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E-M:/ Do MI Environmentalists Support Sustainable Communities?

Dear EM folks,

We need your support! Especially if you live in the Lansing area
or represent an environmental group that operates in the Lansing
area, or has a chapter that does so, please read on. . . .

As many of you will already know from several previous posts,
the Greater Lansing Green Team is organizing a Sustainable
Lansing Community Forum to be held at Lansing Community College
on May 15. This is the first event in Michigan to focus local
effort on making the whole city, indeed the whole Greater
Lansing area sustainable. The "Sustainable Lansing" project has
the potential to be a challenging and inspiring model for local
sustainability initiatives all across the state.

At this time cosponsors of the event include:

Lansing Community College, Liberal Studies Division
City of East Lansing
City of Lansing
Tri-County Regional Planning Commission (Ingham, Eaton, Clinton
The Regional Economic Development (R.E.D.) Team, Inc. (Lansing
Ingham County Health Department
MSU Center for Urban Affairs
Michigan State University Committee for a Sustainable Campus
Environmental Fund for Michigan
League of Michigan Bicyclists
Greater Laingsburg Recyclers
Elise Harvey
Tomie Raines, Inc.
and Urban Options.

While requests for endorsement and support have gone out
individually to a couple of local environmental groups, to date
the only environmental group to have endorsed the forum is the
Environmental Fund for Michigan.

Do other environmental groups in Michigan support sustainable
communities? If you do, now is the time to let us know!  If you
can show your support with even a nominal contribution, that
would also be very helpful. And there are many other ways to
show your support also, such as offering a poster for the poster
session in the morning of the forum, suggesting a theme for an
afternoon small discussion group, offering to help facilitate
discussions, and helping with publicity for the event. So even
without monetary support there is a great deal you can do.

For information on the event I have attached an updated copy of
our "funder solicitation document" and of the public
announcement for the forum.

Please contact myself, Deborah Davis or LeRoy Harvey (contact
info below) at your earliest convenience to record endorsements
or other offers of support. (After March 26, please contact
either Deborah or LeRoy.)

The names (and logos, where available) of all cosponsors will be
advertised with the forum publicity and on the forum web site (a
public announcement for the forum is now on the Web at

We need you to show your support somehow and soon. We thank you
in advance, because we have every confidence that our hearts are
in the same place.

For the Green Team.

Phil Shepard, Chair
Sustainable Lansing Community Forum Planning Committee
(517) 332-0761

LeRoy Harvey, Director
Urban Options
(517) 337-0422

Deborah Davis, Forum Coordinator
(517) 484-5012

-- BEGIN included message

To: Potential Funders and Cosponsors of the Sustainable Lansing
Community Forum
From: Phil Shepard, Chair of Planning Committee; for the Greater
Lansing Green Team, an affiliate of Urban Options.

We appreciate your willingness to consider endorsing and helping
to fund the Sustainable Lansing Community Forum on May 15 at 
Lansing Community College. It is important to the success of 
this event and the goal of sustaining the greater Lansing 
community that many diverse groups from the area express their 

The ultimate purposes of the forum are to focus community
attention and effort on making Lansing area communities 
more sustainable and to launch a process of community-based 
development of indicators of sustainability to be used in 
shaping yearly reports of sustainable progress (for 50 
years or so). The forum itself is our first major effort 
to get issues and concerns about sustainability on local 
radar. What do we want to become here in Lansing in the 
21st century? How will we define "progress"? Through the 
Forum we hope to develop contacts in the community to 
support later phases of the project. Two follow-up
indicator development workshops are planned, on June 22 
and 26 at Urban Options. More will be planned thereafter, 
depending on funding.

Leaning heavily on the work of Maureen Hart, we want the Forum
to explore and clarify links among three traditional categories
(that are usually kept quite separate) - to wit, economy
(business and economic development), community (people issues, 
from health to education to welfare, and so on), and the 
natural environment. So we are looking to find honorary 
co-chairs for the event that will symbolically represent 
each of these areas, and plan to utilize their involvement to
focus publicity prior to the event. (Your suggestion for
co-chairs are most welcome.)

The audience for the forum is really the entire community. Since
we expect to reach environmental groups and social activists
more easily, we are putting special effort into reaching other 
groups in the community who might not have prior (positive) 
dealings with environmental matters or sustainability. These 
specially targeted groups come either from the "economy" 
category or the "community" category.

We are very pleased that Michael Shuman, author of _Going
Local_, will be the guest speaker for the forum. His presence
and message will help to draw people to the forum who might 
not come otherwise.

Below you will find a public announcement for the forum. 
Please feel free to copy it and distribute it widely.

With your help, sustainable development can greatly benefit
communities in this area. It creates jobs, improves the 
environment and quality of life, saves money, and secures a 
community's future. We are prepared to explain and elaborate 
on these benefits at your request, just let us know and we 
will field a team of presenters to help you address these 
and other questions for your group.

In developing indicators of sustainability, we hope to 
involve people from all across the community and help them 
envision what they want their community to be in the future, 
i.e. to define progress themselves. This process will 
strengthen local democracy and local self-determination.

The Forum and Indicator Development Workshops are projects of
the Green Team, an affiliate of Urban Options. Funds for the
forum can be administered through Urban Options, a registered
501(c)3 non-profit.

Tentative Forum Budget

Lead in publicity                               $2,000
Compensation for the work
  of the forum coordinator                       3,000
Forum Facility Costs                             1,000
Outside Speaker                                  1,400
Web site construction                            3,000
Urban Options Overhead                           2,000

    Total                                      $12,400

Cosponsors to date include: Lansing Community College, 
Liberal Studies Division, City of East Lansing, City 
of Lansing, Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, 
The Regional Economic Development (R.E.D.) Team, Inc.,
Ingham County Health Department, MSU Center for Urban 
Affairs, Michigan State University Committee for a 
Sustainable Campus, Environmental Fund for Michigan, 
League of Michigan Bicyclists, Greater Laingsburg 
Recyclers, Lansing.com, Elise Harvey, Tomie Raines, Inc., 
and Urban Options.

Our funding strategy is fourfold:

1) Seek contributions in the range of $500-2,000 from key
agencies or groups in the local area. Cosponsor invitations 
are pending at:

The Lansing Economic Development Corporation
Mid Michigan Environmental Action Council
Clean Water Action
Various MSU Departments
Local Recycling Businesses
And various other local groups or businesses

2) Seek modest outside grants, e.g. $1000 from the National 
Growth Management Leadership Project to support bringing in 
an outside speaker.

3) Cost of lunch and a portion of the facilities and/or 
incidental costs will be recovered from a modest 
registration fee ($20-30). 

4) Where feasible rely heavily on volunteers. For example, 
I've already donated $8-10,000 of my time to the project 
since its inception (a figure not in the budget).

Should the Forum become over funded, surplus funds will be 
used to launch the indicator development workshops.

If you have any questions about the Forum or larger project, 
or needs that you would like us to address before deciding 
to support this project, please don't hesitate to raise them 
with your Green Team contact person or to contact me directly.

I am yours truly,

Phil Shepard, Professor Emeritus MSU
Forum Planning Committee Chair
(517) 332-0761
After March 26, please contact either Deborah Davis or LeRoy
Harvey (contact info below).

[Public Announcement]

            Sustainable Lansing Community Forum
                     May 15, 1999
               Lansing Community College
                    Dart Auditorium

In the 21st century, what will it be like in Lansing??

  *More traffic congestion, parking problems, and sprawl?
  *More pollution, sickness, and poverty?
  *More arguments, disagreements, excessive use of force?
  *Higher costs of living, but lower incomes?

How do we redefine progress so that local families, 
businesses, and environments are sustained and enhanced?  
What sort of community do we want to be in the 21st century?

How do we best meet present needs without reducing the 
ability of future generations to meet their needs?

Through broad-based participation and dialogue, each 
community can bring forth its own definition and 
understanding of sustainability. Come to the Forum and 
share your accomplishments and concerns for the future.
Let's explore the interwoven connections in the social,
economic, and environmental work that's needed in the 
greater Lansing area -- and together we can knit the 
future that we want.

  10am    Poster Presentations
  11am    Keynote Speaker - Michael Shuman, author of _Going
Local:                Creating Self-Reliant Communities in a
Global Age_
  12      Lunch
  1-3pm   Small Groups--discussions on future concerns
  3-4pm   Reports from Small Groups

Sponsors: Greater Lansing Green Team, Urban Options, Liberal
Studies Division-LCC, City of East Lansing, City of Lansing, 
Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, The Regional 
Economic Development (R.E.D.) Team, Inc., Ingham County 
Health Department, MSU Center for Urban Affairs, MSU 
Committee for a Sustainable Campus, Environmental 
Fund for Michigan, League of Michigan Bicyclists, 
Greater Laingsburg Recyclers, Lansing.com, Elise
Harvey, Tomie Raines, Inc.
Your group??  Additional co-sponsors and endorsements 
are welcome at any time.

For more information, contact:

Deborah Davis, Coordinator
Leroy Harvey at Urban Options

-- END included message