MEP’s Candidate Education Project: Why focus on jobs?

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By Kara Cook, Minnesota Environmental Partnership Communications Intern

Minnesota Environmental Partnership is currently in phase two of our Nonpartisan Candidate Outreach program, which Ryan introduced here. Our polling data from 2009 and 2010 shows that Minnesotans strongly support expanding solar and wind power, building more public transit, moving Minnesota toward clean energy through other initiatives.

We want to make sure all candidates understand Minnesotans’ support for these initiatives -– and how we’ll all benefit from investments in clean energy. Besides the meetings Ryan and other staff are conducting with candidates’ campaigns (which he will discuss in an upcoming post), we’ve created a website – – that features stories from real Minnesotans who work in clean energy jobs.

We are talking with workers in various professions from across the state, showing candidates (and the public!) that clean energy jobs are already benefiting residents and Minnesota’s economy. Several of these clean energy companies are in the midst of expanding, which proves there is a growing need for more clean energy policies in Minnesota.

When we use these real examples of Minnesota workers who you and I can relate to, it makes “clean energy” more than an environmental crusade: Clean energy companies can provide good jobs for our family and friends, while also moving Minnesota toward a more sustainable future. It’s sensible business.

We’re still in the process of gathering more stories, especially those about minorities and/or people located outside the Twin Cities. If you know of a good person to feature, send us a message. All suggestions welcome! We will keep posting about this project as election day draws closer.

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