Letter to Don Samuels

Sept. 16, 2002

Don Samuels
1542 Hillside
Minneapolis, MN 55411

Dear Don,

Thanks you for participating at the Minneapolis Property Rights Action Committee meeting last week.

I promised to send you the group’s list of proposals developed for candidate R.T. Rybak in July 2001. Please see the enclosed.

At the meeting, I objected to your suggestion that M.P.R.A.C. ought to go after “slumlords” in our ranks or in the group of Minneapolis property owners as a whole. That approach has been urged upon us repeatedly by outsiders who may not have the group’s best interests in mind. We are, in fact, like a union for landlords who might confront the hostile forces of city-government officials, block clubs, inspectors, and community police.

To start judging each other and declaring some of our members as being unworthy of membership in our group would undermine the solidarity principle upon which our strength is based. We also believe that, as business people, we are meant primarily to serve our customers - the tenants - rather than “neighbors” or city government.

Obviously, we want to help build healthy communities. We do not want crime in our buildings or in neighborhoods where our buildings are located. Toward that end, we have developed the list of proposals to improve city government and relations between landlords and other interest groups.

What I would like to have is a discussion between ourselves and other interested parties focusing upon the various proposals. Maybe we could improve procedures and get everyone working toward the same end.


William McGaughey

Note: Don Samuels was then a northside block club leader active in the fight against crime north of Broadway. He later was elected to the Minneapolis City Council, first in the 3rd Ward, then in the 5th Ward. After 2005, he chaired the council's Public Safety and Regulatory Services committee.


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