Sunday, November 03, 2013

Save the Wild UP: Questionnaire shows local candidates support economic sustainability

MARQUETTE -- On Friday, Nov. 1, Save the Wild U.P. (SWUP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the U.P.’s unique environmental and cultural resources, released the results of its Marquette City Commission Candidate Questionnaire.

"Protecting our environment and communities necessitates civic engagement. We hope results of this questionnaire help voters choose the candidate who best reflects their values," said Margaret Comfort, president of SWUP.

According to results of the candidate questionnaire, every respondent supports job growth in industries that will decrease our dependence on extractive mining. All candidates who responded support projects that will increase local employment opportunities that promote economic sustainability. All respondents believe that new mining developments near waterways threaten fish populations and recreational fishing. All of the respondents support holding mining companies financially accountable for their environmental degradation.

Kathleen Heideman, SWUP vice president, noted the overwhelming interest in decreasing dependence on extractive industries among city commission candidates responding to the questionnaire.

"All of the data shows that sulfide mining is a risky and hazardous business that threatens to leak sulfuric acid into our beloved Lake Superior," Heideman said. "It’s critical that science prevail against well-funded corporate public relations campaigns."

Michelle Halley, local attorney and SWUP advisory board member, added, "Candidates at all levels across the U.P. should know that their positions on mining will define their constituency. Many U.P. voters put economic stability and conservation at the top of their list. Supporting mining-as-usual will not win these votes, and will cost them dearly."

According to Alexandra Thebert, SWUP executive director, this questionnaire was created in response to very low voter turnout for the City Commission primary election. The General Election for the City of Marquette will be held Tuesday, Nov. 5.*

"With so much happening in city politics, we sought to include questions of interest to area residents, regardless of whether we have a stance on the issue itself," Thebert explained.

Full responses to the candidate questionnaire available at

* Click here for information about the Nov. 5, 2013 City of Marquette General Election.

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