Contact Information

Contact Information

Emma Struss

Sustainability Commission Liaison
Title

Sustainability Commission

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Purpose

The Sustainability Commission advises the Bloomington City Council, Bloomington City staff, and the Bloomington community on policies, practices, procedures and proposals that relate to the sustainable use and management of environmental resources that include air, water, energy, land and ecological resources, and waste. The Commission helps to ensure that such resources will be sustained and continue to provide for a high quality of life for present and future generations.

Scope

The Commission is appointed by and advisory to the City Council. Its duties and responsibilities include the following: 

  • Collaborate with the City staff to review, evaluate, develop and advise the City Council on policies and practices regarding sustainability and management of environmental resources.
  • Engage with the Bloomington community and serve as a community liaison for issues, ideas and proposals while providing appropriate feedback.
  • Serve as a resource for other Bloomington commissions, boards, committees and task forces on any issues related to sustainability.

Sustainability Commission meetings are typically held on the third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. in the Public Works West Conference Room. To find their agendas, webcasts, and documents, please see the City Meetings website.

Rules of Procedure 

Members

The Sustainability Commission shall have no more than eleven members appointed by the City Council, with staggered terms of up to three years, and with an opportunity for appointment for a maximum of six years.

Of these eleven members, the majority shall be technical experts in one or more of the areas of sustainability as stated in the scope.  One seat shall be reserved for a City Council member. 

Of the remaining members, efforts should be made to select members so that the diverse interests of the Bloomington community are represented including geographic diversity, education, student or youth, residents, businesses, faith-based and nongovernment organizations.

2021 Roster

Adult Commissioners (8)

Commissioner Bio
Stephanie Auen Stephanie Auen has a degree in Electrical Engineering from North Dakota State University. She began her career working in solar energy at a Bloomington-based solar manufacturer. She later transitioned into the construction world where she now works exclusively on the planning and design of large-scale solar projects across the country. Through the Sustainability Commission, Stephanie aims to use her passion for environmentally-friendly living to help Bloomington be a leader in sustainable practices.
Rob Bouta Rob Bouta is an ecologist and environmental consultant with a background in wetlands, environmental assessment, permitting, wildlife, and restoration.  He joined the Sustainability Commission to help Bloomington adapt to climate change while sustaining natural open spaces that contribute quality to our lives. 
David Drummond Dave Drummond has a Ph.D. (Environmental Health) from the U of M School of Public Health. He performed the first campus-wide sustainability study for the UW-Madison including a facilities-based carbon footprint. He also served as their Director of Environment, Health and Safety. As a new member of the Commission, he is learning and participating in its activities and hopes to share his expertise where it will be helpful.
Paul Erdmann Paul Erdmann has a degree in Conservation and experience in water quality, environmental education, invasive species and ecological restoration. Paul joined the Sustainability Commission to advocate for natural resource conservation and to continue making Bloomington a great place to live for generations to come.
Steve Flagg Steve Flagg is Founder and Chair of Quality Bicycle Products right here in Bloomington. QBP has a gold LEED certified building with solar and provides tours of its buildings on a monthly basis to demonstrate the many environmentally and business initiatives. Steve joined the sustainability commission at its inception to promote and focus on sustainability in the business community but also sees the green potential for Bloomington overall. 
Tim Sandry Tim Sandry has spent most of his career as project manager, manger, executive in the Information Technology space — primarily working with others to get things done on time and on budget to meet the “clients”.  Tim utilizes those skills in his role as a Commissioner. In this case the client is the earth and its inhabitants (including us).
Sara Throndson Sara Throndson has an academic background in soils, biology, and environmental studies.  She has spent most of her professional career as an environmental consultant and project manager in the energy infrastructure industry specializing in biological field surveys and developing avoidance/mitigation plans for many rare species (especially bats)!  Sara joined the Sustainability Commission to share her experience and enthusiasm for the environment.  She looks forward to serving Bloomington residents to incorporate plans for management of environmental resources and clean energy.  
Deanna White Deanna White grew up in South Dakota. After earning a bachelor's degree in Political Science, she worked on political campaigns for several years before transitioning to the nonprofit world. Deanna spent eight years working for the Sierra Club and two years working with the Brandon Valley Area Chamber of Commerce before moving to the Twin Cities in 2008 to work for Clean Water Action, where she currently serves as State Director. After living in Sioux Falls, Las Vegas, and Washington DC, she has a broad perspective on community solutions to sustainability challenges. Deanna and her partner Rob share their Bloomington home with their two dogs and two cats.

Young Adult Commissioners (2)

Commissioner Bio
Maya Hidalgo Maya Hidalgo is a student at Jefferson High School. She is one of the leaders of JHS Earth Corps, the environmental club at Jefferson, and YEA! MN Network (Youth Environmental Activists of MN). Maya is passionate about taking action on issues that intersect with climate change, and she is excited to create climate justice solutions in her city. 
Xiaoxin (Yanyan) Zeng Yanyan Zeng is a student at Jefferson High School and the President of JHS Earth Corps, Jefferson's environmental club. She joined the Commission because of her passion for improving sustainability in her community and fighting climate change.

City Council Liaison (1)

Commissioner Bio
Councilmember Dwayne Lowman Dwayne Lowman was born and raised in Bloomington near Effa play lot. He and his wife Kellie enjoy camping up north and walking the parks and trials. Dwayne has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Urban Studies, concentrating in Public Administration and Community Economic Development from Augsburg University. When reflecting on why he joined the Sustainability Commission he said: “There are many reasons why I am committed to Bloomington's long term ecological, social, and economic resilience. Chief among those many reasons has to be those voices that are marginalized or drowned out by obstacles seen and unseen. I trust that I will have the humility to pass on a better Bloomington than what I have found.”

 

Staff liaison

The commission’s staff liaison is Emma Struss.