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Spring 2013 Environmental Justice Updates

Environmental justice is equitable access to environmental benefits and protections across race, income, age and other forms of difference.  "Environmental Justice is the right to a safe, healthy, productive, and sustainable environment, where 'environment' is considered in its totality to include the ecological, physical, social, political, aesthetic, and economic environment. Environmental justice addresses the disproportionate environmental risks borne by low-income communities and communities of color resulting from poor housing stock, poor nutrition, lack of access to healthcare, unemployment, underemployment, and employment in the most hazardous jobs."  - National Association of City and County Health Officials



  • Governor Snyder is holding Energy Forums that will help shape Michigan’s Energy Future. Share your thoughts about energy, the environment and health here: Info about the MI Air MI Health Coalition below.
  • Mid-Michigan Facilitators Guild: April 17, 10am-12pm at the MSU’s CCED office at 1615 E. Michigan Avenue, Lansing. A group that learns and shares about the art of facilitating discussions. More info: Doak Bloss 517-887-4513.

MMAC/ICHD EJ Intern Erin Smigielski is coordinating volunteers for this great event. Sign up with Erin by contacting her at or via Jessica Yorko at 517-272-4144.

  • MSU students Jazmin-Bolan Williamson and Amy Jacobs are interning at ICHD to increase Mid-Michigan residents’ engagement in food justice projects and provide outreach support to the Mid-Michigan Food Systems Workgroup. Jazmin is majoring in Food Industry Management and Amy in Environmental Studies. This dynamic duo is leading the Mid-Michigan Food Stories Project, which aims to build community in the Mid-Michigan area by using story-telling as a positive outlet for personal connection, and to encourage open dialogue about the role of food in our lives and the impact of food justice and security on us all. They began collecting stories at the Everybody Eats/Todo el Mundo Come Food Justice Conference on February 23 and have over a dozen beautiful and personal stories so far about food and: identity, family, culture, faith, health, poverty, political freedom and community. They would love to hear and document your story for inclusion in the MMFSP blog. Selected stories will also be published and included in the Lansing Eats! Pop-up exhibit and archives being hosted by the Lansing Historical Society ( Contact Amy and Jazmin at or via Jessica at 517-272-4144.


ICHD is creating healthy, safe, stable, affordable housing options, in partnership with:


  • Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, Greater Lansing Housing Coalition and other Mid-Michigan Program for Greater Sustainability Partners. Comment on HUD funding, priorities, and housing stock needs at
  • MSU School of Public Health. This spring, ICHD EJ is coordinating an internship with Celia “Cece” Henderson, a lifelong Ingham County resident who is pursuing a Master’s in Public Health. Cece is researching, reporting and making recommendations on all of Ingham County’s protocols and funding for assisting children and adults with lead poisoning. This investigation centers on improving interagency coordination to ensure that Ingham County residents who are harmed by exposure to lead hazards do not “fall between the cracks”, that their lead exposures are eliminated and/or reduced, and that their blood-lead levels are reduced to safer levels, thereby limited the potential long-term damage of lead poisoning. More on lead poisoning at and below.
  • School of Planning, Design and Construction at MSU, Ingham County Tenants, MSU College of Law Housing Clinic and other local partners. On Tues, March 19, ICHD submitted a $730k request to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development  for a community-based participatory research project titled Healthy Homes, Healthy NeighborsEvaluating the Efficacy of Community Engagement Methods in IEQ (Indoor Environmental Quality). Ingham County tenants, ICHD’s Cassie Larrieux and Jessica Yorko, and tenant-organizer and trainer David Hunt and grassroots organizations helped create a thorough, relevant and valuable community-based concept with academic research partners Dr. Suk-Kyung Kim, Dr. Eunsil Lee and Dr. Matt Syal. Julie Powers of Powers Development ensured proper completion of budget and leveraging forms and narratives and Cassie Larrieux and Dr. Kim developed top-notch responses to the rating factors. Several technical consultants, physicians, tenants, and outreach partners provided letters of support and commitments for matching funds. We hope to know by June if the project is funded so that we can start our work in September 2013. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the development of this concept and proposal.


3/20/13 update from MIALSH: This morning in House Appropriations, the DCH subcommittee voted out a budget with no additional general fund support for lead.  Cancer, obesity, infant mortality, kids dental, mental health, graduate education....a whole host of others too long to mention also saw significant cuts and some even total elimination. Our next step will be House Full Appropriations and the House Floor.  Please submit letters to both the House and Senate reminding them how important these lead dollars are to Michigan families.  We need to keep our issue in their minds.  The Senate is not expected to unveil their DCH budget until after the Legislative break which will be the second week in April.  It is absolutely crucial to have our lead funding in either the House or Senate budget as the bill moves into Conference Committee.  If our lead money is not in either budget, there is no discussion point and we are out of luck until next year. Please consider making a call or sending a letter.  We need to keep up the pressure on our issue and we need your help to do that.  Our coalition website has a variety of letter template you can personalize quickly and easily.


  • Lansing Community Economic Development Network. Meets 4th Tuesday, quarterly basis. Next meeting is Tuesday, April 23, 2013, at 8am, in Lansing Planning Office conference Room at 316 North Capitol
  • Michigan Department of Community Health, through the ACE (Asthma Care Education) program, focused on in-home asthma care for residents of Lansing Housing Commission’s multi-unit dwellings. For more information, contact Tina Brenner, RN at 517-887-4478
  • Mid-Michigan Land Use and Health Resource Team. Next meeting is Monday April 1st at 10-11:30 am in Conf C Human Services Building (5303 South Cedar)
  • Ingham County Land Bank and Treasury, which offered these updates on 3/20:

*Urban Land Institute Public Private Partnership forum April 25th in Lansing.   This is a great organization for high quality relationship building and development discussions.


*2013 Treasury Tax Auction Dates are July 24th and August 24th.  Email to be put on auction email list.


*Land Bank has closed on 10 renovated or new homes already in 2013.  Visit for home purchasing opportunities. Great selection, pricing and homes.


*The  Asset Independence Coalition that I co-chair with Amy Kraus helps folks with tax preparation: It's not too late. You can still do your taxes for FREE!  You can do your own taxes from the comfort of your home (or anywhere with a computer and internet connection) with My Free Taxes. This is a great employee benefit to offer.  Don’t let your folks get stuck paying hundreds of dollars for easy returns.  Go to get started now. Who Qualifies? -Individuals or families with a combined income under $57,000 in 2012. What you’ll need to start: -A valid email address -Income forms (w2’s, 1099s, 1098s etc) -See Tax Checklist for complete list. Visit to do your taxes today.


ICHD is creating equitable access to fresh, healthy foods for all Ingham County residents, in partnership with:


  • MSU students Jazmin-Bolan Williamson and Amy Jacobs see above in “highlights” about Mid-Michigan Food Stories Project.
  • Power of We Consortium, which will soon announce 8 new summer Americorps members. Members will serve half-time April 22-September 6 in paid positions that promote exercise and healthy eating. Summer 2013 applications were due March 15, but contact Katie Ellero to learn about future opportunities, including fall start-date members.
  • Mid-Michigan Food System Workgroup: The vision of the Food Systems Workgroup (FSW) is that everyone has access to safe, healthy and affordable food. The Workgroup has invited growers, farmers, distributors, processors, retailers, producers, policy makers and consumers to the table to discuss this goal since fall of 2009. Next FSW Steering Committee Meeting Monday, April 15th, 2013, 4:00-6:00pm @ The Avenue Café, 2021 E Michigan Ave, Lansing, MI 48912. Next FSW At-Large Meeting, Monday, May 30th, 2013, 4:00-6:00pm @ The Avenue Café, 2021 E Michigan Ave, Lansing, MI 48912. More info at
  • Everybody Eats/Todo el Mundo Come Food Justice Conference which was held on Saturday, February 23. ICHD EJ Coordinator Jessica Yorko participated on the Steering Committee and co-chaired the Outreach and Marking Committee this year, with the goal of creating a more inclusive event by involving new planning partners, hosting more inclusive, public planning meetings, inviting speakers from a more diverse set of racial, economic, and community groups, translating marketing materials into Spanish, and offering language and sign interpretation for conference participants. The event had record attendance and the goal of increasing diversity and inclusion was achieved.  Hundreds of beautiful photos from the event can be viewed at


The planners of the conference hope to get a sense of what you thought of the event if you attended this year at Trinity Church. We created a survey for you, and genuinely hope you can take a few minutes to respond to it. Here is the link,

  • Ingham County Land Bank and Treasury, which offered these updates on 3/20:

*As we anticipate the spring garden season, remember the Lansing City Market is open Tuesday thru Saturday.  My favorites include Otto’s Chicken, Incu-BaKe (locally produced value added food products), Hills Home-cured Cheese and Hickory Corners Greenhouse & Garden (with lots of Michigan products including locally grow organic greens).


*Finally, some folks have helped me with ticket sales for the Greater Lansing Food Bank Annual Empty Plate Dinner. Thursday, April 25th, 2013, 5:30 PM in Big Ten Room at Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center.  Tickets are $125.  Let me know if you an help out.  With the recent merger they now serve Ingham, Clinton, Eaton, Clare, Gratiot, Isabella and Shiawassee counties.


  • The Greater Lansing Food Bank (GLFB), seeks a full-time Program Manager for Lansing Roots to start ASAP. The Lansing Roots Program Manager will be responsible for all aspects of the Lansing Roots program, including managing the farm site, managing staff, grant and funding reporting, and ensuring the long term success of the program. This position is both hands-on in the field and in the office supporting individuals starting their own farm businesses. The GLFB is looking for an energetic and outgoing person to help grow our new program. The GLFB has secured funding from the USDA's Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program to kickstart a new program, Lansing Roots. Lansing Roots is a farm business incubator that aims to assist low-income, historically underserved or beginning farmers in starting their own small-scale farm business. Our first cohort of farmers will begin in Spring 2013. Please visit for more information on Lansing Roots, including our FAQ's. For more info about duties, responsibilities and qualifications, contact Alex Bryan at The position is funded for 3 years through a federal USDA grant and salary corresponds to $32,000-34,000. It is the intent to continue the position and program past the term of the grant. Possibilities for position and salary growth for the right candidate. Full benefits including health, dental, vacation and sick time.


GLFB also has other job postings on their website, including Manager of The Garden Project, and summer Americorps members:



ICHD is creating equitable access to clean air, respiratory health, and a clean energy future in partnership with:


  • Mid-Michigan Asthma Coalition, which meets on 2nd Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in the Ingham County Human Services Building at 5303 South Cedar in Conference Room B. This is a multi-sector group that includes physicians, nurses, indoor and outdoor clean air professionals, volunteers and public health staff. Next meeting is Thursday, April 11. More info at or contact the MMAC Chair, ICHD EJ Coordinator Jessica Yorko at or 517-272-4144.

Resources shared via MMAC recently:

Tina Brenner RN, BSN, IBCLC, AE-C of ICHD shared:, view the webinar  “Housing and Health” offered by EPA.


Tom Curtis, MPA, of MDCH shared: Health Impact Bond program in Fresno is enticing investors to channel money into best-practice interventions that reduce the health impact of Asthma in Fresno.  Healthcare cost savings are then captured and returned to investors as ROI.


  • CATA Clean Commute Options, which is hosting the following upcoming events:

14th Annual CATA Community Health Fair, sponsored in partnership with the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Tri-County Office on Aging.  Last year’s event welcomed over 20 participating health and human service organizations and several hundred attendees who benefited from the services provided. Friday, April 19, 2013, 10 AM to 1 PM, 420 S. Grand Avenue, Downtown Lansing , CATA Transportation Center (CTC). More info: Pam Latka, CATA Marketing Assistant,  (517) 394-1100


The region’s 1st Annual Clean Commute 5k race at Hawk Island Park on Sat, April 27, to benefit the Mid-Michigan Asthma Coalition (MMAC). Register today! More info at, Ashley Hale, Clean Commute Options Coordinator, Phone: 517-393-RIDE (7433),              

MMAC/ICHD EJ Intern Erin Smigielski is coordinating volunteers for this great event. Sign up with Erin by contacting her at or via Jessica Yorko at 517-272-4144.


  • MI Air, MI Health Coalition, which urges you to Speak Up about the Health Impacts of Clean Energy via an online petition regarding clean energy, clean air, improved health, and lower health care costs, found online at:; and to Join us at our Spring 2013 Coalition Meeting. Unhealthy levels of air pollution in Michigan are causing a variety of problems for people’s health and quality of life. The MI Air MI Health Coalition is working to ensure a cleaner and healthier future is possible. Join us on April 17th, 2013 from 1 to 4pm in Lansing for our Spring 2013 meeting to learn about work going on across the state to ensure that all Michiganders have access to clean, healthy air. RSVP today at
  • Sierra Club, Clean Water Action, Lansing Can Do Better and other groups, which are hosting an Earth Day community forum on Thursday, April 25 featuring Peter Sinclair, a long-time activist in the area of energy and the environment. Peter’s multi-media presentation on climate change and global warming presents the latest science of climate extremes in plain language and stunning illustration. The Earth Day program will be held Thursday, April 25 at 7:00 p.m.  Litten Hall inside the First Presbyterian Church, 510 W. Ottawa, Lansing. More info: 517.203.0754 or 
  • Sierra Club, which is hosting "What the Frack, Michigan?", a discussion of what's going on in the state with hydraulic fracturing will take place on Thursday, March 28, 7:00 pm at the Foster Community Center, 200 N. Foster in Lansing. Featuring Rita Chapman of the Sierra Club's Beyond Natural Gas campaign, the program is sponsored by the Sierra Club CMG group. 
  • Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council,. Go to to learn about Walk and Bike Lansing!, Lansing Walkability Audit, Smart Commute 2013 Challenge from June 9-22, 2013, 1st Friday Land Use Lunches and more.