What will Minneapolis' energy future look like in the next few years?

Community Power continued a city-wide discussion on local energy issues during the 2021 city council & mayoral elections and the 2023 city council elections. This built upon on our 2013 Minneapolis Energy Options campaign, our 2017 candidate forums + questionnaires, and all the work in between.

Through a set of prepared and audience questions (submitted before or during), we asked candidates for City Council and Mayor to share their visions and perspectives how to meet Minneapolis’ local clean energy and climate goals in ways that also benefit key priorities of the city such as housing affordability, renter’s rights, economic, racial & environmental justice, and workforce development for clean energy jobs.

In each of these years prior to these forums, Community Power invited every single candidate to meet with us to share our stories so that all had the same basic lay of the land and history of local energy democracy issues. We held gatherings with a wide majority of candidates and our Q & A forums in multiple Wards that followed have served as a way to further elevate and share knowledge on these key issues. 

As candidates have now turned into elected officials - we encourage you read on to see their returned questionnaires, and to watch video footage from the Q & A forums in which current elected officials participated when running for office. These both provided an important opportunity for Minneapolis residents to hear their city council and mayoral candidates’ plans on energy choice, affordability, and access. You can also see a questionnaire archive and video archive from responses and forums from ALL candidates not just those who were elected. In addition, we have our 2023 candidates page still intact. 

Incoming and Sitting Minneapolis City Council Members & Mayor

on Energy & Equity


WARD 1: Elliott Payne

WARD 2: Robin Wonsley

  • Read CM Wonsley's submitted questionnaire from 2021
  • Read CM Wonsley's submitted questionnaire from 2023
  • Watch CM Wonsley in our 2021 Candidate forum 
  • No forum was held in 2023 due to lack of multiple candidates

WARD 3: Michael Rainville

WARD 4: Latrisha Vetaw


WARD 5: Jeremiah Ellison

  • Watch CM Ellison in our 2021 Candidate forum
  • Watch CM Ellison answer some environmental questions at a 2023 forum starting at the 43:45 mark. 

WARD 6: Jamal Osman

  • Watch CM Osman at our 2023 Candidate forum
  • Watch CM Osman respond to the Community Power question on Funding Citywide Climate Action at the 2023 LWV forum.
  • Read CM Osman's answer to on climate in a Star Tribune Voter Guide from 2021. 

WARD 7: Katie Cashman 



WARD 8: Andrea Jenkins


WARD 9: Jason Chavez

 WARD 10: Aisha Chughtai

WARD 11: Emily Koski

  WARD 12: Aurin Chowdhury (took office Nov 21, 2023)

  • Read CM Chowdhury's submitted 2023 questionnaire 
  • Watch CM Chowdhury at the April 19th, 2023 Community Power forum 
  • Watch CM Chowdhury respond to the Community Power question on Funding Citywide Climate Action at the 2023 LWV forum.


WARD 13: Linea Palmisano


MAYOR: Jacob Frey

  • Mayor Frey did not participate in our 2021 Mayoral Candidate Forum, or submit a questionnaire, though he did participate in a forum hosted by the MN DFL, in which he answered a question submitted by Community Power. You can see his response starting at the 51 min 53 second mark here
  • Read Jacob Frey's submitted questionnaire from 2017, when he was running as a challenger to the Mayor seat 
  • Watch Jacob Frey in our 2017 Mayoral Candidate forum, when he was running as a challenger to the Mayor seat



In addition to partnering with the League of Women Voters for their 2023 candidate forums from late August though October (more info here), Community Power and Partners (including MN 350, Unidos MN, Minneapolis Climate Action and the MN Environmental Justice Table) organized the following Q & A forums: 

The questions asked by our moderator, other than ones submitted by audience members, were shared with candidates ahead of time.  


In 2021 Community Power and Partners (Twin Cities Youth for Climate Justice collective, Minneapolis Climate Action, Friends of the Mississippi River, MN Interfaith Power and Light) hosted the following forums, listed chronological order:

  • May 5th, Ward 10 
  • May 19th,  Ward 9   
  • May 20th,  Ward 11 
  • June 16th,  Ward 2   
  • June 21st,  Ward 4   
  • July 21st,  Ward 1
  • July 26th,  Ward 3
  • September 14th, Minneapolis Mayor 
  • September 18th, Ward 5 
  • September 21st, Ward 7 

All of our 2021 forums took place on Zoom. 

Following the formal Q & A, we switched over to a different Zoom meeting for informal post-forum conversations with candidates and audience members in virtual breakout rooms. The beginning of each of each forum in all years had a guest appearance from FairVote Minnesota, which is a national leader in the movement for Ranked Choice Voting. Ranked choice voting is a simple but powerful change to the way we vote that gives voters more choice and more power.


For our 2021 Mayoral Candidate forum we had a wonderfully diverse array of additional co-hosting organizations

  • MN BIPOC Environmental Justice Table,
  • Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate
  • Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy.



Interested in reading the previous sitting council + mayor's answers from 2018-2021? Check them out here

Saint Paul

We also have to acknowledge the work that Saint Paul 350 accomplished with holding online candidate forums in all 4 of the open city council races in 2023. SP 350 covers similar topics to that Community Power focuses on. In 2023, the League of Women Voter also held Q & A forums in all Saint Paul City Council races which you could also watch by clicking on the links below: