Pages tagged "Detroit"
Friends of the Rouge: Fighting floods with gardens & barrels
This blog post is the first in of "Bellringers," a quarterly series highlighting the major accomplishments of Michigan Environmental Council member groups.
When torrential rain hit Sandra Turner-Handy’s Detroit home in late June, her basement was immediately flooded.
She spent the next few days pumping out water, throwing out furniture, fixing a busted water heater and, worst of all, discarding the personal keepsakes of her late mother.
Then came two other “once-a-century” storms.Read more
Michigan Environmental Council on Sen. Carl Levin’s passing
The Michigan Environmental Council is saddened by the passing of Sen. Carl Levin. As a Detroit native, he was a strong advocate of Michigan’s environmental issues, social justice issues and serving his hometown from acting as the co-chair of the Senate Great Lakes Taskforce to securing millions in funding to create the Detroit Riverwalk which is now one of the country’s premier city riverfronts.
Sen. Levin possessed the kind of qualities we aspire to have including integrity, transparency and accountability. The legacy of his leadership and his advocacy of the environment will continue with the countless individuals he inspired throughout his career, including MEC staff.Read more
Denby: A Detroit neighborhood by and for the people
As the bright March sunlight hinted at warmer days, Sandra Turner-Handy took a walk around her block to hand out yard signs.
Turner-Handy lives in Denby, a neighborhood in east Detroit with a few thousand residents, hundreds of quaint brick homes, an Art Deco high school and a $1.5 million park.
It was at this park, Skinner Park, the Detroit Tigers stopped at during their pre-Opening Day tour, an event those yard signs promoted. Despite the rain, families from Denby and nearby Yorkshire Woods came to meet the Tigers, jam to a drumline, chow down and get baseball equipment.
Turner-Handy — engagement director for the Michigan Environmental Council and leader of the Denby Neighborhood Alliance — was thrilled, and not just because she’s an avid Tigers fan. The club chose Skinner Park out of 308 official Detroit parks. It was symbolic, proof Skinner was a focal point for the community.Read more
Bill holds corporate polluters accountable, saves taxpayers money
Whether it be the “green ooze” that trickled onto a highway from a shuttered Madison Heights business in 2020 or PFAS currently seeping into west Michigan wells, a new bill ensures those causing pollution catastrophes pay for the health threats they create.
On Tuesday, Feb. 23, Michigan House Democratic House Floor Leader Yousef Rabhi introduced House Bill 4314, which requires private companies to pay to clean up pollution they create. Current law only requires companies to contain and limit exposure of these pollutants. The financial burden of cleanup falls on residents, who pay through taxes.Read more
Water shutoff moratorium helps families across Michigan communities
When Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an emergency order March 28 requiring water be turned on and kept on in all Michigan homes, she did so to protect everyone’s health.
Clean, easily accessible water is essential for basic sanitation and is especially vital during a health pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control recommend frequent and thorough hand washing to keep people from contracting COVID-19 and spreading it to others.
But in October, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled Gov. Whitmer needed the Legislature’s approval for orders declared under the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act. Many past orders crumbled, including water shutoff protections.Read more
Proposal 1 passes overwhelmingly, a commitment to conservation
Michiganders made history by overwhelmingly voting 'yes' on Proposal 1 to protect Michigan’s water, wildlife and parks for generations to come.
More than 84% of voters approved of Proposal 1, which commits oil and gas royalties to protection of our land, water sources and parks in perpetuity by lifting the cap on Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. This victory sends a clear message to lawmakers that voters across the state prioritize the protection of our natural resources and access to outdoor recreation for all Michiganders to enjoy.Read more
Water shutoff moratorium bill must pass to protect public health, say 16 orgs
A 16-member assembly of water rights, social justice and environmental organizations and impacted Michigan residents urged Michigan’s Senators to take up and pass, as soon as possible, a bill that would protect public health by ensuring access to clean water and sanitation for all during a global pandemic.
A substitute version of Senate Bill 241, introduced by Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) would require water utilities to turn water service back on to all customers and place a moratorium on residential drinking and sanitary water shutoffs until Jan. 1, 2021.Read more
A Second Space to Advocate
Michigan Environmental Council’s board of directors is composed of 17 members committed to Michigan’s environment and whose experiences and perspectives make them champions of it. Jeremy Orr - Natural Resources Defense Council attorney and MEC board member representing the Michigan NAACP - is protecting Black Lives Matter protesters and their rights as a legal observer for the Detroit and Michigan chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.Read more
Support emergency water deliveries in Detroit
COVID-19 has cast a bright spotlight on water shutoffs.
In response, we’ve seen the governor order service be restored, extensive media coverage and a flock of new voices joining debates about best ways to provide this essential service.
Yet all this attention hasn’t translated into enough immediate action. Today, upwards of 10,000 Detroit residents lack running water in their homes!
Thank goodness for We the People of Detroit.Read more
MEC's Sandra Turner-Handy: Detroit census participation is critical
Detroit will launch a citywide event this weekend to encourage participation in the 2020 census. Michigan Environmental Council’s engagement director said the effort comes at a time when federal funding stemming from it is needed most.
“Now more than ever we need to fill out our census forms,” said MEC’s Sandra Turner-Handy. “We have families in distress. The federal dollars we get from each family counted can go a long way in helping them and the Detroit community at large, especially as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and a recession.”Read more