A Minneapolis City Council will vote on Dec. 2nd to declare a "climate emergency" but are they investing enough in the solution?
We need your help to make sure the city adequately funds
the emergency response to climate change
Investment Pays Off...
Two years ago, the city council voted to raise the franchise fee on electric and gas utility bills to fund equitable climate work. For example, the city's Green Cost Share program has leveraged $28 million in private spending to reduce energy bills of Minneapolis residents and businesses by a projected $40 million. That's a 10:1 savings compared to the less than $4 million in city funds spent over the past several years.
...So Why Back Off in the Face of an Emergency?
The 2020 budget proposes cutting its climate mitigation budget by nearly 20 percent, close to $600,000, by shifting pre-2017 money for the Sustainability Office and other clean energy initiatives into the bucket funded by the franchise fee increase. It cuts funds for climate innovation by using them to pay for things the city was already funding. The funding going toward climate work currently is a drop in the bucket compared to the climate crisis we face and the scale of investment needed to shelter communities in the city from the worst harms ahead, and do so with equity at the center.
A Climate Emergency Requires an Emergency Response––to Increase Funding to Fight Climate Change
Please ask your city council member to propose increasing the climate budget to meet the emergency, by raising the funds to be designated by the Energy Vision Advisory Committee and the Sustainability Office by $1 million. Members of the Energy Vision Advisory Committee are recommending the city use these funds to boost the Green Cost Share program, test innovative energy efficiency programs that make it easy for low-income folks to cut energy bills (called inclusive financing), and build the clean energy workforce the city needs to face the climate challenge.
We need your help to make sure Minneapolis stays in the climate fight!
What you can do:
Call your city council member and submit a comment to the budget process. Doing this early is more impactful, and showing up to the budget hearings on Dec 4 or 11 (especially the 4th; both 6-8pm at City Council chambers, best to get there/sign up early) would also be a great help. Please share this if you can with other folks who might be concerned about this as well!
You can find your ward and CM's phone # here: http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/council/maps/about_maps_ward-finder
And you can submit written comments (seen by full council) here – good to do additionally if you have a second: http://www.minneapolismn.gov/budget/budget-comments
Other budget issues going on that people are turning out for to consider supporting:
-- Reclaim The Block - community safety and funding for community needs and
-- Trans equity position: https://www.facebook.com/events/749686772124993/
-- South Minneapolis Public Safety Coalition – community safety and livability: https://www.ppna.org/smpsc
Hi, my name is ---- and I’m a constituent in the --- neighborhood.
I wanted to ask Councilmember --- to restore full funding to the sustainability and climate work to fulfill the city’s commitment to climate action work that saves Minneapolis residents and businesses money and energy. I’ve recently become aware that there is $600,000 missing from this budget for 2020. In times of a climate emergency, we need this money restored and another million for funding a real inclusive financing program, workforce development priorities and the Green Cost Share program.
I also ask that the city be more transparent with its budget in general and that you take the work of EVAC and other commissions seriously by centering co-creation, not commentary after the fact.
I also wanted to take this opportunity to say that I support the asks of Reclaim the Block, the South Minneapolis Public Safety Coalition, and the ask for the Trans Equity position ( ---- or add in others that you care about).
Thanks so much for your time.
With gratitude and solidarity,