This research aimed to reconstruct a local urban politics and develop a meso–micro‐level model of urban politics through a case study, drawing on a Bourdieusian relational framework. To this end, it investigated the case of local low‐income housing policy — inclusionary zoning — in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. It historicized the path of the local low‐income policy issue through document analysis and qualitative media content analysis. Through multiple analyses, the study revealed that urban politics consists of complex interlinkages among stakeholders with shared values or interests from different social domains, created in order to dominate the policy issue. The study further investigated, on the basis of Bourdieu’s concepts of capital and habitus, what elicited different political strategies from key community leaders.