About Us

Mission Statement:
The mission of the Environmental Caucus shall be to educate and mobilize the citizens of Minnesota to work for the preservation and restoration of the natural environment while increasing participation in the DFL.

Vision Statement:
The vision of the Environmental Caucus is:

    1. 1. To educate the DFL party, the electorate, candidates for office, and elected representatives with regard to issues that impact the environment and threaten the health and safety of the biosphere at the local, state, national, and global level.


    1. 2. To foster active participation in the DFL party by citizens who are knowledgeable of environmental issues.


    1. 3. To determine and share the voting record and views of elected officials and candidates on environmental issues.


    1. 4. To support the DFL Party Platform and Action Agenda items related to energy, natural resources, and environmental issues.


    5. To mobilize the electorate to vote for DFL endorsed candidates who support party platform and action agenda items related to the environment.
      1. DFL Environmental Caucus Website


DFL Environmental Caucus Constitution


2018 DFL Environmental Caucus Endorsees for Congress are:

Rich Wright for Congress in Congressional District 1

“Rich Wright has a track record of working for people and the environment in southern Minnesota,” said caucus chair, Veda Kanitz. “He impressed us with his ideas for addressing climate, energy and transportation needs while creating jobs and securing family farms. Minnesota needs his great skills at negotiating and his deep understanding of the district in Washington. We wholeheartedly endorse him as the DFL Candidate for Congress in the First Congressional District.”

Wright expressed his appreciation to the caucus for its endorsement: “I’m delighted to receive the endorsement of the DFL Environmental Caucus. With their help, we will protect the environment we all love as we invest in the future of our communities, our families, and our farmers.”

Angie Craig for Congress in Congressional District 2

“We believe Angie Craig will be a strong, clear voice for the environment and the communities of the second congressional district,” said caucus chair, Veda Kanitz. “We therefore wholeheartedly endorse her as the DFL Candidate for Congress in the second congressional district.”

Kanitz highlighted Craig’s positions on climate change and water quality as important factors in the caucus decision. “Angie Craig understands that climate change is a threat to our environment and the health and safety of all Americans. But she also sees it as a great opportunity to create economic growth while reducing our nation’s reliance on fossil fuels through a carbon fee and dividend program. Her positions on water quality show the same knowledge, maturity and insights.”

Craig expressed her appreciation to the caucus for its endorsement: “I’m delighted to receive the endorsement of the DFL Environmental Caucus. With their help, we will give the people of the second district their voice back in Washington. I look forward to working with the caucus when I’m in Congress to make sure Minnesota is leading the way in the 21st century green economy.”

Dean Phillips for Congress in Congressional District 3

Dean Phillips will be a champion both for jobs and the environment. He understands that the two are not mutually exclusive. He has solid ideas for clean energy production, clean water, and a state’s right to respond to its own unique environmental threats — rights under assault by the Trump Administration and the current CD3 representative.

Phillips expressed his appreciation to the caucus for its endorsement: “I’m honored to receive the endorsement of the DFL Environmental Caucus. With their help, we will do everything in our power to ensure our planet is left in better shape than we found it, which means addressing the threats of global climate change, protecting our natural resources and investing in renewable energy.”

Betty McCollum for Congressional District 4

“Betty McCollum has a demonstrated record of leadership in the fight to protect the nation’s environment. More than ever, we need her strong voice for the environment and the communities of the district, state, and nation,” said caucus chair, Veda Kanitz. “We are delighted, therefore, to endorse Representative McCollum for another term representing the Fourth Congressional District in Congress.”

Kanitz highlighted McCollum’s positions on infrastructure and climate change to illustrate her leadership. “Betty McCollum is committed to working with both sides of the aisle to reinvest and rebuild our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. And as a nation, she understands that reducing the threat of climate change requires leaders who are willing to stand united as Americans first. She is that kind of leader.”

McCollum expressed her appreciation to the caucus for its endorsement: “The Republican agenda has been harsh, regressive, and destructive – to lives, communities, and our environment. Denying climate change is now federal policy and the environment – clean air, clean water, and protecting wildlife and wildlands – is under direct attack. I welcome the support of the Environmental Caucus as we fight to bring Minnesota’s sense of common environmental decency back to Washington.”

Ian Todd for Congressional District 6

“The Sixth Congressional District needs a change; a U.S. Representative that will work for the people of the Sixth Congressional District and our environment, said Environmental Caucus chair, Veda Kanitz. “We believe Ian Todd is that person.”

Kanitz cited Todd’s position on agriculture as an example of the kind of change the caucus supports and the district needs: “We can’t keep asking farmers to take all the risks to innovate for clean water in their practices,” Todd argues. “The federal government should provide protection on loss of profit for farmers willing to try innovative practices, and it should provide grants to farmers making the switch to better practices.”

Todd also calls for a course change for clean water at EPA: “The EPA has long been ineffective in protecting Minnesota waters, but rashly slashing their budget without thought to the consequences is shortsighted and our lakes and streams will be the losers. Instead, it’s time for the agency to work with Minnesota agencies to clean up our polluted waters.”

Todd expressed his appreciation to the caucus for its endorsement: “It’s time for a change in the Sixth Congressional District. The caucus endorsement will help us make that change for the people of my district. I look forward to working with the caucus and Sixth Congressional District Minnesotans, if I should have the privilege of serving them in Congress.”

The Environmental Caucus endorsement process involved several steps, including the evaluation of candidate positions on transportation, social justice, climate change, clean water, agriculture, mining, and citizen engagement.

DFL Environmental Caucus Legislative Endorsements for 2018

The DFL Environmental Caucus endorsed Jamie Mahlberg PhD for House District 25A

Jamie Mahlberg PhD for House District 25A, a psychology professor at Rochester Community and Technical College, has married into a conservation-minded small-farming family. With a strong bridge between the outskirts of Rochester and the surrounding rural communities, Jamie will be a phenomenal legislator for a “seat ripe for the taking,” currently held by Duane Quam of bike-lane registration and electric vehicle taxes notoriety. She spoke of the importance of local transportation initiatives to make communities more walkable for everyday activities, of the need to electrify our transit for local commutes, and how the increased weight of modern cars has deteriorated our roadways. She also suggested that local ordinances, such as the Winona ordinances passed to prevent frac-sand mining, might be a better way to tackle projects that may have high environmental impact.


The DFL Environmental Caucus endorsed Kristin Bahner for House District 34B
Kristin Bahner for House District 34B, an IT professional and Legislative Chair for the Women’s March, MN organization, spoke to her collaborative approach to problem solving and the need to prioritize small town economies over large-scale tax breaks such as the proposal to Amazon. We look forward to working with Kristin to better develop her understanding of the Caucus’ environmental priorities.

The DFL Environmental Caucus endorsed Kathryn Eckhardt for House District 35B

Kathryn Eckhardt for House District 35B, a public health scientist, spoke eloquently about centering communities that are the most impacted by pollution, finding means of remediation that don’t financially burden vulnerable populations, and the importance of education in moving advancing discourse for many environmental issues.

The DFL Environmental Caucus endorsed Shelly Christensen for House District 39B

Shelly Christensen a retired educator and member of the DFLEC Board, is a self-described nature-lover and joined the board to more fully participate and understand the priorities of the DFLEC, and how she might help protect the environment for future generations in her future role as a member of the House.

The DFL Environmental Caucus endorsed Hunter Cantrell for House District 56A

Hunter Cantrell for House District 56A, a young activist, cancer survivor, and biological/physiological sciences student, demonstrated a thorough understanding of DFLEC priorities. He spoke clearly on the burden of pollution on low-income communities; referenced local issues, such as the history of legislation preventing the Dan Patch rail line for transit expansion and water quality issues with the Minnesota River adjacent to the district; and also spoke of “citizen science” programs which can both expand citizen engagement in the protection of the environment as well as provide helpful monitoring data for state agencies. Beyond his political activities, he volunteers with hospice care and with underrepresented students to engage them with science in ISD 191.

The DFL Environmental Caucus endorsed Erin Maye Quade for Lt Governor

Representative Erin Maye Quade  continues to be a proud voice for social justice and the environment within the Minnesota Legislature, and we are honored that she again seeks our endorsement.

The DFL Environmental Caucus endorsed Maggie Williams for House District 58A

Maggie Williams for House District 58A, wants to make sure safeguards are in place to protect air, water, and land for future generations. Her history in environmental activism began at an early age, as a relative of one of the original Earth Day organizers, and living in Alaska during the Exxon Valdez oil spill, seeing first-hand the destruction and years of clean-up and restoration. Maggie recognizes the need for a culture shift for many environmental priorities, and identified local upcoming challenges from the rapid housing development replacing former farm fields in her district. Maggie has professional experience in performing FDA audits, and currently works in the field of addiction services, both of which require detailed analysis that will serve her well in the legislature.

The DFL Environmental Caucus supports Aisha Gomez for House District 62B

Aisha Gomez, a senior policy aide at the Women’s Environmental Institute, has dedicated her career to environmental science. She grew up in the Phillips Neighborhood, with little opportunity to travel beyond city limits. Walkable neighborhoods and easy access to the elements of a good life, including green space, were part of her priorities. She also spoke of a framework for layering interventions that will best protect the environment, and expressed excitement to incorporate environmental justice into rulemaking with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Aisha mentioned the precautionary principal in any decision making regarding pipelines and other projects, and that we should be “in a position to hold the line on the kind of future we want.”

Our Board

Our Board


Veda Kanitz of Lakeville – CD2, Chair

Andy Hillebregt of Ramsey – CD6, Vice Chair

Karl Forsberg of Eagan – CD2, Outreach Officer

Kristin Larsen of Pequaywan – CD8, Secretary

Lawrence Sandoval of Savage – CD2, Treasurer

John Wells of Eagan – CD2, Membership Chair

Executive Committee including :

Philip Adam of Plymouth – CD3

Lori Andresen of Duluth – CD8

Megan Bond – CD8

Shelly Christianson

Peggy Clark of Minneapolis – CD5

Barb Courneya – CD8

Heidi Edmonson of Eagan – CD2

Al Frechette – CD2

Paul Hoffinger of Eagan – CD2

Steve Johnson – CD4

Grace Kelly of St.Paul – CD4

Dawson Kimyon of Minneapolis – CD5

Greg Laden-

Marcus Mills of Minneapolis – CD5

Lorraine Rovig- Northfield – CD2

Sandy Sandoval of Savage – CD2

Zachary Wefel of Minneapolis – CD5

The Latest

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Get Involved

  • Veda Kanitz Chair : vmkanitz@gmail.com Contact Veda if you’d like to help out in general!
  • John Wells Membership Committee : jrwells2411@gmail.com
  • Outreach : Carl Forsberg karlfforsberg@gmail.com
  • Communications – Kristin Larsen If you are interested in helping with websites, WordPress, graphic design, moderating, content creation or photography write kristinl55803@gmail.com or call caucus contact info below:

Phone : (218) 262-9386