Well...we did it.
We did our first ever pro-wind power parade in Muskegon during Roosevelt Park Day. Incidentally, Roosevelt Park is a 1 square mile city in Muskegon built around a factory, CWC Textron, in the 1940's. If you got a job there, the company would finance a house for you and give you a set of plans to choose from. A lot of little Cape Cods were built there. Well laid out, 1200 square foot homes. The theory behind the planned city was, a worker with a stable life was a better worker.
Yep. Long time ago.
Anyway, back to the parade.
Planned and organized by three members of our group, the West Michigan Jobs Group, we got on the ground and kept up rallying support for wind power. I gotta confess, I basically just showed up to the parade and brought literature, it was the three others who planned the whole thing.
A political candidate stopped by and wished us luck. Told us we were brave to go out there and publicly speak out in favor of wind power in West Michigan. Like we were risking our lives or something...
...and as we walked, and passed out bumper stickers and literature to the thousands of people here's what we heard:
"YES! Wind power!!"
"WE NEED THIS!!!"
"WE NEED GREEN JOBS!!"
"We so need these things here!"
"I support this! Can I have bumper sticker!"
And one of my personal favorites "Give 'em hell!" yelled at me from an old neighbor, the mayor of Roosevelt Park who lived two houses down from my old place in The Park.
Not a boo. Not a hiss. Not a No.
Just five miles of support.
A group of 10 young men ran out into the street asking for bumper stickers.
Oddly, our politicians seem to approach the issue with caution, erring on the side of the status quo. It's always shocking to hear the stark difference between our representatives' views of things, and our own.
How is it there can be a Facebook group with nearly 7200 fans...and informal surveys from our newspapers, politicians, and from the organizations creating legislation on wind power all come out with majorities in favor...
...and yet our political figures approach it with trepidation.
I wear my Yes to West Michigan Wind Power shirt around town and people stop me and engage me everywhere I go and talk about how this town needs this.
My friends went down to Muskegon's Bike Time motorcycle festival...30,000 motorcycles downtown. They walked around the streets with their Yes to West Michigan Wind Power shirts on and people high fived them, waved and smiled in the streets and gave countless thumbs up.
...And yet...somehow, the political figures see a world almost exactly the opposite. Perhaps they hear more from people against this or that...and lean towards the status quo believing that's what America wants. Meanwhile those who desperately need change are too overloaded with the work of the day trying to stay afloat to make their desires known.
When we started this venture supporting wind power many months ago....many of us thought others with more knowledge or power or money or connections would eventually step up to the plate, and would lead the charge for promoting support for this technology.
But after several months it became kinda clear we were it. And while I'm proud the stuff we've done...I don't mean that in a boastful way. I mean it in a scary way. It's kind of scary to know that nobody out there is really going to help.
It really is up to the People to just go out and DO it. It really is up to the People to go out and FIX it, and educate and pound the pavement and take over the airwaves and get the news talking.
All this shit we want. We just have to TAKE it, and nobody is going to help us. In fact, they're going to fight us all the freakin' way.
This group of ours, the West Michigan Jobs Group has a lot of dedicated people working their butts off for free. And here are just a few of them:
Here's an informational video one of our most active members made of a Michigan wind farm just an hour northeast of Muskegon: