Dear Michigan LCV Family,
Welcome to the July 21, 2022 edition of Three Things Thursday!
I’m sure many of you shared my sentiments of anger and frustration over the weekend after news broke late last week that West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin will not support any reconciliation package that includes climate spending or tax increases for the wealthy. After nearly 18 months of work to get meaningful climate action legislation through Congress and on to President Biden’s desk, Manchin – who has consistently stood in the way of any Senate vote after the first, full version of the reconciliation bill passed the U.S. House last fall – has all but sealed the fate of President Biden’s climate agenda.
The Michigan LCV team is devastated, but I have reminded my colleagues that we must reflect and feel proud about all the work that we have done to get to this point. Furthermore, there is still much that can, must, and will be done to address the climate crisis at the federal level. In the meantime, the importance of state and local level climate action has never been greater. As the 2022 August primary and November general elections approach, I will remind you that it is absolutely imperative that we (re)elect pro-climate, pro-democracy champions to represent us in Lansing, especially the three incredible female leaders we have at the top of the ticket.
As we all try to digest the news from D.C., I encourage you to read this week’s edition of the Washington Weekly, our Federal Government Affairs team’s weekly federal and climate-focused newsletter. You can read this week’s edition here.
Now onto this week’s Three Things, which include a spotlight on the importance of nonpartisan poll challenger recruitment, the Michigan LCV team’s latest coordinated canvassing efforts for our 2022 endorsed candidates, and an introduction to Michigan LCV’s newest staff member. Let’s dive in!
1. The August 2 Primary & Poll Challenger Recruitment
With the August 2 primary election right around the corner, Michigan LCV Education Fund’s Democracy for All team is continuing to work to protect and defend our right to vote. One of the pillars of this work is grounded in our participation in the State of Michigan’s nonpartisan rapid response program, which is designed to address misinformation and voter suppression whenever and wherever it occurs.
Nonpartisan election challengers are a crucial part of this program and you can sign up to get involved and serve your community! Challengers are needed throughout the state for the August 2 primary election, both at the polls and at absentee ballot counting boards.
Nonpartisan election challengers:
- Monitor the election process at the polls, at clerks’ and satellite offices, and at absent voter counting boards
- May challenge poll worker actions if the challenger does not believe that the poll worker is following Michigan’s election law
- Must be registered to vote in Michigan and receive training and credentials
Sign up here to volunteer as a nonpartisan election challenger for the August 2 primary election>>>
If you’ve never volunteered as a poll challenger before, and don’t know much (or anything!) about Michigan’s election law – no problem! In the weeks leading up to Election Day, our partner Promote the Vote will provide all challengers with comprehensive training on their rights and responsibilities, and on Michigan’s election law.
While challengers are encouraged to volunteer the entire day, if possible, shorter shifts are also available.
Challengers may also be needed before Election Day (at clerk and satellite offices) and immediately after Election Day at larger absentee ballot counting boards. I strongly encourage those who are interested in serving as challengers during the November general election to sign up to volunteer in August as well, so that they can gain valuable experience before the general election.
2. Michigan LCV Canvass: Out on the doors for Matt Koleszar in Wayne County
Last Friday, the Michigan LCV team was out on the doors again talking to voters, this time for Michigan State Representative Matt Koleszar in Livonia in Wayne County!
The Michigan LCV team and campaign volunteers with Rep. Matt Koleszar!
Rep. Koleszar is running for re-election this year in the newly redrawn 22nd State House District. The district – which previously encompassed parts of Plymouth, Canton and Northville – now includes parts of Livonia, territory that Koleszar has not previously represented during his four years in office. As a proven leader and environmental champion, with a background in public education from his time as a teacher, Rep. Koleszar has worked diligently to represent the best interests of his constituents since his election in 2018. Rep. Koleszar’s re-election is critical to ensuring a pro-climate, pro-democracy majority in Lansing.
As part of our coordinated campaign efforts focusing on our 2022 endorsed candidates, the Michigan LCV team hit the doors and helped the Koleszar campaign cross the 10,000 door threshold for its 2022 canvassing efforts!
Our canvassing efforts will continue in the coming days and weeks, and we would love to have you join us! Here are a few of our upcoming canvasses with links for you to sign up to volunteer:
- Click here to sign up to canvass for Rep. Rachel Hood and Rep. David LeGrand in Grand Rapids on Friday, July 22 from 2 – 5 PM.
- Click here to sign up to canvass for State Senator Sylvia Santana in Dearborn on Saturday, July 23 from 10 AM – 12:30 PM.
- Click here to sign up to canvass for Jennifer Conlin for State Representative in Ann Arbor on Tuesday, July 26 from 5:30 – 8 PM.
3. New Michigan LCV team member spotlight: Lee Berry
I’m delighted to say that our team is growing, bringing on new talent to help us reach our goals. This week, I am excited to welcome Lee Berry to the Michigan LCV family!
Lee joins the Michigan LCV team as our new Development Director. Lee shares a deep love of and commitment to the natural beauty of the Great Lakes region and believes in the power of community engagement to protect our water, air, land and voting rights.
Lee comes to Michigan LCV after 18 years at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor, where he led annual fundraising efforts, as well as the organization’s $9.3 million capital campaign to purchase and renovate the State Theater. Previously, Lee promoted jazz, blues and rock concerts across Michigan and co-produced the Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival from 1992-2000. Lee holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the Ross School of Business at U of M. He’s also a proud member of the Wolfpack. Welcome, Lee!
As always, thank you for all you do to support our work. Be safe, be well, and enjoy the beauty of summer in Michigan….