Michigan LCV challenges presidential candidates to elevate drinking water, climate action as central planks in election
New campaign to raise awareness with campaigns, media, donors and elected officials; poll highlights protecting our drinking water as defining issue
LANSING – The League of Conservation Voters today announced the Michigan launch of a multi-state $3.1 million campaign to press 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to make protecting our drinking water from toxic contamination and addressing the climate crisis central planks in their pitch to citizens.
“We are sending a clear message to all these presidential candidates that if they are coming to Michigan, they need to talk about how they’re going to ensure safe, clean drinking water in the face of growing toxic contamination and threats from the climate crisis,” said Lisa Wozniak, executive director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. “This should be Number One for any candidate seeking the support of people in a state surrounded by 90% of the nation’s fresh surface water. Michiganders are frustrated, and they want to hear how candidates for president will clean up and defend our water and stop the planet from burning.”
The Protect Our Water – Change The Climate campaign by Michigan LCV will blend direct outreach and education with candidates and their campaign staff in Michigan alongside similar briefings with the media covering the election, columnists and opinion leaders. Protect Our Water – Change The Climate additionally will do sit downs and webinars with key Democratic donors in the state, elected officials at all levels, and political influencers and consultants.
The League of Conservation Voters is running similar campaigns in New Hampshire, Nevada, Wisconsin and Colorado. Michigan LCV will use results from its newly-released poll of likely Democratic primary voters in the state that emphasizes the need for candidates coming to Michigan to speak directly to their plans for protecting the state’s drinking water and freshwater resources amidst the increasing threats posed by toxins and the climate crisis.
According to the poll:
- 95% of primary voters say it is important that any candidate seeking their vote have a clear plan for protecting our drinking water from toxic contamination. Among those voters, 65% say it is essential. That issue widely out-performs other traditional Democratic progressive value sets like a woman’s right to choose; passing stronger gun laws; achieving universal health care coverage; and raising wages and incomes for working families
- In a separate, follow-up question, voters were asked to pick the “two or three most important” issues candidates should be addressing from that same list — #1 at 47%: “Protecting Michigan’s drinking water and the Great Lakes from toxic contamination” followed by #2 “achieving universal health care coverage” (46%); and then #3 “addressing the climate change crisis and moving the United States to 100% clean energy”
- 97% of voters support setting tougher standards for toxic PFAS chemicals in our water and forcing the military to clean up contamination seeping off bases across the state. A whopping 73% say they strongly support those actions.
- A full third (32%) of voters say they “will only vote for a candidate who supports full funding to protect the Great Lakes from threats like oil spills, plastic microbeads and Asian carp; another 65% say they are “more likely” to support such a candidate.
“Michigan voters are not just demanding, they are expecting, our elected leaders to come together and meet the immense challenges to our Great Lakes and drinking water head-on. We have a responsibility to future generations to clean up, protect and defend our water and air,” Wozniak said.