This past spring, we enacted sweeping environmental reforms that serve as a national model for pollution control and tackling climate change. Minneapolis now requires polluters to pay fees based on the amount of pollution they produce. We fought for and won this progressive victory because we know that air pollution is a climate issue, but also an equity issue—the people most hurt by climate change and toxic pollutants like VOCs are also people of color. And by rewarding businesses that voluntarily move to cut their emissions, we showed that the choice between environmental justice and thriving small businesses is a false one.
But as proud as I am of these green victories, we cannot be content to rest on our laurels. Minneapolis needs to further support and foster clean energy projects like community solar gardens. We need to incentivize developers to build energy efficient projects that harness renewable energy. And we need to continue the fight to shutdown Northern Metals once and for all, because a great city cannot rise when some of its citizens are denied their right to clean air. With a Donald Trump presidency, it is more important than ever that Minneapolis takes the lead on environmental issues, not resting until it is the greenest city in America.