2019 brings SDEV’s 27th year brings renewed vision
2019 began with SDEV renewing our commitment to the mission we’ve worked for over 26 years – to improve the environment and strengthen the economy of Southwest Detroit. On behalf of the organization and staff, as the board president and vice president, we want to make clear that working this mission means being environmentally righteous – walking the walk with and for people and institutions that care about Southwest Detroit and want to contribute positively to a healthy community.
SDEV has, over our history and today, worked together with residents, community organizations, government agencies, schools, businesses and industry to combat environmental issues, including: air quality, blight (illegal dumping, graffiti, abandoned homes), compatible land use, and water quality. If in the past SDEV has missed the mark in working our mission, we are committing today to our concept of environmental righteousness – approaching this work earnestly to inform, educate, and promote solutions to environmental challenges.
In December, SDEV welcomed 6 new board members elected by our general membership and, in January, the board elected a new executive committee. The executive committee has taken on the task of supporting and encouraging a dynamic board focused on community engagement and growth. The board and staff have embarked on a visioning and process initiative to better align SDEV’s mission, vision, and programs in response to new pressures and legacy environmental concerns that residents of Southwest Detroit are facing. SDEV is a bridge between residents, small businesses, large corporations, and public agencies in southwest Detroit related to environmental health. It is our goal to ensure that residents and entities working toward a healthy community have the latest and most reliable information available and that the pathways for engaging policy makers are clear and accessible.
As SDEV has gained new faces in 2019, it also lost some long serving members of the organization’s leadership. We wish Reverend George Bozanich (formerly Trinity St. Mark’s United Church of Christ), Darrell Grassmeyer (DTE Energy), Greg Bennethaum (Marathon Petroleum Corporation), Nazaret Sandoval (MDEQ), and former Executive Director Kathy Stott health and happiness as they move into new endeavors. SDEV is grateful for their years of commitment, service, and friendship.
It is an exciting and tumultuous time of learning ripe with opportunity for all of us!
We look forward to working with you on and unveiling new goals led by our values as we work to serve this beloved community of Southwest Detroit.
As always, in service,
Raquel Garcia, President Christina Heximer, Vice-President