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 DFLEnvironmentalCaucus@gmail.com

 

The mailing address is : 

Minnesota Environmental Caucus 

P.O. Box 113

Savage, MN 55378

 

For More Information regarding the DFL Party please navigate to https://www.dfl.org/

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.

Molly MacGregor
Outreach Director

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. 

Kristin Larsen 
Communications Director

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

John Wells, Endorsement Committee Chair and Legislative Director

John with Veda at the State Fair.   John grew up on Alplaus Creek outside of Schenectady, New York with a fishing rod, a bow, and an old Canadian canoe. It was a dream world for a 12-year old kid. Ever since, I've been drawn to the out of doors and to fighting for our environment. I've worked on environmental issues all my professional life, serving as an environmental advocate in developing the first North Carolina and Minnesota state water plans. This included re-evaluating the use of channelization and calling for the preservation of natural and scenic rivers while at the N.C. Dept. of Natural and Economic Resources; calling for a new approach to local government involvement in water issues while at the Minnesota Water Planning Board; and coordinating development of a new state agency -- the Board of Water and Soil Resources -- in 1987 and the Ground Water Protection Act of 1989, while at the Environmental Quality Board. I became an inaugural member of the national Sustainable Water Resources Roundtable in 2001, becoming a co-chair in 2008. Trump abolished federal advisory committees in 2019 and we've established a successor non-federal group called the Sustainable and Resilient Resources Roundtable. On the political front, I've been a Democrat since my college days, volunteering for George McGovern's North Carolina campaign in 1972. I first attended a DFL precinct caucus in 2006 where I was elected chair. I became chair of my senate district in 2012 and served in that capacity through 2018

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.

Greg Laden, Education and Campaign Chair

Greg was born and raised in Albany, NY, educated in Boston, and lived in exotic places such as Zaire and Milwaukee before moving to the Twin Cities around the turn of the millennium. He is a biological anthropologist and science communicator, and is politically active in the 3rd district, though he has strong ties to Minneapolis. As a baby he was kissed by Nelson Rockefeller and has been running to the left ever since.

Steve Johnson, Board Member

Steve Johnson is a retired natural resources manager who worked on water resources (primarily rivers) for Minnesota and Wisconsin state governments and the National Park Service. He grew up in Appleton, MN, but also lived in Minneapolis and suburbs, Winona, and most recently (30 years) near Stillwater. His political experience started with giving out Stevenson-Kefauver buttons at the Swift County Fair in 1952 (at age 7). His primary interest remains water resources and water quality.

Megan Bond, Board Member & CD 7 & 8 Endorsement Co chair

 I am a lawyer in International Falls. I have a J.D.-M.A. in Public Policy and Leadership from the University of St. Thomas. I have worked in environmental advocacy since I was 16 years old in my home town of Las Vegas, NV when a population boom and poor appropriation of water allocation prompted agencies to take fast and drastic action during a major drought. My advocacy since then has concentrated primarily in water conservation, water quality, air quality, and public lands. I have a personal passion for water activities and National Parks. I hope that the Caucus can educate the public and vie for candidates and legislation that will protect our public lands and protect our waters as part of our fight in the climate crisis.

Hallie Finucane, Board Member

I am excited to be a member of the DFLEC Board! I am an attorney who is winding down a practice in patent and trademark law. My undergraduate degree is in Biology. A favorite time during college was spending a spring semester doing field biology at the U of MN Biological Station in Itasca State Park, and is certainly one experience shaping my passion for the environment. Even though I love to travel (during normal times), Itasca State Park is one of my most favorite places anywhere. As a Master Water Steward, I am very interested in water quality and protection. I am looking forward to working with the DFL Envionmental Caucus!

Ann Mozey, Board Member
Barb Crow Membership Chair

 Barb chairs Membership and can be reached at dflecmembershipchair@gmail.com   Barb is a Registered Nurse Anesthetist and active DFLer in NE Mn.   

Cecily Harris

I lived in three western states for 41 years before returning to Minnesota in fall 2018. While living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I was an elected Member of San Mateo County Democratic Central Committee for ten years serving as Chair, South Vice Chair, and Treasurer. I served as delegate to quarterly California Democratic Party Executive Board meetings for eight years and attended eleven CA State conventions. Now in Washington County, I am a Senate District 39 Director, State Central Committee Delegate, DFL Party Affairs and Coordinated Campaign Committee Member, DFL Environmental Caucus Co-Chair, Endorsements Committee Group A. I volunteer for We Can Change the World and various political campaigns.

 

My career was with conservation nonprofit organization and park agencies. My expertise was planning, policy, programs, promotion, and alternative funding. Currently, I serve on four nonprofit boards of directors, the Metropolitan Council Park and Open Space Commission and Parks and Trails Legacy Advisory Committee. Now semi-retired, I like to cross-country and telemark ski, sea kayak and paddleboard and hike. I enjoy traveling locally and internationally, dabbling in fiber arts and gardening.

Wesley Sisson Board Member

My name is Wesley Sisson. I have been a conservationist for a long time and have enjoyed nature since I was little. I worked in a number of organizations northeastern Minnesota that protect the environment, such as, Duluth for clean water, Minnesota public interest research group, sierra club, and more. I cannot wait to work with a group of people that are interested in vital and sustainable environment decisions. 

Matt Doll, Board Member

 Matt works at Minnesota Environmental Partnership where he is Operations Coordinator.

Philip Adam, Board Member

Phillip Adam is a engineer; a renewable energy and electric car enthusiast – license plate WND PWR. He has over 100,000 miles of EV experience. Phillip is a member of Northwest Metro Climate Action, Minnesota EV Owners Group, supporter of Fresh Energy, and a board member of his party’s Environmental Caucus.

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

Andy Hillebregt, Board Member

 Andy is a tax accounting expert and farmer, formerly Vice Chair of DFLEC he remains a hard working board member.  

Lawrence Baker, Board Member

I'm a nearly retired research professor at the University of Minnesota, where my research has blended my training ecology and engineering to study environmental problems, mainly human ecosystems, esp. water. Also a budding novelist, working on a historic novel set in the Puebloan "Basketmaker II/III" era, ca 500 AD.

Sandy Skinaway, Board Member

Copyright © 2018 DFL Environmental Caucus  255 Plato Blvd, St Paul, MN 55107. Veda Kanitz, Chair.

Prepared and paid for by DFL Environmental Caucus.

Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.