that it will not. Like fighting crabgrass, you must keep working at it to keep the weeds under control. We do this without paid staff.

During the last two years, group meetings have focused on politics. We played an active role in last year’s turnover of elected city officials, especially in replacing Sayles Belton with Rybak and electing the two Green Party members, Dean Zimmermann and Natalie Johnson Lee, to the City Council. This year, one of our Executive Committee members, In a gesture toward political evenhandedness, we have also had the DFL candidate (and incumbent) for Attorney General, Mike Hatch, and his Republican opponent and the Republican candidate for State Auditor, Pat Anderson Awada, as recent guests on our show, as well as the Green’s gubernatorial candidate.

We are in the process, however, of repositioning ourselves away from politics and back to a focus on housing and crime issues. You will soon see a change in the guest list for the TV show. In addition, we are fortunate to be loosely affiliated with the Watchdog newspaper, edited by Ray Whebbe, an able and experienced journalist, which took the place of Jim Jacobson’s Property Owner newspaper after it was discontinued. John Penterman provides a website for the group at www.propertyrights-mn.com. This three-pronged access to local public opinion (which costs money) has been a major source of our strength in the past and will continue to serve us well in the future.

What may have been neglected is the group’s organization. In place of an informal structure, we need regularly elected leaders, standing and special committees, and, possibly, Section 501(c)3 status with the IRS. We need to take more direction from our members. We need more people to participate in group events. Toward those ends, we ask you to make comments and express your area of interest on a slip accompanying this mailing. Also, the group will hold a nontelevised meeting just before November’s regular meeting to discuss organizational issues. Please plan to come to the Eagle’s club at 25th and 25th at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 13, if you want to participate.

Now we need to ask you again to help keep the group going by sending $70.00 for annual dues. Please make the check payable to Minneapolis Property Rights Action Committee.



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