The fight to decommission Line 5, a Canadian-owned oil and gas pipeline, has ratcheted up. This 50-year-old line puts Michigan’s Great Lakes, as well as 640 miles of irreplaceable wetlands, farmlands and inhabited areas, at increasing risk with each passing month. After the resounding victory of Attorney General Dana Nessel and Governor Gretchen Whitmer, both of whom campaigned on the promise to retire this line, lobbyists and pressure groups from Enbridge and their supporters are putting tremendous pressure on legislators and on County Commissions throughout Michigan.
We can help counter this by joining a phone bank to inform voters in other counties, and by joining Rep. Yousef Rabhi in building a “war chest” – the Protect Our Great Lakes PAC– to help the lobbyists WE need, to inform Lansing legislators of the facts and the urgency of shifting Michigan to a clean and green economy.
The Washtenaw County Commission is firm in its support of decommissioning, but many other counties are swayed by Enbridge’s insistence that there is no alternative to the (very minimal) propane it supplies to the UP, and its arguments that it is safe, and will provide good jobs in building the tunnel and the replacement. The facts belie this argument. Andrea Pierce, chair of the Anishinaabek Caucus, has provided a detailed rebuttal of the resolution passed by Grand Traverse County. You can consult it under Files on the Caucus Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/groups/342519989709649/files/
A recent report by the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, How A County-By-County Push
Is Boosting Enbridge’s Line 5, shows how Enbridge has enlisted the Michigan Association of Counties to push for support for the tunnel project, which would allow the line to keep operating for at least 10 years in its current dangerous state. They have already gotten 5 counties to support resolutions in favor. To read the Michigan Campaign Finance Network’s new report on a county-by-county effort to support Line 5, follow this link.
Attorney General Dana Nessel has sued for decommissioning on the grounds of irregularities in the original easement. More info soon on the progress on this.
We need marchers in Ann Arbor (line-up time 9:30am) and marchers and musicians to accompany our float in Ypsilanti–a first! (line-up 10:30 am). We also plan to have a blast on Wednesday the 3rd, building and decorating the float, making signs and preparing the music. Want to join us? Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up here to march, and here to come on Wednesday.
MI House Dems will be holding their next training on Friday, June 28th from 9:30 am – 3:00 pm at the Michigan Corrections Organization, 421 W Kalamazoo St in Lansing. Registration begins at 9 am. Contact Marili Secrest at 2020StatewideDemLeadership@mihousedems.com
This training will include more of a workshop component than the first one, and focus heavily on personal story development and writing a finance plan. As usual, candidates, activists, campaign staff and Democratic leaders can benefit from the training, and all are welcome. Please have folks RSVP by emailing Marili or following this link: https://forms.gle/5QJJHW1M9kdwQ5n58.
A number of WCDP members spoke at the Impeachment Rally organized in Ann Arbor by P. Deisha Myles with MoveOn.org. Speakers included Eli Savit, candidate for County Prosecutor, Michelle Deatrick, DNC Committee Member, Deisha Myles, Cheryl Farmer, former mayor of Ypsilanti, and Jeffrey Taite Bronze Eagle. Excellent points were made, including the important point that “shining a public light on the many abuses and crimes that the president has committed is essential, independently of the probability of the Senate finalizing the procedure. In the case of Richard Nixon, the House pursued an Impeachment Inquiry that concluded with a recommendation to impeach, and as the details became known, public support went from only 17% to overwhelming approval of impeachment. Far from distracting from the electoral process, such a public trial can only help to educate the public.” To see photos and Eli’s speech: https://www.facebook.com/chipwaqua
Fix Michigan’s Broken Bail Bond System:
The purpose of requiring bail when a person is charged with a crime is to encourage that individual not to flee justice and, if the alleged crime is violent and of a serious nature, to protect the public. The purpose should not be to acquire funds for the state or to disrupt potentially innocent persons’ lives. Although these bonds may be set low enough for many middle class people to afford, they are often impossible for poor people to pay, and are set neither because of concerns for safety nor flight risks.
Why is fixing our bail system important? Pretrial incarceration of Michigan residents can cause great harm to their lives and families. They often lose their jobs, which subsequently means loss of homes and even their children can be taken away. Even if convicted of a crime, they often are given sentences of less time than they have already spent waiting in jail for trial. This is not only disruptive to the lives of the charged individuals, but also to employers and landlords. Keeping these people in jail costs the taxpayers $150 million annually.
What is happening? Bail bond reform bills have been introduced into both the State Senate and House. These bills will fix our broken system by making cash bonds affordable, providing information to the courts on setting bonds, creating consistency among courts, and requiring to put bail determinations on the record. These bills need to be pushed out of committee and sent to the floor for a vote. Currently, the House Bail Bond Reform Package is in the State House Judiciary Committee.
What can we do? We can call the State House Representatives who are on the House Judiciary Committee and ask them to support the Bail Bond Reform Package and send it to the floor for a vote.
The following is a list of committee members who have not sponsored the bill:
Graham Filler (R) Committee Chair, 93rd District: 517-373-1778
Diana Farrington (R) 30th District: 517-373-7768
Daire Rendon (R) 103rd District: 517-373-3817
Ryan Berman (R) 39th District: 517-373-1799
Douglas Wozniak (R) 36th District: 517-373-0843
Vanessa Guerra (D) 95th District: 517-373-0152
Brian Elder (D) 96th District: 517-373-0158
Kyra Bolden (D) 35th District: 517-373-1788
Call to State Representatives on the House Judiciary Committee:
Hello, I’m a Michigan voter and I want to encourage Representative _________to support the Bail Bond Reform Package. The cost to taxpayers and the disruption to the lives of potentially innocent men and women speak to the need for bail reform. This also affects the poor and people of color disproportionately. Please support and send this bill to the House floor for a vote.
Information provided by Susan Gannon of Michigan Resistance. For more information, contact:
info@MichiganResistance.orgMore Links about this issue:
It is with deep sadness that we received news this past week that Ypsilanti City Councilmember Peter Murdock passed away. His loss will be felt by many including his wife Grace and his other family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them in the days and months ahead.
The following tribute was posted on Facebook by County Commissioner Ricky Jefferson. It captures our feelings so perfectly that we asked Ricky if we could share it with our membership and he has graciously agreed.
“–The Honorable Peter J. Murdock
Councilmember, City of Ypsilanti
The Man, The Mayor, The Mentor
My friend William Simmons and I would greet Pete with respect to his political prowess by addressing him as “The Wizard.” No one has efficiently served Ypsilanti, or has affected city government as long or with such genuine dedication as Mr. Murdock. Pete and Grace together would always make themselves known and would reach out to everyone who had an interest in the activities of Ypsilanti. Whether it was discussing governing policies or supporting a family issue, Pete would share the community insight and expertise that he possessed to help cover all of the intricate aspects of an issue which could lead to a better outcome. Pete’s counsel was sought after by aspiring politicians looking for sound advice on campaigning or historical information on longstanding issues.
A kind and gentle man, Pete would not impose his will in an attempt to oppose those who may have had a different opinion. What he would do was listen to the pros and cons, expound on all the facts, give his honest opinion, and proceed to make his case. The political intelligence Pete used to make tough decisions was fueled less by speculation and driven mostly by diligent research. He gave all he could give as a faithful public servant. He gave his utmost loyalty to Grace and he gave his best to all of us who gleaned from his wisdom. He was a gatekeeper of the welfare and the interest of the citizens of Ypsilanti.
Pete’s death signals the end of a generational era that links us to past political giants upon whose shoulders we stand to help us govern by reaching for greater heights of integrity, dignity and servanthood to all residents of this great city.
Your presence will be greatly missed, but your work lives on. Rest well, my friend!!! Well done!!!
Grace, thank you for sharing Pete with us. You have our heartfelt sympathies and I pray for God to comfort your heart, bring peace to your mind and strength to your spirit in the difficult days ahead.”
Last minute notice- PEG invites us to a talk by Mark Grebner of Practical Political Consulting, an experienced campaigner. Mark had an insight that “nonvoters are ashamed of abstaining but believe they can get away with it because no one knows whether they in fact voted.” He will cite the results of using peer pressure to get people to vote. Direct mailing campaigns that tell prospective voters that their neighbors will be told if they actually do vote have been as much as ten times as effective as any other method studied, yet they aren’t being widely utilized due to the recipient’s complaints.
Come learn why these campaigns work, why they aren’t utilized, and join the discussion as to whether they should be. Bring your questions and opinions.
Mark has worked with hundreds of campaigns and has been featured in the New York Times as the source for Michigan voter lists.
This presentation may be the most thought-provoking and entertaining one you will attend this year. Mark is eccentric, brilliant, irreverent, opinionated, and funny. For one of his 43 successful election campaigns for Ingham County commissioner his advertisements included ”Buy one politician, get one free”, bumper stickers ”No worse than the rest” and refrigerator magnets ”He may be a fool, but he’s our fool”. Jewish Community Center of Greater Ann Arbor, 2935 Birch Hollow Dr, Ann Arbor.
What can YOU do to make sure we win in 2020? Lots! Here’s a great opportunity to gain skills and training, offered by the Michigan Dems Party and the Association of State Democratic Committees.
12 webinars over 6 weeks starting April 16th, free, with certification.
Sign up before April 14th- the sooner the better.
Your input requested! How do we choose the Delegates to represent Michigan Dems at the 2020 Nominating Convention? From Ryan Covert:
This month, the party is accepting written public comments on our 2020 Delegate Selection Plan, the governing document for how Michigan will select its representatives to the national convention. We’ve put together a plan that we know is going to ensure our delegation represents the diversity of our party in all its forms.
We have already received some great feedback, but we want to hear from as many of our members as possible. Check out our plan here and feel free to tell us what you think by emailing us at email@example.com.
Deadline for submission is Friday, April 5th.
As always, feel free to refer any questions you might have to our office.
Director of Party Affairs
Michigan is home to 12 Federally Registered Indian Tribes, who have been long underrepresented in the state’s political life. That is being remedied with the new Anishinaabek Caucus of the MDP, formed at the MDP Spring Convention and recognized by the new Chair, Lavora Barnes. The purpose of the caucus is to promote the interests and concerns of the Anishinaabek people within the Democratic Party and to elect Anishinaabek Democrats.
Anishinaabek: The Three Fires peoples have given their name to the new caucus. They include the Bodewadmi (Potawatomi), Ojibwa (Chippewa) and Odawa (Ottawa) indigenous groups.
All MDP members who wish to support its work, whether they be Native American citizens, tribal leaders, or allies and supporters of Native American rights, sovereignty, and interests, are welcome to join. Officer and Committee Chair positions are reserved for enrolled members of one of the Michigan tribes.
The Officers of the Anishinaabek Caucus are Andrea Pierce, Chair; Desmond Berry, Vice Chair; Tom Shomin, Treasurer; and Julie Dye, Secretary. For more information, the Press Release is here. To join the caucus, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan. 3 is the last day to join the Michigan Democratic Party in time to vote at the Convention on February 2nd. If you’ve never been to a State Convention it’s a great experience, and a chance to help shape the future of the Democratic Party.
This is a convention to elect leadership- a new chairperson, among others, and to participate in caucuses: environmental, justice, labor, progressive, African-American- and a brand-new Anishinaabek Caucus, to work on Native issues that affect so many in our state. More info coming!
Join here! https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/mdpmonthlynew
WCDP General Membership Meeting and Food Drive
When: Saturday, January 5th 2018, 9:30 – 1:00 pm (social time begins at 9:30 am , program begins at 10 am)
Where: Washtenaw County Learning Resource Center, 4135 Washtenaw Ave, Ann Arbor, MI
We’re kicking off the year with an incredible lineup for our first General Meeting! At 10:00 you’ll meet senior staff members and advisors of Democratic Party candidates who will share experiences and lessons learned in both local and state-wide elections. At 11:30 there will be a forum with the candidates for the position of Michigan Democratic Party Chair. Democrats will vote for a new Party Chair at a state-wide convention in Detroit on February 2nd. This is a chance to hear and meet the candidates.
Democratic Party Senior Staff Panelists:
- Erin Bozek-Jarvis: Campaign Manager for Gretchen Driskell
- Alexander Deatrick: Field Director for Elissa Slotkin
- Jen Eyer: Advisor to Gretchen Whitmer and other candidates
- Zach Hayward: Regional Director for the Michigan Democratic Party’s One Campaign
- Rick Michaels: Senior Staff in Dana Nessel’s campaign
Candidates for the position of Michigan Democratic Party Chair:
- Lavora Barnes
- Lisa DiRado
- Nancy Quarles
WCDP also organizes a yearly food drive. Please bring along canned or dry foodstuffs to donate.