This week, families in Michigan’s most polluted zip code called on Terri Lynn Land to put Michigan families first and spend a day in their community so that she can see first-hand the type of pollution their families are exposed to every day.
These families deal with pollution from the Marathon refinery and other industries in the area. Members of the community talked about waking up to explosions, spending evenings surrounded by black smoke and ongoing health problems like asthma related to the refinery.
While these families are fighting for the right to breathe clean air in their homes, Terri Lynn Land’s friends, the billionaire Koch brothers, have dumped $6.5 million to get her elected. These are the same guys who owned the three-story mountain of toxic pet coke that was dumped next to the Detroit River last year. Terri Lynn Land has been running on a platform to dismantle environmental protections for families and our Great Lakes. It seems that “Michigan First” is just a slogan when it comes to putting our health over the profits of polluters.
I spent the day in 48217 yesterday and I came away with a few observations. First, spending even a day around that much pollution is not comfortable. My eyes were irritated, my nose was filled with smells that reminded me of my high school chemistry lab and my ears were filled with constant noise pollution. Second, I wonder if Terri Lynn Land will take the challenge and spend a day in the community and tell these families that she opposes their right to live in a healthy environment when they are standing in front of her. Finally, the residents of 48217 are hard-working people who will not stop fighting for a cleaner environment. For all of our sake, I hope they win.