Amending the Charter

Learn about the ways that the charter can be amended.

There are two paths to amend the city charter, according to Minnesota Statutes, Section 410.12:

  1. By ballot question - An amendment enacted by vote of the electorate (Path #1)
  2. By ordinance - An amendment enacted by ordinance, which requires the unanimous affirmative vote of the entire membership of the City Council and approval by the Mayor (Path #2)

As shown in chart, the two paths offer options. These options include:

  1. The Charter Commission may propose amendments, either as:
    1. A ballot question, or
    2. A referral to City Council for enactment by ordinance
  2. A Citizen Petition requesting a ballot question when signed by a number of registered voters equal to at least 5 percent of the total votes cast at the last state general election
  3. The City Council may refer a proposed amendment to the electorate, subject to review by the Charter Commission
  4. The City Council may initiate an amendment by ordinance, with the concurrence of the Charter Commission

The Charter Commissions has adopted guidelines for considering amendments:

See Standards for Considering Proposals to Amend the City Charter

To learn the full details on all the ways to amend the City Charter:

See the Guide to Amending the City Charter

This chart shows the two primary pathways offer options with respect to how an amendment may be enacted.

Citizen petition for Charter Amendment

A citizen committee may propose an amendment to the City Charter by filing a petition with the Charter Commission. The petition should be delivered to the Office of City Clerk on behalf of the Charter Commission.

The petition must include the full text of the proposed amendment. 

If the text is over 1,000 words, the full text of the proposed amendment must be filed with the City Clerk. Then a summary may be used on the petition. The summary must:

  • Inform the signers about what changes are being made to the City Charter
  • Be between 50 to 300 words in length
  • Be submitted to the Charter Commission for its approval

Charter Commission has 10 days after submission to approve the summary text.

See Minnesota Statutes § 410.12 Amendments

2024 signature requirements

Petitions for a proposed charter amendment by referendum must be signed by a minimum number of registered voters equal to no less than 5 percent of the total votes cast at the previous state general election in the city.

The last statewide election was the 2022 Gubernatorial General Election. The turnout was 178,848 voters. Therefore, the number of valid signatures required for a 2024 petition is 8,943.

About signatures

  • Only Minneapolis registered voters may sign the petition.
  • Signatures must in ink or indelible pencil. Electronic signatures are not allowed.
  • The signer's address must match their current voter registration.
  • Post office boxes are not valid for address.
  • All signatures must be assembled and filed as one petition.

2024 Charter Amendment timeline

Ballot questions for a proposed charter amendment by citizen petitions must be submitted 17 weeks before the date of the general election. The general election is November 5, 2024. Therefore, the final date to submit a ballot question is Tuesday, July 9, 2024.

To ensure time for the required filing, verification, noticing, public hearing, and approval of ballot language required by law, the final date to receive citizen petitions for proposed charter amendments is May 1, 2024.

This allows the Charter Commission and the City Council to finalize actions to prepare and submit ballot language in the months of May and June, prior to the deadline in early July.

See Minnesota Statutes § 410.12 Amendments

2024 timeline for citizen petitions
January 1 to May 1 The City accepts any citizen petition seeking to amend the City Charter by ballot question. The deadline for petitions is May 1.
May 1 to July 8 The City Clerk verifies petitions. The Charter Commission and City Council work to finalize the ballot language of qualifying petitions.
July 9 Final date for the City Clerk to submit the ballot question to the county for the 2024 ballot.

City Council and Charter Commission proposed amendment timeline

For ballot questions proposed by either the Charter Commission or the City Council, the schedule follows the rules set by state election law. This means ballot question language must be sent to both the Secretary of State and the county auditor at least 74 days before the general election on November 5. For the upcoming 2024 general election, the deadline for submitting these questions is Friday, August 23, 2024.

See Minnesota Statutes § 205.16

Guide to amending the City Charter

See our in-depth guide to amending the City Charter. Learn relevant laws, deadlines and requirements of the process.

Contact us

Office of City Clerk




Mailing address

City Hall
350 Fifth St. S., Room 304
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Temporary office location

250 S. Fourth St., Room 100
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Office hours

8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Monday – Friday

See list of City holidays