Dear Michigan LCV Family,
Welcome to the January 13, 2022 edition of Three Things Thursday! This week we take a look at the Michigan LCV legislative priorities for 2022, the newsletters our team has begun publishing to keep you up-to-date and well-informed, and the job opportunities that exist to join our amazing team. Let’s jump in!
1. Michigan LCV’s legislative priorities for 2022
The new year is off to a quick start and there are a number of key legislative priorities that are top of mind for the Michigan LCV team.
As I noted in last week’s Three Things, our biggest priority is what we call our Fund MI Water platform and working to pass Senate Bill 565, both aimed at allocating already available federal and state funds to upgrade drinking water, stormwater, and wastewater infrastructure; tackle water contamination; and ensure every Michigander has access to clean, safe, affordable drinking water. Senate Bill 565, which now sits in the Michigan House after unanimously passing the Senate, will allocate $3.3 billion to address these issues and critical threats – such as lead and PFAS contamination – facing our communities. If you haven’t already, I urge you to use our one-step advocacy tool to send your lawmaker in Lansing a message telling them to pass Senate Bill 565.
Along with the Fund MI Water platform + Senate Bill 565, the Michigan LCV team is doubling down on a legislative win on the clean energy front. Throughout the past year, our team worked diligently to pass legislation that would lift Michigan’s arbitrary one percent cap on the distributed generation of solar energy, which currently limits residential energy consumers from investing in solar energy and reaping the benefits of selling excess energy back to the grid. We also prioritized community solar legislation that would expand access to renewable energy for low income Michiganders, lower energy costs for communities, and increase grid reliability – all of which help move Michigan towards a clean energy economy. Both of these issues remain high priorities in 2022.
In addition, we are focused on legislation that would reduce carbon emissions and lower energy costs through energy efficiency. House Bill 5619 is a new energy waste reduction bill that will reestablish Michigan’s longstanding, yet recently expired, requirement for utility companies to reduce energy waste by one percent each year. Since 2015, the energy waste law has prompted Consumers Energy and DTE Energy to accelerate their energy waste reduction programs, with both utilities reducing waste by about two percent annually as of 2021.
Increasing energy efficiency is an easy priority that Michiganders and our lawmakers can both get behind. Beyond lowering carbon emissions, the benefits of energy waste reduction requirements extend to consumers and taxpayers. A 2019 report found that Michigan’s energy waste reduction programs saved over 1.47 million megawatt hours of electricity, and that customers saved $3.30 for every dollar spent on the programs.
As we consider these priorities – and more that will arise throughout the year – I encourage you to check out Michigan LCV’s Digital Accountability Suite, which scores lawmakers in Lansing on their votes and records. Each score and “letter grade” lets you know how your lawmakers and others across the state voted on the most important issues related to our land, air, and water. Our team updates this tool in real time to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information on what’s what in Lansing.
As 2022 continues, I will be sure to keep you updated on these priorities and more in future editions of Three Things.
2. Michigan LCV’s amazing collection of newsletters
Many of you have been longtime readers of my weekly Three Things Thursday and dedicated supporters of the Michigan LCV family of organizations. Thank you! I love writing about key issues each week, but as the Michigan LCV family has grown so has the array of challenges we tackle, so my weekly missive ends up covering only a fracture of the news.
Over the past year, the Michigan LCV team has launched three other weekly newsletters, each of which is tailored to a specific area of our work.
- Our Government Affairs team launched the Capital Catch-Up at the beginning of 2021 as a weekly update and analysis of developments in the Legislature. The Catch-Up has taken off and grown into a great resource, both for those deeply involved in Lansing politics and those looking to learn more. Recently, the Catch-Up has started to feature a legislative staffer each week, spotlighting their work and why they care about environmental issues.
- As we built support for President Biden’s Build Back Better platform and meaningful climate action, we launched the Washington Weekly, which is a weekly update on federal climate news curated by Michigan LCV with expert analysis on what it all means for Michigan. Championed by our newly created Federal Government Affairs team, the Washington Weekly is published every Wednesday and has been an extremely valuable resource as things have developed, moved, and stalled in Washington, D.C.
- Finally, in the face of increasing attacks on our democracy and voting rights in Michigan – and in light of our Democracy For All team’s deep involvement in the redistricting process, the protection of voting rights and voter education/mobilization – we created a dedicated bi-weekly newsletter, the Democracy Drumbeat. Published every other Tuesday, this newsletter is a resource that specifically focuses on issues relating to voting rights, systems change, and direct voter engagement and education.
I am extremely proud of our team’s work to launch and decimate these new educational resources. Each of the three are a testament to this team’s dedication to the issues and tireless work to manifest change. I encourage you to check them out and subscribe, if you haven’t already!
3. Job opportunities at Michigan LCV
After our two amazing boards of directors finalized our ambitious 2021-2024 strategic plans last June (one for Michigan LCV and one for Michigan LCV Education Fund), we did a deep dive into our structure, clearly defining what is needed to ensure we deliver fully and completely on the goals. We came away with a new organizational chart and new positions that we now need to fill.
We have jobs open in a couple of our departments and are looking for dedicated individuals to be part of a passionate, talented team driven by our goal of protecting our environment, democracy, and Michigan’s freshwater future, as well as educating and engaging voters, electing environmental champions and holding our elected officials accountable.
Within our Programs team, we are looking for a Campaigns Director, a Advocacy & Outreach Director, a West Michigan Regional Coordinator, and a West Michigan Regional Organizer. Within our Development & Partnerships team, we are looking for a Partnerships Director and a Development Administrator.
I ask that you share these opportunities within your circles. As Jim Collins would say, it is imperative that we have “the right people on the bus”!
For more information, please check out the Job Opportunities page on our website!
Thank you, as always, for all you do! Until next week…