News and Recent Activities
A new Inside Michigan Politics/Revsix/Change Media poll has Michigan State Representative Gretchen Driskell up five points over incumbent tea party Republican Tim Walberg in the 7th District Congressional race. The pollsters polled a sample of voters that was 30% Democrats, 36% Republicans and 34% Independents and Driskell came in with 42%. Walberg had 37% and 21% were undecided. The 5-point lead was just inside the margin of error. Driskell did particularly well among independents, 46-27%, an astonishing 19-point gap.
“The results are somewhat surprising, given the fact that Tim Walberg is a well-established, four-term incumbent, and Gretchen Driskell is unknown in big swaths of the district. But Walberg has faced tough elections before, and he’s been able to count on help from big-name groups like Club for Growth,” said Susan J. Demas, editor and publisher of Inside Michigan Politics.
Notably, Walberg’s 2014 Democratic opponent, Pam Byrnes, came in 5-points behind Walberg, showing the strength of Driskell’s support. Byrnes has announced that she will NOT be running in the Democratic primary for this seat.
This Friday, March 27th, Driskell is holding a “March Madness Fundraiser” from noon-1:30 p.m. at Bar Louie, 401 East Liberty Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104:
For more information and to RSVP, go to the event page on Facebook HERE.
There will also be a Delta Township Fundraiser with Special Guest Mark Schauer on Monday, March 30th from 6pm to 7:30pm at the home of Andrea and Chuck Cascarilla – 1804 Canyon Trail, Delta Township. It will be hosted by Andrea Cascarilla and Kelly Rossman-McKinney.
The Ann Arbor Alumnae Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority is pleased to invite the public to see a talk by MNSBC Host of “The Reid Report” Joy Reid. Ms. Reid is the former Manager Editor of TheGrio.com, a daily online news and opinion website focused on stories and perspectives that impact the lives of African Americans.
Tickets to this fundraising event are $65 per person and can be purchased in advance at http://www.annarbordeltas.org or at the event.
Where: Sheraton Hotel at Boardwalk, 3200 Boardwalk Dr, Ann Arbor
When: 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Saturday, March 14, 2015
Click HERE to download a flyer for the event.
WCDP General Membership meeting with the Eastern Washtenaw Dems – forum to discuss Proposal 1, the 1% sales tax increase ballot proposal
This coming Saturday, March 7th, from 10:30 until noon, the Washtenaw County Democratic Party will hold its March General Membership meeting in conjunction with the Eastern Washtenaw Dems. The meeting will be a forum to discuss Proposal 1, a ballot proposal to raise the state sales tax by 1% to pay for road repairs, improve school funding, and other elements. Prop 1 will be on the May 5th ballot.
We will be joined by state Representatives Jeff Irwin and Adam Zemke and others to learn more about this ballot proposal.
The event will take place at the Ypsilanti Whittaker Road Library at 5577 Whittaker Road in Ypsilanti and is free and open to the public. Please join us!
For a printable flyer for the event, click HERE.
Washtenaw County Democratic Party passes “Community Coordination & Law Enforcement Standards” resolution
At their County Convention on Saturday, January 31st, the Washtenaw County Democratic Party passed a resolution on Community Coordination and Law Enforcement Standards. The resolution expresses their support for the strengthening and targeted improvements of law enforcement standards and practices. This statement of values comes in light of multiple incidents of police shootings of black civilians both in the community and throughout the nation.
“This is a crucial issue to our community and country,” said Washtenaw County Democratic Party Chair Chris Savage. “Both our citizens and the officers who are sworn to protect them need to be safe and protected from the possibility of undue violence. The Washtenaw County Democratic Party, along with the Ann Arbor Democratic Party that recently passed a similar resolution, wants to ensure this protection in a way that is fair to all members of our community. We encourage local municipalities, interested organizations, and the Michigan Democratic Party to take up similar resolutions which will raise the volume and attention of this debate.”
The Washtenaw County Democratic Party resolution will now be sent to the Michigan Democratic Party resolutions committee, which will examine and consider additions to the Party platform in the future.
The full text of the resolution is below.
Resolution on Community Coordination and Law Enforcement Standards
The Washtenaw County Democratic Party is committed to uphold civil rights. We are saddened to have to address the recent deaths of several African American citizens in police incidents. Our democracy is suffering because segregation by race and class has again resulted in tragedy and reactions based on fear, splitting communities and the country at large.
Therefore, in order to protect the rights of all citizens, the Washtenaw County Democratic Party supports:
1. Improved communication, coordination and alignment among the law enforcement agencies operating in the county;
2. Improved communication, coordination and alignment among law enforcement, mental health, human services, substance abuse, domestic violence, homeless prevention, legal, and other community support agencies operating in the county;
3. Ongoing and improved diversity, sensitivity and de-escalation training for police officers;
4. Objective video and audio documentation for all first responders;
5. Mental health evaluations for police officers;
6. Improved community engagement by police officers;
7. A citizen oversight board with the authority to handle individual complaints; and
8. Transparent investigation policies for all deadly force incidents in which a citizen is seriously wounded or dies.
The Washtenaw County Democratic Party seeks to work with the community and law enforcement agencies to implement these improvements.
At our County Convention on Saturday, January 31st, the Washtenaw County Democratic Party endorsed Mike Henry, Chair of the Ann Arbor Dems, to be the next chair of the Michigan Democratic Party’s Black Caucus. The vote was unanimous.
“Washtenaw County has a wealth of activists and organizers and Mike Henry is one of the best,” said WCDP Chair Chris Savage. “Mike has proven himself to be a terrific leader who gets things done and helps Democrats to win up and down the ticket. This is why he earned our endorement and he will be an outstanding Chair for the MDP Black Caucus.”
Mike is kicking off his campaign for MDP Black Caucus Chair tonight, Wednesday, February 3rd, at the Melange Bistro in Ann Arbor (312 South Main Street (between Liberty & William Street). The event runs from 5:30-8:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Event hosts include:
- Rep. David Rutledge
- Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton
- Rep. Jeff Irwin
- The Hon. John Hieftje
- Martha Darling
- Ann Arbor School Board Trustees Susan Baskett & Simone Lightfoot
- Marty Fischhoff
- Louis Green
- Eric Keller
- Current Michigan Democratic Party Black Caucus Chair Lavonia Perryman
- Washtenaw County Democratic Party Chair and Eclectablog publisher Chris Savage
- Washtenaw County Democratic Party Vice-Chair Hedieh Briggs
- Harvey Somers
- Paquetta Palmer
- Rod Casey
- Ned Staebler
- Joe Malcoun
- Ypsilanti Mayor Pro Tem Lois Richardson
- Adam Kasha
- Dr. Mary Hall-Thiam
- Tracy Van den Bergh
- Veronique Liem
- Elizabeth Janovic
- The Hon. Joan Lowenstein
- Erane Washington
- David Nacht
- Travis Gonyou
- Alex Yerkey
- Sonja Karnovsky
- Dmitry Kalinchenko
- Brad O’Conner
- Leo Cartier Jr.
- Eastern Washtenaw Democrats Chair Cleveland Chandler*
- The Hon. Margie Teall
- Graham Teall
- Tracy Jensen
- Mazin Assanie
- Max Lerner
- Ann Arbor City Council Member Chuck Warpehoski
- Sam Firke
- Satish Ramade
- Huron Valley Central Labor Council President Ian Robinson*
- Michael Masif White
* = For identification purposes of the individual listed. Not intended to imply endorsement by an organization.
[Photo by Anne C. Savage, used with permission]