I wanted to take a moment to talk about how people outside City Hall can have a major impact on the policies that those of us on the Council enact. The best illustration of this that I've seen since taking office is the story of Ross Abbey.
Ross is a great, energetic, intelligent guy. He knocked on doors for me in both my 2001 and 2005 campaigns, the latter while in town for his summer vacation from law school. He's now an attorney at a respected downtown law firm.
He contacted my office in February or March with an idea: Minneapolis should follow the lead of other major American cities and launch a public campaign to convince residents to use renewable energy. His idea was that we would ask folks to sign up for the Xcel Energy program Windsource.
That idea has morphed and changed as the policymakers, the Citizens Environmental Advocacy Committee, and others have met, discussed, studied and weighed in. The end result: the Minneapolis Energy Challenge that is being launched this week. I'm hoping this is the first year of a public campaign that will go on for a long time, and get better and better at convincing Minneapolis residents to reduce our energy consumption.
Just goes to show that dedicated individuals with good ideas can have a great effect on public policy. Thanks Ross.