Belleville resident Shannon Otsby is passionate about her community's environment, and its people. Photo provided by Shannon Otsby
Belleville resident Shannon Otsby is passionate about her community's environment, and its people.

Michigander Shannon Ostby, is all about her environment: clean air, safe water and eco-friendly cars.

Belleville, MI—Belleville resident Shannon Ostby is a Michigander through and through. At her home on Belleville Lake she sits on her piece of the Pure Michigan pie. And she wants to protect her lake at all cost.

At work in the field of oncology, she sees the impact that the local environment has on cancer patients, so she fights for clean air in Southeastern Michigan. 

And with her family, she talks about the future of electric vehicles and what it means to be a UAW family—she comes from a long line of union workers with General Motors running in her blood from when her father and grandfather worked there.

“The union was very important in that time and now for our economy in southeast Michigan we’ve had our ups and downs and so many things are important to me,” the longtime Belleville resident said.

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These are the reasons Ostby votes. She believes Democratic nominee Joe Biden will do right by protecting Michigan’s environment—from clean water in her backyard, to clean air for her patients, to a future of electric vehicles carrying the automotive industry. 

“I’d like to make sure we don’t go back in time with the environment and move towards a more eco-friendly environment,” she said. “I think it’s very important to be a voter and have a voice in who you feel should lead our country. I am very passionate about making sure the wildlife are protected and have a safe place to live.”

Ostby, her significant other, and 6-year-old son live on Belleville Lake (where the family boats and kayaks on), which she described as “very important” when she considers her leaders. 

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Ostby lives in an area rich in history where Thomas Edison and Henry Ford were pioneers who brought their work to her town.

“Edison powered the hydroelectric dams at each end of the lake,” she said. “I really appreciate the history that is here and nature.”

Bald eagles, other birds, wildlife and fish call Belleville home, and Ostby wants to keep it that way. 

“I really think it’s important to protect the lake and our history,” she said.

Ostby, also an oncology sales specialist who works for a biopharmaceutical company (that specializes in medication for cancer patients) said that protecting the environment is more than a political thing.

“It’s extremely important right now with COVID-19 and all the challenges we’ve had in the past with pollution,” she said. “I think the Democratic party has done a lot to bring focus to the Great Lakes and clean (it) up. I vote for the person I think is going to help out Michigan, the environment, the car industry and help them move in the right direction for energy efficiency standards for vehicles to make sure we’re not polluting the environment. Those are the key points for me.”

For Ostby, it’s about taking each of the right steps to protect the environment she calls home. These are what make her proud to be a Michigander. 

“There are so many things that are important,” she said.

Biden feels those issues are critical, too, and his campaign is based around climate change and a cleaner environment for today and tomorrow, along with boosting electric vehicles. According to his campaign, he wants to “build a more resilient, sustainable economy” that includes net-zero emissions, economy-wide, by no later than 2050. 

Biden also wants to help “rural communities from water and air pollution and make water bills affordable” for low-income communities, rural Americans, and tribes, his campaign added. This is while also targeting 40% of his historic investment in a “clean energy revolution to disadvantaged communities,” his website explains.  

“We can invest in our infrastructure to make it stronger and more resilient, while at the same time tackling the root causes of climate change,” Biden said in a Vox article.

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