Council members & districts

Susan Vento

Metropolitan Council Member, District 11  |   See District 11 map and cities

Vento is a former school teacher who served as a field representative and program organizer with the Minnesota Education Association and Education Minnesota for nearly 30 years. She was a board member of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, the National Park Trust, the Friends of the Saint Paul Library, the Ramsey County Historical Society, and Neighborhood House. She serves on the board of directors for Friends of the Mississippi River.

Q&A

Meet your Council Member

Why did you apply to the Council?
The Walz-Flanagan administration’s One Minnesota motivated me to apply for a seat on the Met Council. Although I have lived in the east metro area for 35 years, I grew up, went to college and taught in greater Minnesota communities. Given the growing metro region’s complex network of roads, wastewater management and community development, I wanted to step up and do my part to be a voice for citizens in addressing these critical issues.

What are you most looking forward to during your service at the Council?
Building relationships is my primary focus, particularly with local and county leaders and staff as well as residents so I can better understand their issues and aspirations. Those relationships are especially important in effectively resolving challenging issues.

Within the Council’s work areas, what do you think is most on the minds of people in your district?
All of the Council’s primary work areas are important: transportation, water, parks, housing, and planning. Calling out just one is tough! Planning is the key to each of them. What we do today and tomorrow to anticipate and prepare for the future and to build healthier, stronger communities with a commitment to doing it thoughtfully and collaboratively will pay dividends long into the future.

What will be your priority focus area in 2019?
In 2019, community development and planning are my focus. The work the cities, townships and counties are doing is both important and visionary. As a new Council member, I am learning a lot from local visits as well as our committee and Council review of the 2040 local comprehensive plans.

What are the biggest changes you would you like to see in the Twin Cities region by 2040?
This is a big question! Deep in my heart, I’d like our region and the whole state to have a strong sense of connectedness and unity. Our regional successes ripple to other areas and vice versa. In order to attain that, we need to think less in the context of “us vs. them” and more with an emphasis on “we.”

More personally, what do you like to do when you’re not working?
Walking with my buddy, Murphy, an eight-year-old Maltese poodle, is the best part of each day! I also enjoy gardening, reading, movies, travel and entertaining.

Biography

Susan Vento lives in Maplewood and represents District 11, which includes the cities of Columbus, Centerville, Linwood and Lino Lakes in Anoka County; White Bear Lake, White Bear Township, Vadnais Heights, Gem Lake, Little Canada, North St. Paul and Maplewood in Ramsey County; and Hugo, Oakdale and Landfall in Washington County.

A former school teacher, Vento grew up in small Minnesota communities before landing in the east metro area in 1984. After teaching elementary school in Willmar, she served as a field representative and program organizer with the Minnesota Education Association and Education Minnesota for nearly 30 years.

She has a deep commitment to public service and helping improve the quality of life for all Minnesotans. Among many civic commitments, Vento was a board member of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, the National Park Trust, the Friends of the Saint Paul Library, the Ramsey County Historical Society, and Neighborhood House. She serves on the board of directors for Friends of the Mississippi River.

Vento has a strong interest in fair and affordable housing, equity, advocating for the homeless, the environment, and social justice.

“Strong communities in the metro region and throughout Minnesota are keys to a vibrant future for all Minnesotans,” Vento said. “The Met Council plays a crucial role in ensuring thoughtful, collaborative innovation for both this region and the state.

“I’m excited to bring to the Council my commitment to public service and my experience in education and nonprofits that focus on improving quality of life for all Minnesotans.”

Since the death of her husband, the late U.S. Rep. Bruce Vento, from mesothelioma in 2000, Vento has been a tireless advocate to ban asbestos and protect the rights of people whose lives have been affected by it.

As a cancer advocate, her work has included lobbying on state and federal legislative proposals to protect patients’ legal rights, working with unions and veterans’ groups, testifying before Congress, speaking at national conferences, and more.

Contact Information
390 Robert St. N.
Saint Paul, MN 55101
Phone: 612-360-3602

susan.vento@metc.state.mn.us

E-newsletter

Subscribe to updates

Previous Issues:

Appointed

Vento was appointed to the Metropolitan Council by Gov. Tim Walz in March 2019.