By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership
Minnesota Environmental Partnership is grateful to everyone who organized, participated in, and watched the Our New Environment Gubernatorial Forum on January 24. This event gave Minnesotans a chance to learn where candidates stand on critical environmental issues facing our state, including the air, land, water, and legacy funding.
Though major party candidates for Governor were invited, only the six leading DFL candidates participated in the forum. Over 250 Minnesotans attended the event in person, and thousands more participated remotely, watching online and proposing and voting for questions. Moderators Elizabeth Dunbar (Minnesota Public Radio) and Dave Orrick (St. Paul Pioneer Press) fielded questions both from policy experts and from members of the public. Questions ranged from candidates’ plans to address agricultural runoff – by far the state’s biggest source of water pollution – to the disproportionate impact of pollution on Minnesota’s people of color.
We appreciate the engagement of Minnesotans in the discussion via Pigeonhole – many important questions were submitted and asked via the website which helped to shape the debate. The night concluded with an informal audience poll, asking participants to pick the candidate who best reflected their environment and conservation priorities. Due to limited bandwidth and the potential for duplicate votes, however, the event’s partners and sponsors cannot endorse the results.
If you weren’t able to watch the forum live, you can watch a video of the event.
In less than two weeks, precinct caucuses for the major parties will begin around the state, and we’ll be sharing tips and strategies Minnesotans can use to help influence policy at the local, district, and state levels. Thank you for staying engaged on environmental issues, and keep it up in 2018!