Colleen Otte

  • published Michigan Climate Champion Awards in About MiCAN 2023-09-25 14:12:08 -0400

    Michigan Climate Champion Awards

    With generous support from the Colina Foundation, the MiCAN is excited to launch this year's edition of the Michigan Climate Champion Awards to recognize individuals doing exceptional work to address the climate crisis in Michigan.

    Given our regular engagement with the breadth of our network, we understand and appreciate the importance of recognizing both professional advocates who are achieving great things in our state, as well as volunteers who do not get paid to do this work and youth leaders driving change.

    Climate Champion Awards

    1. The Climate Champion Award will go to a professional doing exceptional climate and justice work for an organization, a municipality, or business in Michigan; and
    2. The Climate Action Award will be awarded to an individual doing exceptional climate and justice work as a volunteer for an organization in Michigan. This award recipient will receive a $1,000 prize for a non-profit of their choice.
    3. The Young Climate Leader Award will go to a student or other young person doing exceptional work as a volunteer or individual. This award recipient will be granted a $1,000 prize.

    The Theme: While MiCAN's approach is to focus on the positive solutions to move forward in the renewable energy economy, we recognize that the first, most logical step in addressing the climate crisis is to shut off the "faucet," eliminating our reliance on fossil fuels. This year's awards theme is "Ending the Era of Fossil Fuels," aimed at honoring anyone working on utility campaigns and/or dismantling the infrastructure that supports fossil fuels: coal plants, oil pipelines, etc. Please know we prefer to remain less prescriptive about their credentials; if you see a creative connection between your candidate and the criteria, we'd love to learn about it.

    Deadline: Please nominate your climate leaders by Friday, November 3rd.

    Winners will be selected by MiCAN staff and a selection of steering committee members and announced during our December members' meeting. This is an annual award, and new themes will be chosen for 2024, 2025, and 2026.

    Nominate an Outstanding Climate Advocate

    Want to learn more? Check out our previous recipients!

  • published Establish Michigan as a Climate Leader in Campaigns 2023-08-29 13:42:42 -0400

    Establish Michigan as a Climate Leader

    Moving Michigan Forward: Mountain of Support

    Day of Action

    To enact lasting, generational change and establish Michigan as a climate leader, keep the state competitive, and implement the MI Healthy Climate Plan, we need bold policies that address renewable, affordable, reliable, and equitable power production. To pass these policies, we must show our legislators the mountain of support that exists for the renewable energy economy. YOU have the power to show legislators the broad and durable public support for a robust renewable clean energy package.

    To seize this once-in-a-generation moment to supercharge the state’s energy transition, we are calling on all citizens, groups, businesses, local elected officials, schools, governmental bodies, and all entities to SIGN ON and SHOW UP to demand the climate action we need!

    1. SIGN ON: Pledge Your Support for the Strongest Energy Bill Package

    • MiCAN is part of a broad coalition of groups urging the swift passage of three key goals in the Clean Energy Future Plan, a legislative package that will clean the power sector rapidly, affordably, and reliably. You, too, can let your lawmakers know Michiganders want to pass these bills in order to tackle the climate crisis and ensure reliable, affordable electricity for our state and the benefits of a growing clean energy sector.

    Sign On Now 

    • As an ally to the environmental justice community, MiCAN supports the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition (MEJC)'s policy priorities to improve and strengthen the existing Clean Energy Future Plan. In solidarity with MEJC, help us urge the legislature to amend and introduce legislation in support of a Climate Justice agenda.

    Sign On Now

    2. SHOW UP:

    Day of Action

    Rally Around the MI Clean Energy Future Day of Action in Lansing

    Beyond amassing a mountain of support through signatures, we can help lawmakers visualize our vast movement by making a big showing for a Clean Energy Future Day of Action on September 26th. Join us to double down on your impact! You will have the chance to speak directly with your legislators to let them know exactly why our state's renewable energy economy should be an utmost priority at this fun, festival-style event (complete with food trucks and live music!). 

    RSVP to Show Up Now


    Sept23 Members Meeting


    Attend Our Members Meeting & Get Prepped

    Moreover, join us the afternoon prior, on September 25th at our fall MiCAN Members Meeting to discuss important talking points and get aligned on our game plan for the Day of Action. 

    RSVP to Show Up Now




  • Thank You for Signing On

    Thank you for signing in support of the strongest possible energy bill package in Michigan. Our strength in numbers is what makes a successful movement!

    Can You Do More?

    Our colleagues at MLCV have created a link where you can send an email directly to your state legislators in support of the Clean Energy Future Plan.

    Join MiCAN in Lansing on September 26

    Join us in making a big showing in Lansing for a Clean Energy Future Day of Action on September 26th. The event is an infusion of fun – think food trucks, music, a festival-style gathering – and fact. Have you been awaiting the moment you can finally catch your lawmaker's ear? This is your chance to let them know exactly why our state's renewable energy economy should be an utmost priority.

    The day prior, on September 25th, we’re convening MiCAN constituents for our fall Members Meeting so that together, we may perfect our most pertinent talking points. (You and your organization or business can become a MiCAN member today for free!) If getting to Lansing presents an undue burden, we offer travel stipends to MiCAN members upon request. The more, the merrier – this is your moment to represent the movement!

    Share This Action

    Please share this action by using the links and buttons below.

    Start recruiting

  • Support the Strongest Energy Bill Package

    This opportunity will benefit from strength in numbers – fill out the form on this page to help create the strongest possible energy bill package in Michigan.

    253 signatures

    When you sign the petition, your name will be displayed publicly supporting the Clean Energy Future Plan. We will deliver all signatures to decision-makers to show the mountain of support behind this legislation. 

    You may sign more than once in different capacities, and please feel free to add any comments in the space provided.

    Topline Goals of the Clean Energy Future Plan

    MiCAN is part of a broad coalition of groups urging the swift passage of three key goals in the Clean Energy Future Plan, a legislative package that will clean the power sector rapidly, affordably, and reliably. Michigan must pass these bills to tackle the climate crisis and ensure reliable, affordable electricity for our state and the benefits of a growing clean energy sector. See below for the topline goals and supporting legislation.

    Read this letter sent to officials in the Whitmer administration for more background information and to see coalition members supporting this package.

    Clean Energy Future Plan

    Clean Energy Standard - SB 0271 / HB 4759

    Sets Michigan on the path to reach a renewable energy standard of 60% by 2030 with the ultimate goal of 100% carbon-free power by 2035. Requires MI utilities to include distributed generation programs for solar energy that are easily accessible for low-income communities and communities of color disproportionately impacted by climate change.

    • Michigan's prior standard of 15% renewable production no longer reflects the urgency of the climate crisis or our state's significant capacity to transition to clean power (we have long since met that standard).
    • Utility promises and renewable incentives are not enough; the standard would establish a binding target.

    Energy Waste Reduction - SB 0273 / HB 4761

    Updates and expands the energy waste reduction standard for annual savings of at least 2% for electricity and 1.5% for gas. Enables beneficial electrification of buildings and prioritizes the benefits of energy efficiency improvements for low-income communities.

    • The cheapest, cleanest form of energy is the energy not used in the first place.
    • Energy efficiency and weatherization are also some of the most effective means of ensuring long-term energy affordability for families struggling to pay utility bills.

    MPSC Authority Expansion - SB 0272 / HB 4760

    Require the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC)-the state agency that regulates investor-owned utilities on behalf of the people of Michigan--consider factors like climate and health impacts, affordability, and equity in its decision-making when utility companies seek new energy projects, rate changes, and more.

    • Lack of oversight has contributed to Michiganders experiencing some of the highest utility costs and the lowest service quality anywhere in the country.
    • The bill would create opportunities for communities to participate in important MPSC decisions and require the MPSC to listen to their concerns.

    If you would like to take a closer look at each piece of proposed legislation, follow the links below:

    Note: MiCAN's position on MPSC Authority Expansion

    The Michigan Environmental Protection Act already requires the Michigan Public Service Commission to include climate impacts in state agency decision-making. MiCAN has no objection to the legislature codifying this fact. MiCAN supports this bill because of the inclusion of equity, which is new and important.

    Want to do more? Visit our State Campaigns page for further related actions you can take. In particular, please be sure to take the second step of this action in which you can encourage the legislature to complement this package with additional equity considerations.

    Add signature

  • published Golfing for Glaciers in Events 2023-08-01 10:18:10 -0400

    Golfing for Glaciers

    Golfing for Glaciers flyer

    Not only are we golfing for glaciers, but for our children and grandchildren and the health of this beautiful creation that sustains us! 

    Greenfield's Climate Action Now team is hosting a fun day of golf at the Pontiac Country Club benefiting the Michigan Climate Action Network. Your cost of $75 includes 18 holes of golf with a cart along with food, prizes and chances to win a 50/50 raffle. It is open to golfers of all levels and genders but is limited to 72 golfers,

    Further information, including starting times, will be provided closer to the day of the event. Sponsorship of either a hole or prize package is also available at a cost of $75. Please click on the link if you or your company would be interested in becoming a sponsor. Sign up now and come join the fun while showing your support for climate action!

    Sign Up & Support MiCAN!

    September 25, 2023 at 9:00am
    Pontiac Country Club
    4335 Elizabeth Lake Rd
    Waterford, MI 48328
    United States
    Google map and directions

  • published MI Clean Energy Future Day of Action in Events 2023-07-25 00:30:54 -0400

    MI Clean Energy Future Day of Action

    Day of Action

    Join us for a full day of action that includes a climate rally + festival, dynamic guest speakers, live music, food, and direct engagement with our state legislators.

    Festivities will take place on the Capitol lawn. Be sure to stop inside the large tent to visit our traveling, interactive art banners upon which you can release your climate-related thoughts and feelings. If you know you can't make it in-person, you can still share your climate stories, feelings, experiences, and plans via an anonymous digital submission and we'll add your responses to the physical banners on your behalf.

    ** Legislators will be available to meet with their constituents throughout the day. If you are interested in meeting directly with your legislator and/or other members of the Legislature, we encourage you to arrive by 8am to participate in a Legislative briefing. Please indicate your interest by selecting the "Legislator Engagement" ticket option on your registration and you will be contacted with further instructions.**

    Register Now

    City parking information is available hereThe two closest parking ramps (2.5-block walk) are the N Capitol Ramp and the N Grand Ramp.

    If you can, we encourage you to join us the afternoon prior, on September 25th, at our fall MiCAN Members Meeting to discuss important talking points and get aligned on our game plan for the Day of Action. Travel stipends are available to MiCAN members upon request, and you can become a member today for free!

    September 26, 2023 at 9:00am
    Michigan State Capitol
    100 N Capitol Ave
    Lansing, MI 48933
    United States
    Google map and directions

  • published MiCAN Members Meeting - Q3 2023 in Events 2023-07-24 16:39:59 -0400

    MiCAN Members Meeting - Q3 2023

    September Members MeetingHead to the heart of Michigan to mingle with fellow MiCAN members at our quarterly meeting. We'll discuss what's on the docket for MiCAN the rest of the year, and welcome updates from your own initiatives. Stick around overnight to help us make a great showing at the MI Clean Energy Future Day of Action, also in Lansing the following day! We will work through campaign alignment during our members convening so that we most effectively exhibit our collective support for climate and energy legislation while still indicating that we won't accept false solutions and there is always more progress to be made. More details to come.

    If getting to Lansing presents an undue burden, we are offering travel stipends to MiCAN members upon request. (You and your organization or business can become a MiCAN member today for free!) 

    City parking information is available hereThe two closest parking ramps (2.5-block walk) are the N Capitol Ramp and the N Grand Ramp.

    Please know that we are very sorry to conflict with Yom Kippur and it was a difficult scheduling decision, but we felt a need to brief members ahead of the already-planned Day of Action.

    September 25, 2023 at 3:00pm
    Heritage Hall
    323 W Ottawa St
    Lansing, MI 48933
    United States
    Google map and directions
    46 rsvps

  • published Past Summits in Events 2023-07-06 14:58:03 -0400

    2023 Michigan Climate Summit

    June 2, 2023  |  Oakland University

    Summit 2023 Photo Collage



    2023 THEME

    2023 Michigan Climate Summit

    Addressing the climate crisis calls for social action guided by science, informed by values, and fueled by emotional engagement. This year, in addition to science and policy, we convened even more movement makers and connected to the broader cultural work of artists, storytellers, educators, and activists. The vision we achieved was an accessible, interactive, and fun day focused on increasing our collective capacity, supporting each other, and unleashing the creative potential of the climate movement to transform culture.


    Thursday, June 1

    Live Climate Storytelling Show: Tales From Heat Island

    Curated by Here:Say Storytelling and hosted by the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities.

    Friday, June 2

    Keynote: MIHealthyClimate Plan Update

    • Cory Connolly, Climate & Energy Advisor, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (EGLE)
    • Regina Strong, Environmental Justice Public Advocate, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (EGLE)

    Plenary Panel: State Legislative Priorities

    • State Representative Abraham Aiyash (D-MI-9), Majority Floor Leader
    • State Senator Rosemary Bayer (D-MI-13), Energy & Environment Committee
    • State Senator Sue Shink (D-MI-14), Energy & Environment Committee
    • State Representative Dylan Wegela (D-MI-26)
    • Moderator: Hudson Villeneuve, Federal Government Affairs Coordinator, Michigan League of Conservation Voters

    Breakout Session: Emerging Youth Leaders

    • Richard (RJ) Card, West Bloomfield High School EARTH Club Diversity Chair
    • Perla Guerrero, SPROUTS, Environmental Justice Group at Congress of Communities
    • Anna Kavanaugh, Environmental Engineering Junior at Michigan Technological University
    • Lake Liao, Sunrise Movement Troy, incoming freshman at Princeton University
    • Moderator: Liv Rollinger, Climate & Clean Energy Specialist, Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities

    Breakout Session: Shut Down Line 5

    • Kathleen Brosemer, Ph. D. Candidate in Energy and Environmental Policy, Michigan Technological University
    • Jeffrey Insko, Professor of English and Coordinator of American Studies, Oakland University
    • Sean McBrearty, Clean Water Action, Campaign Manager for Oil & Water Don't Mix
    • Beth Wallace, National Wildlife Federation
    • Moderator: Ellis Walton, Associate Attorney, Environmental Law & Policy Center

    Breakout Session: Siting Renewable Energy

    • Mike Buza, Chair of Sierra Club's Nepessing Group and the Michigan Chapter's Legislative Committee
    • Brendan Miller, Michigan Field Director, Land and Liberty Coalition
    • Peter Sinclair, Michigan-based videographer specializing in climate change and renewable energy issues
    • Moderator: Bill Latka, Founder & Chief Storyteller, Storylicious

    Keynote: Climate, Health, & Justice

    • Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, Director of the Department of Health, Human, and Veteran Services for Wayne County

    Breakout Session: Health Impacts & Lived Experience

    • Sue Anne Bell, University of Michigan School of Nursing
    • Laura Carter Robinson, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist, Humanity&Planet; Executive Committee, Climate Psychology Alliance of North America
    • Donna Givens-Davidson, President and CEO of the Eastside Community Network
    • Dr. Porsche Fischer, MA, MS, Doctor of Human Services, Education and Evaluation Manager, Center for Health & Community Impact, Wayne State University
    • Moderator: Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, Director of the Department of Health, Human, and Veteran Services for Wayne County
    • Co-Moderator: Lisa Del-Buono, Executive Director, Michigan Clinicians for Climate Action

    Breakout Session: Teaching the Climate Crisis

    • Eileen Boekestein, Environmental Education Coordinator, Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE)
    • Brian Deyo, Associate Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, Grand Valley State University
    • Riley Justis, Chief Operating Officer, Take Action Global
    • Elena Lioubimtseva, Professor of Geography and Sustainable Planning, Co-founder and coordinator of Climate Change Education Solutions Network, Grand Valley State University
    • Jennifer Tianen (McQuillan), English Teacher and Founder of the West Bloomfield High School Literary Garden
    • Moderator: Jeffrey Insko, Professor of English and Coordinator of American Studies, Oakland University

    Interactive Workshop: Social Change through Storytelling

    • Facilitator: Karen (Kabie) Stein, Creative Director & Producer, Here:Say Storytelling

    Breakout Session: Oakland County Climate Action

    • Kimathi Booth, Climate Justice Co-Chair, North Oakland Branch of the NAACP
    • Woody Gontina, Vice Chair, Royal Oak Environmental Advisory Board
    • Analicia Hazelby, Chapter Leader, Greater Detroit Chapter Citizens Climate Lobby
    • Erin Quetell, Chief Environmental Sustainability Officer, Oakland County Office of Sustainability
    • Andrew Sarpolis, Senior Field Organizer, Sierra Club, and Turn Oakland County Green
    • Moderator: Tina Catron, Michigan Field Consultant, EDF Action

    Breakout Session: Students Driving University Action

    • Taryn Indish, Student at Northwestern Michigan College, Northern Michigan Regional Organizer for Michigan League of Conservation Voters
    • Alison Martin, Student at Western Michigan University, Director of Sustainability for the Western Michigan Student Association
    • Aaeshah Siddiqui, Social Work student at Oakland University, Organizer for Public Citizen
    • Moderator: Brendan Mortensen-Seguin, MiCAN intern and rising junior at Western Michigan University

    Interactive Workshop: Creating Your Cipher

    • Facilitator: Dominique Campbell, Musician & Cultural Organizer

    Plenary Panel: Energy Justice

    • Kamau Clark, Southeast MI Lead Organizer, We The People
    • Michelle Jones, Soulardarity
    • Rafael Mojica, Program Director, Soulardarity
    • Moderator: Ellen Vial, Engagement & Coalitions Manager, Michigan Environmental Council

    Plenary Panel: Intersectional Climate Justice

    • Terra Bielby, Digital Organizing Director, Michigan Dems
    • Marnese Jackson, Co-Director, Community Engagement & Equity, Midwest Building Decarbonization Coalition
    • Monica Lewis-Patrick, President & CEO, We The People of Detroit
    • April Lindala, Ph. D., Professor and Director (2007-2019), Center for Native American Studies, Northern Michigan University
    • Moderator: Victoria Stewart, Director of Advocacy and Outreach, Michigan League of Conservation Voters


    Marshall Clabeaux, Michigan Mosaic Energy Cooperative; Dr. Jeffrey Insko, Oakland University; Bentley Johnson, Michigan League of Conservation Voters; Michelle Jones, Soulardarity; Bill Latka, Storylicious; Colleen Ludwig, Summit Art Director, Oakland University; Brendan Mortensen-Seguin, Western Michigan University; Frank Provenzano, Oakland University; Liv Rollinger, Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities; Ashley Rudzinski, Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities; Andrew Sarpolis, Sierra Club, Turn Oakland County Green; Jeff Smith, Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities; Ellen Vial, Michigan Environmental Council; Hudson Villeneuve, Michigan League of Conservation Voters

  • published OU hosts fourth annual Michigan Climate Summit in News 2023-07-02 19:11:52 -0400

    OU hosts fourth annual Michigan Climate Summit

    Written by Payton Bucki and Chloe Kukuk.

    “Climate change isn’t really a scientific problem. It’s an imaginative problem,” said OU Professor Jeffrey Insko. “What we need are new ways of living, new ways of being in relation with the more-than-human world and with one another."

    Read more

  • Michigan Senate hears testimony from broad coalition on historic clean energy, climate bills

    Broad coalition of groups testifies in support of a historic clean energy and climate package before the state Senate Energy and Environment Committee

    Read more

  • published 2023 Michigan Sustainability Conference in Events 2023-06-30 15:16:00 -0400

    2023 Michigan Sustainability Conference

    Join the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) for a day and a half program offering breakout and plenary sessions where attendees will gain practical tools and discover best practices. Take this opportunity to engage with leaders in sustainability to form the nexus between business and communities. Whether you are joining us as a community leader or a business leader, you’ll walk away with the network of partners, the practical tools, and the creative fuel you need to keep on course with this rapidly evolving era.

    Conference registration will open on July 17, 2023.


    Learn More

    October 24, 2023 at 9:00am - October 25, 2023 at 5:00pm
    Treetops Resort
    3962 Wilkinson Rd
    Gaylord, MI 49735
    United States
    Google map and directions

  • Clean energy, mobility, energy efficiency make progress in Michigan budget

    Legislature inks budget that fights pollution, grows clean energy jobs, saves Michiganders money

    "Drive on Sunshine" - electric cars charging on solar station

    Read more

  • published Don't blame Canada in News 2023-06-15 22:31:52 -0400

    Don't blame Canada

    If anything, we should be blaming fossil fuel companies for the climate-worsened wildfires filling U.S. air with smoke. Written by Arielle Samuelson and Emily Atkin on June 8, 2023.

    Read more

  • $130 million Electric Vehicle Center launching at U-M

    Read more

  • published Community Voices Series 2023-04-10 17:07:25 -0400

    Community Voices Series

    The Community Voices Series is a monthly virtual convening drawing diverse participants from the network to amplify local climate work, connect members and groups, and support each other's actions. Once per quarter, MiCAN members also gather in person for a hybrid event with the opportunity to mingle with local, likeminded counterparts. MiCAN rotates the content and geographical area of focus to allow the audience to learn from and mimic other Michigan communities' successful contributions to the collective climate movement.

    MiCAN practices our mantra of "Rest is Resistance" by taking a break from all programming to reflect and restore in July and December. 

    Stay tuned for our next topic! 

    Past Events

    June 2023  |  Oakland County Climate Action

    As part of the 2023 Michigan Climate Summit, this 'local action' panel showcased groups' efforts in the greater metro Detroit area. Representing Oakland County as a model, panelists spoke on how elected officials and grassroots leaders can effectively work together to achieve climate goals.

    View Recording >>

    May 2023  |  Universities Leading on Climate

    During this interactive, conversational-style event, MiCAN intern Brendan Mortensen-Seguin explored the actions and strategies of university sustainability professionals to address the climate crisis. Drawing from the findings in MiCAN’s forthcoming report on Michigan’s 15 public universities' climate efforts, we heard from three sustainability and climate professionals.

    View Recording >>

    April 2023  |  From Practitioner to Climate Advocate

    Cohosted with Michigan Clinicians for Climate Action, our second installment of the Community Voices Series brought together two outstanding practitioners at the intersection of climate and health.

    Drs. Sue Holcombe and Cheryl Ruble discussed their journeys in discovering how to engage in effective climate advocacy related to food, agriculture, and health.

    View Recording >>

    March 2023  |  Climate Emergency Month in Kalamazoo & West Michigan

    MiCAN's first-of-its-kind Community Voices featured groups advancing equitable climate solutions in Kalamazoo and West Michigan, keying in on current efforts and upcoming initiatives toward bold climate action during Kalamazoo's declared Climate Emergency Month. The series kicked off with a hybrid event out of the Kalamazoo Nature Center, where participants rounded out the afternoon with a climate-centric nature hike, and featured speakers from the Kalamazoo Climate Crisis Coalition, Western Michigan Environmental Action Council, and WMU Climate Change Working Group.

    View Recording >>

  • Mackinac Island ferry switching to electric power

    A $3.06 million grant will be used to convert Mackinac ferry to electric power. Written by Janelle D. James of Bridge Michigan on March 14, 2023.

    Read more

  • published See You There! in 2023 Michigan Climate Summit Tickets 2023-03-07 16:47:47 -0500

    See You There!


    You are now registered to join hundreds of climate-minded counterparts at Michigan's premier Climate Summit. Thank you for your ticket purchase and welcome to the cause! Check your email for your receipt, and if you're not seeing it right away, please check your spam folder. As always, you can Contact Us with any questions or concerns.

    Start recruiting

  • Bandyk: Utilities can help consumers by moving away from natural gas | Opinion

    Written by Amy Bandyk, executive director of the Citizens Utility Board of Michigan, for The Detroit News.

    Read more

  • published Donate 2023-01-30 12:31:32 -0500


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