Steven Kwasny, a 28-year-old Eastern Michigan University student, and member of the Ann Arbor chapter of CCL, recently announced his campaign for state House in the 53rd district.
Kwasny believes that one of the biggest problems with government is money, and thus, campaign finance reform is a major focus of his campaign. Kwasny says that campaign contributions “prohibit the common good from prevailing” and he will refuse any donations to his campaign.
According to MLive, Kwasny’s platform also includes:
protecting the environment, increasing citizen participation in the democratic process, and restoring the community’s faith in state government.
As a state lawmaker, Kwasny said he would work on decreasing maximum campaign contribution limits, making voter registration automatic, creating a “democracy on demand” app that would allow constituents to better interact with their representative, and upholding progressive values.
Kwasny made his announcement on Monday, April 11 on the campus of Washtenaw Community College.
On March 24, the Washtenaw Community College Political Science Club sponsored a Climate Change Summit. It began with a brief introduction to some of the key concepts of climate change, presented by club vice president, Joe Chapman. Joe’s presentation was followed by a panel discussion. Due to a last minute conflict, scheduled speaker Representative Adam Zemke was unable to participate and Citizens’ Climate Lobby was invited to fill his spot. Other panelists were Mariah Urueta of Food and Water Watch, Henry Griffin of Michigan League of Conservation Voters, and Emily Woodcock of Clean Water Action. Panelists were asked questions on a variety of topics related to climate change and the environment, such as, What inspired you to become involved in environmental work?, What obstacles have you had to overcome in your work?, and How do you respond to climate skeptics?
On the Wednesday, March 2 edition of WEMU’s Issues of the Environment program, host David Fair interviewed Stephen Raiman, a member of the Ann Arbor Energy Commission, to discuss CCL’s Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal. The Energy Commission passed a resolution endorsing Carbon Fee and Dividend and has recommended that Ann Arbor City Council also support the proposal.
According to Raiman, Carbon Fee and Dividend is, “an all-in-one solution…putting a price on carbon is one action that can really solve the issue.” Listen to the complete interview here.
Our February guest on the national conference call is Jeffrey O’Malley, Director of the Division of Data, Research and Policy for UNICEF. He is responsible for shaping research and evidence priorities, ensuring that evidence in turn shapes UNICEF policies and strategies. Mr. O’Malley joins our February call to discuss UNICEF’s report, Unless We Act Now, about the impact of climate change on children.
On Tuesday, January 12th the City of Ann Arbor Energy Commission voted nine to one to endorse the carbon fee and dividend proposal of Citizens’ Climate Lobby!
According to Commissioner Stephen Raiman, who introduced the resolution in support of CCL’s proposal, “Carbon pollution is expensive for society, and the market should reflect that. The Citizens’ Climate Lobby has a fair and realistic plan for reducing GHG emissions. Their Carbon Fee and Dividend plan is consistent with the goals of the Energy Commission, and with the values of the people of Ann Arbor.
The Energy Commission recommends that the Ann Arbor City Council also endorse the Fee and Dividend proposal. This will be brought up at a future City Council meeting.
Ann Arbor CCL is pleased that the Energy Commission recognizes Carbon Fee and Dividend as a promising plan to quickly reduce GHG emissions while benefiting the economy, and is very grateful for their support and encouragement. Building broad support is key to passing such legislation, and the Energy Commission’s endorsement demonstrates that leaders in our community are with us.
Our guest speaker at our January meeting is Hahrie Han. Han is the Anton Vonk Associate Professor of Environmental Politics in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She specializes in the politics of environmental and social policy, focusing particularly on the role that civic associations play in mobilizing participation in politics and policy advocacy.
Hahrie is also the author of the book, How Organizations Develop Activists.
The January meeting takes place at the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation (4001 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd) from 12:45 – 2:45 pm. All are welcome!
Retired Navy Rear Admiral David Titley
Our guest for the December call is Dr. David Titley, a professor of practice in meteorology at Pennsylvania State University and the founding director of their Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk. He was also NOAA’s chief operating officer from 2012-2013. Before assuming these positions, he was a rear admiral and the chief oceanographer of the U.S. Navy, in which he served for 32 years.
While serving in the Pentagon, Dr. Titley initiated and led the US Navy’s Task Force on Climate Change.
On November 14, Barbara, John and Ginny gave a presentation about CCL to the Adrian Dominican Sisters, at the Weber Center in Adrian, MI
The sisters were very welcoming and receptive to the presentation. Unexpectedly, there was at least one person in the audience who disputed the premise that climate change is happening. It made the presenters realize they need to be better prepared for how to handle that type of reaction in the future!
Upcoming events of interest:
- Sunday, November 8, 1:00 – 2:00pm, First Unitarian. Food Waste Forum. Co-sponsored by First UU’s Climate Action Group and Mindful Eating Coalition, and Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice. Will focus on why food waste is a climate problem and how we can help solve the problem.
- Tuesday, November 10, 4:00 – 5:30pm, Weill Hall. A conversation with former Republican Congressmen Mike Rogers and David Camp. Hosted by Former Republican Congressman and UM Visiting Lecturer, Joe Schwarz.
- Wednesday, November 11, 5:00 – 7:00pm, Rackham Auditorium. Gasland: a multimedia presentation on fracking by Josh Fox
- Thursday, November 19, 6:30pm, Dana Natural Resources Building, room 1028. Environment Michigan panel on the EPA Clean Water Rule. Speakers: Bivouac owner, farmer Richard Andre from Tantre Farms, elected official (TBD)
- Monday, November 23, 11:30am – 1:00pm, Weill Hall. Cheap and Clean: How Americans Think about Energy in the Age of Global Warming
- Thursday, December 3, 7:30pm, St. Mary’s Student Parish. Sister Simone Campbell: “Creating an Economy of Inclusion: Pope Francis’ Call to Common Good”. More information and register here. This is a fundraiser for RESULTS and open to the public. (flyer attached).
- Wednesday, December 9, 5:00 – 7:00pm, Dana Natural Resources Building, room 1040. Free screening of Merchants of Doubt. Sponsored by SNRE, Citizens Climate Lobby, Divest & Invest
- Saturday, December 12, 2:00 – 4:00pm, Downtown Ann Arbor. Michigan Climate March.
Reminders on how to get more information about Ann Arbor CCL:
- Ann Arbor CCL Website
- Ann Arbor CCL Google Group. To exchange information with other members and find out about letter-to-the-editor opportunities. To join, visit the web site and then click on the link to subscribe, or send me an email.
- If you would like to listen to a recording of the call, access it here.
- More details on the monthly actions here, including suggestions for writing to Senators and writing letters to the editor.
- Guest speaker Rob Williams from Resources For the Future first addressed why economists favor a carbon tax over a carbon cap, then summarized the results of two studies examining 3 different methods of recycling the revenue from a carbon tax: 1) Tax cut on capital income; 2) Tax cut on labor income; 3) Lump sum dividend. Option 1 is more efficient over all, but the lowest 3 quintiles fare best under option 3.
- Highlights of CCL successes last month:
- Ontario, Canada held 18 lobby meetings last month
- Canada got a CCL public service announcement during the final world series game
- Fresno, CA had 11 LTE published last month
- Ithaca, NY succeeded in getting their congressman to be the 12th co-sponsor of the Gibson Resolution
- Texas Energy Freedom Tour. Read about this amazing outreach project here.
- CCL supporters in all but one US Congressional district (Mississippi 01)
- 246 Letters to the editor published last month, 2186 year-to-date
- 339 op-eds published year-to-date
- Fall Fundraising appeal. Please consider donating and asking for friends and family to donate on Giving Tuesday, December 1, when there will be a 1-day, $25,000 matching grant. Make your donation using this link.
- LM described efforts to get editorial board meeting with Detroit Free Press and Detroit News. No meeting scheduled yet, but still working on it.
- KH talked about planning for the Michigan Climate March on December 12, starting at 2pm in front of the Federal Building. Please help spread the word for this big event. RSVP here and invite your friends to the Facebook event
- Made plans to have a CCL table in the First UU social hall after the climate change-focused service on Nov 22. Service being planned by members of the Climate Action Group, including KH (lead) and JS.
- Talked about hosting Green Drinks event on first Thursday in January. GR will reserve room at Arbor Brewing.
- Personal goals:
- GR: write LTE, write to senators, planning for climate march, planning for Merchants of Doubt
- DB: working on how to get information in bulletin for church
- LM: editorial board meeting, publicity for march
- BB: write to senators, write to Walberg suggesting R’s come up with alternative to new keep-it-in-the-ground bill
- DG: speakers for march, meeting with Dingell
- MK: continue with endorsements, write to senators
- WL: research websites with big audiences for climate change
- BB: get involved in march planning
- JS: prepare for presentation, write to Obama to thank for Keystone decision, bring one friend to march
- LJ: revise climate change sermon and send out, continue research on health impacts of climate change