I don’t know how I first stumbled across streets.mn, but I have definite memories of losing hours and hours the first few days as I read article after article and jumped into the comments of new and old posts. And I gradually learned more about its reach and its community as I made new friends at our writers workshops or solidified friendships that began leaning against walls at city hall or leaving, exhausted, from public meetings on bike lanes. Somehow, always thirsty for more infrastructure conversation, for climate action, for strategic visioning of an equitable future, for meetings to do my mending, I ended up on the streets.mn board.
Every career test I’ve ever done is like “have you thought of being an urban planner?” while I’ve circled the field like a confused moth drawn to light. The confusion I feel isn’t about whether or not I swipe right for “infrastructure” and “land use”–obviously I do–but what my most effective role might be as our climate emergency becomes increasingly obvious and increasingly dire. For me, that includes serving on the board of streets.mn.
Climate breakdown is about the same things streets.mn is about: land use and transportation, the ways we live and move, what we grow and where, zoning, infrastructure, engineering, the geography of the living soil beneath our feet and the state of water in all its forms, Minnesota. Responding to our climate emergency is a task as big and hard for us to fully comprehend as the crisis itself; our success requires all of us, collectively, diving into conversations and creative solutions and immediate, robust action at every level, from individual on up, to collectively steer ourselves towards survival. And that’s basically streets.mn.
Our organization–the exchanges we have in each post, the adjacent conversations in the forums and on social media, the ways we come together in writers workshops (or climate workshops??!)–could be a small but potent piece of tackling everything that climate breakdown means to our state and our world. And guiding this organization, fostering and growing these conversations, is increasingly important as the urgency, immediacy, and scope of the change we need grows more obvious each day. Instead of screaming into your pillow or turning your head away, I invite you to consider applying for the streets.mn board.
The deadline is 8AM Monday, November 16th and you can find more information here. If you want a bit more of a sense of what you might be getting yourself into or who else you’ll be spending time working with, there’s a Meet-the-Board event on Thursday, November 14th, from 5-7PM at Venn Brewing in Minneapolis, conveniently located on the Blue Line and A Line (46th Street Station).