WCDP Executive Board Supports the Climate Strike

The Executive Board has voted to support Friday’s Climate Strike, organized by students and young people all over the world. We urge all who are able to join the U of M students at Ingalls Mall for a rally and workshops to learn how we can get effective action.


Protect Our Great Lakes: Rep. Rabhi Creates a New PAC

Representative Yousef Rabhi is responding to the overwhelming pressure being put on Michigan’s legislature by Enbridge Energy and other fossil fuel interests, with the creation of a new Political Action Committee to help protect the irreplaceable water system that is the Great Lakes. We have many effective organizations who can lobby for us, getting vital information to legislators and county commissioners who hear from industry spokespeople every day. Representive Rabhi proposes that we show our commitment, and how vital it is to protect our environment from the looming climate crisis, by putting together a real “war chest” to fund a coalition for a clean and green Michigan.

The League of Conservation Voters, the Sierra Club, and Clean Water Action all have good lobbyists who work every day to defend Michigan’s environment, and we need them more than ever as fossil fuel companies dig in, refusing to transition to the clean economy we need. They need our support!

Protect the Great Lakes: Calling Party to Decommission Line 5

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.


Ypsi 2 DC: WCDP Supports Ypsilanti Schools Artists

Sixty-six student artists from Ypsilanti Community Schools (YCS) have been invited to exhibit their work at the U.S. Department of Education, in Washington DC. This exceptional honor will be a once in a lifetime experience, and the Washtenaw County Democratic Party is hosting a reception/fundraiser to help send the young artists to the opening! Please come out to the reception to meet the young artists and see their work, at the WCDP office on October 10th, 5-9 pm.

Admission is free. Snacks and drinks will be served, and donations will be gratefully accepted. Reservations here and link to donate here.

Garden Party Fundraiser: We Need Your Help!

Our chair, Chris Savage, is hosting a fundraiser in his gorgeous garden in Dexter, to help build the WCDP’s war chest in preparation for 2020. We have made some serious investments- you’ll hear about our unique new organizing tool, and help us keep the lights on at the office. We estimate at least 25,000 donated work hours will be needed for our 2020 work, and we need financial support, as well. Your contributions to WCDP stay in the community, directly benefit Washtenaw County, and have the power to shape the state.

We’ll have garden fare, craft beer and assorted other beverages, and free garden tours! Chris, and State Representative Donna Lasinski, will fill you in on all the Washtenaw Dems and our tireless representatives are doing to move Michigan forward. More info and the link to reserve or donate:  https://www.washtenawdems.org/calendar/garden-party-fundraiser-keep-the-lights-on-at-the-wcdp/

DEMS CARE Backpack and School Supplies Drive

Our DEMS CARE program is having a backpack and school supplies drive! Our hard-working WCDP office staff, led by Rae Ann Weymouth, have organized this to support the children of our community. Supplies can be dropped off at the WCDP office (call 734-879-0556 for hours & our address) or by contacting Kathy Wyatt at KatherineAWyatt@aol.com or 734-678-8623

The Mueller Report at the WCDP Book Club

After a very fruitful discussion in July, led by our Secretary, Josephine Rood, the Book Club has opted to continue the discussion in the August meeting. The group watched clips of a staged performance of highlights of the report, read by well-known actors and introduced by Bill Moyers. You can see it here:

The Investigation: A Search For the Truth in Ten Acts.

If you weren’t able to come last month, you are still welcome to join the discussion.

Links to the Report in several formats:

Here you can download a free PDF or a free AUDIO COPY of the report, or order a paper copy (you can also find copies at local bookstores) — scroll down a little to find the links to copies of the report:
Here you can download the PDF from the Department of Justice website (this site tends to be slow to load): https://www.justice.gov/storage/report.pdf
Here you can find Barbara Slate’s Mueller Report in GRAPHIC NOVEL form (you can read it online, and/or order a paper copy): 

DEMS CARE: Erickson Elementary Tutoring Project Update and Fall Volunteer Recruitment

Volunteers with the WCDP DEMS CARE Program helped tutor 2nd and 3rd graders at Erickson Elementary in Ypsilanti last year. The pilot program was very successful! We had ten tutors and 10 kids, along with the Director, our Caroline Nathan. All of the children’s reading levels improved up to a year in approximately 3 months. The school was thrilled. One little boy was so sad he didn’t want to celebrate at the final pizza party–he just wanted to continue. (A big thank you to volunteer and WCDP Outreach intern Edward Dance!)
We need more volunteers for this fall. You can help us increase the impact with just an an hour a week, from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm (probably on Tuesdays), beginning near the end of September and following the school calendar. All training, materials and supervision are provided through Family Learning Institute, by reading expert Caroline Nathan. Please contact Kathy Wyatt at Katherineawyatt@aol.com or call 734-678-8623. We are Democrats because we want to make the world better. This is a real-life, grassroots way to show people we care, while changing the future for 2nd and 3rd grade children.

Memorial for Wendy Watson, Activist

Wendy Watson, a life-long progressive activist with deep roots in many different political, environmental, and social justice communities, died on Wednesday, July 10, 2019, after years of struggle against lung cancer. She would have turned 73 on July 16th.

Her daughter, Amy Julia Cheyfitz, has arranged a memorial service in honor of Wendy’s life and accomplishments on Saturday, August 3rd, at the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor (4001 Ann Arbor-Saline Road), at 10:00 AM. Amy writes, “If you have photos you would like to contribute to a slideshow or display, email them to [me at]  AmyJuliaCheyfitz@gmail.com. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to a local organization advocating and working towards reproductive and social justice.”

Wendy was a node person, someone who connected many seemingly disparate individuals and groups through her activism and her graciousness. If you were involved with the peace movement, the nuclear freeze campaign, reproductive rights battles, sustainable agriculture, LGBTQ equality, gun control, or any other organized progressive activity of the past 40 years in Detroit or Ann Arbor on behalf of equality, justice, and human rights, you’re likely to have known Wendy. A short, incomplete roll call of the groups she supported in multiple ways would include the Cranbrook Peace Foundation; the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights; Growing Hope; Obama for America; and the Cobblestone Farm Market. For many years, including 2019, she was a “headhunter” for the Buck Dinner, an annual fundraiser for leftists and progressives in metro Detroit. At an event like that, Wendy would be in her element since she probably knew just about everyone in attendance no matter whose table they joined. She would also have enjoyed the irony of a staunch vegetarian like her boosting an event that began with the shared bounty of a successful deer hunt.

Even after her diagnosis in late 2015 with Stage 4 lung cancer, Wendy continued to be as active as she could possibly be while seeking a return to health. She wrote on Facebook with honesty and courage about her treatments and her apprehension about what would lie ahead. For a while, it looked like she would beat the odds, since cutting-edge immunotherapy she received in Cuba seemed to work well. Given the daunting prognosis she faced at diagnosis, she did very well indeed. But of course, no matter how long a reprieve she had it would not seem long enough.

Wendy found great joy in her daughter, in her family, in her friends, in her UU community, in her far-flung associates and in her neighbors in co-housing. She was widely traveled, nationally and internationally; well-read; curious; always open to new people, places, and ideas. She made an effort to stay present and engaged till the very end of her life. The last selfie she posted on Facebook, a week before her death, shows her smiling as exuberantly and beautifully as ever.

We would all do well to live life as fully and as zestfully as Wendy. She was much loved, and she will be long remembered and greatly missed. May she rest in power.

— Catherine Daligga with the help of Kate Conway, Stu Dowty, Celia McLay, Jeannine Palms, Sharon Popp, and Chris Savage.


YOU’RE INVITED: Private presale of Doug Kelley’s political collectibles to benefit Washtenaw County Democratic Party

Please join your fellow Washtenaw County Democrats next Thursday, July 18, from 5 to 8 pm at 910 Sunset Road, Ann Arbor, and take home your favorite collectible from Doug Kelley’s Democratic Archive, before the house and grounds are listed for sale next month.
We’ll have a final wine-and-cheese reception with Doug from 5 to 6 pm (free admission, please RSVP to Doug’s son Peter who is hosting). After that Doug will return to his new home at Glacier Hills, 1200 Earhart Road, #312, and his remaining political collection and home furnishings will go up for sale from 6-8 pm with the first $1,000 going to the Washtenaw County Democratic Party.

We are following Doug’s wishes regarding his collection. Doug has been collecting political memorabilia for 75 years, since he was 15 and worked as a page at his first national political convention. As he directed, certain items from his collection have already gone to Monticello, the Roosevelt Library at Hyde Park, the Woodrow Wilson House in Washington, D.C., and the Clements and Bentley libraries at the University of Michigan. Thousands of his treasures remain and will be offered in this sale.

This private presale, next Thursday night, July 18, will be followed by a public estate sale from Friday through Sunday, July 19-21, at which you are also welcome. To inquire about specific items or categories, contact Aaron’s Estate Sales, 248-915-8888, aaronsestatesales@gmail.com

This will be your last chance to browse the collection, visit with Doug in his Democratic Archive, and take home your favorites to benefit Democratic activism here in Washtenaw County.

Please RSVP for the reception starting at 5 pm next Thursday, July 18, at 910 Sunset Road, so we can prepare accordingly:
PeterLKelley@gmail.com, cell 202-270-8831




MDP Rural Cultural Competency and Outreach Training

The DNC is putting on a series of trainings,beginning with this on outreach to rural constituencies.
You are welcome to sign up for this Wednesday at 4pm ET.  
This is an hour long web-based training. It’s part of a series of Cultural Competency and Outreach sessions hosted by the training arm of the DNC, the Best Practices Institute. Rural is the first training in this series followed by Disability, LGBTQ, Labor, Latinx, Youth, Native Americans, Veterans, African Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and Women over the next 6 months.

Anyone can participate in this hour long training, you do not need to be a DNC member, so please forward this to folks who might be interested!

You can register for the training here: https://democrats.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_812UaBRsQXScdaxF6cT3EA

WCDP Member Organizes Impeachment Rally

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