The 2018 Midterms: #OurWater changes the face of Michigan government

Michigan voters elect ‘Clean Water Champions’ up-and-down the ticket; 
demand bold action on drinking water crises

The 2018 midterm elections were a whirlwind, in which many of our 77 endorsed races came down to the wire. We’re proud to say that across our state, we saw a historic, #OurWater wave, starting at the very top of the ticket with the election of Gretchen Whitmer as the new governor of Michigan, and going all the way down.

Throughout the election, public opinion research by Michigan LCV showed that “protecting drinking water from toxic contamination” was the №1 concern among voters. Numerous reports from media outlets on Election Day indicated voters were citing drinking water, the Great Lakes, Line 5 and other water issues as their motivation for voting.

This #OurWater Wave washed across Michigan as candidates were elected who talked about the threats to our water (lead, PFAS, oil spills) and put forth real solutions. This included (but not limited to):

Gretchen Whitmer, Governor,

who frequently talked about tackling the spreading PFAS crisis, Flint and Detroit water issues and shutting down the damaged Line 5 pipeline.

Dana Nessel, Attorney General,

who regularly vowed to sue polluters, hold Enbridge Energy accountable, and even ran an entire ad focused on the PFAS crisis.

Debbie Stabenow, U.S. Senate,

who ran a TV ad all summer long that talked passionately about her efforts to defend, protect and clean up our Great Lakes.

Elissa Slotkin, U.S. House,

who often spoke about how our country had to take serious “environmental security” and address threats to our water the same way we tackle homeland security.

Numerous Legislative Candidates,

both state House and state Senate, who ran, in large part, on their vow to make Lansing address water issues more directly. The #OurWaterOurVote campaign played an instrumental role in electing 63 clean water champions to the state Legislature, including some of the most battleground races: sweeping wins in Oakland, western Wayne, Kent and Kalamazoo counties.

HUGE wins for fair democracy

The two initiatives, Prop 2 and Prop 3, or Voters not Politicians and Promote the Vote, together, will ensure that legislative districts are drawn fairly and that all votes are secure and counted — two crucial measures to protecting Michigan’s environment.

Megan Cavanagh, Michigan Supreme Court

Michigan LCV-endorsed candidate, Megan Cavanagh, was elected to Michigan Supreme Court. Virtually all major environmental issues impacting Michigan are likely to be — or have already been — the subject of litigation in the state courts.

Throughout these wins, one note rings most strongly: Michiganders across the state joined together to demand that #OurWater be prioritized and addressed by all candidates running for office.

Everyone who was involved in this campaign — volunteers, donors, online-action takers, know this: your work made a difference, and because of that, Michigan has dozens of new leaders ready to step up and do the work to follow through on their commitment to clean water, clean air, and protected lands.

Now, we look forward: it’s time to put those words and sentiments into action and take on the issues plaguing our state. It’s time to ensure every person in Michigan can trust the water coming out of their tap; has safe air to breathe; has Great Lakes protected for generations to come.

Until our new administration takes over in January, we are on defense, protecting Michigan’s land, water and air from a set of legislators and officials on their way out of office.

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