Dear Michigan LCV Family,
We are only days away from Election Day 2020. I can honestly tell you that I have a number of different feelings coursing through my body as I write my message today. I certainly feel nervous and occasionally fear; but what predominates is percolating excitement, a deep sense of determination and, yes, pride. The Michigan LCV Education Fund team has worked in an amazingly strategic, focused, and bold manner over the past 10+ months to ensure voters have all the information they need to vote safely and securely in the midst of a global pandemic and that our democracy functions fully for all voters no matter where they live in our big, beautiful, complex state. Our Michigan LCV team has put everything we have into ensuring we have leaders in our state who put the health of our communities, our air and our water first.
That said, this week’s Three Things Thursday focuses on the hard work of the Michigan LCV family of organizations; what you can do to get involved in the final few days before November 3rd; and the ways you can cast your vote on or before Election Day. I’ve also added some breaking PFAS news in the postscript, along with three great ads –one is a national LCV Victory Fund ad in support of Gary Peters and the other two are Biden ads: one focused on climate and one produced by Jeff Daniels. (I’ve also included a pic of my new puppy…we all need something to smile about in these final few days, right? )
1. Our team has worked exceptionally hard this year
Michigan LCV [our 501(c)(4) and two connected PACs]
I’ve written extensively about the work of our team over the past many weeks. In addition to our incredible partnership with our friends at national LCV and LCV Action Fund in support of the Biden/Harris ticket, Senator Gary Peters, and many members of our congressional delegation — notably Elissa Slotkin and Haley Stevens — Michigan LCV endorsed 71 state-based candidates running for offices ranging from the Michigan Supreme Court and the State House to the Oakland County Board of Commissioners. It’s an important and impressive list, which I invite you to check out on our website here.
The hallmark of our work this year has been the purposeful, determined continuation of the Our Water Our Vote campaign, which we launched in 2018, creating a narrative around protecting our drinking water and the health of Michigan communities. This election cycle, clean, safe drinking water free of toxins has continued to be a flashpoint for candidates up and down the ballot and we have made sure that is not only a primary message in our work, but in the work of the candidates, themselves. You can read more about Our Water Our Vote here.
In terms of our independent work (legally separate from the candidates), we executed a $1.5 million independent expenditure program through our Conservation Voters of Michigan PAC. We focused on #OurWater as a springboard to advocate for clean water champions. You can check out highlights from that program here, but here’s a quick look at a piece we did for incumbent state House member Laurie Pohutsky.
In addition, here is a great example of the work we did in partnership with BlackPAC in support of Supreme Court candidates Bridget McCormack and Elizabeth Welch. (It’s a solid radio spot and comes in a close second to the outstanding ad the cast of West Wing did in support of McCormack and Welch 😉 Two ads, two very different audiences, both focused on the same thing: the election of two world-class female leaders to our state’s highest court.)
Through our Michigan LCV PAC, we were able to legally work side-by-side with candidate campaigns, dedicating staff time, resources and our expertise to elect leaders who will protect our health, and our drinking water. You can read all about this piece of our work here.
Michigan LCV Education Fund [our 501(c)(3)]
Through our Democracy for All campaign, we executed a massive campaign to educate and mobilize voters in relation to our new voting rights, encouraging voters to vote safely and early, using secure drop boxes and clerks’ offices. Post our August primary, we also launched a poll worker recruitment program to fill the dire need for poll workers. Our goal was 5,000 poll workers and we far surpassed that, ending the program with close to 9,000 people proactively raising their hands to help. You can read all about our Democracy For All program here.
2. How YOU can get involved in these final 5 days
Last Saturday, we hosted a Get Out The Vote (GOTV) virtual rally to engage our members and provide them with a host of volunteer opportunities. I’m happy to report that we secured more than 70 volunteer shifts to support candidates in key races across Michigan.
In the waning days before the election, there remain a number of pivotal ways YOU can get involved, as well. Whether knocking doors or making calls, you can sign up to volunteer with the Michigan LCV team. We are still looking for more folks to sign up for shifts. If you are interested, please fill out this form and one of our teammates will follow up with you ASAP.
If doors and phones are not your thing, there are other ways to get involved and support our work! We are in the midst of raising much-needed final funds for the Michigan LCV PAC, all the funds for which go directly to help our targeted tier one and tier two candidates in swing districts. Your contribution can make a real difference in these final days. If you are interested — which I hope you are! — simply you click here.
3. Still need to cast your vote? Here’s important information
For those of you who haven’t cast your ballot, you have options this election. You can vote early leading up to — and on election day! — at your local clerk’s office. That’s what I did on Tuesday and it was super safe and easy. That’s what a number of my teammates did as well.
If you are not sure where your clerk’s office is, you can always visit mi.gov/vote to find both your local clerk’s office and your polling location. Clerk’s offices will be open on Saturday and Sunday this weekend for your convenience.
Couples who vote together, stay together. Our amazing Bentley Johnson and his wife Maggie on the left; our tenacious Clare Allenson and her husband Stefan on the right.
If you have not returned your absentee ballot, please do not mail it in. In order for your ballot to get to the clerk’s office on time and be counted, you’ll need to drop it off at a secure dropbox location in your community or at your local clerk’s office.
If you choose to vote in person on Election Day, please know that if you are in line by 8 p.m. when polls close, you are guaranteed the right to vote. This means that your vote counts even if you actually end up voting after 8 p.m. As the law is written, the polls must remain open until everyone who was in line by 8 p.m. has cast their vote.
When you get your ballot in your hands, here’s a very important reminder: there are a lot of candidates and ballot initiatives to vote for this year. There are two sides to the ballot. It is super important to flip your ballot over and vote all the way down. As mentioned earlier (and in weeks prior), we have endorsed two fantastic candidates for the Michigan Supreme Court: Bridget McCormack and Elizabeth Welch. The Michigan Supreme Court candidates (and all other judicial races) are on the non-partisan part of your ballot. Please take note of that.
If you are still undecided about Proposal 1, I invite you to visit this page on our website. We are urging voters to vote YES on Proposal 1 to secure funding for our public lands, wildlife and parks.
You and I both know that the impact of this election will truly be enormous. From the Presidency to the US Senate to the Michigan Supreme Court and state House races, whom we elect matters. Thank you for your deep commitment to the integrity of our democracy and for standing up for our air, land, water and public health.
Until next week, when the world will look very different….
P.S. Last week, Traverse City was rocked by the news of PFAS contamination in the well water of approximately 12 homes and one business in the East Bay area. Today, our Political & Outreach Manager Emily Magner spoke at a press conference near the impacted neighborhood. She accompanied Governor Whitmer and candidate for the 104th State House District, Dan O’Neil, along with an impacted resident, to call for protecting our water and electing Dan O’Neil to the State House. With approximately 2 million Michiganders impacted by PFAS contamination and thousands of others dealing with lead issues, it is imperative that we elect clean water champions to office, leaders who will fight tirelessly to clean up toxic contamination in our drinking water and hold polluters accountable so they pay the costs of cleanup, not taxpayers.
We were proud to be part of this event to bring attention to the pressing issues impacting our water and our public health.
P.P.S Three great ads:
- LCV Victory Fund ad in support of Gary Peters
- Biden ad focused on the climate crisis
- Jeff Daniels’ ad in support of Joe Biden
P.P.P.S. Meet Guapo. Not sure he does doors (yet). We will see.