Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Environmental Scorecard: Essential homework on your elected officials before August's primary

Voting for public officials who support strong environmental policies is arguably the most important thing we do to protect our water, land, air and public health.

But when it comes to politicians, it’s not always easy to separate the show horses from the work horses unless you’re really paying close attention. Frankly most of us don’t have the time to invest in that sort of labor.

That’s where the Michigan League of Conservation Voters’ scorecard is helpful. The League released its scores yesterday. It easily allows you to find your state senator and state representative and see how they voted on key environmental issues:

My State Rep. Vicki Barnett (top pic) and my State Sen. Gilda Jacobs, each scored 100 percent on the League’s key votes which included bills limiting children’s mercury exposure, a ban on a toxic flame retardant, and bills helping create much needed non-tax revenue for our state parks among many others.

The 100 percent scores are a mixed blessing for me. As any self-respecting environmentalist I’m not happy unless I’m outraged about something. Vicki and Gilda are not getting that adrenaline going.

Nonetheless, I’ll be calling both their offices with a thank-you. I hope you’ll do the same, whether it’s a ‘thank you’, a ‘please do better’ or a ‘WTF are you thinking?’

The Conservation Voters have made it easy to understand how your public servants are voting. And their site includes numbers and e-mails to let them know what you think.

It should be required homework before our August primary election in Michigan.


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