The Skywriter

"The Storm" visits climate champ in Michigan

2
Apr

"The Storm" visits climate champ in Michigan

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By Clean Water Action organizer Jesse Worker. -- Luis

As we stood outside Rep. Mark Schauer's office (MI-7th) in the bright spring sunshine holding signs reading "A storm of support: Thank you for protecting the Clean Air Act" and "Mark Schauer brings clean energy power," I couldn't help but recall my first visit to his office just days before the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) act vote. Rep. Schauer was a first-term Congressman whom Clean Water Action (my organization in Michigan), had worked hard to get into office based on his strong environmental platform. After a productive discussion of why the ACES bill was so important for Michigan's economic and environmental future, we received a call on the day of the vote from his office assuring us that he would be supporting the bill.

Since that time, bolstered by the support of climate activists, Rep. Schauer did not waver from his support for climate and energy reform, despite a summer of intense opposition attacks. When the Dirty Air Act measures were raised, he told me in person that he was unequivocally against weakening the Clean Air Act. So as we gathered for a "Storm of Support" outside his office, we were there to send a clear message--supporting the Clean Air Act is a sure way to bring out supporters.

After joking about how well the umbrellas shaded us from the sun, we were invited inside, along with a reporter from the local newspaper, to meet with Ken Brock, Rep. Schauer's Chief of Staff. After introductions, I explained that we had organized the visit to ask for a public commitment to defend the Clean Air Act. After describing the Clean Air Act as the "stick that chases the carrot (of clean energy legislation)", Mr. Brock said " We have worked too hard and come too far both historically on the Clean Air Act and in terms of the national energy legislation to undermine that."

After taking several more questions on how the training for clean energy jobs was being implemented at local community colleges and how it was translating directly into careers, our group thanked the office staff and left. Outside, there was sense of positive energy and excitement that one gets from fruitful participation in democracy. It was clear that the volunteers who came had gathered that day felt satisfied. Although we all knew that the climate change fights extended far outside the district, it was reassuring to know that Representative Schauer understood the broad grassroots movement behind climate action.

Here's some video from our visti to Rep. Schauer's office:

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