Three Things Thursday May 14, 2020

Three Things Thursday May 14, 2020

Dear Michigan LCV Family,

Welcome to the May 14th edition of Three Things Thursday.  I hope this message finds each and every one of you safe and healthy.

In this week’s Three Things I provide an(other) update on what the Trump administration is doing to weaken environmental protections and what team Michigan LCV is doing to hold him accountable; give you a run down of the 24th Annual Conservation Voters Movement (virtual) Conference; and invite you to a fantastic event we are holding in June spotlighting four amazing female leaders/candidates for office.

Before I get into this week’s Three Things, I want to take a moment to reflect on the tragic passing of former State Senator Morris Hood III. Known to many as “the conscience of the Senate”, a special tribute was held at the Capitol on Tuesday to celebrate and memorialize Senator Hood’s incredible work on behalf of the people of Michigan. A man of great integrity and purpose, Senator Hood was a dear friend of Michigan LCV, earning a 99% lifetime score on our Legislative Scorecard.  Senator Hood fought relentlessly for his constituents and the citizens of Michigan, always prioritizing public health and the protection of our air, land and water. The Michigan LCV board and staff send our deepest condolences to Senator Hood’s family and friends.

1) Trump is determined to completely dismantle our nation’s public health and environmental protections. Here’s what MLCV is doing to hold him accountable

As I’m often heard saying: elections have consequences. A recent New York Times analysis provides an alarming overview of what that has meant for our air, land, water and public health in the time Trump has been in office. According to the analysis, the Trump administration has officially reversed, revoked or rolled back more than 60 environmental rules and regulations, and an additional 34 rollbacks are in progress.

Take a look at the list. These are common sense safeguards, like limiting coal-fired power plants from spewing mercury and other contaminants into our air, and protecting our drinking water and our lakes, rivers and streams from toxic chemicals.

As I’ve reported in the last few weeks, Michigan LCV has stepped up to hold the Trump administration accountable. We’re running both static and video digital ads, we’re engaging in earned media tactics, and we’re organizing at the grassroots level to curb this all-out assault on the very essence of what keeps people and planet healthy.

We are currently running a digital ad campaign on Facebook centered around several of these critical rollbacks, including the EPA’s weakening of fuel efficiency standards, PFAS cleanup funding, Line 5 and pipeline regulations, EPA suspension of environmental law enforcement, lead and copper rules and the Endangered Species Act.

The campaign includes static image ads as well as 15 second video ads.

EPA Fuel Economy Rollback (Health):

EPA Fuel Economy Rollback (Cost):

PFAS and Covid-19:

We’ve also participated in multiple press events and earned media opportunities. In late April, we participated in a press conference with conservation groups and health professionals to oppose the Trump administration’s rollback of the Mercury and Air Toxins Standards that reduce dangerous chemicals from coal plants. You can read about that here.

We issued a press release following the rollback of the fuel efficiency standards and EPA suspension of environmental law enforcement. You can read that here.

And you can read my op-ed in Bridge Magazine about how the Trump administration suspending EPA enforcement of environmental laws during Covid-19 is the worst possible time.

2) Bold National Leadership on Climate by Michigan LCV Board members

A) Michigan LCV board member/CEO of Cherry Republic joins with CEOs across the nation in calling for climate solutions in COVID-19 recovery plans

On Wednesday, major companies like DOW, General Mills, Microsoft, VISA and Michigan’s very own Cherry Republic, led by CEO Bob Sutherland, came together to call on federal lawmakers to “build back a better economy by infusing resilient, long-term climate solutions into future economic recovery plans”.

Recognizing that businesses must step up and do their part to pressure our leaders to take bold and decisive action, the Lawmaker Education and Advocacy Day (LEAD on Climate 2020) was the largest ever virtual call to action from businesses to tackle the ongoing climate crisis. This collective clearly sees and understands that there is an enormous opportunity post-COVID-19 to rebuild an economy that’s cleaner, safer and better for all.

As the press statement reads: The participating companies collectively represent combined annual revenues of more than $900 billion in revenue, a combined market valuation of nearly $11.3 trillion, and more than 2.5 million U.S. employees. The companies calling for climate action as part of economic recovery efforts span across the American economy, including retail giants, manufacturers, healthcare services, food and beverage companies, outdoors industries, technology companies and energy providers.

That’s huge.

Here are a few excerpts from Bob Sutherland’s statement about Cherry Republic’s involvement.

“Businesses have a key role in Michigan and the USA overall in building a sustainable

economy,” says Bob Sutherland, Cherry Republic president. “Our company is proud to join the hundreds of businesses pushing our federal leaders to invest in clean energy and climate action by being a part of LEAD on Climate 2020.”

“But Cherry Republic can’t do this alone, and these organizations can’t do it alone. We need the full weight of our federal government behind climate action.”

Bob is a great example of the amazing leadership on the Michigan LCV Board of Directors.  Thank you, Bob!

B) Michigan LCV board member chosen for critical national climate task force

I’m delighted to let you know that Michigan LCV Board Member Kerry Duggan has been chosen as one of the key members of the recently-announced Biden/Sanders Climate Change Unity Task Force.  A diverse group of respected leaders and experts, the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Forces have been established to explore possible policy initiatives in six areas, including climate change, criminal justice reform, economy, education, health care, and immigration.

The Task Forces intend to meet in advance of the Democratic National Convention and will make recommendations both to the DNC Platform Committee and directly to Vice President Biden.

Kerry will be serving on the Task Force in her personal time, and fully recognizes what an honor, privilege and responsibility this is.

Climate Change Unity Task Force Member List:

  • Kathy Castor
  • Kerry Duggan
  • Catherine Flowers
  • Former Secretary of State John Kerry, Co-chair
  • Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy
  • Donald McEachin
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Co-chair
  • Varshini Parkash

Congratulations, Kerry! You make us very proud!

3) Join us for our “Women For Clean Water” event on June 3rd

While so many things have come to a shrieking halt within the pandemic, our regularly scheduled 2020 elections have not. We had municipal elections in many locations across the state last week on May 5th; we have our primary coming up the first Tuesday in August; and, of course, we have the enormously important election in November. Who’s running for which offices? Which candidates deserve our collective support and why?

With the candidate filing deadline in the rear mirror, Michigan LCV is now in the midst of our endorsement process. Our first round of endorsements will be announced in the coming weeks. And, in concert with that, we will be supporting our endorsed candidates in a number of ways, including–very importantly–financially.

On June 3rd we are excited to host a fantastic (virtual) event we’ve entitled Women For Clean Water, spotlighting a number of amazing female elected officials and candidates for office who are working tirelessly to protect our air, land, water and public health.

Originally scheduled to take place in late March, COVID-19 forced us to delay this event, the excitement and momentum around the event has encouraged us to transform it into a virtual fundraiser. Through the use of Zoom technology, you’ll have an opportunity to hear from and interact with the following outstanding women:

  • State Senator Mallory McMorrow (SD-13)
  • State Representative Sarah Anthony (HD-68)
  • State Representative Laurie Pohutsky (HD-19)

I invite you to click here to learn more and register for the event. We’d love to have you join us,  as well as many of your friends, family members, colleagues and associates as possible. This is an opportunity to celebrate these amazing women and support the critical work of Michigan LCV PAC as we work to elect strong leaders to office this year.

As you can see, much is underway within Michigan LCV.  We promise to keep you updated in the days ahead.  I hope this message finds you and your family safe and healthy.  Thank you so much for your ongoing trust in our work. Until next week…



PS: I’m happy to report that through our online advocacy urging the Michigan Public Service Commission to reject Enbridge’s request to skirt their review in an effort to push its tunnel project forward, we were able to get more than 560 comments submitted. Thanks so much for all of your support, and we will continue to keep you engaged as this develops.

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