News and Recent Activities
Saturday, November 16th | Reception at 5:00 p.m. | Dinner at 6:00 p.m.
Polo Fields – Washtenaw: 2955 Packard Road, Ypsilanti, MI 48197
You are cordially invited to join the WCDP for our 2013 Annual Dinner: Victory in 2014, all of the proceeds from which will go to elect Democrats. The evening’s entertainment will consist of an exciting slate of speakers as well as the Democratic Politibowl, a quiz bowl that pits Team Legislative vs. Team Politico in a battle over questions related to politics, campaigns, legislation, and whatever else we decide to throw at these fearless leaders.
Please RSVP by Saturday, November 9th; checks are to be made payable to Washtenaw County Democratic Party.
For more information, please contact Fran Brennan at 734-330-5225 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detroit Free Press • September 25, 2013 • By Robin Erb
Michiganders shopping for insurance on the Michigan Health Insurance Marketplace beginning next Tuesday will spend less than much of the country, a possible result of competition drawn to the state exchange.
In Michigan, the lowest prices for three categories of policies, called bronze, silver and gold, all came in lower than the national average, according to a federal analysis released today. For example, the lowest cost silver plan — a plan that will cover about 70% of medical costs — will cost an average of $271 a month, compared with the national average of $310.
As Washington Republicans continue pressure to defund the Affordable Care Act, officials with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday sought to assure consumers of the affordability of the plans that will be offered on exchanges across the nation starting Oct. 1. Read more… (PDF version)
In two critical decisions issued on Wednesday, June 26th, the U.S Supreme Court ruled the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional, paving the way for partners in same-sex marriage to receive benefits like Social Security survivor benefits and granting marriage LGBT couples over 1,100 rights previously enjoyed only by those in traditional marriages.
The same day, the Court declined to rule Proposition 8 in California, saying that the defendants who were trying to overturn a lower court ruling that Prop 8 is unconstitutional did not have standing to do so. This paves the way for Californian gay couples to be able to legally be married. In fact, Governor Jerry Brown has called for county officials to “resume issuing marriage licenses to and recording the marriages of same-sex” as soon at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifts the stay of the injunction which has been in place throughout the appeals process.
Democratic candidate for governor Mark Schauer issued the following statement:
The U.S. Constitution promises all citizens equal protection under the law, and today’s ruling reinforces this basic American principle. No one should face discrimination based on who they love. Gov. Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette must now take steps to recognize same-sex marriages from other states here in Michigan. As governor, I will work to make Michigan a more welcoming place to same-sex couples by protecting LGBT citizens under the Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act, and pushing to change Michigan’s constitution.
State Representative Jeff Irwin and state Senator Rebekah Warren, both from Ann Arbor, issued a joint statement calling for the Michigan legislature to move quickly on enacting marriage equality legislation in Michigan as a result of today’s ruling.
“I applaud the court’s decision today and am filled with hope for our LGBT couples and families,” said Sen. Warren. “This ruling not only takes us one step further on our march toward equality, but also reaffirms the core values of fairness and justice for all that Americans hold dear. I look forward to continuing this march here in Michigan, and remain ever more confident that we will prevail.”
“Same-sex couples in Michigan cannot afford to wait any longer for equal protection for their families,” Rep. Irwin said. “The Supreme Court struck down the federal law because it was discriminatory and a violation of basic Constitutional rights. However, Michigan still enforces our unjust laws against same-sex partners in our state. This is a wrong that we must right.”
Despite these positive moves by the Supreme Court, a decision earlier in the week gutted key provisions of the Voting Rights Act which has protected minority communities across the country from disenfranchisement based on their race. Civil rights pioneer and Georgia Congressman John Lewis called the move “a dagger into the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.”
These [Supreme Court Justices] never stood in unmovable lines. They were never denied the right to participate in the democratic process. They were never beaten, jailed, run off their farms or fired from their jobs. No one they knew died simply trying to register to vote. They are not the victims of gerrymandering or contemporary unjust schemes to maneuver them out of their constitutional rights.
I disagree with the court that the history of discrimination is somehow irrelevant today. The record clearly demonstrates numerous attempts to impede voting rights still exist, and it does not matter that those attempts are not as “pervasive, widespread or rampant” as they were in 1965. One instance of discrimination is too much in a democracy.
Dean of the House, Congressman John Dingell from Ann Arbor, said he is angered by the Court’s decision:
I consider my vote for the Voting Rights Act of 1965 among the most important of my entire career. While I recognize that times have changed since 1965, I am angered by the Supreme Court’s decision to gut one of the single most important anti-discrimination laws on our books. By striking down Section 4, the Court, by extension, has rendered Section 5 – which requires federal preclearance for certain states to change their voting laws – unenforceable. Without an effective backstop to prevent the kind of abuses the Act sought to address, I fear that many minority Americans will be further subjected to the very same types of discrimination that nearly tore our country apart in the 1960s. Congress absolutely must act swiftly to pass bipartisan legislation that will restore and re-empower the Voting Rights Act. We did so by large margins in 1965—in the face of a divided country— and we can again, provided we put aside partisan antics and compel ourselves to do what is right for this country and all who live in it.
[John Lewis photo and rainbow graphic by Anne Savage.]