What are you paying attention to? (Besides us, of course.)

9 mins read

Obamaworld heavyweight Dan Pfeiffer reminds us in this great post that our attention is our greatest asset, and our greatest weapon. Tempting as it is to forward and excoriate R provocations, every time we do we’re not only drawing more attention to their hateful messaging, we’re lining their pockets. Pfeiffer quotes progressive tech leader Anil Dash : “Do not reply to, retweet, or quote a tweet from a fascist unless you would give them your money.” As communications strategist Anat Shenker-Osorio puts it, “what you fight, you feed.” We progressives must be clear about our vision for a just, inclusive world. 


ACTIONS
 

Kill the filibuster — still Job #1. Thanks to our activism all of last year and into January in Georgia, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is bringing S.1, the “For the People Act” to the floor this week, forcing Republicans to vote, in public, about whether or not to defend or destroy American democracy. We expect Republicans to march in destructive lockstep. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) are key votes for removing the “Jim Crow relic,” the filibuster, that hands over power to a minority of Senators representing a small minority of Americans.

Help progressive activists in AZ and WV sway these Senators’ votes by signing up here. We’re lucky, in Michigan, to have two Democratic Senators and a Democratic President who strongly support voting rights. Please call or e-mail and say thank you, and urge them to loudly support whatever it takes to protect our democracy. 

  • President Biden: (202-456-1111) or Email
  • Senator Peters (Ph: 202-224-6221; Email)
  • Senator Stabenow (Ph:202-224-4822; Email).

Join the United Way’s 21-day Equity Challenge. This innovative community engagement and education initiative runs through July 9. Sign up for daily messages now.

Tell MI Republican House members to protect accident victims. Our friends at MI Resistance are cycling this back to the top of our to-do list, because on July 1, a misguided provision of the auto insurance reform bill will go into effect, depriving funding to long-term care facilities that are critical to the well-being of seriously injured accident victims. We’re asking members of the Insurance Committee to support House Bill 4992, which offers a fair and reasonable cap on providers, and get that bill to the floor for a vote this week! For full information and phone numbers, go here or find MI Resistance on Facebook.

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. The deadline for submitting comments is July 1!

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!

Speaking of redistricting — many Dems in the Eastern part of Washtenaw County (in the 12th Congressional District) might be hazy on the fact that our cherished Rep. Debbie Dingell doesn’t represent the whole county! The Western Washtenaw Dems, in the 7th Congressional District, are mis-represented by Insurrectionist Tim Walberg. Check out this great billboard the 7th CD Dems have erected on Walberg’s commute back home from Detroit Metro Airport — on Telegraph Road, just north of downtown Monroe, across the road from Independent Dairy.


EVENTS


June 24, 7:00 – 8:30 pm. Join the Rural Caucus of the MI Dems for a training with author Peter Block on how to build community. We must engage all MI voters, wherever they live. The MDP’s Rural Caucus offers great resources and allies in this critical effort! 

June 25, 12:00 – `1:30 pm. Defending Democracy Has No Off-Season. The League of Women Voters has worked to support democratic rights for 100+ years. Here’s an inside look behind the scenes, from the just-concluded 2021 state convention.

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!

NEWS
 

MI Senate finally releases $4.4B in K-12 school funding! On Tuesday, June 15th, the Michigan Senate passed a $4.38 billion coronavirus relief funding bill for K-12 schools in Michigan. A substitute version of House Bill 4421, the approved legislation finally appropriates the entirety of the federal stimulus money provided to Michigan’s School Aid Fund from the American Rescue Plan. Most of the money in the bill — $3.35 billion — is from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief III, with another $840.7 million in funds that were sent to Michigan in December but have not yet been appropriated. As our Senator Jeff Irwin says, “Although we should have gotten these dollars to the community more quickly, it is good to finally get these dollars go to work in our schools.”

Michigan as a destination for climate refugees. Migration caused by the climate crisis is likely to reach Michigan as refugees from U.S. states (and elsewhere) that are becoming nearly uninhabitable flock to our still-temperate climate and abundant fresh water. Do we know how to handle the possible influx? The Bridge Michigan climate coverage is an outstanding source of information on all aspects of the crisis in the state.


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:

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

Rep. 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). 
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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