Three Things Thursday: June 15, 2023
Dear Michigan LCV Family,
Welcome to the June 15, 2023 edition of Three Things Thursday! This week’s edition focuses on the climate/clean energy legislation introduced in the Michigan House, our great voting rights work, and a brand new teammate…as well as some fun news about the national LCV DC Capital Dinner, which took place last night. I’m going to start with the latter and share a few highlights and some sweet photos before jumping into Thing #1.
As you may know, I have the privilege of sitting on the national LCV Education Fund board of directors and this year, for the first time since 2019, LCV/LCV Education Fund held their annual Capital Dinner in advance of our quarterly board meeting. Michigan LCV was proud to support the event and Michigan was well represented by Michigan LCV board members Bill Phillips, Phil Roos and Lisa Baker, as well as other dear friends and dignitaries. We were thrilled to have Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist join us, along with David Uhlmann (former UM Law professor) who is acting Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance at EPA, and Matthrew Frumin, 3rd Ward Councilman for the District of Columbia (originally from Oakland County).
From left to right around the table: MLCV board member Bill Phillips, Marianne Udow-Phillips, Lt Gov. Gilchrist, MLCV teammate Hudson Villeneuve, MLCV board member Lisa Baker, Anna Lacombe, Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance at EPA David Uhlmann and me.
From left to right: DC Councilman Matthew Frumin, Anna Lacombe, MLCV board member Lisa Baker, MLCV teammate Hudson Villeneuve, Acting Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance at EPA David Uhlmann, Lt. Gov. Gilchrist, me, MLCV board member Bill Phillips, Marianne Udow-Phillips, and MLCV board member Phil Roos.
With over 800 people gathered at the Anthem to celebrate Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi (who received a Lifetime Achievement Award) and Conservation Minnesota (which received the John Hunting Award for their work to pass bold clean energy legislation earlier this year), the crowd was also incredibly honored by the last minute news that President Joe Biden would serve as the keynote speaker. And, with the confirmation of the President’s presence came the unveiling of the community’s endorsement of the President Biden/Vice President Harris re-election campaign! National LCV Action Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund, Next Gen Climate Action and Sierra Club all announced their support of Biden/Harris, emphasizing the dramatic and critically important work that has been done on the part of the administration to tackle the climate crisis and protect our democracy. You can watch the President’s speech at the Capital Dinner here.
Lt. Governor Gilchrist, me and Speaker Emerita Pelosi.
It was an incredibly full couple of days and definitely ones to remember.
Now…on to this week’s Three Things!
1. House lawmakers introduce clean energy legislation!
On Wednesday, Michigan LCV joined House lawmakers in Lansing for a press conference announcing a package of three bills aimed at transitioning Michigan to 100% clean energy, addressing the climate crisis, and creating a more reliable, sustainable energy grid.
Michigan LCV’s Nick Occhipinti speaking at Wednesday’s press conference. You can watch his full remarks here.
Michigan LCV State Government Affairs Director Nick Occhipinti joined Speaker Pro Tem Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia), Majority Floor Leader Abraham Aiyash (D-Hamtramck), Rep. Betsy Coffia (D-Traverse City), Rep. Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids), and Derrell Slaughter of the Natural Resources Defense Council to introduce the bills and outline the urgent need to pass clean energy legislation. As you may remember, the Clean Energy Plan was introduced in the Senate earlier this spring, so these new bills serve as a counter weight in the House, all aimed at implementing and building upon Gov. Whitmer’s MI Healthy Climate Plan.
Rep. Pohutsky joined the Michigan LCV Advocacy and Outreach team’s gathering of volunteers after the bills were introduced.
In tandem, these two packages will set Michigan on course to 60% clean energy statewide by 2030 and make Michigan 100% carbon-free by 2035. By making a swift, equitable transition towards a clean energy future, we will create thousands of good-paying jobs that don’t require a college degree, upgrade Michigan’s vastly outdated energy grid and improve reliability, all while ensuring communities have clean air to breathe. And here’s the really important thing for Michiganders who are struggling to make ends meet: we can do all of this while putting money back into the pockets of Michigan families.
Wednesday was a great step in the right direction, but we are going to need your help to push our lawmakers to have hearings and take votes in a timely manner. These bills must land on the Governor’s desk in the next few months and it will take the voices and support from voters all across the state to make that happen.
More in the coming days and weeks ahead, I promise!
2. Making sure democracy works for everyone
This week, our Democracy For All team launched our 2023 313 Votes/616 Votes programs. This is Michigan LCV Education Fund’s direct voter contact program, which is typically only run in election years.
Voter outreach and education has become an essential part of Michigan LCV Education Fund’s work to ensure our democracy works for everyone. As we remind Michignders everywhere, “your vote is your voice”, and knowing all the options and ways to cast your ballots in Michigan is important to participating in our democracy. Given our expanded voting rights – thanks for the 2018 and 2022 Promote the Vote ballot initiatives – our 313/616 Votes program is focused on making sure Michiganders know their rights and all their options when it comes to making their voices heard at the ballot box.
But what makes our program so unique is that it is the largest and only non-election year direct voter contact program in Michigan! With no elections in our target cities of Detroit and Grand Rapids, our 313/616 Votes teammates will spend the summer deepening their ties to their communities, building stronger and more trustworthy relationships, and spreading information about the expansion of voting rights as a result of 2022’s Proposal 2.
In two teams of five on either side of the state, our teammates will table at community events, create and disseminate engaging social media, and present in-person and virtual trainings entitled, Your Government 101 and Voting Rights 102.
Stay tuned for updates on these twin programs taking place in key east and west regions across our beautiful state!
3. New Michigan LCV Staff Spotlight: Mia Roberson
The Michigan LCV continues to grow, specifically our Democracy For All team! This week, I’m thrilled to welcome Mia Roberson, our new Voting Rights Manager, to our family.
Mia is a Detroit native and, as she shared with me, a “ true Aquarian”. Organizing has been at Mia’s core for most of her life. As a teenager, Mia advocated for comprehensive reproductive education in schools and, since then, she’s worked on voter education and mobilization, as well as various community outreach projects to amplify youth voices in Detroit and Grand Rapids.
In the interview process, we learned that writing, performance poetry and music are Mia’s big passions. She is a nationally ranked poet and has traveled all over the country performing and competing in poetry slams. Anita Baker is her favorite singer and Queen is her favorite band (Mia shared that “Freddie Mercury was a pure genius!”)
Finally, Mia shared, “I am a proud Gryffindor who thinks magic goes as far as the stars (which is definitely something an Aquarius would say) and I’m a Food Network- inspired chef, so if you’re ever in need of cooking tips, just shoot me a slack and I gotcha!”
We are absolutely delighted to have Mia on our team!
As I say every week, thank you so much for all you do to support our work and our team. I will be back in touch next week with more on how you can plug into some important action this summer. Until then….