Dear Michigan LCV Family,
Welcome to the February 23, 2023 edition of Three Things Thursday! This week our topics include: how Michigan LCV is celebrating Black History, a look at a Michigan LCV board member who is truly living the mission, and Oscoda’s ongoing battle with “your mess is now our mess”. Let’s jump in!
1. Michigan LCV Celebrates Black History
I invite you to join us tomorrow, Friday, February 24, at 5 p.m. for Michigan LCV Celebrates Black History: Resistance Through Accessibility, Collaboration, and Legislative Power – an event to honor Black History Month, Black leaders in Michigan and –notably! – the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus!
The inspiration for Friday’s event came from our amazing Partnerships Team, which includes Shannon Rochon, who serves as Michigan LCV Partnerships Director, and Roslyn Ogburn, our Partnerships Coordinator. Both Shannon and Ros have been working diligently over the past few weeks to organize this event, reaching out to Michigan LCV allies, friends, and supporters, as well as a bevy of State and local elected officials.
With a performance by April Okpwae, a renowned playwright, composer, lyricist and community organizer who is based in Detroit, this is an event you don’t want to miss! I’ll be there and hope you will, too. You can RSVP for the event here!
I am deeply grateful to Shannon and Ros for their leadership.
2. Living the Mission: Marseille Allen
At Michigan LCV, we are extremely lucky to have a board of directors made up of amazing individuals from a variety of backgrounds who are dedicated to protecting Michigan’s land, air, and water, tackling the climate crisis, and protecting human health and our democracy. One of these incredible individuals is Marseille Allen, who is featured in our latest storytelling video!
WATCH: Living the Mission: Marseille Allen – Flint Water Crisis, Future Generations, & Making an Impact>>>
Marseille is a trusted political strategist known for her dedication to grassroots initiatives. She is – among many things – the co-founder of The Warriors Trust Fund, a nonprofit established to assist combat veterans under active felony supervision in the criminal justice system. As a Michigan LCV board member, Marseille brings invaluable knowledge, perspective and experience to the table and has been instrumental in the organization’s growth since she joined the board in 2021.
In our latest video, Marseille discusses her first-hand experience with the Flint Water Crisis and her work to create the WaterForFlintWFF GoFundMe campaign. The campaign, launched in the early days of the crisis, helped raise more than $60,000 in donations from around the globe, deliver more than 300,000 bottles of water, filters, and other essential supplies to Flint residents, and garnered national and international recognition.
I encourage everyone to watch the video and listen to Marseille’s story. I am thankful that Marseille is a member of the Michigan LCV family and helping guide us in our work.
As always, a big thanks to Michigan LCV’s extremely talented Visual Storytelling Manager Samantha Schubert for producing this amazing video. Sam’s creativity, vision and expertise have been instrumental in sharing our work with larger audiences.
3. Rallying for action on PFAS contamination in Oscoda
As you know, toxic PFAS contamination continues to be a growing problem in communities across Michigan and the country. Through our work with the Great Lakes PFAS Action Network (GLPAN), Need Our Water Oscoda, and other PFAS activists from around the region, addressing the PFAS crisis has become a top priority for Michigan LCV.
Last week, our team was proud to support the Oscoda-based organization known as Need Our Water (NOW) and other Oscoda residents when they held a rally and press conference to demand action from the Air Force.
Cathy Wusterbarth, a co-founder of NOW and GLPAN member, speaking at last week’s press conference.
Held in advance of the Wurtsmith Restoration Advisory Board meeting, which included representatives of the U.S. Air Force, the rally and press conference focused on much-needed action to clean up PFAS contamination hot spots at the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base.
Technical experts from NOW have identified four zones with dangerously high PFAS contamination levels that pose imminent and substantial threats to human health and the environment. NOW argues that these toxic zones require immediate interim remedial cleanup under federal law.
NOW has pushed the Dept. of Defense multiple times over the past many years, insisting that it is imperative for the Air Force to clean up their mess, but NOW’s requests/demands have been consistently rejected/ignored. Despite five separate public health warnings issued by State and local health officials, the contamination remains, putting the health of local residents and wildlife at risk.
As outrageous as this sounds, it is true: Oscoda residents have grappled with contaminated drinking water and serious health complications for more than a decade and the Air Force has done nothing except delay action and avoid responsibility. This must change!
Please know that Michigan LCV will continue to link arms with our friends at NOW and GPLAN, supporting their advocacy at the federal level with the Department of Defense, and their ongoing engagement of the Department of Great Lakes & Energy (EGLE) here in Michigan. As we do, we promise to keep you informed and engaged.
Before I sign off, please know I am thinking of all of you without power across southern lower Michigan. I urge you to make your voices heard with DTE Energy and Consumers Energy. Michiganders pay some of the highest energy rates in the Midwest –rates that the two companies want to continue to ratchet up!!–and are delivered some of the worst service. My 87-year-old friend who lives in Consumers territory was told that his service would be restored on…March 2nd! What! Unacceptable.
Until next week, I hope you can find ways to stay safe and warm. I’ll leave you with this wonderful quote from the Dalai Lama, which I hope will inspire you to own your individual power whether vis a vis the electric utility companies, PFAS polluters or others:
If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”
Thanks for all you do to support our work!