Athena Hollins grew up in Hawaii, the daughter of a small business owner and a social worker. She has a long history of student activism and, as a St. Thomas law student, held internships at the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights and the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights. She joined the Payne-Phalen Community Council and one year later was elected its president. Under her leadership, the council worked to increase its diversity and is now a majority minority board. She has ambitious plans to improve the day-to-day challenges facing St. Paul residents as well as a deep commitment to the environment.
Athena Hollins on the 100% clean energy bill:
“We only have a few short years to take significant action on fighting climate change and Minnesota has shown that wind and solar can be deployed at a scale that can dramatically cut our emissions. I was proud to see the House pass this bill last year and plan to be a vocal champion that fights alongside MN350 to help get it passed in the Senate as well.”
On a just transition to clean energy:
“Low income households and communities of color have been most impacted by the pollution at the core of our current economy, and I firmly believe they need to be the center of our efforts to transition to a clean economy. One of the best cases is in transportation. Governor Walz’s Clean Cars effort is necessary as part of an across the board climate action strategy, but it should only happen with a clear effort in place to clean up our public transportation system so that all users have access to clean transportation. And, as we clean up the transportation sector, it’s important to focus on the corridors like our interstates that have created pollution alleys through our entire region that people of color are now told to live in. Those just solutions exist in every sector from prioritizing multifamily and LiHEAP in building efficiency to pushing for community solar projects with dedicated space for low income residents.”