Kill the filibuster! Save the environment! And so much more.

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10 mins read

Focus on environmental justice: WCDP Monthly Meeting, Sat., June 5, 9:30-noon

Louisiana’s Cancer Alley is only one of the most visible outrages of environmental racism, and a harbinger of what awaits all life on the planet if we don’t act urgently to avert climate catastrophe. Get updates and positive directions from our speakers on Saturday!  

Program: From 9:30 – 10:00 we’ll hear from our electeds: US House Rep. Debbie Dingell, County Commissioner Jason Morgan, and MI House Rep. Ronnie Peterson (District 54). After 10:00,  speakers will include  Michelle Deatrick, Chair of the DNC Environment Council;House Rep. Yousef Rabhi (District 53); Nayyirah Shariff, Flint Rising; Dr. Missy Stults, A2Zero; Greg Woodring, A2 for Public Power; Luke Dillingham, UN Climate Action Movement; Navdeep Kaur & Ben Vercellino, Sunrise A2. To join the meeting go here.


ACTIONS
 

1. Job #1: Kill the filibuster. The filibuster, “a Jim Crow relic” in President Barack Obama’s phrase, is an arbitrary Senate rule that allows a minority of Senators to kill crucial legislation without lifting a finger. Casualties include firearm regulations after Sandy Hook, bipartisan investigation into the January 6 insurrection (just last week), and upcoming, the For the People Act, which is critical to protecting our voting rights. This explainer from the Brennan Center explains the history of anti-democratic misuse of the filibuster and why we need to get rid of it. But how? Here are four ways to take action to save American democracy:

  • Tell President Biden that eliminating the filibuster is a high priority for you, by phone  (202-456-1111) or Email
  • Call or email our Senators Peters (Ph: 202-224-6221; Emailand Stabenow (Ph:202-224-4822; Email) and tell them that you’re counting on them to do everything within their power to !eliminate the filibuster. 
  • Join a network of activists calling voters in West Virginia and urging them to contact Senator Manchin to tell him to eliminate the filibuster. Sign up here.
  • Join a research team unearthing major donors of Senators Manchin and Sinema (AZ) for later contact with a carefully-crafted message from on-the-ground partners. This work can be done on your own time, in the next couple of weeks. Please sign up here to help with donor information research.

2. Join Dems across the state to urge legislators to oppose the Republicans’ voter suppression bills.

The Michigan Democratic Party is supporting phone banks across the state. Find an event to join here. (Many dates are available when you click through.) Read the MDP’s summary of the bills here.

3. Support background checks for long guns in MI. 

According to the Giffords Law Center, more than 90% of the American people support background checks for all firearm sales, while only 45% of online gun purchasers undergo any background check at all.Michigan is one of only four states that requires a permit and a background check for all purchases of handguns, but not long guns. Currently, 12 states and Washington D.C. require universal background checks for all firearm sales. Of these, six rank among the 10 states with the least gun violenceThanks to our friends at Michigan Resistance we know what to do. 

Call the GOP members of the MI House Military, Veterans & Homeland Security Committee and urging them to support HB 4869, which would expand the requirement for a license for “pistols” to all firearms. Say words to this effect: Please support HB4869 to expand universal background checks to all firearms. Universal background checks, supported by more than 90% of Americans, are proven to help keep guns out of the wrong hands. It’s time for Michigan leaders to listen, and act to save lives.Details here.

4. Weigh in on redistricting. We fought hard to get redistricting out of the politicians’ hands in 2018. Now we can help the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) do its job. You can plan to attend a hearing in person, or leave a comment on the website.


EVENTS

June 5, 9:30 – noon. WCDP General Membership Meeting, via Zoom. This month’s meeting is devoted to addressing the climate crisis and environmental racism. All-star lineup of local and regional activists. Find details here.

June 4 – 6. Wear Orange to show your support for gun violence prevention, and sign up for an online commemoration of victims and survivors of gun violence on Sunday June 6th, at 1pm.

June 1 – 6, various times and locations. Celebrate the first anniversary of the A2Zero commitment with events all over greater Ann Arbor, including plant-based menus at a dozen local restaurants! Here’s the entire agenda.

June 14 – 21. National Week of Conversation. These good people teach you how to talk with people you disagree with, and support you as you try to do so. 

Anytime. Did you know you could watch the MI Senate in action? It can take a strong stomach, but here’s how to do it.


NEWS

Co-liberation training. WCDP leaders have undertaken an anti-racism training offered by the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice. The first session centered around the experience of exclusion. Coming to terms with one’s own experiences of inclusion and exclusion gives a direct, lived connection to the exclusion experienced by Black and brown communities, and is indeed a step toward co-liberation. The second session is June 6. To learn more about how to get the training for your group, contact ICPJ.

Debt relief for minority farmers. Among the actions taken by the Biden Administration to begin to steer the the ship of state toward greater equity and inclusion, the American Rescue Plan included debt relief specifically for minority farmers, who have been left out of previous farm relief measures. There is pushback, of course, from white farmers as well as from lenders, who want the government to compensate them for lost interest revenue. But this step is a small one toward long-overdue equity for minority farmers.


Great work to restore voting rights in FL. You probably know about the desperate lengths Florida Republicans have gone to to gut the right of formerly incarcerated people to vote — provided by 64% of Florida’s voters in 2018. But you might not know about the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, which has been working creatively and tirelessly for years to restore the rights of formerly incarcerated citizens. You can learn about their efforts, and the history of racist voter suppression in Florida, in Jordan Zakarin’s essential newsletter, Progressives Everywhere, which you need to know about in any case. Enjoy!


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/. 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/


Full Calendar

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash


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