St. Paul, MN. July 15, 2020 – Accountability and organizing are fundamental to our vision for a just and joyful community where everyone has access to safe, quality housing they can afford. That’s why, in June 2020, WSCO filed a lawsuit against residential rental business Quetico Property Management, LLC (QPM), managed by Lake Elmo City Council Member Justin Bloyer.
As explained in the Complaint, when WSCO began to work with tenants at QPM properties to assert their right to live in safe and habitable housing free from discrimination, QPM interfered with our efforts. Together with the Housing Justice Center in a first-of-its kind lawsuit in Minnesota, we’re defending our right to organize, inform, and mobilize renters to better their living conditions and be free from housing discrimination under the Minnesota Human Rights Act. (You can read the statute here.)
This is a matter of racial, disability, and economic justice. Systems meant to protect renters aren’t doing enough to protect people on the West Side, where 43 percent of renters are people of color, and one in five residents was born outside the U.S. We need to be able to organize so that we can hold people with power accountable and enhance quality of life in our community. As a district council and community organization, this is the heart of what WSCO has believed and worked for since its inception.