Newly Elected Minneapolis Council Member Makes Statement After Defending Homeless Encampment from Eviction


A newly elected Minneapolis council member made a statement on Saturday after she defended a homeless encampment from eviction two weeks ago.

Robin Wonsley-Worlobah, a Democratic Socialist, said that all pending evictions from Minneapolis homeless encampments need to be stopped. Wonsley-Worlobah was elected to the Minneapolis City Council in November.

She said the city needs to pass a policy that helps to meet the needs of encampment residents.

Wonsley-Worlobah said, “That process must allow for constituent voices, including encampment residents, and a democratic vote on the policy.”

“Over the past few weeks, it’s become clear that Minneapolis residents want the city to make encampment response a top priority, and I am looking forward to working in collaboration with the Mayor’s office, Council, and Department staff to create a standardized, humane, and effective policy that meets the short and long term needs of encampment residents,” she said.

According to the city of Minneapolis’ homelessness webpage, “The decision to close an encampment on City-owned property is a City enterprise decision made with input from community partners and multiple City departments, including Health, Public Safety, Fire, Public Works and others.”

It continued, “Decisions include an analysis of public health and safety risks, and take into account the time and resources needed for a closure.”

Earlier in January, Wonsley-Worlobah posted a letter she wrote to Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and other city officials to Twitter, saying, “The city of Minneapolis is planning to move forward with two violent and inhumane encampment evictions in the next 10 days.”

The letter from Wonsley-Worlobah asked Frey and city officials to stop the evictions of multiple homeless encampments that started in January.

She said she invited the rest of the Minneapolis City Council to join her in her effort to stop the eviction at the Near North homeless encampment, which was scheduled to take place on January 11.

Four additional council members showed up to protest: Elliot Payne, Jeremiah Ellison, Jason Chavez, and Aisha Chugthai.

In a tweet following the city’s failure to show up to evict Near North on January 11, she said, “Eviction of [Near North] camp this morning did not happen thanks to sustained public pressure by residents, organizers, [and] community. Unfortunately, [the] city posted new signs indicating eviction will still be carried out at an unspecified time this week.”

According to Twin Cities Encampment Responders, the city also attempted to evict an encampment in the North Loop last week, but were unsuccessful.

Twin Cities Workers Defense Alliance, a self-identified anti-capitalist organization, posted calls to action on Twitter for individuals to defend various homeless encampments but reported that as of Saturday, the Near North encampment had not been evicted.

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Hayley Feland is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun and The Wisconsin Daily Star | Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to [email protected].
Photo “Robin Wonsley-Worlobah” by Robin For Minneapolis. Background Photo “Homeless Encampment” by Grendelkhan CC BY-SA 4.0.




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