Pledge to make a difference with Soulardarity!
A Heartfelt Thank You for Your Generosity on Giving Tuesday
Thank you for choosing to make a difference by pledging a gift to Soulardarity! Your support transforms aspirations into realities and challenges into triumphs. Whether it's championing energy democracy or advocating for fair utility rates, you're a crucial part of our community dedicated to positive change.
Your contribution, big or small, plays a vital role in shaping a world where energy is sustainable, affordable, and just. Welcome to a community fueled by passion and purpose. Together, we're building a brighter future.
Why Energy Democracy? LEARN MORE
If you want to make a larger donation than this page allows, email [email protected] for instructions.
To donate by check, please make the check payable to Soulardarity and mail it to:
21 Highland St
Highland Park, MI 48203
With sincere gratitude,
Soulardarity Staff Team
Immerse yourself in the thought-provoking storytelling of "How to Power a City" directed by Melanie LaRosa dedicated to raise awareness and foster positive change in our community toward a clean energy future. The film highlights the experiences and struggles faced by marginalized individuals in communities across the country.
We invite you to be part of this transformative event co-hosted by Soulardarity and Parker Village. "How to Power a City" is a documentary which highlights efforts of local organizers, businesses and residents of Highland Park, MI when 1,000+ residential street lights were removed by the electric company, DTE Energy in 2011 due to a city debt and their fight to relight their neighborhoods with community-owned solar powered street lights.
View Trailer and Learn More About the Film at: soulardarity.com/powercityfilm
Doors open at 6pm, Screening starts at 6:30pm at Parker Village Campus 181 E. Buena Vista St, Highland Park, MI 48203
Each ticket includes: 1 event admission, 1 popcorn, 1 BBQ Dinner & Beverage
ABOUT THE FILM
"How To Power A City" provides a front-row seat to communities battling fossil fuel dependence by bringing solar and wind projects to their hometowns. Set in six different locations-New York City, Las Vegas, Highland Park/Detroit, Atlantic City, Vermont, and Puerto Rico this film showcases how people are already impacting energy in their towns and cities. The film reveals how each community faces a variety of obstacles from corrupt and indifferent politicians, technological impasses, public ignorance, cost, to natural disasters.
ABOUT THE VENUE: Screening will be held on the grounds of Parker Village, a one-of-a-kind green space. This urban oasis is located not far from the iconic and currently abandoned Ford Plant, making it a prime location for local residents and visitors alike.
INTERACTIVE Q&A: Engage directly with the filmmaker and key contributors behind "How to Power a City" during an interactive Q&A session. Gain deeper insights into the film's creation, its impact, and ways to get involved in related initiatives.
By attending the "How to Power a City" documentary screening, you will help us raise awareness, inspire action, and create a positive impact within our community. Together, let's shine a light on the issues that matter and work towards a brighter future for all.
WANT TO DO MORE? or CAN'T ATTEND? THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO SUPPORT!
Every gift makes a difference.
We also encourage you to become a dues-paying member and add your voice and leadership to our forward motion.
DONATE ON IOBY & RECEIVE SPECIAL IMPACT GIFTS: https://ioby.org/project/how-power-city-exclusive-screening
Because this is a community event we provide a list of donation amounts that supports residents and their families to attend at a discount or no cost! In addition to various ticket types, there will be an option to add a donation amount to your purchase. Using the ioby platform (ioby stands for “in our backyards,”) and the Reimagining Communities Match Program hosts hope to garner new supporters that will help push this work forward! The Reimagining Communities Match Program doubles donations for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) residents or BIPOC-led groups like our who crowdfund for projects, like this that will radically reimagine public space or support the implementation of public infrastructure investment in their communities.
*Donations made through iOBY allow for partners, neighors and allys to support low or no cost tickets for residents that qualify in exchange for giver incentives. All generous contributions will directly contribute to covering event equipment, securing vendors, promoting the event, ensuring accessibility for all attendee types and the continuation of our work toward energy democracy.
If you experience technical difficulties, are unsure which ticket type is right for you or would like to make a larger donation than our plaforms will allow, please email [email protected] for instructions.
Soulardarity is a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Donations made to Soulardarity are tax deductible.
Soulardarity's EIN: 47-2733535
Board of Directors Candidate Submissions are now closed.
Please check back on how to cast your vote and details for attending the Annual Board of Directors Election event on Saturday, July 22, 2023.
What are the benefits of becoming a Soulardarity Board Member?
Direct involvement in uplifting community leadership and advancing social change.
Share and align your values with others who are passionate about energy democracy and climate justice.
Deepen your understanding of the challenges and opportunities of democratizing energy systems and policies.
Have a role in shaping and influencing policy action and advocacy for energy democracy at local, regional, or national levels.
Develop your skills and knowledge in organizational governance and leadership.
We do not have open positions available at this time. Please check this page in the future for job opportunities.
MPSC EVENT REMINDER: Soulardarity will be participating in the Michigan Public Service Commission virtual public hearing Monday, Dec. 12, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on DTE Electric Co.'s proposed integrated resource plan.
The hearing held by videoconference on Microsoft Teams will present information about the utility’s proposal from MPSC Staff and take comment from stakeholders and DTE electric’s customers.
Please share with others as its helpful to become informed and engaged! For more information on what we're fighting and building please read our partners Union of Concerned Scientists blog:
Interested people may submit written and electronic comments to the Commission by email to [email protected] or by mail to Executive Secretary, Michigan Public Service Commission, 7109 W. Saginaw Highway, Lansing, MI 48917. Comments should reference Case No. U-21193.
If you or anyone you know are in need of assistance, there is still power at the Ernest T. Ford Recreation Center, located at 10 Pitkin St in Highland Park and residents are being allowed to take shelter there to power mobile devices and stay out of the heat. For Detroit residents, please refer to this list of community centers that may still have power and are open to the public.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all community members that are being unfairly impacted by DTE’s failure to be prepared for yesterday’s storm.
Yesterday a strong wind, thunder and rainstorm swept through much of SE Michigan, causing limbs from trees to fall and utility poles to bend or collapse, bringing power lines in contact with the ground. With winds picking up 70 MPH, many of our communities are experiencing power outages for nearly 300k customers (12% of DTE’s total customer base), school closures, boil advisories, and due to a downed power line, the devastating loss of a 14 year old child in Monroe.
Storm damaged utility poles in Highland Park
It is easy to put out a public statement and blame all of this on severe weather, but let’s be realistic. When you are a multibillion-dollar company that has reaped massive profits in the past 5 years, including during the pandemic and this one, and you are receiving failing grades for your quality of service and infrastructure, it is a hard pill for community members and customers to swallow when given such flimsy excuses.
The truth is, DTE is responsible for these power outages. DTE is responsible for the financial fallout that households are going to go through in the coming days. DTE is responsible for choosing to prioritize their shareholders over their duty to provide a vital public service to our communities. When will enough actually be enough? How many more millions of our money in handouts will they beg for from the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) until they feel satisfied and start doing their jobs to serve their customers?
Storm damaged utility poles and downed trees in Highland Park
We cannot let them get one more dime from us. As rate paying customers, we must tell the MPSC to make the right decision by denying their rate hike proposal. We need the MPSC to tell DTE “NO MORE RATE HIKES''. Last week, they held an in person public hearing to listen to the community and to receive their comments to put on the record in the rate case. You can still submit public comments electronically by using the link below.
It is quick and easy. It comes with a prefilled message that urges them to deny DTE’s rate hike request. But we encourage you to put in your own reasons. Tell them that their decision involves life and death consequences, as we have seen from yesterday’s storm. If we don’t push back now, DTE is going to continue with business as usual. Which is to make as much money as possible for their shareholders, and not invest in our communities.
If you want to help us push back against DTE's rate hike, sign up to volunteer on our website. Be sure to write a comment that you would like to help with the anti rate hike campaign and one of us will reach out to connect you to our coalition's efforts in a meaningful way that works for you.
Rafael Mojica, Program Director
If you were there, you already know the energy that was flowing in that 150 person capacity room at Wayne County Community College in Detroit. On Monday, August 22nd, after receiving pressure from the public and organizations like Soulardarity, We The People MI, and the MI Environmental Justice Coalition, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) held a public hearing for the DTE Rate Hike Proposal (+$388M) that is currently under their consideration.
If you missed being there and want to see how it went down, visit the link below.
Hailing from Detroit, Highland Park, Ann Arbor, Royal Oak, and other surrounding areas, over 200 people came in attendance and gave in-person public comment, all of which were recorded by a court stenographer and witnessed by a judge, along with the board's three Commissioners. Every comment that was delivered that evening will be officially put on the record in the case.
It was a strategic win for the community, getting us hopefully closer to shutting down DTE's plans to take more of residential rate payers' money (+$283M) to fill the pockets of their shareholders (+$288M). But we still have a lot of work to do until November 21st, when the MPSC makes their ruling.
Submit your public comment
First, we need to continue making our voices heard by the MPSC. They are still accepting public comment electronically. Soulardarity is urging all of our supporters that are DTE rate payers to do so by using the link below. It's quick, easy, and will make an impact.
Sign up to volunteer
Second, if you want to jump into the trenches with us, and push back against DTE's rate hike, sign up to volunteer on our website. Be sure to write a comment that you would like to help with the anti rate hike campaign and one of us will reach out to connect you to our coalition's efforts in a meaningful way that works for you.
Read more about DTE's practices that damage our communities
We The People MI, with support from Soulardarity, We Want Green Too, and other environmental justice organizations, put together and released last week a scathing report that exposes the many ways that DTE harms our people. To read it, click the link below.
Also, our friends at ProPublica submitted another hard hitting investigative article on DTE. This time, revealing their horrible practice of selling the debts of rate payers to third party debt collectors. To read it, click the link below.
Check out below some press coverage of the public hearing
Become a monthly sustaining donor
Both in the court with our legal intervention, and in the public, we are making important and impactful strides to expose and stop DTE from continuing to take advantage of us. But we have a lot of work to do.
Another great way to support our work is by becoming a monthly sustaining donor or making a one time financial contribution. This will help us get closer to achieving financial independence, helping ensure that our staff and members can continue doing this important work on a daily basis.
Soulardarity hopes that you will join us. Together, many hands make light and powerful work.
Rafael Mojica, Program Director
JOIN SOULARDARITY STAFF, We The People MI, and MI Environmental Justice Coalition 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.