A Watershed Moment: Supporting Proposal 3

Today we hear from Katherine Sawyer, Grand Rapids Field Organizer for the Sierra Club, who discusses Proposal 3 and the Renewable Energy Standard that will require 25% of Michigan’s energy to come from renewable sources by the year 2025.

With Election Day just around the corner, the Proposal 3 Campaign, headed by Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs, is in dire need of supporters and volunteers to spread the word of its benefits. Right now 60% of Michigan’s energy comes from coal, which not only pollutes, but is linked to numerous health concerns and diseases. “It’s the most important public health initiative in decades,” according to the Michigan Nurses Association. The renewable energy sources that are most popular in Michigan are wind, solar, with some hydropower and biomass sources. The ballot initiative has benefits to all, specifically those in support of a clean environment, those with health concerns, or those who want to push for more jobs in Michigan. If passed, Proposal 3 will create 94,000 jobs in the renewable energy industry, while consumers will face nearly no extra cost. A clause int he proposal prohibits any family’s energy bill to increase by more than 1% per year, which can equate to about 50 cents per month.

While there’s numerous positives to the passing of the initiative, the opposition is stepping up, calling for even more voices in the support of Proposal 3. The prime opponent is CARE, a front group for utility companies. The best way to get involved in helping the effort, is to contact the Sierra Club, WMEAC, or the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. These leaders are hoping to win the votes by mobilizing supporters to talk to people via phone calls, petition, and meet face to face with voters, “to have strength in numbers, power in numbers, true grassroots organizing style,” sais Sawyer.  There will be phone banks three times a week, for those interested in volunteering to make phone calls and spread the message about the benefits to the initiative. People are pushed to “get the word out, get the truth about what Proposition 3 will do for Michigan,” said Sawyer.

The volunteer form for the phone banks can be found here.

Representatives are also needed at different poll locations as supporters of Proposal 3. To learn more about volunteering on Election Day, visit prop3.wmeac.org.


To listen to this episode, click here. The full-length interview can be heard here.

“A Watershed Moment” is a weekly radio program focused on environmental news and happenings in West Michigan, plus solutions for living a greener life.  Broadcast on WYCE-FM 88.1 on Tuesdays at 8:30am and 5:30pm, this program is produced by Grand Rapids Community Media Center and West Michigan Environmental Action Council.

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