I Give to CURE…to Build Civic Leaders Across Rural Minnesota

My name is Erik Hatlestad and I’m a Clean Up the River Environment (CURE) sustaining member, and on staff as the Energy Program Associate.
I’ve always lived in Western Minnesota. I love it here. I love our communities and the landscapes that embrace us. Of all of the places in the world I could call home, I am so pleased it is here.

Rooted here, I see myself as an emerging local civic leader. I represent a new generation forced to consider the real opportunities and challenges that come with a changing climate, economy, and population.
It is my hope that the local leaders of my generation will face these challenges head on with fresh, bold ideas to build our region and foster real sustainability.

Authentic local action is one step toward addressing these daunting global problems. It follows that my personal and professional commitment to civic engagement in the public interest fueled my decision this year to run for city council in my hometown of New London, MN. Running for office was always part of my dream.  At 26, I was elected.

CURE shares my commitment to grassroots democracy and the public interest.  Since our first public call to clean up the Minnesota River, CURE has been building relationships and fostering public understanding on some of the most important issues facing rural Minnesotans.


It is CURE’s view that the environment and the public interest is best served by well-informed and democratically-involved citizens.  The business of building a vibrant, equitable society has never been an easy one.  If I’ve learned anything in my work, it’s that solutions are complex and progress toward them is slow.  No matter the results of the election, the work ahead and our commitment to accomplishing that work is more resolute than ever.

In a world of polarized politics our communities rely on CURE to hold a space for important conversations that push our region forward.

I know that my capacity as an emerging, rural leader has been expanded through interactions with and learning from the entire CURE community.

Will you join our network, your friends and neighbors, to support CURE’s work and continue building the next generation of civic leaders across Greater Minnesota.

Join me and become a sustaining donor today.  If you’re unable to commit to monthly contributions, any amount will support our ability to hold a space for meaningful conversations.

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Erik Hatlestad
Energy Program Associate