Memories & Happy New Year from MCWC – New Years tidings and remembering those we have lost

Bringing in a New Year

This past year has been a serious challenge for everyone and we are glad to see it leave. We look forward to relief sometime in 2022 from Covid-19 and its variants once we get enough of the population vaccinated. We anticipate a time when we can get back to the serious work of dealing with climate change with the full attention required to save us from ourselves.

MCWC, like many nonprofits, has taken a big hit from Covid, two years of isolation and inability to be out on the ground like we are used to. Fundraising was reduced to newsletter appeals. Even more difficult was the health impact on the leadership of MCWC before vaccines were available. They made it through after a long haul but are still not totally recovered.

Tragically we lost both Gary and Terry Swier, original leaders of MCWC. Both had Covid, combined with underlying issues. It eventually resulted in their passings, Gary in the spring and Terry just recently. We will be having an outdoor memorial for them at our annual meeting sometime this spring in Mecosta.

Our allies in Southeast Michigan have waged a valiant battle to secure clean water for everyone in the midst of the pandemic. In the middle of it all we lost Lila Cabbil a key social justice and water warrior loved by all. We came close to losing several other leaders as well. Still we got a halt to the water shut offs, but only temporary, and much work awaits us in 2022. Through this all the activists in Detroit, Flint, and now Benton Harbor, have managed to force the powers that be to move faster to find justice and deliver clean water access.

Now we prepare to restore our organizations, finish paying our debts, and build back the capacity to do the crucial work of education and advocacy that saves lives and conserves water and ecosystems.

As much as entities like Enbridge or Blue Triton (formerly Nestle) wish that we had gone away, we never have and we will never stop. We are all here to stay as long as needed and our coalitions and networks have only grown stronger. MCWC is not alone. The web of relationships we have formed with other grassroots groups across the country has been building while the corporations continue throwing lots of money at defeating us and engage in endless legal maneuvers to stop us. Indigenous leadership has emerged over the last five years which has made us stronger and taught us a great deal about the interconnectedness of all things and the sacred role of water. We have had few victories in the past year, but we have gained a more long term understanding of where our work fits into the global landscape and the significance of the victories we have had over the 22 years of our history.

As we bring in a New Year, we ask our members, supporters, donors, and friends to stick with us and continue to support the work of MCWC with your generous donations. We will use it wisely. Remember that we are an all volunteer, totally grassroots non-profit that takes no corporate or government money. You are our lifeline.

Happy New Year!

Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation
Board of Directors

Also published on Medium.

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