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.

2023 Charter Amendment timeline

Ballot questions for a proposed charter amendment must be submitted 17 weeks before the date of the general election. The general election is November 7, 2023. Therefore, the final date to submit a ballot question is Tuesday, July 11, 2023.

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.

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

2023 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.

Based on the 2022 Gubernatorial General Election (the last statewide general election), the total number of valid signatures required for a petition in 2023 is 8,943 (based on official turnout of 178,848 voters).

2023 Timeline
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 7 The City Clerk verifies petitions. The Charter Commission and City Council work to finalize the ballot language of qualifying petitions.
July 11 Final date for the City Clerk to submit the ballot question to the county for the 2023 ballot.

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





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

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