Donut Hole: Take Action for Michigan Analog Meter Choice Bill

The Time to Strike Is Now!
Urgent Call to Action

[From mailing by Smart Meter Education Network of Michigan]

House version will look like this: https://michiganstopsmartmeters.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/utility-meter-freedom-of-choice-bill-house.pdf

Senate version will look like this: https://michiganstopsmartmeters.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/utility-meter-freedom-of-choice-bill-senate.pdf

We’ve hit a milestone! A well-written Analog Choice Bill will be introduced in the House this month. It’s time to build a fire under our lawmakers. The bill has a great chance of success if every one of us participates in the actions outlined in this newsletter!

THE STRATEGY OUTLINED IN THIS NEWSLETTER COMES FROM THE MAN WHO IS BEHIND THE BILL. [Gary Glenn, representative of the 98th district (Midland and Bay counties) phone is (517) 373-1791, email GaryGlenn@house.mi.gov. Make sure to call or write to thank him for his work.] He says if we follow these instructions, the chances that this bill will be passed by the House and then the Senate are excellent. That requires every one of us to do our part.

If you want an analog opt-out bill to pass, you must participate. The lawmakers must see incredible grassroots support from people all across the state. That’s where you come in. We outline the strategy in this newsletter. Your participation is absolutely necessary if we are to succeed.

  • We’ve got three weeks to get this done! Let’s do it!
  • To get an Analog Choice Bill passed, every one of us must hit the streets!
  • If you do your part, we will have a bill on the books that will allow everyone to opt out: homes, businesses, condos, and apartments. If you don’t, we will likely be stuck with smart meters forever.
  • It is absolutely critical that every one of us step up to the plate on this.

We are in the last stretch of a four-year-long marathon. We must push hard, and those who have been on the sidelines must now step into the race.

The Two Main Actions That Must Be Taken
in the Next 3 Weeks!
Sooner is better!

The legislature is back in session this week. We must have massive grassroots support behind the bill before it is even introduced! That means the members of the House Energy Committee must hear from their constituents that they want a Utility Meter Freedom of Choice Bill passed!

The legislator behind the bill says we must take ALL the actions below or lose the fight!
It is up to every one of us!

ACTION 1.  Call your own state representative. Tell him or her that you want an analog opt-out bill passed!  See the second page of this flyer to learn what to say. This will take one-and-a-half minutes of your time. Do it now!

You can call your legislator and leave a message, or you can call during business hours and ask to speak to your legislator. If you don’t know who your state representative is, you can find them at this link.  Here is the Contact Information for all 110 Michigan State Representatives.

Phone calls carry 100 times more weight than an email! The main focus is on members of the House Energy Committee, but legislators talk to each other, so regardless of where you live, call your legislators. I called mine Friday night.

Take a minute to let us know what district you live in by filling out this super-brief form. [the link really works this time!]. (Note: we have flyers for all different districts.)

ACTION 2:  THIS ACTION IS EXTREMELY URGENT It is imperative that we get hundreds of Michigan residents calling the representatives on the House Energy Committee and telling them they want an Analog Opt-Out. The calls must be from actual constituents, so if you do not live in that legislator’s district, you can’t call them. These legislators must hear from hundreds of people. When representatives hear from hundreds of people, they act. A phone call is worth a hundred emails! Do not stop reading here! Do you want an analog opt-out? Then now is the time to step up to the plate.

How do we do this? We go out and talk to constituents in the same places you see people petitioning: on the sidewalk, in front of the library, at farmers markets, door-to-door . . . . the list goes on.

Citizens you meet on the street are VERY RESPONSIVE! Two dedicated smart meter activists have been out to some of the House Energy districts, and the legislators in those districts told us they have been inundated with phone calls. “So,” you ask, “why not just sit back? Haven’t these people already done the work?” Not by any means. There are 26 HEC districts, and we must cover every one massively. It requires all of the HEC members seeing how much their constituents want this bill, and it requires the legislators seeing that Michigan residents across the state want this bill passed! You know how strong the utilities are–we must mobilize people across the state, and from the looks of what these activists have done already, it will be easy to talk to people about this bill and get them to call their state rep.

Afraid to talk to people? No worries! Like we said, the people of Michigan support CHOICE. Most of them are glad to be informed. Choice is the best way to present this to them (see our flyer). People believe in choice, and most of them believe in freedom from corporate control. And many, many of them call–especially if you, right after you finish your spiel (presentation), say to them, “Why don’t you make that call right now from your cell phone?”

The next section of this newsletter talks about where and how to talk to people, and gives you an opportunity to hook up with other who are canvassing well.

We have a new page on our website. It gives you maps of the districts, flyers for a variety of districts, advice on what to say to people, and much more. Check it out! (This is a hidden page, and only accessible from this newsletter link. We don’t want the utilities getting ahold of our strategy.)

How to Get Everyday People to Support Our Cause

Part 1 — Where You Can Canvass

  • You can go to any government-owned space: a sidewalk, outside a library, in front of the post office. Find an area that gets a lot of foot traffic.
  • You can go to condos.
  • You can go to farmers markets, festivals, and parades.
  • You can go to homes (though you will talk to more people if you go to high-traffic areas).
  1. You can ask a business, such as Kroger, whether you may talk to people about a bill that is being introduced in the House. Sometimes they will let you stand there.
  2. What we need most are people to go to one, two, or three of the House Energy Committee Districts (if you truly cannot, then canvass people in your own hometown). Here are maps of the districts.   Find the ones you would like to go to.  As fortune would have it, many of you live in or very near many of the House Energy Committee districts. It will be easy for you to go out and talk to people, hand them a flyer, and have them call their rep. Get them to call right then and there if they have a cell phone, or lend them yours if you carry one. People will make the call right then if you ask.
  3. You can meet up with other people who want to canvass, or you can go on your own. If you want to meet up with others, please contact David Lonier at 248-373-9111. Some people have already told us where they are going. David Lonier and Jeanine Deal invite others to join them in canvassing the district of Aric Nesbitt, Chair of the House Energy Committee, who is currently in DTE’s pocket. He is a critical part of getting this bill passed, and if he hears from enough people, he will go along with the bill.
    1. List of places where you can meet up with others who have already volunteered.
    2. Good places and days to flyer. The list isn’t inclusive, just some suggestions people have sent in.
  4. Don’t forget your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. Get them to make that call!
  5. Critical districts include Aric Nesbitt’s (District 66) and Gary Glenn’s (Committee Vice-Chair, Midland County area). We have very few members in the U.P. and northern Michigan, but five of the districts are up there. If you know people up there, please forward them this newsletter, get them to call, and have them start canvassing their cities.
  • It is absolutely critical that every one of us step up to the plate on this.
  • We are in the last stretch of a four-year-long marathon.
  • We will not make it to the end if we do not complete this stretch first.
  • Get out there if you want a real opt-out in Michigan!

How to Get Everyday People to Support Our Cause

Part 2 —  What to Say

What you can say to people is pretty simple. It takes a lot of newsletter space, but it only takes a minute or two in person.

You are briefly informing people that their ability to make their own choices regarding their health, safety, privacy, and what technology goes on their home is being taken away. You will show them our flyer. You will ask them to make a phone call to their legislator telling them that they want the choice to have an analog meter on their home. Getting them to make that phone call is your end goal! Ask them to make the call right then and there on their cell phone (cell phones are a dangerous technology, but here we can use them to our benefit).

Passion is important! People respond to emotion. If you are open-hearted and passionate, people will be motivated to make that call to their representative. Get them to make that call as soon as you are done talking to them!

We have a detailed version of what you can say, but here’s the gist of it. Modify it to suit your style. This advice comes from the man behind the bill, and he knows what he is doing! Please read our Guide to What to Say. It has lots of helpful hints from this man and another person with a lot of experience. Below is the first part of the spiel.The rest of it is in the Guide.

“Hi, my name is _____. I’m here today about a very important issue that concerns all of us. It concerns your health, your safety, your privacy, and the price you pay for electricity. [Hand them the flyer we have designed about the bill.]”

“The utilities want us to use smart meters instead of the convential meters we’ve been using for years. They’re not giving us a choice. The problem with smart meters is, they are making some people very ill . . . they’ve caused fires, they’ve caused appliances to burn out. They will cause your electricity rates to rise because the utilities are going to institute peak pricing, which means you will pay more for your electricity at the times of day you most want to use it. On top of that, they invade your privacy, because the utility company can determine what appliances you are using and when you are using them, and they can sell the data to third parties. They will also allow the utility to shut off your smart-chipped appliances and to shut off your power without coming to your home.”

“We think people should be given a choice, don’t you agree?”

See our Guide to What to Say for how finish off this presentation and get the person to make that call!  We’d also like you to get the contact info for people who are particularly interested. Download our I Want Critical Updates Sheet here.

The man behind the bill says: “Approach and speak with every person as if they are the deciding vote on the smart meter choice legislation. I cannot stress it enough: If people react positively when the flyer is handed to them, ask them to call their representative right then, in front of you. Maximize the opportunity. Remind everyone to share the information with the people they are in contact with and ask those people to do the same. Remind people it is not a question of whether smart meters are coming to their neighborhood; it is only a question of when. It only takes 30 seconds to email or call a representative–30 seconds to protect our health and freedom. Remember, you want to talk to as many people as possible, so take 2 or 3 minutes to present good infomation, then move on. If they have lots of questions, refer them to the website. If people want to argue with you, move on. Your goal is to get as many people as possible to call, not to convince the doubters.”

“Detroit Edison, Consumers, and others are taking no prisoners!  If we are not telling everyone we come into contact with about the real threat smart meters present, and asking those people to tell others, opportunities are lost. Every district must be covered.” His constant refrain to me is, we must get many people from every one of the 25 Energy Committee districts to call their rep.That is why each one of you must volunteer to go to one of the House Energy Committee districts.

We have designed an Analog Choice Flyer to tell people about the bill. On the front of the flyer is information about the legislation. On the back is information about what to say when you call, and a list of House Energy Committee members. Because there are 26 committee members, we can’t list them all on the back of one flyer. So we have 3 flyers for different sections of the state. Please download at least the first two, because someone from across the state might be travelling through the city you are in and be ready to call. The third flyer is for the Upper Peninsula and northern Michigan. If you know anyone in the U.P., we really need you to contact them and ask them to call their rep and to talk to others about the bill.

The flyer can also be posted on bulletin boards, but keep in mind—the main way you will get people to call is by direct personal contact. Humans operate off emotion and connection.

To see where the House Energy Commmittee Districts are located, check out our maps. These can help you decide where to flyer. We need people to cover all parts of the state, so please consider going a distance from your own city.

Let us know what districts you’ve gone to, or where you’d like to go. We are setting up a private forum for people to let us and others know where you’ve gone, where you are planning to go, and whether you’d like to meet with others to spread the word together! You can also contact David Lonier at 248-373-9111 to give him this information directly. Contact David, or Jeanine Deal at j.s.deal@att.net or 269-979-3019, if you are interested in going to Aric Nesbitt’s district.

Flyering parties to House Energy Committee districts are coming up. You can go on your own, or meet with a group. Email us to let us know where you plan to go and when you plan to do so.

  • This is URGENT!
  • We have only three weeks to get this done!
  • Make time in your schedule, shift things around.
  • It’s what you must do to have a safe, non-harmful analog meter on your home!

LINKS

Contact Info:

Email:
smartmetereducationnetwork@gmail.com
Our mailing address is
Smart Meter Education Network
2150 Foss St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Phone number:
734-972-2677

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