In 2011, DTE Energy repossessed over 1000 streetlights from the City of Highland Park - leaving residents in the dark.
Soulardarity formed to bring light back to the blocks with community-owned solar power. Since our formation in 2012, we have installed six solar streetlights in Highland Park. Each light has been a learning experience, building our knowledge and understanding of solar technology. The lights have utilized Michigan manufacturers and contractors from the community. We have made a proposal to the City of Highland Park to install 1000 solar streetlights - fully restoring lighting to the blocks - in partnership with the Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office. You can read about it in Model D. You can see pictures and locations of our streetlights below.
Sign up below to stay informed of our work on solar street lighting
Location: 150 Victor St
Location: 24 Avalon St
And the video of our fundraising campaign after the install!
Locations: 41 Highland, 73 Tennyson, 74 Waverly, 209 Moss
Sign up below to stay informed of our work on solar street lighting.
Jackson Koeppel published 4/16/2021 Statement On DTE Settlement Agreement in What's up at Soulardarity? 2021-04-16 12:58:19 -0400
On Wednesday, DTE Energy publicly filed a proposed settlement agreement in a Michigan Public Service Commission case regarding their clean energy plans. As the result of Soulardarity’s engagement, the agreement includes a low-income renewable energy pilot that, if successful, will lead to three solar projects of over 250 KW being built in Highland Park, Detroit, and River Rouge. While the pilot makes some useful steps, it leaves a lot to be desired from the perspective of racial, economic, and environmental justice and energy democracy.
Soulardarity believes this proposal does not go far enough, and we are clear-eyed about why. DTE continues to spend excessively on fighting locally owned solar, slamming residential ratepayers with rate hikes they can’t afford for some of the worst service in the country, and selling the resulting debt to predatory collection agencies. We expect that DTE will continue to fight efforts for truly community-owned solar, while asking ratepayers to foot the bill for unnecessary fracked gas plants and pipelines.
Soulardarity is hiring two new full-time positions (Deputy Director and Narrative Director) to start by June 1st 2021 as part of a major period of organizational growth and transformation. This packet has everything you need to know to apply. You can reach out to our current Executive Director, Jackson Koeppel, with questions: [email protected]
- Preferred deadline for Applications is April 30th at the latest. We will be considering applicants on a rolling basis.
- Applicants will be scored and interviewed by the Soulardarity staff team. Primary contacts during the hiring process will be the Executive Director (Jackson Koeppel) and Deputy Director (Shimekia Nichols) whose emails are noted above.
- For applicants who proceed to an interview, first round interviews will be held the week of May 3rd. For applicants who proceed to a second interview, those interviews will be held the week of May 10th. Applicants can expect a response or offer no later than May 21st, with a start date of June 1st. Any changes to this schedule will be communicated to applicants.
Please use this page to make donations using paypal if you cannot use the credit card feature on the patronicity page. Our preference is for you to make gifts on the campaign directly if you are able: patronicity.com/welitavalon
You can also donate by check and write "We Lit Avalon Contribution" in the memo.Donate
Jackson Koeppel published The Blueprint For Energy Democracy Is Here! in What's up at Soulardarity? 2019-09-20 10:20:44 -0400
Its finally here! The first edition of the Blueprint for Energy Democracy, our plan to make Highland Park a global model for sustainability and self-determination.
Jackson Koeppel donated 2019-09-22 01:04:06 -0400
James Gignac and Edyta Sitko
Union of Concerned Scientists
for their partnership with us in researching and publishing of this report!
NEW! FOR LIMITED TIME ONLY!
$50 donations or more will receive a custom
Soulardarity sweatshirt as a thank you for renewing your membership!
We've done incredible things together, this year we were able to install 10 solar streetlights in Avalon Village and Parker Village. We need all kinds of support to make it happen, and your donations are a critical part of that.
Look below to see what your contributions do for the work in 2022.
- $5 prints 50 flyers for an event
- $25 supports a subsidized Soulardarity membership
- $50 buys winter weatherization supplies for a household
- $250 pays one month’s rent at our office and maintains a safe, community space
- $1000 sends our community leaders to share Highland Park’s story on a national platform
- $5000 keeps a roof over our heads in 2022!
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.
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:Soulardarity21 Highland StHighland Park, MI 48203
Soulardarity is a 501c3 charitable organization. Donations made to Soulardarity are tax-deductible under Soulardarity's EIN: 47-2733535
Jackson Koeppel wants to volunteer 2018-06-12 14:50:42 -0400
HELP US DEFEAT DTE'S RATE HIKE!
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. Soulardarity hopes that you will join us.
If you want to jump into the trenches with us, and push back against DTE's rate hike, sign up to volunteer below.
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.
Together, many hands make light and powerful work.
How are you going to answer the call?
These are activities that involves a more active and ongoing commitment
Highland Park Campaign Team- help us put Highland Park on a path to a just & equitable renewable energy future
Fundraising Committee- serve on the committee, support ongoing efforts to engage in fundraising
Volunteer Coordination & Orientation- responding to new volunteer asks, recruit new volunteers, help with onboarding new volunteers
Membership Committee- welcoming new members, outreach to members on member issues
Website & Database- cleaning duplicate accounts, updating blog page, updating events page
Social Media Management- help contribute and generate content on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Newsletter- formatting & disbursement or guest writer
Please take a few moments to select your skills and interests below. You will be contacted to register for an upcoming (required) orientation.
Questions? Contact [email protected]
Jackson Koeppel donated 2022-11-18 14:37:30 -0500
Jackson Koeppel endorsed 2017-10-18 19:43:19 -0400
There's a saying that goes: If you aren't at the table, you're on the menu.
Right now, Michigan utility regulators are writing the rules that will determine whether we move towards community-owned clean energy or dirty methane gas. But thus far, there are no requirements that community voices will be heard. Help us tell the Public Service Commission that Michigan citizens - and especially those impacted by pollution, energy poverty, and environmental racism - need our voices heard. Because if we aren't at the table - you know we're on the menu.
If we accept business as usual, we can expect a process driven by big investors and executives leading to more dirty energy, pollution, and poverty. We know that clean energy and efficiency can make power more reliable and affordable, while making jobs and keeping resources in our community. But to get to that future, we need to demand it - and we need a seat at the table.
Sign on and add your own comments below by Friday October 20th
You can Text VOICE to (313) 349-1063 to endorse
**We are requesting an address to verify that signers are Michigan residents. We will only share a zip code in the comments. Your complete address WILL NOT BE SHARED**
Why become a Soulardarity member?
You have a lot on your plate, so choosing to become a Soulardarity member may feel like a difficult decision to make. Here are a few of the key points about the benefits of Soulardarity membership. For more information, go to:
- Participation in decisions about where new streetlights will be located
- Helping to secure proper lighting of streets on your block and in your community.
- Access to resources to reduce heat and light bills in your home through weatherization and do-it-yourself solar projects
- Future opportunities to work together with neighbors to build clean energy in Highland Park which will reduce costs and increase your ability to make decisions about where your power comes from
- Run and vote for Soulardarity’s board of directors and on other membership issues. Elections and most member voting issues will happen during the annual meeting, making it easy to participate and stay informed.
- Ability to call special meetings, vote to remove directors, participate in committees, and otherwise lead and focus Soulardarity’s work
Final voting power on any decision the board of directors makes to:
- sell streetlights or other long-term assets
- change our tax status, dissolve, or change our mission statement
- change the powers of membership
- Opportunity to participate in shared internet at a lower cost with your neighbors
Thank you for your interest in Soulardarity membership! Members are integral to our work. As a member, you can elect the board of directors, participate in committees to direct different aspects of our work, and steer the organization towards our mission of energy democracy in Highland Park. Your membership dues also sustain our operations and help us maintain autonomy and focus on our mission.
Since becoming a membership organization in 2015, our membership model has continued to evolve. Click here to learn more history of the membership model and click here to read the full proposal for the updates approved by the board in 2018.
Here's some of the basics about Soulardarity membership:
DUES: Membership dues use a grassroots fundraising model. We want Soulardarity to truly represent it's members, and the more we raise from membership donations, the more our priorities will be driven the members directly. The minimum annual donation for a member is $10. We encourage members to pledge to give at least $50, which covers the cost of to Soulardarity of an additional member. Using the 2017 budget, we need to raise about $1000 per member. When you fill out your membership form, you will make a pledge for how much you will give, and how much you will fundraise for the year. We encourage members to make a gift that is significant for you, whatever the amount, and makes you fearless in asking others to support our collective work.
VOLUNTEERISM: Soulardarity membership is about collective work and responsibility. If we all pull a little weight, we can do exponentially greater work. Members are encouraged to give a little time and talent every month to help our programs, projects, and organizing move forward.
EXPIRATION AND RENEWAL: Once annually, in the time leading up to the annual meeting, a member renewal form will be sent out to all current members. It will include what you pledge to donate during that year. At the time of any decision or benefit which applies to eligible members, the following will be assessed to determine eligibility:
- Has the member donated at least the $10 minimum in the past 12 months?
- Has the member filled out the renewal form for the current member year (demarcated by the annual meeting)?
MEMBER BENEFITS: Members may from time to time receive special benefits. In 2018, members receive a 6% discount on their PowerUP bulk purchase orders. Other special benefits may arise for all members, or for those donating or fundraising at specific levels.
ACTION GROUPS: Members with ideas and projects are encouraged to form action groups, and will be supported by Soulardarity to see the projects through. Read the action groups summary and download the proposal form here.
MEMBER MEETINGS: Member meetings will occur on a quarterly basis. The schedule and RSVP links for upcoming meetings will be released shortly!