Rick Snyder vs. Engaged Citizens

March 16, 2011

Industry News

I’ve attended a few political rallies in my day. In my former life (read: before I got into energy), I was a poli sci/econ double major so I get pretty geeked up over the political stuff. These days, there’s not much that surprises me about American politics and the goings-on in that scene.

Today, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill into effect that grants him the power to deem a municipality in “financial emergency” and appoint a non-elected manager to run said municipality until it gets back on its feet. That non-elected, gubernatorial-appointed official is given the right to fire any elected official it sees fit, break any and all existing contracts including those of collective bargaining, and merge or decimate school districts in their entirety at this person’s will. And… there was a $100 budget appropriation sneaked (seriously, “snuck” is not a word?) into the bill so that voters cannot repeal it through referendum – which means the voters have no say.

This is a big deal. Some would argue even bigger than the Wisconsin deal. So, I went to the Capitol today (all 2 blocks down the street) and I soaked in the wonder of civic engagement. I won’t get into my own personal political views or what side of the fence I am on. But I’m sure you can probably tell how I stand on *this* particular bill. What I do want to address is the importance of taking your civic duty seriously. Today there were thousands of people gathered around the capital with their air horns, signs, friends, and strangers to express their opinion about this bill. It had passed in the House and in the Senate… so there was nothing they could do to prevent this bill from going through. But they were there to be heard.

I love me some civic engagement. Almost regardless of what it’s about, I love to see people taking action in their lives to be heard. Today was a historic event and I’m glad I could witness it.

Michiganders gather at the Capitol to protest

Next up: Educate the masses on the importance of energy efficiency. If the energy efficiency initiatives in this state are ever at risk, I want there to be a rally against removing them (and rallies require people who are fired up about the issue!) – not just because I think efficiency initiatives are crucial to the economic survival of Michigan (and the nation/world) but because I could finally tote a sign that says “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Efficient”.

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3 Comments on “Rick Snyder vs. Engaged Citizens”

  1. Ben Says:

    Perhaps some struggling governments would do themselves well to invest in energy efficiency to improve their cash flow?

    Reply

  2. Madam Energy Says:

    You couldn’t be more right, Ben… geez, you are always in my head!

    I am working on a post right now about how municipal government entities cannot only benefit financially from efficiency upgrades, but how they can take for granted a lot of neat grant money and free rebates from utilities.

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Dear City Managers of Michigan: I Offer a Solution | Don't Hate Me Because I'm Efficient - March 17, 2011

    […] Don't Hate Me Because I'm Efficient Brought to you by Madam Energy Skip to content HomeAboutEmployers ← Rick Snyder vs. Engaged Citizens […]

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