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The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Saura Jost: A Climate Champion for St. Paul City Council

Members of Sunrise Macalester table with City Council Candidate Saura Jost and team.

This Tuesday, Nov. 7, residents of St. Paul will head to the polls to elect members for every seat on the St. Paul City Council. That includes Ward 3, the neighborhood where most Macalester students live, which has an especially exciting race for a seat held by the incumbent since 2012. With many new candidates vying for a spot on the Council, and with every seat contested, the results of this election have the opportunity to shake up the status quo and provide new visions for the future of St. Paul.

As Sunrise Macalester, our chapter of the national youth-led climate movement, we want climate action to be a top priority of the incoming City Council. That is why last spring, we endorsed city council candidates across St. Paul who demonstrated steadfast commitment to climate, racial, and economic justice. In Ward 3, Sunrise proudly endorsed Saura Jost — an engineer and community leader who will move St. Paul towards climate action and resiliency if elected.

We are in a time of significant climatic upheaval. As global citizens, we know that now is the time to act on the climate crisis. While the climate crisis’s impacts are global, an enormous amount of climate action occurs on the local level. As centers of population, large cities like St. Paul are impacted heavily by climate change. At the same time, cities are responsible for 75% of greenhouse gas emissions. While our federal government drags its feet, cities are the epicenter for innovative climate action and the place where our voices can have the strongest impact. 


St. Paul Can be a Climate Leader 

In the fight against the climate crisis, St. Paul is well-positioned to make a strong, local impact. This spring, Minnesota passed legislation that will require 100% of electricity in the state to come from carbon-free sources by 2040. This ambitious commitment will require collaboration across local governments–including the St. Paul City Council — to achieve. It is a catalyst for a faster-paced clean energy transition in Minnesota and an opportunity to utilize time-sensitive climate funding to minimize the cost burden.

Additionally, the St. Paul City Council is currently updating the Climate Action and Resilience Plan, the city’s main climate action plan originally released in 2019. The new City Council will play an important role in determining what is included in that updated plan. We need to elect candidates to the City Council who can bring this plan to its full potential.


Saura is Ward 3’s Climate Candidate

As a civil engineer and community leader, Saura Jost is the only candidate with the expertise and drive to ensure St. Paul takes bold action on climate. In Saint Paul, our roads, housing, public transportation systems and other infrastructure are intimately connected to climate, economic and racial justice. Her policy proposals demonstrate deep recognition of these links: ensuring access to affordable housing through increasing housing density and properly implementing St. Paul’s rent stabilization ordinance allows people to live closer to work, cutting down on pollution and carbon emissions from lengthy commutes. Retrofitting our homes to be more energy efficient and tightening sustainable building standards reduces our carbon footprint, while helping cost-burdened families save on energy bills.

Saura Jost also shares Sunrise’s commitment to building a people-centered, multiracial democracy. She has organized for many progressive campaigns, including local school board races and the Keep St. Paul Home campaign for rent stabilization. In our neighborhood, she served on the Mac-Groveland Community Council for four years, working towards housing affordability and racial equity on the Council’s Housing and Land Use Committee and Inclusivity Task Force. 

Saura Jost is a professor at the University of Minnesota and has childhood roots in the Mac-Groveland neighborhood. Her background is reflected through her investment into our community and her eagerness to work with college students. We have collaborated with her since our endorsement — writing climate content for her website, tabling on campus and door knocking for the campaign.


The Macalester Vote in This Election

With over 2,000 students and the highest-in-the-country voter turnout rates in recent years, Macalester has a significant voice in Ward 3. Maintaining our voice is important to ensuring students’ needs are heard by elected leaders. However, outside money is trying to shape the race in Ward 3. A special interest group advocating for traditional policing policies and the repeal of rent stabilization, which St. Paul residents voted to adopt in 2021, has already spent over $100,000 supporting another candidate in this race. We refuse to let these big funders dictate the politics of our neighborhood. As a diverse group of young people, students, renters, and St. Paul residents, we can use our collective voice to demand more from our elected officials and enact change in our city. 

For a better city and a better future, let’s choose the climate champion for Ward 3. 

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