Climate is on your local ballot in 2023! What’s your voting plan?

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Election Day is Tuesday November 7, 2023, for many local government positions across Minnesota—six county seats, 96 school district positions, and 28 municipal seats to be exact! (Take a look at what will be on your ballot here.) These local, odd-year elections have a historically lower voter turnout but hold enormous importance in the decision-making that affects your daily life. We at Fresh Energy encourage everyone who can vote to engage in the democratic process.

Fresh Energy is a 501c3 nonprofit, meaning that the organization cannot and does not endorse or oppose candidates running for office. However, that doesn’t mean that we cannot engage in meaningful ways, like public education, to ensure that political and governmental structures are upheld for the good of our society—and we are committed to doing our part.

In Minnesota, voting started September 22 and runs through November 7. You can vote before Election Day at early voting locations, in–person or by mail. You can also vote at your polling location on Election Day. You can find official information on voting procedures and process at the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office.

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We know that every level of government needs to step up to meet our state’s climate goals, and we here in Minnesota are on a historic run of effective climate policy creation and implementation. We must hold governments accountable and continue this momentum.

Last year, the federal government passed legislation that will result in 1 billion metric tons of annual emissions reductions by 2030. This year, the Minnesota State Legislature passed landmark legislation establishing a 100% clean electricity law by 2040 and a State Competitiveness Fund to maximize federal climate funds—to name a few (read more)! They also went BIG on local government impacts.

Local governments can start tapping into these new climate opportunities now—and we all get a say in who holds the power to bring these investments to our backyards in an equitable, just, and powerful way. Dedicated transit funding, solar projects, cleaner and greener schools, local climate action grants, benchmarking for commercial buildings all need local government officials to seize the opportunity to take these policies to their greatest potential.

With that in mind, we voice our collective power at the ballot box. Take some time to make a plan to vote, and talk to your neighbors and loved ones about their voting plans. In 2021, voter turnout was around 25% in municipal elections, making these conversations between friends, family, and neighbors even more important to ensure that everyone who can vote – votes.

This year, commit to asking five people you know about their plan to vote, and share a vision for what we can accomplish when we cast our ballots. Every vote must count!

Vote on or by November 7, 2023, for the Minnesota General Election this year, and continue to use your voice for climate, clean energy, and justice