Rachel Braaten

 For Mayor

Crystal, MN 2024

Slow Down on Infrastructure Projects


Collaborate, Encourage and Educate about Pro-Environment Actions

We're in the NEWS!

Rachel's Campaign Kick-Off Event was a success! Click here to watch the news reel! https://ccxmedia.org/news/rachel-braaten-launches-run-for-crystal-mayor-will-face-incumbent-jim-adams/

A Note From Rachel Braaten

I believe that individuals, businesses, and local governments can reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a fiscally conservative manner.  As Mayor of Crystal, I will be leading the city and encouraging and informing individuals and businesses to take these measures. Here’s how:

#1 Let’s recognize all the waste that is happening because of trash pick-up by 7 different trash companies in our city. These are costing us all a LOT of money. Those trash trucks are HARD on our roads and we could likely extend the lifespan of our roads and save money by having one company haul our trash. Let’s let them compete with bids, as we do for infrastructure projects! 

#2 Our compost is being picked up by our trash haulers who have to charge the same amount for trash and compost pick-up, even if people are not using the service. Let’s use Hennepin County pick-up for compost. Hennepin County can haul our compost for a small fraction of what it currently costs! Let me make sure I’m clear about this. EVERYONE SHOULD BE COMPOSTING! It can reduce your personal greenhouse gas emissions from food trash by 50% or more! But that doesn’t mean it should cost us an arm and a leg.

#3 For individuals and businesses who want to lower their carbon footprint, an energy audit is an excellent first step. For municipalities, there are also options that are free, but the process is different. For instance, the Center for Energy and Environment offers a “Community Energy Facilitator” which will sit in on meetings with an environmental commission and help advise and guide that group, which then goes on to advise the City Council and Mayor. Our city should be taking advantage of this opportunity! And as Mayor, I will make sure we have a working commission that can take this on.

#4 Grant programs are available to municipalities like ours for things like solar installation on buildings and other energy and efficiency upgrades. When Crystal City Hall installed solar panels, these were 90% paid for by a grant from Xcel Energy. We need to make use of these opportunities more often! Locally produced electricity reduces energy loss through power lines, strengthens the local energy grid, and taking advantage of grant money from organizations or governmental entities to pay for it is a very wise budgetary decision for our city.

#5 If you want to get solar panels on your house or invest in home efficiency upgrades, who do you call? I argue that the first step should be to contact city hall, but are those employees trained to guide you? There are grants, low-interest loans, AND rebates available for these kinds of projects. As Mayor of Crystal, I will look into ways to get staff trained about the resources that are available so you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg or spend tons of time figuring it out. 

Let’s dispel the myth that it is always cost prohibitive to make the right decisions for the climate. When I was in the Environmental Quality Commission, I wrote the proposal (with help from other members and staff) for the Volunteer Habitat Restoration Program, with budgetary constraints in mind. 2023 was the second year I ran that program, which essentially cost the city nothing (the cost of hauling away invasive species, and the cost of protective eye-wear). John Budzewczeski was able to acquire a donation of gloves from nearby Ace Hardware stores, and I provided the tools. Last year, I worked to win a grant from Hennepin County to fund that program and WON funding for tools, a consultant, and plants and seeds! This is the way to a fiscally conservative, and ecologically sound future.  


Rachel Braaten 

2024 Mayoral Candidate

Crystal, MN

I would really appreciate your vote. 

Primary: August 13th, 2024.

General election: November 5th, 2024. 

Endorsed by:

5th Congressional Green Party

Paid for by the Rachel for Mayor Campaign Committee, 3401 Zane Ave N, Crystal, MN 55422, (701) 491-2777