LuAnne Kozma and Ellis Boal welcomed me to their home in Charlevoix on Saturday, September 1, 2018, and to stay the night.
Between their work to gather and process petition signatures, and their meetings with some Los Angles film makers, we were able to fit in Green Party of Michigan work and to get to know each other better. Saturday culminated with guitar, dulcimer, and singing!
Our GP-MI work focused on the nuances with our bulk email system, and some web application features that are available to the Communications Manager. That took less than an hour because LuAnne had already studied these.
The film makers are compiling a documentary about climate change. They have been around the world with their cameras and have visited LuAnne before. They follow LuAnne to fracking and injection well sites and to the oil pipeline locations at the Mackinaw Straits while consulting with her on recent developments.
Ellis is a well known labor attorney with a specialt in reprsenting dissidents. He’s a life-long activist, being jailed at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. He has been a GP-MI member since 2000. He co-founded the Up North Greens local group, which produced the first GP-MI elected official in Michigan: JoAnne Beemon. Ellis has run for many positions himself, including County Commissioner, County Prosecutor, U-M Regent, and four runs for the U.S. House of Representatives.
LuAnne is a life-long environmental activist, beginning as a teenager in New Jersey where she worked on recycling programs and was part of the political actions to save the Delaware River from a dam project. She's also a lifelong park activist and former park commissioner. In 2011 she became aware of the dangers of fracking and helped begin the Ban Fracking movement in Michigan. She had a 25-year career at Michigan State University Museum as a folklorist and curator, where she organized folklife festivals. She gained paralegal status and met Ellis at a National Lawyers Guild event. LuAnne began and directs the Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan, a ballot question committee, and wrote the law that will be placed on the ballot once those legal hurdles are surmounted. The Committee has collected over a quarter million signatures.
LuAnne has been a GP-MI member since 2009. She has been a National Committee Alternate then Delegate since 2013. She was a National Delegate to the Presidential Convention in Houston. She ran for the GP-US Secretary position. She was Co-Chair of Eco-Action Committee for one year and has remained as an Eco-Action Committee Member to the present.
LuAnne was the Coordinator of Stein/Baraka Campaign for entire State of Michigan!
LuAnne and Ellis were married in 2008 in front of their beautiful home on Lake Charlevoix, with tribal board member Fred Harrington officiating the service. (Fred built the large canoe you see at the Pipe-Out event.)
I met LuAnne, whom I had already gotten to know through my activity with the Occupy movement and her work with Let's Ban Fracking, at the Baraka event in Grand Rapids. I considered the fact that she had this important role with the Green Party to be fitting, given her abilities and commitment to environmental protection. I was a bit ashamed that I wasn’t doing more myself.
It is normal for people to think that something should be done, but then do nothing. It is normal for people to think that something should be done and complain that others do nothing. It is normal for people to agree to do something, but then do nothing. Sometimes people actually take action but then soon return to doing nothing. They have their reasons.
For a person to think something should be done, then investigates and discover facts, and follow with selfless determination to make things right no matter what time or trouble - that is exceedingly rare. Pretty much every activist I talked with at the Pipe-Out event knows LuAnne through her work; work that will benefit all of us.
It is only fitting to have such a determined and principled person working for the Green Party of Michigan.