League of Women Voters fights climate change

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During its February board meeting, the League of Women Voters of the Lansing Area voted unanimously to partner with the Lansing Environmental Action Team. Education, environment, government and gun violence prevention were also discussed.

“We’re going to support the league position that it believes in climate change and supports using sustainable resources,” said Donna Mullins, co-president of the Lansing league. It  plans to oppose the Lansing Board of Water and Light approval of another fossil fuel plant. 

“Yes, it’s a progressive stand,” Mullins said. “But for us, it is a non-partisan stand.” According to Mullins, the league highly values its commitment to be non-partisan, meaning it doesn’t prefer any political party. 

“It’s really almost a sacred trust,” Mullins said. “We want to make sure people trust us.”

“I think it’s relatively unusual for a volunteer organization to sustain itself over the years,” said Carol Swinehart, publicity chair for the Lansing league. Swinehart was almost 21 when she got married and moved to Ontonagon, a small village in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where she came across the league.

“I joined the League in 1986,” Swinehart said. “It was adults dealing with issues of importance, whether it was water quality in the paper mill or how the city council functions.” 

“We want people to vote,” Mullins said. “How you vote, that’s up to you. We do our very best to provide non-partisan information.”

The Lansing league has almost 200 people. The board meets every month to make decisions on policies and propose new ideas.

“We study issues and we arrive at a consensus on different policies,” Swinehart said. “We’re still registering voters, still encouraging members to be in touch with their representatives to make sure they’re doing the things they’re supposed to do for us. The parties come and go, but we’re still here.”

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