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In 1994, Pollack suffered a political
setback when she decided to run for
retiring Democrat Sen. Don Riegle's
seat in the U.S. Senate. She raised $1
million in Ann Arbor but was deeply
hurt by the Jewish community in
Oakland County, she says, "that with
a few exceptions didn't take me seri-
ously." And for a progressive candi-
date to win in this state, she adds,
you need the support of the Jewish
community in Oakland County.
She narrowly lost the primary to
U.S. Rep. Robert Carr and retired
from public office. Carr: lost to
Republican Spencer Abraham, now
U.S. Secretary of Energy.
"Too many Jewish leaders make
their decisions solely on historic
Pollack's husband, geophysicist professor
votes on Israel. And no one with a
Henry Pollack and their son, John
good Yiddishe kup should be a single- Pollack, in Antarctica.
issue voter in this complex world."
tect its environment, Pollack says.
Robert Naftaly, former president of
Ahead of her time, Pollack in 1998
the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan
spearheaded a compressive land use
Detroit, who was director of manage-
strategy for Washtenaw County that
ment and budget for Democratic
was "a groundbreaking proposal," says
Michigan Gov. Jim Blanchard from
Michael Sklar, president of Michigan
1983-86, disagrees with Pollack about
Coalition on the Environment and
this Jewish community.
Jewish Life (MI-COEJL), a member
"I helped her get her fund-raising
organized for her run for Congress," he organization of MEC.
He explains that the ballot initiative
says, adding, however, that Carr did
dealt with all four components of an
have a long-term record of support for
open space preservation program:
Israel and Soviet Jewry. "Pollack's views
redeveloping contaminated areas, help-
were more on the peace side, while
ing farmers keep their land in agricul-
Carr had a longtime proven record [on
ture instead of for building subdivi-
Israel] and people knew him.
"I like her," he adds. "She's smart and sions, allowing the county to purchase
fragile natural land and providing land-
a person of great passion and integrity
use planning assistance to townships.
... She doesn't focus on herself, but on
"It didn't pass, but we did pass a
trying to accomplish good things."
component of it a couple years later
— a county-wide purchase of fragile
A Better World
natural land," Sklar says. "And we're
still working on the agricultural and
Though no longer an elected official,
environmental components of it."
Pollack turns her energies toward the
He adds that state leaders like Gov.
nonprofit world, where for good or for
Granholm (an MEC supporter) and for-
bad, she says, most public policies
mer Ann Arbor mayor and current State
have originated over the last decades.
Rep. Liz Brater, D-Ann Arbor, are inter-
She also took time over the years to
ested in moving the agenda forward.
champion other causes. She's a found-
"I'm glad for this state that she is
ing member of Michigan Women's
keeping a watchful eye on our natural
Foundation, a former board member
resources and continuing her work to
of the U-M Hillel and publisher of
protect our state," Gov. Granholm says.
Michigan Monthly magazine. - -
"Lana brings a unique perspective to
She and her husband also co-taught
MEC: her experience in the legislature,
"The Science and Politics of Global
her husband's work in climate change
Warming" at U-M. And, in 1997,
Pollack was a Fellow at the Institute of research and her Jewish background,"
Sklar says. "She knows it's our obliga-
Politics at Harvard University's
tion to take care of this world, and she
Kennedy School of Government.
feels that in her soul." D
Also in 1997, Pollack became presi-
dent of the MEC, which represents
more than 200,000 Michigan residents.
For more information on the
Her organization partners with local,
state and national groups ,to make the
Council: www. mecprotects.org
community stronger in efforts to pro-