I am Cordelia Pierson
—an experienced environmental lawyer and community advocate. I have dedicated the last twenty years to improving our community, from advocating for clean water and the Mississippi riverfront to neighborhood vitality. Drawn by the University, job opportunities and quality of life, my family moved to Minnesota 26 years ago, and we have chosen to raise our children here in Minneapolis.
I currently serve as Executive Director for the Minnesota Environmental Fund, where I make it easy for people in both private and public jobs to support clean water and a healthy environment. Before this, I launched the Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership, serving as Executive Director for three years, and improved riverfront connections in Northeast, North and St. Anthony Falls area neighborhoods. Since 2011, I have represented Mississippi river communities in the metro area on the state’s Mississippi River Parkway Commission.
I am a strong believer in the power of people creating vibrant communities through neighborhood associations. I served as President of Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association from 2013 – 2014, continuing as Board Member now. Through this volunteer leadership and my work, I have built relationships with elected officials and pursued policy, legal, and financial solutions to improve quality of life.
I am inspired by and indebted to the people before me who saw suffering and acted against it. My grandfather, an OBGYN doctor in the 1920s, treated women who were hurt by poor access to health care, worked to find solutions, and served as the first chairman of what is now Planned Parenthood. From him, I learned about using talent to reduce suffering, even when defending others was unpopular or illegal.
For thirteen years at the Trust for Public Land (TPL), I created parks and protected land for people. I developed and implemented the Parks for People Twin Cities program, launched the Neighborhood Park Access program, supported people voting “yes” for clean water and natural areas, helped protect natural areas and parks near where people live, and advocated for a healthy environment with local, regional, state and federal decision-makers.
Since graduating from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1993, I have worked and volunteered in the environmental sector. I returned to the U of M as a Humphrey Public Policy Fellow in 2014, collaborating on a project to realize health equity.
I have shown the ability to listen and collaborate; I have built the relationships and experience to practice co-governance. I am prepared to serve our ward and shape a creative, vibrant city where all can thrive.