St Paul Climate Justice Advisory Board, December 2021 meeting Minutes 

December 9, 2021; 6pm-8pm MS Teams meeting Audio only: 612-315-7905; Conference ID: 999 671 592# 

Land Acknowledgement: The city of Saint Paul is located on traditional, ancestral, and contemporary lands of Indigenous Dakota people. CJAB is committed to ongoing efforts to recognize, support, and advocate for American Indian Nations and peoples. 

Board members present: 

  1. Adri Arquin * 

  1. Alice Wagner-Hemstad  

  1. Audel Shokohzadeh  

  2. Dominique Diaddigo-Cash  

  3. Janiece Watts *   ** 

  1. Kathleen Bacigalupi  

  1. Kristen Poppleton  

  1. Louis Offstein   

  2. May Yang-Lee  

  3. Melissa Wenzel *   ** 

  1. Nick Martin * 

  1. Patty Selly  

  1. Paul Barral  

  1. Robert M Blake 

* Executive Committee Member   

** Co-chair 

City staff: 

  • Russ Stark, Chief Resilience Officer 

  • Carlos Albornoz, Constituent Service Outreach Coordinator 


    6:00-6:10: Introductions, welcome members of the public  

    6:10-6:15: Review December 2021 meeting minutes, approve this month’s agenda 

    6:20-6:30 Saint Paul lead water pipe abatement 

  • Russ updated the board on the ongoing situation around lead water pipe replacement
  • Federal infrastructure bill included portion to replace residential lead water pipes. SPRWS is currently in the process of how to best use that money.
  • Part of discussion around best use includes deciding if they will replace it only to property line or if they will replace it all the way to home. The caveat being that if SPRWS pays for the entire replacement then they would be able to replace the pipes on less homes.
  • Between 20,000-25,000 buildings in Saint Paul have lead pipes

     6:30-7:10: Community Engagement & Annual Report Conversation

  • Annual Report Conversation
    • Janiece opened discussion on Community Engagement and different ways we can do this
    • Janiece and Russ announced that CJAB will be giving annual report to City Council on April 20th
    • Russ will present at same session on CARP progress
    • CJAB decided to create sub-committee made up of Kristen, Audel, Melissa and Dominque  to help create annual report and presentation
    • Kristen suggested that sub-committee goes back and reviews CJAB’s activities while directly comparing them to CARP and its goals.
    • Russ suggested board members reach out to their City Council members and introduce themselves/their relationship to CJAB
    • Kathleen asked if annual report should include CJAB’s plans for the future. Audel followed up seconding this idea and just including a short preview.
  • Community Engagement
    • Janiece opened discussion on Community Engagement and different ways we can do this
    • Adri followed up discussing the idea of inter-generational justice as related to climate justice. i.e. how younger people are going to be more heavily impacted by climate change.
    • Adri then followed up with the possibility of a joint event with the Saint Paul Youth commission.
    • May mentioned a March 5 youth conference focusing on youth issues.
    • Kristen voiced her support and highlighted the importance of reaching out to youth
    • Dominique spoke as to how young folks oftentimes are the important leaders that the climate justice movement needs.
    • Alice spoke as to how to best make sure that word gets out on the possible events, suggesting maybe we use social media. May echoed this.
    • Melissa also spoke about the possibility of social media but also the logistics of creating/running CJAB social media.
    • Kathleen suggested creating a climate justice youth panel that could speak to City Council directly

7:10-7:25 Minnesota Cities Climate Caucus and Saint Paul declaring climate emergency

  •   Russ opened the discussion by speaking to how Minnesota Cities Climate Caucus is attempting to get cities throughout the state to declare a climate emergency. This in turn lead to several city council members to supporting a resolution to declare a climate emergency in Saint Paul and in turn funnel more resource towards climate related issues. This resolution will be discussed/voted on at City Council’s next meeting.
  • Kristen asked for clarification on how to approach her city council member to voice her support for this resolution.
  • Dominique commented on resolution language not including anything about climate refugees.
  • 7:25-7:45 District council outreach and strategic planning offer

  • Melissa opened by mentioning that a district council reached out to her asking for CJAB to present to them and if the CJAB decides to do this how would logistics work
  • Janiece asked a clarifying question that is the ask was for the CJAB to present on what it is or what it is currently doing
    • Melissa said a little bit of both but mainly what is currently happening.
  • Russ commented that the annual report we are currently creating would in turn work to present to district councils.
  • Audel commented on possibly inviting district councils to CJAB’s annual report presentation to City Council
  • CJAB decided to plan something with this in the future.
  • Nick highlighted how time consuming external strategic planning could be. He followed up with the need for the CJAB to be able to identify upcoming issues and find ways to directly impact them.
  • Russ weighed in by how CJAB is only able to impact programs which are currently in the process and how finding that timing is difficult but there are possibilities such as upcoming lead pipe abatement and weatherization programs.
  • Kristen suggested that if we do go forward with strategic planning to do it outside of our regular monthly meeting and instead commit a longer period to doing that.
  • Melissa will follow up and let her know that the discussion is ongoing

7:45pm: Updates 

  • From the Executive Committee  

    •  Janiece notified sport that she is pregnant (Congrats Janiece that’s amazing!!!) and will be stepping down from her co-chair position after March meeting
    • Kristen who was co-chair in waiting will be stepping into that position
    • IRP Meetings occurring early February
  • From City Staff
    • Candidate has been identified to fill labor vacancy just waiting on vetting and council/mayor approval
    • Possibility of climate action dashboard website
  • From Board Members 

8pm Adjourn 

Last Edited: February 10, 2022