Our Work

The Citizens League is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that empowers people to engage in civic life and public policy, to make Minnesota a better place to live and work for everyone.

Through our work:
• Minnesotans of all backgrounds, parties, and ideologies are engaged, inspired and empowered to take an active role in public policymaking, fueling Minnesota’s ability to implement innovative and effective policy solutions.
• The Citizens League is a relevant and respected policy resource and a trusted convener, focused on solving current and future problems, building civic capacity, and earning the ongoing support of our Minnesota community.

Since 1952, the Citizens League has been solving problems on a wide range of issues, including schools, taxes, transportation, health care, and water. An archive of our research, proposals, and studies are available in our Policy Report Library.

Below is a listing of our current and recent work.

Minnesota Capitol Pathways

With the long-term goal of making our government truly representative of our communities, our paid internship program places college students who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color with government, nonprofit, corporate, law and lobbying organizations that work at or around the State Capitol during the legislative session.

Reframing Caregiving

The Citizens League, with Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, Minnesota Design Center and University of Minnesota Institute of Community Integration, collaborated on the pressing issue of individuals who find themselves ‘sandwiched’ between caring for both elders and young children also known as Sandwich Caregiving.

Serving in Local Elected Office

Throughout the summer and fall of 2022, we sought out perspectives of those who have been asked to serve, those currently serving, and those running for local office in the Twin Cities Metro Area. Learn about what we heard.

Saint Paul Community-First Public Safety Commission

The Citizens League led a diverse 48-member group for five months tasked with re-envisioning emergency response in Saint Paul. The Commission submitted its recommendations to the Saint Paul City Council and Mayor Melvin Carter in May 2021.

Metro Transit Safety Conversation

In partnership with the Metropolitan Council and the Twin Cities Innovation Alliance, the Citizens League facilitated conversations and engagement surrounding regional transit safety – for customers, transit operators, business owners, employees, our neighbors near transit stops and stations, community leaders, and members of the broader regional community.

Backup Plan for Solos

The Citizens League has recognized health care decision making by and for solos — people who are aging with no children, spouse or partner — as an important public policy issue and a timely subject for study. To that end, in the fall of 2016, the Citizen League formed a partnership with the Minnesota Elder Justice Center to work on this issue.

St. Paul Minimum Wage Project

The Citizens League convened an independent study committee to answer key questions surrounding a minimum wage ordinance in the City of Saint Paul.  Their charge was to review previous scoping work, review other relevant research, agree on findings and conclusions from this effort, and finally, develop and put forward recommendations for a minimum wage ordinance to the City.

Census 2020

The Citizens League partnered with community-based organizations to convene panel discussions for and answer questions from community members representing traditionally undercounted communities.

Young Leaders’ Regional Vision Project

In 2019, the Citizens League undertook a collaborative project which envisioned what the Twin Cities region might look like in the future, if designed by today’s younger social, business, and thought leaders. 

Calling Home

In partnership with Twin Cities Public Television (TPT), we launched Calling Home to have discussions about aging and planning for live changes that everyone faces. A series of community conversations have been held in the metro and greater Minnesota.

Source Water Protection

Community members are critical to conversations surrounding the policies that directly affect their lives. The Citizens League partnered with the Environmental Initiative and the Minnesota Department of Health to convene residents throughout Minnesota to discuss the state of their drinking water. These conversations led to the following report from Environmental Initiative, which will guide the creation of a formal, statewide collaboration to protect drinking water in our state.