The WCDP Newsletter

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8 mins read

Check out our new format!

We’re working to make the WCDP newsletter easier to read and use. This week and in future issues, you’ll find three major sections: Actions, Events, and News. Each week we’ll close with contact information to Stay in Touch with Your MI Rep. We’re continuing our efforts to make the newsletter both useful and fun, so stay tuned! Next week we’ll shift to Tuesday publication.

ACTIONS

Save the drop box: MI Republicans are coming for our drop-boxes! Thanks to our allies at Michigan Resistance, this week we’re fighting MI’s SB273, which could potentially cause the removal of EVERY absentee ballot drop box in our state. The harm would be incalculable. Learn more about the bill and what to do about it here. https://www.washtenawdems.org/take-action-now-protect-our-dropboxes/

Happy dance: Our two Democratic Senators have brought $71,402,185.00 to Washtenaw County through the American Rescue Plan. These “Local Fiscal Recovery Funds” allow considerable flexibility in our efforts to recover from the pandemic, including support for small businesses, affected industries, essential workers, public sector employees, households in communities hardest-hit by the crisis, and more. We can also invest the funds in building, maintaining, or upgrading our water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure. This is transformative money. Thank our hard-working Senators by calling their offices: 

Sen. Gary Peters: (202) 224-6221 

Sen. Debbie Stabenow: (202) 224-4822 

Support voting access for Michigan’s prisoners: The Voting Access for All Coalition (VAAC) is asking all of us to support House Bill 4276 and Senate Bill 151, which seek to end prison gerrymandering in the state of Michigan. “Prison gerrymandering” counts incarcerated people as residents of the district in which they are imprisoned, rather than as residents of their home communities. This mis-appropriation siphons political power into less-populated rural areas where prisons are located, and away from the urban communities where people have their homes. Learn more about the Prison Policy Initiative’s Prison Gerrymandering Project

For now: 

● Email House Elections & Ethics Committee Chair, Ann Bollin, at

AnnBollin@house.mi.gov, and request that HB 4276 be given a hearing.

● Email to the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee Chair, Roger Victory, at

senrvictory@senate.michigan.gov, and request that SB 151 be given a hearing.

Weigh in with our hard-won Independent Citizens’ Redistricting Commission (ICRC). Michigan citizens overwhelmingly decided to take redistricting into our own hands — and out of the hands of the politicians — in 2018 with the passage of Proposition 2. Now the ICRC is seeking our advice about how to draw those important maps. Learn all about their work and their public hearing schedule, and make a comment, here. One of the important things you can say: count Michigan’s prisoners as permanent residents of their homes, not of the prisons. 

Help undocumented immigrants drive legally: In 2008, the Michigan Legislature stripped undocumented residents of their Driver’s License and/or State ID. This was a huge blow to their ability to care for themselves and their loved ones, and to work — often as caretakers, restaurant, hotel and construction workers, house cleaners — while they move through the long, drawn-out and expensive process of gaining legal status. Join the effort to restore their legal right of movement with the coalition Drive Michigan Forward.


How to support our schools: The Michigan Education Justice Coalition (MEJC) is requesting citizens’ votes on how to spend $6 billion provided by the Federal government to help Michigan 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! Learn more, and VOTE on how you want stimulus money spent in our schools.


EVENTS

May 24, 7:00 – 8:30 pm: Learn what the Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) is doing to protect voting rights. Join this call with MDP senior staff.

May 25, 6:00 -8:00 pm: The Ann Arbor Police Oversight Commission Community Forum wants to hear from you! Please come and share your thoughts and your vision of public safety! Bring a chair if you can (we’ll have a few). Location: Liberty Plaza, Ann Arbor.

June 1 – June 6: A2Zero week, celebrating the first anniversary of the city’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. Many educational and celebratory events are scheduled, and a dozen restaurants are participating with a weeklong celebration of local, sustainable, and plant-based food dine-in or take out. Find the full schedule here.


June 5, 9:30 am – noon: WCDP General Membership Meeting. Meet with our electeds from 9:30 – 10:00, get an update on WCDP news at 10:00, and learn about climate action in Washtenaw County from a stellar panel from 10:15 – noon. Learn more.

NEWS

There’s so much, but here are two big national news items:

Heritage Action, one of the Republican Party’s largest dark-money groups, brags privately about its ability to write voter-suppression bills for the states.


Despite their corporate statements in support of voting rights, major corporations — including Google, Citigroup, Deloitte, TIAA-CREF, Comcast, and  many more — have continued to financially support the hard-right Republican State Leadership Committee in its relentless drive to take over state governments.

STAY IN TOUCH WITH YOUR MICHIGAN REPS

Find your county commissioner here.

Senator Jeff Irwin has a regular Virtual Coffee Hour — To receive the Zoom access code and the next date, please fill out this form:https://senatedems.com/irwin/coffee-hour-sign-up/

Rep. Yousef Rabhi, 53rd House district: yousefrabhi@house.mi.gov, Phone: (517) 373-2577, . https://housedems.com/yousef-rabhi/. Yousef 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 to register:

Ronnie Peterson, 54th House district: ronniepeterson@house.mi.gov Phone: (517) 373-1771 | Toll-Free: (855) 347-8054, https://housedems.com/ronnie-peterson/ 

Donna Lasinski, 52nd House district: donnalasinski@house.mi.gov, Phone: (517) 373-0828 | Toll-Free: (855) 627-5052, https://housedems.com/donna-lasinski/ (sign up for emails here). 
Felicia Brabec, 55th House district: FeliciaBrabec@house.mi.gov, Phone: (517) 373-1792, https://housedems.com/felicia-brabec/


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