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February 2022 Newsletter

Greetings from Ann Arbor for Public Power! Here are our latest developments and events,
including a virtual roundtable discussion on Thursday, February 17, 2022:

City Council (CC) passes feasibility study resolution on January 18, 2022!

After almost a year of discussion and debate, the Ann Arbor Energy Commission (EC) in December passed a resolution recommending that City Council (CC) undertake a feasibility study for a municipal electric utility; the CC authorized the study on January 18. The study will also evaluate other possible ways for obtaining 100% renewable power by 2030, as well analyze customer rates for a possible Sustainable Energy Utility, a municipal utility that would exist alongside DTE. City staff expects to have an RFP (Request for Proposal) ready to go out to bid by May.

Join us at virtual Round Table #1, on the viability of municipalization in Ann Arbor, Thursday, February 17, 2022, from 7:00-9:00 pm

 

Seven panelists from the community will address the question:

 

Public Power: A viable way for Ann Arbor to tackle the climate emergency?

 

The panelists:

 

Jeff Irwin, MI State Senator, 18th District; member of the Sault Tribe and the Anishinabek Caucus; Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners 1999-2010; former Executive Director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters; MI House of Representatives, 53rd District, 2011-2017.

 

Michelle Deatrick, Writer, farmer, policy analyst; served as Vice Chair Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners; serves on the County’s Environmental Council and as the Elected National Chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Council on the Environment and Climate Crisis, which she founded in 2019.  

 

Chris Bzdok, Energy & Environmental Lawyer with Olson, Bzdok & Howard, Traverse City, MI; former Mayor of Traverse City and former member of Traverse City Light and Power Board of Directors.

 

Desirae Simmons, Co-Director, Interfaith Council for Peace & Justice (ICPJ); community activist in Ypsilanti, MI, for affordable housing, a Community Benefits Ordinance, and other social justice issues; holds leadership positions in the Michigan Democratic Party; a Sustainability Commissioner and a member of Michigan Alliance for Justice in Climate (MAJIC).

 

Sean McBrearty, Michigan Legislative and Policy Director, Clean Water Action (CWA); a coordinator for Oil and Water Don’t Mix to retire Line 5.

 

Liz Ratzloff, Researcher and Organizer for the Labor Network for Sustainability; former Staff Organizer for the Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) at the University of Michigan; Co-Chair of the Huron Valley Area Labor Climate Council, Huron Valley Area Labor Federation (HVALF) Just Transition Committee; Vice President of the Huron Valley Worker Organizing and Research Center.

 

Yousef Rabhi, MI State Representative, 53rd District, 2016-2022; serves on the House Appropriations Subcommittee, Department of Environmental Quality; formerly served six years on the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners; deeply engaged with energy and environmental issues.

 

Moderator: Greg Woodring, President, Ann Arbor for Public Power (A2P2)

 

To register for Round Table #1 click here!

Welcome, Volunteers!

To get involved, contact us at annarborpublicpower@gmail.com. Let us know how you can help. For example, you can put up one of our handsome new yard signs on your lawn. For the more ambitious, we’ll be spreading the word about our muni in door-to-door canvassing or through social media. When we sponsor a public event, you can help us talk about our campaign with those who attend. Or if you have a special skill, let us know. We welcome all to our team of volunteers!

Join our Discord

Want to join the fight for energy justice and democracy in Ann Arbor? Join the discussion in Ann Arbor for Public Power's Discord server! Our Discord server has up-to-date information about our plans and events. To join, send an email to annarborpublicpower@gmail.com with "Discord" in the subject line and we'll send you an invite!

A feasibility study for our muni is critical; Here’s what you need to know:

 

A feasibility study is basically a business plan for the future muni. It will rigorously calculate all expenses, including the costs of acquiring DTE’s distribution network. It will also predict the utility’s future revenues. Finally, the study will arrive at future electricity rates for both the muni and for the business-as-usual DTE option. Comparing these will tell us if the muni makes economic sense for Ann Arbor. 

 

The RFP (Request for Proposal) for the feasibility study should be completed by May. Then bids will be reviewed. Finally, completing the study itself could take another six months. In the interim we encourage the city to find opportunities for public engagement and input on the process.

 

In the meantime, we will sponsor a series of municipalization Round Tables (See above for info on Round Table #1) to engage the public. To spread the word about these Round Tables to your friends and neighbors, please contact us at annarborpublicpower@gmail.com. We would appreciate your help!

Where is the Build Back Better (BBB) bill?

While some report that the BBB bill is finished, others in Congress, in both the House and Senate, think that at least parts of it can survive. We’re hoping the measures for combating the climate crisis, as well as several other social welfare provisions, can still pass this year.

 

Is the situation in the Ukraine leading to war?

At the time of this writing both the U.S. and Russia seem to be ratcheting up the rhetoric that we are on the brink of a Russian invasion of the Ukraine, as Russia challenges the Ukraine’s relationship to the EU and NATO and builds up its military forces on Ukraine’s border. It is a very complex situation, but we must avoid an enormously destructive war. We need a diplomatic solution to the crisis; we fervently hope for peace in the region.

In the meantime

We’re proud to be doing our part in Ann Arbor in fighting against the use of fossil fuels and for the power of the people to control their own municipal electric utility. We welcome you to join us, if you’d like to help! Please check out our website at annarborpublicpower.org or contact us directly at annarborpublicpower@gmail.com!  

Have questions, concerns, or just want to say hi? Reach out to A2P2 at annarborpublicpower@gmail.com!
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