Dear Michigan LCV Family,
Welcome to the September 15, 2022 edition of Three Things Thursday! I write to you from our nation’s capital where I’ve been since early Tuesday morning. I flew in because I was invited by the President to celebrate the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act at 3 PM on Tuesday afternoon. As you can imagine, it was quite an experience (more on that below) and I can promise you that I have been promoting the importance of Michigan in every conversation I’ve had, both at the IRA celebration and ancillary gatherings. From the 2022 elections to the implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and IRA (so much of which happens at the state and local levels) to the critical need to dive into the upcoming 2023 Farm Bill (which has enormous implications for climate, water protection and land conservation), Michigan is at the center of everything!
So, on to this week’s Three Things!
1. Celebrating the Inflation Reduction Act at the White House
On Tuesday, President Biden hosted a celebration of the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act at the White House. As a member of the national LCV Education Fund board of directors and as the executive director of Michigan LCV (I wear those two hats proudly), I joined fellow board members and peers from a number of other LCV state leagues from across the country in the gathering on the White House lawn.
It was a beautiful sunny day with time prior to the ceremony to visit with the many others in attendance – which included friends from across the environment/climate change community, the labor community and the health care community – all of whom gathered to celebrate this historic legislation that will help reduce energy and prescription drug costs for families and take the nation’s boldest steps forward EVER to address the climate crisis.
The event began with a musical performance by James Taylor (a little “old school” for lots in the crowd, but I loved it – I’d never heard/seen James Taylor live before) and included remarks by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Vice President Kamala Harris and – of course – President Joe Biden.
Proudly representing Michigan with Michigan LCV board member Kerry Duggan!
National LCV board member Greg Moga and me before the ceremony began.
I had the distinct pleasure of sharing the experience with my dear friend and Michigan LCV board member Kerry Duggan, as well as Trip Van Noppen (former President of EarthJustice) and Greg Moga, both of whom serve on the national LCV board of directors.
2. Michigan LCV endorses Hon. Richard Bernstein and State Rep. Kyra Harris Bolden for Michigan Supreme Court
Today, the Michigan LCV team proudly announced our endorsement of Hon. Richard Bernstein and State Rep. Kyra Harris Bolden for Michigan Supreme Court in 202, two proven leaders and legal experts who have demonstrated a deep commitment to the protection of Michigan’s land, air, water, and democracy and the integrity of our state’s judicial system.
The rollout of our announcement was multi-faceted, including social media collateral, a press release and more. You can read Michigan LCV’s statement here.
As a reminder, Michigan LCV only endorses candidates who have demonstrated a deep understanding and commitment to working on issues impacting our land, air, water, health, and democracy, and both Hon. Bernstein and Rep. Harris Bolden are prime examples of candidates who have done just that. Just a few of their respective accomplishments to date include:
- As a Michigan State Representative, Harris Bolden repeatedly prioritized the health of our communities and environment, voting for pro-environmental priorities, critical water infrastructure legislation, and co-sponsoring bills that would strengthen legal standards on corporate polluters and hold polluters to higher cleanup standards for contaminated sites.
- As an honorable member of the State Supreme Court, Justice Bernstein has ruled on historic cases to defend victims of the Flint Water Crisis’ constitutional rights to bodily autonomy, uphold the constitutionality of the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, and uphold the rights of plaintiffs to bring suits against toxic polluters within a 90-day statute of limitations.
Throughout their respective careers, Bernstein and Harris Bolden have demonstrated they care deeply about the health of Michigan’s land, air, water, and democracy and are committed to their protection, and will continue to do so as Michigan Supreme Court justices.
3. 2022 Detroit Gala – Please Join Us!
We are now just two weeks away from Michigan LCV’s 10th Annual Gala in Detroit! This year’s event will be held on Thursday, September 29 at 6:30 PM at the Gem Theatre as we recognize and celebrate people making real change to protect Michigan’s land, air, water, public health, and democracy.
Last week, I highlighted Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and reporter Garret Ellison, two outstanding individuals we will be honoring at our 2022 gala. Here is a preview of our two other 2022 honorees:
The Michigan Advisory Council on Environmental Justice
The Michigan Advisory Council on Environmental Justice (MAC-EJ) is the state’s first Environmental Justice advisory council (thank you, Governor Whitmer!). Members represent an intentional combination of frontline activists, advocacy organizations, academia, tribal representation, local governments, business and industry, public health, and labor, and the body is supported by both the Interagency Environmental Justice Response Team and the Office of Environmental Justice Public Advocate.
Launching in the midst of an emerging pandemic, the MAC-EJ worked diligently to advocate for immediate relief to frontline communities while simultaneously supporting development of long-term, sustainable Environmental Justice solutions. This is an amazing body whose intelligence, determination, and perspective is greatly needed in Lansing.
Planet Detroit is an outstanding weekly e-publication the tagline for which is: “Hold power accountable. Uncover solutions. Reflect and serve the community.” Doesn’t that grab your attention right there?
Michigan LCV chose to put a spotlight on the Planet Detroit team this year because they truly do what they are committed to doing: help us all get smarter about the environment in Detroit and Michigan. They focus on investigative reporting (which has slowly been dying) and they have a deep commitment to community engagement around critical local issues.
I encourage you to make plans to attend this amazing event. You can purchase tickets here. I hope you will join us!
As I say every week, thank you for all you do to support our work. These are the last few days of summer (Sept. 15-21), so please enjoy them. I hope to see you on the 29th at the Detroit Gala!