JOIN SOULARDARITY STAFF at the MPSC Public Hearing
Thanks to pressure from community groups, this is the first time the MPSC has ever held a hearing on a rate increase decision.
The Michigan Public Service Commission has announced that it will hold a public hearing in MPSC Docket No. U-20836, DTE Electric Co.’s pending request for an electric rate increase.
About the Rate Case
- As DTE customers, we have among the worst power outages & highest rates in the country, and an affordability crisis with nearly 180,000 shut offs in 2021.
- The proposed rate hike would take an additional $233M from families, and give an additional $283M to investors, each year.
- They have no plan to upgrade grid infrastructure in most Detroit-area communities, though some equipment is 20-40 years older than in the suburbs, and 25+ years past expected lifetime.
- Here’s more information about their rate hike request.
Members of the public are invited to attend and provide public comment regarding the pending rate request. The MPSC is not offering a remote participation option for this hearing.
Monday, August 22, 2022 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Detroit Campus of Wayne County Community College
1001 W Fort St
Rm 236 (Frank Hayden Community Room)
Detroit, MI 48226
Options to Submit Public Comments
Individuals unable to attend in-person, but who wish to provide comments may do so by using our electronic submission form. Comments may also be submitted by mail to Michigan Public Service Commission, 7109 W. Saginaw Highway, Lansing, MI 48917. Comments should reference the docket number U-20836.To learn more about the Rate Case process, check out the MPSC’s Rate Case Issue Brief.
We have a few things with deadlines coming up and wanted to make sure you had the opportunity to participate and lend your voice!
Soulardarity Community Organizing Collaborative
DEADLINE: THIS MONDAY, AUGUST 1
The summer may be halfway over, but the work still needs to get done!
We need your help to engage and organize the community on a lot of important issues that will impact all of us, both good and bad.
This upcoming Monday, August 1 is the deadline to apply for the Soulardarity Community Organizing Collaborative (SCOC). If you are interested in jumping into the trenches with us, join the Collaborative and you will receive training and a $2000 stipend.
There is hot, and then there is hot! Extreme heat is a period of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees for at least two to three days. In extreme heat your body works extra hard to maintain a normal temperature, which can lead to death. Extreme heat is responsible for the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards.
Older adults, children and sick or overweight individuals are at greater risk from extreme heat.
Humidity increases the feeling of heat.
Prepare for Extreme Heat
- Learn to recognize the signs of heat illness.
- Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device. Fans create air flow and a false sense of comfort, but do not reduce body temperature or prevent heat-related illnesses.
- Identify places in your community where you can go to get cool such as libraries and shopping malls or contact your local health department to find a cooling center in your area.
- Check Out Edsel T Ford Center 10 Pitkin St, Highland Park, MI 48203
- Monday 11AM–7PM
- Check Out Edsel T Ford Center 10 Pitkin St, Highland Park, MI 48203
- Cover windows with drapes or shades.
- Weather-strip doors and windows.
- Use window reflectors specifically designed to reflect heat back outside.
- Added insulation helps to keep the heat out.
- Use a powered attic ventilator, or attic fan, to regulate the heat level of a building’s attic by clearing out hot air.
- Install window air conditioners and insulate around them.
Be Safe DURING
- Never leave people or pets in a closed car on a warm day.
- If air conditioning is not available in your home go to a cooling center.
- Take cool showers or baths.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Use your oven less to help reduce the temperature in your home.
- If you’re outside, find shade. Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face.
- Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
- Avoid high-energy activities or work outdoors, during midday heat, if possible.
- Check on family members, seniors and neighbors.
- Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
- Consider pet safety. If they are outside, make sure they have plenty of cool water and access to comfortable shade. Asphalt and dark pavement can be very hot to your pet’s feet.
- If using a mask, use one that is made of breathable fabric, such as cotton, instead of polyester. Don’t wear a mask if you feel yourself overheating or have trouble breathing.
Know the signs of heat-related illnesses and ways to respond. If you are sick and need medical attention, contact your healthcare provider for advice and shelter in place if you can. If you are experiencing a medical emergency call 9-1-1.
- Extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees F) taken orally
- Red, hot and dry skin with no sweat
- Rapid, strong pulse
- Dizziness, confusion or unconsciousness
If you suspect heat stroke, call 9-1-1 or get the person to a hospital immediately. Cool down with whatever methods are available until medical help arrives. Do not give the person anything to drink.
- Signs: Muscle pains or spasms in the stomach, arms or legs
- Signs: Heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, fast or weak pulse, dizziness, headache, fainting, nausea, vomiting
If you have signs of heat cramps or heat exhaustion, go to a cooler location and cool down by removing excess clothing and taking sips of sports drinks or water. Call your healthcare provider if symptoms get worse or last more than an hour.
Good news for Highland Park! Our city is one of twenty two communities that has been selected to participate in Communities LEAP (Local Energy Action Program). This opportunity is being offered through the Department of Energy’s clean energy deployment work.
To qualify, it was required to submit an extensive application to make the case. Through a collaborative effort amongst multiple stakeholders, including Highland Park Community Crisis Coalition, Soulardarity, Avalon Village, Parker Village, and Highland Park Water and Engineering Department, the city is now eligible to receive up to $500k worth of technical assistance to address the energy crisis. With engagement from Highland Park residents and city government, we will partner with DOE to pursue a path toward 100% local, clean, renewable energy.
Securing this support is a major step forward towards the goals of our Blueprint For Energy Democracy, a vision established by our Highland Park leaders in 2019.
This could not have happened without the offers of support in all the forms they came in. In addition to the community organizations of the multi-stakeholder team, letters of support from the following were included:
- Representative Rashida Tlaib - Vice Chair Subcommittee on Environment
- State of Michigan Office of Future Mobility and Electrification
- State of Michigan Public Service Commission
- Union of Concerned Scientists
- Polar Bear Sustainable Energy Cooperative
- City of Ann Arbor Office of Sustainability and Innovation
- 5 Lakes Energy
- Elevate: Equity Through Climate Action
- Highland Park Human Rights Coalition
- Vote Solar
We wanted to share this good news with our members. And we want you to know that we will be working hard to ground this process in meeting the real needs of our community - affordable rates, reliable power, healthy environment, and resilience to crisis. We can’t do it without you - so get ready to get involved!
Soulardarity is helping Highland Park prepare for a #solarfuture. We're excited to announce that we've partnered again with Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) for the Rise Up Scholarship Training program to offer career training for jobs in the solar industry. Apply for admission and scholarships by Monday, February 28, 2022. MREA is able to provide a limited number of loaner laptops to assist with completing the self guided courses. Complete the online application here.
Residents of Highland Park
There is a winter storm watch in effect from late Tuesday, February 1 night through Thursday, February 3 evening. The metro Detroit area will see a possible total snow accumulation of 8 to 16 inches.
- Due to upcoming winter storm, we are asking that residents are mindful of safety and snow protocols and work together with the Police, Fire, & Public Works Department.
- The City of Highland Park will have salt and plow trucks out in the community to maintain the roads.
- Where able, Please Do Not Park On The Street, but in the driveways, garages, and lots.
- All snow will be plowed to the north side of most residential streets.
- If you have to park on the street, please be mindful that you may be plowed in.
Please practice fire safety during this time. If at any time you experience a fire, please have a meeting point for your family.
What To Do In Case of Power Outages
Before Power Outage
Check flashlights and battery-powered portable radios to ensure that they are working, and you have extra batteries. A radio is an important source for obtaining weather and emergency information during a storm. Remember to charge your devices (tip: you can use your car to charge your phone if you have the appropriate cords).
During the Power Outage
- Dress for the season, wearing several layers of loose fitting, light-weight, warm clothing, rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Mittens are better than gloves.
- Wear a hat—most body heat is lost through the top of the head.
- Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
After the Power Outage
- Be extra cautious if you go outside to inspect for damage after a storm. Downed or hanging electrical wires can be hidden by snowdrifts, trees or debris, and could be live. Never attempt to touch or move downed lines. Keep children and pets away from them. Always stay 25 feet away from downed power lines.
- Check on neighbors, especially senior citizens and individuals with functional needs.
Election time is here! Your Vote is Needed Soulardarity Members!
- You must be a Soulardarity member whose dues are paid (you gave given at least $10 in the last 12 months) in order to vote. Need to start or renew your membership to vote? Click here
- Each member has one vote for each available board position.
- After reviewing the candidate information, use the 2021 Election Form to rank the candidates from the one you support the most (First Choice) to least (Third Choice). ****DO NOT select a candidate more than once!****
VOTING WILL CLOSE ON SATURDAY MAY 1st, DURING THE ANNUAL MEETING
Members are encouraged to attend the meeting by phone or computer. Zoom link and instructions will be provided upon RSVP. Candidates will be in attendance to answer questions from the membership.
CLICK HERE TO RSVP FOR OUR (VIRTUAL) ANNUAL MEETING on 5/1/2021 at 12:30pm