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Contribute to SDRC’s Protection Fund: Support Our Lobbyist in Pierre!

January 17, 2010

Great news! SDRC will have a credible lobbying presence in Pierre for this 2010 legislative session – Michael Melius, a native of Faulkton with a South Dakota family farm upbringing and who now lives in Hermosa.

Contribute today to SDRC’s Protection Fund to support Michael’s valuable work in Pierre.

In more than three decades of working to affect legislative outcomes in our state, SDRC has learned a firm lesson: we need a lobbying presence to mind our business during the session in Pierre. In fact, an organization with no lobbyist might as well not exist for those critical weeks of the legislature. In Michael Melius, we are fortunate to have an articulate and dedicated advocate for the environment in Pierre this year.

SDRC will ask Michael to monitor all the bills that affect the integrity and health of natural systems on which we all depend – our air, our soil, our water. This year we especially look forward to supporting bills that promote energy efficiency and alternative energy like wind, solar, and geothermal. We will focus on distributed energy development. As speaker John Farrell persuasively established at our 2009 annual meeting, South Dakota stands to gain most – economically, environmentally, and politically – from decentralized and right-sized energy projects. This means closer-to-home generation and localized distribution that avoids the inefficiencies and gargantuan expense inherent in long-distance UHV (ultra-high voltage) transmission.

We will be sharing Michael’s services with the Sierra Club. Each group is working to raise money to pay Michael’s expenses and a very modest salary. We are asking that you support Michael’s Pierre based advocacy by sending a contribution – as generous as you can make it. Unlike your regular donations to SDRC, your gift for this special purpose is not tax deductible because lobbying is a political activity. However, we are confident that the lack of tax benefit is outweighed for you by the benefit of having a lobbyist to stand up in Pierre for your environmental values.

Your gift will also make possible Michael’s weekly report to SDRC members to keep you up to date on the Pierre issues that count most for us. Michael’s message will prompt you in your home-based environmental advocacy with your own state district lawmakers – the state senator and the two representatives from your local district. Be sure to include your email address on the attached form so you can receive your alert in a timely and inexpensive way.

Let’s really put it together for the environment during this year’s legislative session – with Michael Melius advocating in Pierre and the rest of us weighing in strong with emails and weekend calls and visits to our own local state district lawmakers.

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