Energy Democracy in the Midwest: From Minneapolis to Chicago

Around the country, environmental activists are working to bring democracy to their cities’ energy systems. These campaigns are using the power of everyday people to put everyday people in charge of their power. On July 29th, we’ll hear about two such campaigns here in the Midwest.

In Minneapolis, climate action activists won a victory in October 2014 by forming Minneapolis Clean Energy Partnership. As the nation’s first clean energy partnership, MCEP gives the city direct decision-making power in its relationship with their monopoly energy utilities. Timothy Den-Herder Thomas will discuss the organizing that brought about this victory to secure community control over the city’s energy utilities.

Here in Chicago, organizers are beginning a campaign to bring democracy to our energy distributor, Commonwealth Edison. This campaign, which coincides with ComEd’s first contract negotiation in 30 years, is working to bring an elected utility board, aggressive renewable energy, progressive rates, and green, union jobs to maintain infrastructure. We’ll hear about the last contract negotiation with ComEd in the 1990s, and how we can fight for a greener, more democratic future.

Timothy DenHerder-Thomas
Organizer, Community Power, Minneapolis

Sveta Stoytcheva
Political education chair, Democratize ComEd Campaign, Chicago DSA

Sean Estelle, DSA National Political Committee member

moderated by Sarah Hurd

Recorded at 33rd Ward Working Families on July 29, 2019.