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Small town boots entire local government for engaging in Chinese business deal

Published in Blog on November 10, 2023 by Brianna Kraemer

After leaders in a small Michigan town approved a Chinese-linked green energy plant in a back-stabbing move to residents, voters responded this past Tuesday by ousting five Republican board members in a special recall election. 

Green Charter Township leaders were moving forward with the construction of a $2.3 billion electric vehicle battery plant by Gotion, a company that has links to the Chinese Communist Party. According to reports, Gotion's parent company is 30% owned by Volkswagen but is based in China. The plan was announced last year and supported by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other Democrats, who celebrated the 2,300 jobs that the project would create. 

However, the community was not so pleased with the idea of foreign hostiles impacting their small town. 

Angry residents were determined to step up and speak out. The rural community of 3,219 triggered a recall election after a grassroots petition effort led by Jason Kruse, Green Charter Township’s newly elected supervisor. Kruse initially moved to oust all seven members of the board, but two ultimately stepped down before the recall election. 

"Everybody out there across America needs to step back and understand that you have the power. It's still there," Kruse told Fox News. "Government works and your vote matters – for sure at the local level – and it's super important."

Just after the board was removed, the new leaders were seen changing locks on the government building’s doors. Kruse declared that democracy is ‘still there,’ as is evident in the powerful display of community engagement. 

"We really need to be reminded about that every so often, that public officials work for the public," he added. "It's very nice to see that we can add to that understanding."

This grassroots success story serves as a testament to the enduring strength of grassroots engagement and the pivotal role communities play in safeguarding the principles of democracy. As Convention of States activists understand, the collective voice of a community can wield transformative power, starting at the local level. 

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