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E-M:/ Election Day from the ground

Winning Michigan for John Kerry and electing pro-environment Democrats, and Republicans like Jack Bradenburg of St. Clair Shores, resulted in part from the hard work and investment of significant resources by Clean Water Action and its friends and allies, like Sierra Club and the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, who do the political work that is essential to building power for the environment in Michigan.

We are still gathering volunteer, staff and hard election data for Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund, but here are a few fun facts that suggest the "ground game" made a difference on Election Day.

  • Clean Water Fund, allied with Hispanic and African-American groups, conducted a massive non-partisan GOTV operation in 15 Grand Rapids precincts where turnout has traditionally been low.  Each of 27,000 households in the 15 precincts was contacted three times between Oct. 30 through Election Day by an army of more than 250 staff and volunteers led by community organzer Kym Spring with huge support on GOTV days from organizer Lynn Kaucheck. Turnout in Grand Rapids reached nearly 70 percent, including in many of our the targeted previously "low turnout"  precincts.
  • Kerry won Michigan by 150,000 votes.  Our Michigan Campaign Director, Cyndi Roper, with major support from 300 East Lansing volunteers, coordinator Bethany Renfer, and organizer John Lindemayer, directed Clean Water Action's advocacy campaign that resulted in our talking with with more than 62,000 households about Kerry in one-on-one conversations. By Election Day we focused Get Out Our Vote work on nearly 25,000 potential Kerry households.  In many key areas, we had multiple conversations with potential Kerry supporters.
  • In St. Clair Shores and House District 24 in Macomb County, Sarah Roberts, our community organizer, along with Chris Johnston and other staff and 300 volunteers, talked with 3,500 members one-on-one about Kerry and targeted GOOV at the 1,842 potential Kerry supporters in the district. Our endorsed candidate for state Rep. Republican Jack Brandenburg easily won his re-election bid while our Democrat candidate Kerry carried St. Clair Shores with just over 50 percent of the vote.
  • In House District 55,  Kathy Angerer ousted environmental Zero, Matt Milosch, by 310 votes.  Clean Water Action volunteers and staff talked with 1,218 people in District 55 about Angerer, andidentified 848 potential Angerer supporters and recruited 100 volunteers.  On Election Day, staff and volunteers mounted an intensive day-long GOOV effort in District 55. The District 55 campaign was spearheaded for Clean Water Action by Brian Beauchamp and Nate Geisler of our Ann Arbor staff.
  • House District 26 in Oakland County is where Marie Donigan won by 1,800 votes.  Clean Water Action talked about Donigan with 2,117 members in HD 26, and identified 1,156 potential Donigan supporters. Our persuasion and Get Out Our Vote campaign in this Oakland County House race drew more than 40 volunteers to Clean Water Action's campaign to elect Donigan who put in more than 250 hours.  Emma White and Moira Briss, our Oakland team, led that effort.
  • In the city-suburban Grand Rapids House District 75 Lynna  Kaucheck's advocacy work focused on John Kerry and local races, talking with more than 600 members and identifying 511 Kerry supporters. 
      Thanks to all our hard-working volunteers, staff and allies for their incredible leadership and support! 
David Holtz
Michigan Director
Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund