Urgent: Defending Democracy

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7 mins read

TAKE ACTION NOW!

As you know, we’re still in a battle for the soul of democracy — in fact, it’s as intense and dangerous as it’s ever been, with Republicans in Michigan, other states, and the federal government determined to do whatever it takes to seize power. The need to act NOW is urgent.


Text banking nationally: One action you can take immediately is sign up to text an alert to voters in AZ, WV, and other wobbly states about what the filibuster actually does. The progressive media organization, Crooked Media, has set up text banks for Thursday and Friday.  https://www.mobilize.us/crooked/event/383940/. This action is critical now because the U.S. Senate is considering S1, the For the People Act. S1 is essential to preserving our democracy, and getting around the racist, anti-democratic filibuster, is essential to passing S1. Once people understand what the filibuster is, they hate it. So sign up to get the word out! This new organization, Fix Our Senate, provides a lot of clear information about how the filibuster has been used repeatedly to hamstring our democracy.

Thanking our U.S. Senators: While you’re at it, call our own two U.S. Senators and thank them for supporting S1 and confirm that you want the filibuster gone.

Sen. Gary Peters: (202) 224-6221 

Sen. Debbie Stabenow: (202) 224-4822 


Statewide: Call MI House Republicans: Medicaid-funded direct care workers provide in-home, behavioral health and long-term care services to Michigan’s most vulnerable residents. These are the “heroes” our legislators typically want to laud but not pay. In fact, Governor Whitmer and the Michigan Senate are in rare agreement that a Covid-related $2.25 pay increase for these indispensable caregivers needs to continue through September (with a slight bump, even, to $2.35). But the Michigan House budget proposal would cut this emergency pay increase entirely! Please contact the Republican House members listed below and urge them: “Support the Senate’s proposal to provide a $2.35 hourly wage increase for Medicaid-funded essential caregivers through September. It’s the least we can do.”


To join weekly Zoom calling parties through Michigan Resistance, email Terryl Sperlich at tsperlich@sbcglobal.net.


Making It Visible: It was so good to be able to see folks in person again! A good crowd turned out to hear the wonderful speakers at Saturday’s John Lewis PROTECT OUR VOTE Votercade. There were bikers, drivers and walkers carrying the message to downtown Ann Arbor, and we heard from, L to R, Joan Sampieri of the League of Women Voters, Michelle Deatrick, national climate activist, Catherine Hadley, the event’s organizer, Commissioner Caroline Sanders, Senator Jeff Irwin, Dr. Lisa Jackson of the Citizen’s Police Oversight Comission, and Rev. Jeffery Harrold, racial equity activist and pastor. Not pictured is Rep. Felicia Brabec. The message: get involved and stay involved. Our representatives can’t do this without you, and the next two years are critical. It’s no longer “just politics”. The nature of our democracy is at stake.

LEARN ABOUT MI REPUBLICANS’ PROPOSED ELECTION LAWS

The League of Women Voters of MI (LWVMI) has compiled a succinct summary of the 39 bills introduced by Republicans to change Michigan’s election laws, with their position on each bill noted. Find it here.

STAY IN TOUCH WITH YOUR REPSState Senator Jeff Irwin and State Rep Yousef Rabhi meet regularly with constituents. Take the opportunity to tell them what’s on their mind, and learn what’s on theirs.

Senator Jeff Irwin Virtual Coffee Hour — May 15 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. To receive the Zoom access code, please fill out this form:https://senatedems.com/irwin/coffee-hour-sign-up/Or join at Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/events/1176601512786572Yousef and You Discussion Forum — May 22 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am. Typically discussions are 10 am on the 4th Saturday of the month and 6 pm on the 2nd Monday of the month. Click here to register: Monday coffee hours Saturday coffee hours


MORE OPPORTUNITIES TO BE HEARD

The Michigan Education Justice Coalition (MEJC) is requesting citizens’ votes on how to spend stimulus funds on our schools, with this note:

Did you know that the Federal government approved $6 billion dollars for Michigan to use to help schools deal with the crises they face from COVID-19?

Ann Arbor schools are slated to receive $21 million! Ypsi Schools will get $30 million! And Lincoln Schools $10 mil!

VOTE TODAY on how you want stimulus money spent in our schools 

These funds could go to programs such as:

Mental health supports and services
Upgrades to facilities 

Special education support services

English language learner support services

Educational technology

Summer and afterschool programming

We know from listening sessions held last year across the state that Michigan families are tired of prioritizing policing over wellness and mental health, of curriculums that don’t reflect students’ identities and cultures, emphasis put on testing rather than learning, and budgets that are drawn up without input from students and caregivers. With the extra $6 billion dollars in funding, how would you reimagine Michigan’s schools? 

Want to participate in more actions to make decisions for our schools? Use the Community Voting Tool,  and you can sign up for alerts from the Michigan Education Justice Coalition


Lastly, on the climate crisis front, Voices for Carbon Neutrality is asking all of us to add our names to a sign-on letter to U-M President Mark Schlissel calling for immediate next steps on climate action, now that the university’s President’s Commission report has been finalized. They’re collecting signatures on this letter prior to a May 20 U of M Board of Regents meeting, so please review the letter and add your name!


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