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This Week in Your Great Lakes Town Hall!





Guest Writers: Melissa Damaschke of the Sierra Club and Maureen Taylor of Michigan Welfare Rights

Organization (MWRO)


Featured Issue: Bottom Up, Not Top Down by Dave Dempsey








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Dear Great Lakes Neighbor,


Each week we invite grassroots activists, artists, officials, physicians, parents, young people and others to offer insightful commentary on their Great Lakes experiences and views. Of course, we also invite you to comment on their thoughts!


This week, the Town Hall is pleased to welcome two individuals in Detroit, Michigan working to secure water rights for all Detroit residents: Melissa Damaschke of the Sierra Club's Great Lakes office and Maureen Taylor, chair of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization.  Come visit the Great Lakes Town Hall to read and respond to Melissa and Maureen's stories and perspectives about the Great Lakes every day this week - only in the Great Lakes Town Hall!



MelissaMaureen127.5.jpgGuest Writers this week-- Sierra Club and MWRO

Melissa Damaschke (top picture) works for the Sierra Club as its Great Lakes Program Representative in Detroit, Michigan.  As the world’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization, the Club’s 1.3 million members and supporters possess the unique ability to empower people and influence public policy through community activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation.  For over four years, Melissa has worked to protect Michigan’s greatest asset, the Great Lakes.  Recently, Sierra Club developed “A Citizen’s Guide to Protecting the Great Lakes.”  It can be found at www.sierraclub.org/greatlakes

Maureen Taylor (bottom picture) has served as Chair of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization since 1993.  The Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, also know as MWRO, is a union of public assistance recipients and low-income workers in this state.  MWRO has chapters across Michigan and is one of the founding members of the National Welfare Rights Union.  Their goal is to organize recipients and low-income workers to fight for their rights, to eliminate poverty in this country and to advocate for the economic and human rights of millions of disenfranchised Americans.  Over the last few years, Maureen and many other concerned citizens worked to stop water, gas, and electricity shut-offs for thousands of low-income households in Detroit, and restore winter utilities for those already shut-off.


Read and Respond to Melissa Damaschke and Maureen Taylor's essays in the Town Hall! 




Featured Issue this week - Bottom Up, Not Top Down

In addition to guest speakers, the Great Lakes Town Hall focuses on a new featured Great Lakes issue each week, provided by co-moderators Dave Dempsey, Gary Wilson, and Brenna Wanous. This week, Dave points out that President Elect Barack Obama is strong advocate for Great Lakes restoration and protection,  but needs our active advocacy to accomplish our goals.  Dave writes,

"The most important question remains the same -- how do people in communities across the Great Lakes connect with these beautiful waters, the local and state decision-makers protecting them, and the President? 

Don't expect the President to do it all, or even much of it. The Great Lakes are in our hands just like they've always been."

Read the rest of Dave's Featured Issue, and put in your two cents! 



Bringing you a better Great Lakes Town Hall!

We listened to all of the wonderful feedback from our 2007 survey and have taken your advice. We will be launching your new Town Hall this December. You can expect easier navigation, new features, all past postings and much, much more!

We are looking for sponsors to support the building of the new Town Hall. Here is a great opportunity for businesses to sponsor a good cause and see their logo on the front page of the Town Hall. Are you interested? Do you know someone who might be interested? If so, please contact Brenna Wanous at bwanous@biodiverse.org or 773-496-4020.  



Don't miss this great opportunity to read and comment on our featured issue - Bottom Up, Not Top Down - and the stories and perspectives of the Sierra Club and the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization in the Great Lakes Town Hall all this week!

Guest speakers contribute content on a Great Lakes topic of their choice for five days. While there are basic rules of conduct, guest speakers are unedited and diverse views are welcome. If you are interested in serving as a guest speaker, please reply to this email. We encourage individuals of all ages, occupations, and opinions to participate in the conversation.

Your Great Lakes Neighbor,

brenna sig.jpg

Brenna Wanous
Great Lakes Town Hall Manager

Biodiversity Project's Great Lakes Town Hall


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