Three Things Thursday: December 15, 2022
Dear Michigan LCV Family,
Welcome to the December 15, 2022 edition of Three Things Thursday! This week we take a look at how the Michigan LCV family is wrapping up the year, this week’s Michigan Public Service Commission meeting, and making our work possible. Let’s jump in!
1. Wrapping up 2022
With just a couple weeks left in 2022, the Michigan LCV team is wrapping up our work and preparing for the New Year.
Earlier this week, our team gathered in Lansing for our final quarterly staff meeting. Not only was it wonderful to gather in person (something that’s been a rarity over these past few years), but Tuesday’s meeting provided an important opportunity to celebrate our victories, debrief on our campaigns, and plan for 2023.
The Michigan LCV staff, both in the room and on zoom, at our quarterly staff meeting.
We revisited the 20-year vision for the organization, assessed our progress towards goals, had small group discussions about our strengths and weaknesses, and even had time for paper plate awards, which were amazing both in terms of creativity and heart-felt praise for fellow colleagues. It was a great way to wrap up the year!
Michigan LCV 20 year vision:
Michigan serves as the nationwide model for protections of air, land
and water, climate change action, and access to the vote
In addition to our staff meeting, last Friday marked the final Michigan LCV/Michigan LCV Education Fund board meeting of 2023. We were incredibly honored to have two very special guests: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer who joined us in-person and Secretary of State Joselyn Benson who joined us via Zoom.
Governor Whitmer surrounded by Michigan LCV and Michigan LCV Education Fund board members as well as a number of Michigan LCV staff
Michigan LCV is very proud to have played a significant role in the re-election of both of these amazing leaders. We look forward to working with Governor Whitmer and Secretary Benson in the days, weeks and months ahead.
2. Michigan LCV in Action: DTE energy plan hearing
In November, DTE Energy announced its long-term energy plan– known as an Integrated Resource Plan, or IRP – which maps out how the company plans to generate electricity for the next decade and beyond. The Michigan LCV team immediately analyzed the plan to get a full understanding of where there may be ambition related to clean energy expansion and where there may be more work to do in terms of meaningful reductions in fossil fuel use.
The good news is that DTE’s IRP includes more plans for renewable energy; the bad news is that it falls short of retiring all coal plants by 2030 and does not take action on the climate crisis with necessary urgency.
With these shortcomings in mind, the Michigan LCV team brought an array of Michiganders together – 28 people! – to make their voices heard at this week’s Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) meeting. The MPSC convened for hours, confronted by a chorus of voices demanding that the plan be strengthened to (1) bring more renewable energy online faster, (2) decommission coal plants more rapidly, and (3) take bold action to address the climate crisis.
Between now and November of next year, the MPSC will evaluate the plan and consider input from the public and stakeholders. Monday’s hearing was the first opportunity to voice our concerns about the plan, and not one person testified on behalf of DTE or the proposed plan as it currently stands!
I will be sure to share details on the next public hearing as information becomes available. I strongly encourage you to get involved and take action to shape the future of renewable energy in Michigan.
For more information on DTE’s proposed IRP, check out this recent edition of Three Things.
3. Making Michigan LCV’s work possible
As I reflect back on this year, I feel a tremendous sense of pride at what this incredible team has accomplished together.
Michigan LCV was instrumental in advocating for and helping strengthen the bipartisan Building Michigan Together Act — Michigan’s largest investment in Michigan water infrastructure ever — which dedicates $4.7 billion to updating lead service lines, addressing toxic contaminants in our water, updating our waste and stormwater systems, and much more.
The Michigan LCV team played an integral role in developing Governor Whitmer’s MI Healthy Climate Plan — the biggest and boldest climate plan in Michigan history — which will work to decarbonize our economy, invest in clean energy, and address environmental injustice.
Our Democracy For All team orchestrated our largest ever Direct Voter Contact (DVC) program, adding a 616 Votes program in West Michigan to complement our established 313 Votes program in Metro Detroit and doubling our DVC staff to 16 in-person and virtual canvassers. Throughout the months leading up to the primary in August and then the general election in November, our DVC team was able to make over 900,000 calls and make contact with nearly 700 Michigan voters to share voting information and options, get people registered to vote, and ensure people had a plan to vote and make their voices heard.
And in perhaps our most incredible accomplishment, Michigan LCV ran its largest electoral program in our organizational history, raising and spending more than $4 million to help secure wins for environmental champions up-and-down the ballot, resulting in 86 of our 95 endorsed candidates winning their races.
While there is so much for our team to be proud of, none of this would have been possible without you and your support of Michigan LCV. As a nonprofit family of organizations, we depend on the support of people like you – people who care deeply about the issues facing Michigan’s land, air, water and democracy. Your generosity in donating to Michigan LCV and the work we do is what enables our team to make a difference in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and everywhere in between.
As you decide which organizations have earned your trust this year, we hope that Michigan LCV is at the top of your list. Any gift you are able to make will support our ambitious 2023 plans to deliver new, critically important protections for our water, our climate and our democracy.
You can donate right now here.
We are almost to the darkest day of the year, the Winter Solstice. May you surround yourself with light during these dark days; may you embrace the spirit of the season; may your life be filled with compassion, kindness and love. That was certainly the message delivered by Attorney General Dana Nessel at her year-end celebration last Saturday, and I share it with you.