Dear Michigan LCV Family,
Welcome to the October 20, 2022 edition of Three Things Thursday! Given the way I feel, I can tell that we are less than three weeks away from Election Day 2022. Most of the time, there is adrenaline and determination surging through my body, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that there are also moments of flat-out fatigue. There is so much at stake in our beautiful state.
I studied the ballot in detail last week when I voted early, thanks to the voting rights extended to all Michiganders in 2018, which we need to codify and protect this year by voting YES on Prop 2. Not only are there a sea of critical candidate elections – from governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and supreme court to state House and Senate, local government and court races – but I see the issues we call care about sew into every single vote we cast: protection of voting rights and democracy; safe, clean drinking water; action to address the climate crisis; the health, safety and respect of our most impacted and disenfranchised citizens.
Cutting through the noise and distraction of mainstream news and rampant disinformation and finding ways to connect in trustworthy, authentic ways with voters is at the heart of what we do. “Relationships matter”, as I tell my team every single day. And it is with that in mind that this mighty Michigan LCV team is doubling down to bring our endorsed candidates and proposals across the finish line!
With that, let’s turn to this week’s Three Things:
1. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act
On Tuesday, the Michigan LCV team celebrated the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Clean Water Act! This anniversary is a really big deal for a lot of reasons, including the fact that it was leadership from the great state of Michigan – home to 80% of our nation’s fresh surface water – that ensured passage of this landmark legislation!
I encourage you to read this blog, which was written by our federal government affairs team and published earlier this week. In addition to reminding us of the history of the Clean Water Act – including the fire on the Rouge River that prompted leaders, like Congressman John Dingell, to take action – the blog focuses on the threats currently facing the law and the critical, ongoing efforts to ensure clean, safe water for all.
It’s important to know that this fall, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to take action on the case Sackett v. EPA, a ruling that could effectively render the Clean Water Act and the EPA’s authority to enforce it powerless. You can read about this, too, in the Michigan LCV blog, which you can find here.
Although threats to our water and our ability to protect it are real and concerning, there are many reasons to be hopeful. A recently announced grant funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which was passed earlier this year, will provide over $212 million to improve Saginaw’s water system. Federal government affairs director Bentley Johnson visited the Saginaw Water Treatment Plant this week for the investment announcement, which included an emphasis on the building of a new water tower that will increase the city’s resilience in the event of power outages.
Bentley at last week’s press conference announcing the grant in Saginaw!
Water is critical, not only here in Michigan where it is a fundamental part of our state’s identity, but everywhere, for everyone.
Rest assured that Michigan LCV has always had clean, safe, affordable water as the centerpiece of our priorities. Nothing has changed about that and it seems that numerous candidates running for office understand that. From David LaGrand’s ad in his state senate race to Sam Singh’s ad in his state senate race, water is a focal point… And for good reason!
2. Last week’s Raise the Roof Houseparty – An evening celebrating democracy
Last Thursday, Michigan LCV Education Fund board members Sally Hart-Petersen and Lisa Baker hosted a gathering we dubbed the “Raise the Roof Houseparty”!
Michigan LCV’s Lauren Mallas (left) talking with board member Lisa Baker and guest Robin Paris
The evening was an opportunity to celebrate and discuss the intersection of environmental injustice (disproportionate impact of pollution on people of color and low income communities) and the preservation/protection of our democracy.
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell took time to be there and, as always, it was good to catch up.
The evening’s featured speaker was Barbara McQuade, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School and democracy expert who was appointed by President Barack Obama as the U.S attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan – the first woman to serve in this position! Ms. McQuade is also a MSNBC columnist and legal expert.
Barbara McQuade with Michigan LCV’s Lee Berry (left) and Suzanne Van Dam (right).
The evening was brisk, but beautiful as we convened on a rooftop in downtown Ann Arbor. There may have been some chattering teeth, but the smiles, great conversation and collective focus on preserving and protecting the Michigan we know and love prevailed.
Congresswoman Dingell speaking with Michigan LCV board member Sally Hart-Petersen and Sally’s daughter, Jane.
It was an evening to be remembered.. for the food, the fun, the great location and outstanding attendees!
3. Three weeks until Election Day? Michigan LCV is on the doors!
With Election Day less than three weeks away, the Michigan LCV team is hard at work as our efforts to Get Out the Vote hit the final stretch!
Michigan voters have the important task of determining things like the protection of our water, whether there will be bold action to address the climate crisis, and the health and safety of our democracy.
As I’ve mentioned in prior editions of Three Things, Michigan LCV has endorsed nearly 90 candidates this year, all of whom have demonstrated a commitment to the protection of our air, land, water, climate and democracy. Over the course of the last several months, our team has been crisscrossing the state canvassing for these candidates and talking with voters at the doors about the importance of electing strong leaders who will fight for the best interests of our communities, the planet, and future generations.
Our GOTV canvassing efforts are ramping up in the last several weeks before Election Day and I’m proud to say that Michigan LCV is making an impact! In total this year, our team has knocked over 7,822 doors and logged over 8,013 phone calls, talking with voters from Dearborn to Traverse City and everywhere in between.
In our quest to achieve what we term “a pro-clean water/voting rights” majority in the Michigan legislature, the Michigan LCV always welcomes volunteers to help us canvass, knock doors and talk with voters about the importance of electing environmental champions. Here are some of our upcoming canvasses as we reach the final stretch before Election Day. I hope you will join us!
Canvass for Jennifer Conlin for State Representative
Oct 25 from 4-7 pm
Ann Arbor, MI
Canvass for Veronica Klinefelt for State Senate
Oct 28 from 10 am – 1 pm
Canvass for Betsy Coffia for State Representative
Oct 29 from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm
Traverse City, MI
Thank you so much for your support of our work. Let’s make sure we are celebrating in the days following the election!