Three Things Thursday: November 11, 2021
Dear Michigan LCV Family,
Welcome to the November 11, 2021 edition of Three Things Thursday! This week I provide updates on three key things that I’ve written about quite a bit in the past few weeks: the Biden Administration agenda (some action has been taken–will there be more?!), the Michigan redistricting process (will we actually get fair maps?) and our big virtual Detroit Gala, which is coming up next week (I really hope you will be joining us!).
1. Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan passes; now it’s time for Congress to finish the job on Build Back Better
After the Senate passed the $1.2 trillion bi-partisan infrastructure bill in August, and following months of deliberations, the House (finally!) took action and passed the infrastructure bill on Friday night. This landmark bill and the Build Back Better Act are the key pillars of President Biden’s agenda. The infrastructure bill now heads to the President’s desk for his signature, which is truly celebratory.
Some don’t seem to understand that this is a big win for communities all across the nation, representing the single largest investment in federal infrastructure in more than a decade. The $1.2 trillion investment will go mainly towards upgrading and overhauling roads, bridges, water pipes and sewer lines, as well as the development of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and networks. In total, these investments will make a significant difference in addressing climate resiliency, especially in communities most impacted by our changing climate.
That said, even more important investments to address the climate crisis, social welfare, and environmental injustice are included in the Build Back Better Act, which Congress failed to pass last week.
Please know that the Michigan LCV team remains laser focused on getting the Build Back Better Act (BBBA) across the finish line. While a vote is expected next week in Washington, several key members of Congress are still on the fence. Our team has doubled down to build clear support for members of our congressional delegation, like Elissa Slotkin, and make sure there is strong momentum to get the job done. Just today, in fact, Michigan LCV and our partners from the Michigan Build Back Better Coalition hosted a rally at Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin’s Lansing office, thanking her for her vote on the infrastructure bill and urging her to vote “yes” on BBBA when a vote is called next week.
Michigan LCV Education Fund board member Irene McDonnell Cahill alongside Michigan LCV’s Federal Government Affairs Director Bentley Johnson
You can see Michigan LCV teammate Bentley Johnson in the center with the green “climate action” sign.
If you have a minute or two, I encourage you to use our one-step advocacy tool to contact your lawmakers in Washington. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is that they hear from the voters all across Michigan.
For more information on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill passed last week, key updates, and a breakdown of what the latest developments mean for Michigan, I encourage you to check out the latest edition of the Washington Weekly, Michigan LCV’s federally-focused newsletter.
2. The latest news on Michigan’s redistricting process
The independent redistricting process is steadily moving forward and our Democracy For All team continues to track all the latest developments.
Last Friday, the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) voted and passed nine (9) collaborative proposed maps of Michigan’s new districts, maps that have been drawn based on public input gathered over the last several months. The nine maps include three each for Congressional, State House, and State Senate districts.
Along with the nine collaborative maps, the commissioners were also allowed to submit their own, individual maps for each type of district. These individual commissioner maps provide a wider variety of district variations, but our Democracy For All team continues to focus on the collaborative maps, which are more deeply grounded in the MICRC criteria and better reflect the input provided by the public. The collaborative maps have been constructed with explicit attention given to partisan fairness, the Voting Rights Act, and communities of interest.
With draft maps in place, the redistricting process now shifts to the next phase, a 45-day public comment period. The 45 days will begin on November 14th with the formal publication of the collaborative and individual maps, giving Michiganders time to review and submit input to the Commission, which will help inform the Commission’s final decisions. We expect a final vote by the Commission to take place at the end of the calendar year, with December 30th identified as the target date.
You can find more details about this complex process on the Michigan LCV Education Fund website. This week’s edition of our Democracy Drumbeat contains a breakdown of the latest developments, including details and links to the maps that were voted on last week, and ways for you to get involved in this final phase of the process.
3. Michigan LCV’s annual Detroit awards gala is next week!
I can hardly believe that we are only a week away from the Michigan LCV’s annual Detroit awards gala, Equity and the Environment! The event is next Wednesday, November 17th at 6:00 PM.
Our annual awards gala is an event focused on lifting up and honoring outstanding Michigan leaders, and the work these individuals do on a daily basis to protect our land, air, water, public health, and the very essence of our democracy. After honoring Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Lt. Gov. Garland Gilchrist, and climate justice activist/leader Theresa Landrum at last year’s gala, this year we are honoring Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Assistant Secretary of State Heaster Wheeler for their work to protect our elections and democracy; Bay Mills Community Indian President Whitney Gravelle for her work to shut down Line 5; and PFAS activists Sandy Wynn-Stelt and Tony Spaniola for their relentless work to raise awareness and catalyze action to address the growing toxic PFAS contamination crisis in Michigan.
This is an evening filled with celebration of the work these individuals have done for Michigan, our environment, and our communities. Like last year, the event will be virtual, but still offers an opportunity to come together and feel a sense of accomplishment and hope as we honor these amazing leaders.
I really hope you will be able to join us next Wednesday as we celebrate and raise a glass to this year’s honorees. Tickets are still available on our website, as well as opportunities to become a sponsor of this year’s gala. Thank you!
As always, your support of our work makes all that we do every week possible. I am humbled and very grateful.