Climate Power 2020 Announces Michigan Co-Chairs

Washington, D.C. – Today, Climate Power 2020 announced its Michigan Co-Chairs, which include state leaders and activists who reflect the diverse, grassroots movement to ensure 2020 is a defining moment for how our nation addresses the climate crisis.

State Senator Mallory McMorrow, the Founder, CEO, and President of Black Millennials 4 Flint LaTricea Adams, Regional Organizing Director at the Sunrise Movement Nicholas Jansen, and community advocate Lauren Bealore are partnering with Climate Power 2020 to hold anti-science candidates accountable for embracing anti-science policies that hurt all Michiganders.

Nearly 60 percent of Michiganders, according to polling from Yale University, are worried about climate change and think President Trump and Congress should do more to address climate change. Yet Trump and his congressional allies are ignoring experts, refusing to believe in science, surrendering our government to big oil executives, and gutting public health protections, all at the expense of future generations.

“Michigan is the Great Lakes State, proudly home to nearly 80% of the country’s freshwater supply. But government officials turned a blind eye to reckless decisions which poisoned an entire community with lead-tainted drinking water, and aging infrastructure and manufacturing runoff make lead and PFAS contamination a statewide – and nationwide – crisis. Clean water is a fundamental right, and it’s never been more at risk. Yet too many elected officials refuse to act with any urgency. Instead, leaders from the top on down are creating more loopholes and relaxing environmental rules – allowing polluters to contaminate our water supply further,” said Michigan Senator Mallory McMorrow. “Michiganders deserve a government that works for us instead of against us, which is why I’m joining Climate Power 2020.”

“The climate crisis disproportionately harms communities of color, yet for far too long people of color have been left out of the environmental movement. From Flint to Detroit, Michigan is home to countless examples of environmental racism,” said Detroit-based advocate Lauren Bealore. “Fighting environmental justice issues and climate change requires bringing new voices into the movement to build new systems that work for all Americans, regardless of race. I am excited to work with Climate Power 2020 to engage people of color and young voters in the fight for climate justice.”

“The Flint water crisis proves people of color are the hardest hit by the effects of government inaction in the face of widespread pollution. We need our government to recognize clean air and clean water as fundamental human rights for all people, regardless of their race or ethnicity,” said LaTricea Adams, founder of Black Millennials 4 Flint. “I am proud to partner with Climate Power 2020 as we fight against the environmental racism oppressing communities of color across the country.”

“Michiganders are already familiar with the very real consequences of climate disasters, higher temps, severe flooding, and pollution, particularly in our poor and
Black and Brown communities. Fighting climate change is fighting for our health, our prosperity, and our future. It’s important for us to come together and prioritize climate action so we can create a future Michiganians deserve,” said Sunrise Movement’s
Nicholas Jansen
. “I’m proud to join Climate Power 2020 in calling attention to the urgency of this moment.”

Climate Power 2020 will focus on Michigan because of its importance to the 2020 election map and the high concentration of individuals living there that data shows are most motivated by climate change political messaging. Fifty-nine percent of Michiganders believe Trump should do more to combat climate change even as he dismisses the crisis by calling it a “hoax.”

Michigan communities are also living with the impacts of climate change with both periods of intense flooding and drought on the rise in the state. Research shows that the severity of summer droughts could triple in the next three decades and that nearly 340,000 individuals live in at-risk flood zones. Since Trump assumed office, Michigan has experienced six climate-related disasters, which caused $19 billion in damages.
Michigan voters under the age of 35 have a significant opportunity to have an outsized impact on elections. Even a one percent increase in participation by Michigan voters under the age of 35 in 2016 would have brought more than 21,000 more voters out in an election that was decided by only 10,704 votes.

According to census data, more than 70 percent of Michigan’s Latino citizens voted in the 2012 election. That turnout rate fell to just 27.8 percent for the following midterm and was at just 36 percent in 2016. Like other key rust belt battleground states, Michigan’s electoral college votes were determined by a very small margin in 2016, meaning that only a small increase in turnout among young or Latino voters could force a conversation on climate change and force anti-science candidates, including President Trump, to defend his failed agenda.

The state co-chairs join an already formidable collection of Advisory Board members, including Founder of Fair Fight and the Southern Economic Advancement Project Stacey Abrams, Rhiana Gunn-Wright, Co-Author of the Green New Deal,  Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Founder/CEO, Ocean Collectiv, Former Secretary of State John Kerry, Climate Strike Partnerships Coordinator at the Future Coalition and co-founder of the International Indigenous Youth Council Thomas Lopez, Former Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, Former Senator Harry Reid, Former Investor, Philanthropist, and Founder of NextGen America Tom Steyer, Varshini Prakash, Executive Director, and Co-Founder, Sunrise Movement, and Jamal Raad, Co-founder and Campaign Director, Evergreen Action, among others.