by Cory Hertog, Clean Energy Intern
Feel like your voice isn’t heard in this grand project we call democracy? I hear ya. But, there is a way for the individual to get their voice out there and push our political parties to support the right environmental initiatives. On February 4th, at 7 pm, Minnesota’s major political parties will be holding their precinct caucuses. This is where it all starts, resolutions and initiatives are proposed that determine what issues the political parties will support in the upcoming years. All it takes is one person to propose a resolution, and it will get voted on by the attendees of the caucus. The Sierra Club needs individuals who are willing to propose environmental resolutions at their precinct caucus.
The Sierra Club North Star Chapter has developed four resolutions that we want to see proposed at Minnesota precinct caucuses around the state. With enough support from the enough precinct caucuses, these resolutions will ensure the environment and our health is at the forefront of the political agenda for Minnesota. The resolutions the Sierra Club developed propose more clean energy, sulfide-ore mining restrictions, restrictions on burning garbage for energy, and transportation system improvement:
The Moving Beyond Coal to Clean Energy Resolution pushes Minnesota to develop renewable energy and become more energy efficient. Specific proposals in the resolution include securing at least 50% of Minnesota’s electricity from renewables by 2030, recruiting more clean energy jobs and businesses to Minnesota, and planning a transition from Minnesota’s dirty coal-fired power plants to cleaner energy by 2030.
The Sulfide-Ore Mining Resolution proposes not allowing sulfide ore mining in the Duluth complex near the Boundary Waters and Lake Superior to prevent water pollution and future taxpayer liabilities.
The Resolution for Job Creating Zero Waste Policies Rather than Health Damaging Garbage Incineration supports a cleaner way of dealing with our garbage instead of burning it for dirty energy at garbage incinerators. Specific proposals inside the resolution include a moratorium on any new garbage incinerators and pushing facilities to compost and recycle more while burning less to decrease the air pollution and dirty emissions produced by incinerators.
The Transportation Options Resolution addresses the need for Minnesota’s transportation system to be updated with a more multimodal plan to make it more accessible to all users, whether people are walking, biking, using public transit, or driving. This resolution not only supports a safer and cleaner transportation system, but also supports Minnesota’s economic competitiveness and a better quality of life.
It takes individuals showing up at caucuses and proposing these resolutions to push our political parties and government in the right direction. Are you interested in proposing a resolution at your precinct caucus? The Sierra Club will have trainings and other support on the caucus steps, from beginning to end, to ensure individuals are confident about the processes and resolutions they are proposing. RSVP to propose a resolution at you precinct caucus. This your chance to be a champion for Minnesota’s environment and health.