Juneteenth — marking the day in 1865 that news of the the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached enslaved people in Texas — is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S. This year, the city of Ann Arbor made it an official holiday. Local celebrations abound! The NAACP’s traditional march from Fuller to Wheeler Park begins at 10:00 am, and Ypsi activists will unveil the Ypsi BLM mural amid live music, dancing, and great food. U-M is hosting a symposium in partnership with the Ann Arbor NAACP. For more context, listen to this recording of interviews with A2 NAACP President William Hampton and Leslie McGraw, up close and personal.
Have your say on Michigan redistricting!
We know — it can be confusing and intimidating to participate in our hard-won right to redistrict! But WCDP is making it easy: We have a guide for you, prepared by Brian Greminger, WCDP’s co-Chair of Communications, and we’re offering two open meetings to ask questions, talk with others, and write your personal statement in community. Click the links to register for either or both opportunities: Thursday, June 17 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm, or Monday June 21 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm.
Become a voting rights ambassador.
Voting Access for All is a statewide coalition to ensure that everyone, including prisoners, can vote, despite ongoing attacks on our rights. One of the comments you can make to the Redistricting Commission is to end prison gerrymandering!
Kill the filibuster — still Job #1. We get rid of this “Jim Crow relic” or American democracy dies. Doubt it? Check out this explainer from the Brennan Center. It is impossible to make too much noise about this. Even if you’ve made these calls once, DO IT AGAIN. No harm in letting them know we’re passionate!
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; Email) and 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, and to speak up about it.
June 17, 5:30 – 7:00: Draft your comments to the MICRC in community with WCDP.
June 17, 8:00 – 9:00 pm: “Say this, not that,” communications training from the Democratic National Committee.
Juneteenth Symposium: Celebrating Black Joy, Hope, and Healing. A partnership between U-M and the Ann Arbor Branch of the NAACP.
June 19 — JUNETEENTH! 10:00 am to noon — Celebrate with a 1-mile community march from Fuller Park to Wheeler Park, with refreshments and conversation at the end. Later programming via Zoom through NAACP and collaborators.
June 19 — JUNETEENTH! 11:00 am – 4:00 pm — Ypsi BLM Street Mural unveiling and celebration! With our friends at Value Black Lives, and allies. Dancing (with lessons!) with Sherry Hawkins, live music with Athena and the John E. Lawrence Band, plus spoken word, storytelling, food, and more. Meet up at the parking lot behind Puffer Reds.
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.
June 21, 7:00 – 8:30 pm: Draft your comments to the MICRC in community with WCDP.
June 30, 7:00 – 8:30 pm: She Took Justice: The Black Woman, Law, and Power 1619-1969, with Professor Gloria Browne-Marshall. From the League of Women Voters, Ann Arbor Area, with co-sponsors AKA, NAACP, and ICPJ.
For events with your reps, see below!
Spending American Rescue Plan funds: Our county commission is working hard to make sure we spend the influx of one-time federal funds through the ARP to the greatest benefit of the most people possible. View commissioner Jason Morgan’s outstanding 17-minute presentation to the WCDP, and review his slides here.
General membership meeting on climate justice: The WCDP’s June 5 meeting on climate justice was incredibly interesting, thanks to Kathleen Murphey’s knowledge and hard work. View the meeting here. Highlights include Greg Woodring of Ann Arbor for Public Power explaining how municipalities benefit from owning their own power generation, Luke Dillingham detailing the efforts of the Climate Action Movement of U-M to get university leaders to divest tens of millions of dollars from fossil fuel and palm-oil extractors, and discussion about why carbon capture and storage, carbon neutrality, and other prevalent ideas are false solutions. See the county commission’s latest environmental planning here.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a preschool funding plan to get 22,000 more Michigan 4-year-olds the early childhood education they deserve and need. The plan covers three years, not just one.
NOTE: National news can be discouraging, but remember: NONE of the good news stories we cherish would be possible without Democratic votes.
Go, team! STAY IN TOUCH WITH YOUR MICHIGAN REPSFind 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: firstname.lastname@example.org, 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:Monday coffee hoursSaturday coffee hours
Rep. Ronnie Peterson, 54th House district: email@example.com Phone: (517) 373-1771 | Toll-Free: (855) 347-8054, https://housedems.com/ronnie-peterson/
Rep. Donna Lasinski, 52nd House district: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: (517) 373-0828 | Toll-Free: (855) 627-5052, https://housedems.com/donna-lasinski/ (sign up for emails here).
Rep. Felicia Brabec, 55th House district: FeliciaBrabec@house.mi.gov, Phone: (517) 373-1792, https://housedems.com/felicia-brabec/.— Join State Rep. Brabec for an update on the legislature, and for an opportunity to ask questions about anything happening in the community. The virtual coffee hour will be on June 28th from 5-6pm. Facebook Live and Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87541573302
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