Working towards peace and sustainability

2021 Candidate Forums on Climate Concerns


In the past, our candidate forums have been in person. We hope that we'll be able to do this again soon.

While climate change is a global concern, much of what needs to be done to address it actually happens at the local level. We need climate conscious leaders at all levels of governance who can implement policies that effectively address the crisis we face. For that reason, even though Peaceworks does not endorse or oppose candidates for office, we do our best to educate our members and supporters as to where the candidates stand of critical climate matters.

April 6, 2021 is the date for our next municipal and school board elections across Missouri. Peaceworks once again, in collaboration with our climate allies, held forums with candidates for the Columbia Public Schools Board and the Columbia City Council focused on climate change and related issues. While we have members and supporters in many neighboring communities, we did not have the resources to reach out to candidates outside of CoMo.

Our allies in the Osage Group of Sierra Club, Renew Missouri, Citizens Climate Lobby of Columbia, CoMo Transit Justice, Sunrise Movement Columbia and Climate Leaders at Mizzou joined with Peaceworks in sponsoring this pair of forums, held on-line this year, via Zoom as well as Facebook live. We also recorded both events and are now able to share them here.

To access the Feb. 22 School Board forum please click HERE.

To access the Feb. 25 City Council forum please click HERE.

A few things to note: The candidates were provided the questions in advance so they could consider the issues and perhaps research those they were less familiar with.

All five School Board candidates participated. They are: Teresa Rouse Maledy, Lucas (Luke) Neal, Aron Saylor, Katherine Sasser and Jeanne Snodgrass. Teresa Maledy had a schedule conflict so she shared her responses in writing, and a volunteer read these for her.

There are six candidates running for City Council, three in Ward 2, and three in Ward 6. Four candidates, two in each ward, participated while the other two did not. We offered all candidates the option of having a surrogate present their responses or to put their responses in writing to be presented by a volunteer, but two chose not to participate. We’ll leave it to you to draw your own conclusions as to what this says about their climate concerns and positions. Or you can contact them to ask them their thoughts on these critical issues.

The Ward 2 candidates who participated are Bill Weitkemper and Andrea Waner. The Ward 2 candidate who did not participate is Jim Meyer. The Ward 6 candidates who participated are Betsy Peters and Philip Merriman. The Ward 6 candidate who did not participate is Randy Minchew.

We hope you’ll find this information helpful and encourage you to share it. We will also note that the deadline to register in time to vote on April 6 is Wednesday, March 10.

To access the Feb. 22 School Board forum please click HERE.

To access the Feb. 25 City Council forum please click HERE.