Our Leadership Team
The DFL Environmental Caucus is an official caucus of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party (DFL) We operate under a constitution approved by the DFL, which you can refer to here : DFL Environmental Caucus Constitution.
The Official Email Address of the Caucus is
The mailing address is :
Minnesota Environmental Caucus
P.O. Box 113
Savage, MN 55378
For More Information regarding the DFL Party please navigate to
Veda Kanitz, Chair
Veda is a Climate advocate with Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL), one of the founders of the DFL Environmental Caucus, lives in CD2, LFE, Sierra club, RHS science, Grandma. She lives in Lakeville.
Rich Updegrove, Vice Chair
Rich is a union member, teacher and father. He lives in Duluth.
Lawrence Sandoval, Treasurer
Lawrence is our diligent and careful treasurer, making sure we grow, watch and use our money as intended.
I grew up in south Minneapolis, on the east side of Lake Harriet, where I got a fantastic education - in the Minneapolis public schools, at Plymouth Congregational Church, at local politics events (my parents were active Republicans) and in the thriving music scene of the 1970s. I collected trash for the first earth day and marched against the Vietnam War. I went away to college in Portland Oregon, land of rivers (Columbia, Willamette and Sandy) and the Pacific Ocean. I wrote movie reviews for the student newspaper and studied history and sociology. I did not like the weather! I came back to Minneapolis, and went to work for the Minneapolis City Council and helped start the Southwest Voice newspaper, and went on to be editor at the Upper Midwest Council, last bastion of Minnesota's smart, liberal Republicans. I moved north to Cass County, worked as a reporter and freelance writer, discovered community radio and threw myself into KAXE in Grand Rapids. I was married, had two sons, and went to work for the Mississippi Headwaters Board, where I launched River Watch, wrote two guidebooks and produced several videos, and launched the Rivers Council of Minnesota. I was divorced, the kids were entering middle school, so I went to work for the state, first as the Red River Basin Planner, and then as a DNR regional planner. I have had two other positions at DNR - Continuous Improvement Coordinator and Supervisor for the St Louis River Estuary Area of Concern. I have been active in the DFL since 2006, and served as Chair of the Cass County Unit. I am now a member of the Itasca County DFL, where I am an large director. My Dad believed - and I think he was right - that we all need an even playing field. And, that playing field should be healthy and safe.
Brian Swancutt Secretary
Hi! My name is Brian Swancutt, and I'm currently a student at Minnesota State University, Mankato where I study social work and pre-law. In terms of secretarial experience, I have served as Secretary of the MSU, Mankato Residence Hall Association, and currently serve as the Secretary for Stonewall DFL as well. What got me interested in environmental activism was honestly a sense of self=preservation- I want to be able to have kids without feeling guilty that I am bringing them into a world that is ending. As Secretary of Stonewall DFL, I hope to keep ensuring we have accurate and consistent records that are transparent to our membership. Outside of my Secretary role, I hope to push caucus members and leaders to talk about the human toll bad environmental decisions have on communities, particularly Indigenous ones, all around our state.
Board Member Lorraine Rovig
I'm a Minnesota-Wisconsin woman, who moved back to MN after I retired. Currently I serve as past president on the Northfield Garden Club board, as a delegate to the Rice County Central Committee, as Precinct Chair of Ward 1 Precinct 2 in Northfield, am an active church member, longtime member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, member of the Metro Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind, active in Citizens Climate Lobby-Northfield, and I'm a gardener of things I can eat. I love my siblings, finding something new, nature walks, dark chocolate, slow cooking, and, quite often, have been accused of being a bookworm. I'm convinced now is the time for all good men and women to work on reducing Climate Change while fixing what's putting our democracy at risk.
Ann is a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College with a BA, and holds an MA from the University of Minnesota, Ann taught undergraduate courses in German prior to becoming a lawyer.
Ann is a graduate of William Mitchell College of Law, and since graduating, Ann has been a family lawyer representing people across Minnesota for two decades, whether in Court or in negotiations, resolving disputes with dignity.
Ann is a twice DFL-endorsed candidate in the Red-to-Blue program with the DFL. Ann believes that although the issue of climate change is the most important issue of our lives, too many people remain uninformed, including the incumbent she challenged who remains seated in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
Teaching classes and offering seminars throughout Minnesota on the issue of climate change, Ann continues to be a speaker in Community Education, high schools, and seeks to bring the curriculum to the college classroom.
Speaking about the beloved St. Louis River and its tributary the Cloquet River Kristin addresses the group at Jay Cooke State Park. Kristin is a Registered Occupational Therapist, lives in CD 8. Kristin has spent recent years working to improve the environment of NE MN and is former chair of SLC OU3 and current Vice Chair of SD 3 and serves on the DFL Platform Committee
Executive Committee Members
Philip Adam – CD3
Lawrence Baker - CD4
Megan Bond – CD8
Barbara Crow, Membership, Chair- CD8
Matthew Doll - CD4
Hallie Finnucane -
Cecily Harris -
Andy Hillebregt - CD6
Steve Johnson – CD4
Veda Kanitz, Caucus Chair - CD2
Greg Laden - CD3
Kristin Larsen - CD8
Ann Mozey - CD6
Jennifer McEwen- CD8
Molly MacGregor, Outreach -
Lorraine Rovig – CD2
Lawrence Sandoval, Treasurer - CD2
Wesley Sisson - CD8
Sandy Skinaway - CD8
Rich Updegrove, Vice Chair - CD8
John Wells, Legislative Chair - CD2