WCDP News: A Tale of Two Politicians, Redistricting, and more!

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12 mins read
Flight 93 National Memorial, Shanksville PA. Photo courtesy of the Tribune Democrat newspaper.

A Tale of Two Politicians

We’re not fans of George W. Bush, but what he said Saturday in Shanksville PA is worth sharing.

“And we have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders, but from violence that gathers within.

There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home. But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit. And it is our continuing duty to confront them.”

Contrast that with the following tweet:

This is why we must vote, and must protect the vote.

  • The right to vote is the foundation of democracy. And free and fair elections that reflect the will of the American people must be protected and defended.
  • But as many Americans, especially people of color, face significant obstacles to the right to vote, we must meet the greatest threat to our democracy since the Civil War. Denying the right to vote is grounded in autocracy, and it is undemocratic, un-American, and unpatriotic
  • Two weeks ago, the House approved the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act — no thanks to a single Republican vote.
  • While Republicans are working hard to enact anti-voter laws across the country, House Democrats voted to pass one of the most comprehensive expansions of voting rights since the Voting Rights Act was first codified in 1965. This bill honors the life and legacy of John Lewis by preventing discriminatory voting laws, and protecting groups affected by unfair redistricting nationwide.
  • Now, President Biden has called on the Senate to act and send this bill and the For the People Act to his desk.

Let Our U.S. Senators know we have their backs!
   Sen. Debbie Stabenow (202) 224-4822
   Sen. Gary Peters (202) 224-6221

Get Informed!

Did you get your application for the November ballot in the mail? There are Mayoral and City Council races in Chelsea and Milan, City Council in Saline, and Library Board positions in Milan too. A full list is here.

  • In Chelsea, Jane Pacheco is running for Mayor. She’s served on the Chelsea City Council for almost eight years, and has deep roots in both Chelsea and social justice in Washtenaw County.  Check out her Facebook page for more info.
     
  • Tony Iannelli is also running for re-election to the Chelsea City Council. Check out his Facebook page.
     
  • Christine “Kate” Mehuron is also running for the Chelsea City Council. Here’s her web site.

The Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Candidate Forum on Thursday, September 16th, 7-9 pm via Zoom.
 This evening event will allow the residents of the City of Chelsea an opportunity to listen to the candidates for Chelsea Mayor and Chelsea City Council answer pre-screened questions that are relevant to all candidates.
Candidates for the Office of Mayor will answer questions from 7-8pm
Candidates for the City Council Seats will answer questions from 8-9pm.
Zoom link for the meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89333053887?pwd=ZE5DdjkyVGs1aldOeGl1bVUyVlJpZz09

There are ballot proposals this fall, too!


Four in Ann Arbor, one in Pittsfield Township and one for the Columbia School District, which includes some Washtenaw areas.

Pittsfield Township is again seeking a millage increase for Public Safety proposals, and Columbia Schools is for a sinking fund millage.

For Ann Arbor voters, a big question to be decided is whether the city should use a system of Ranked Choice Voting for its elections. Ranked Choice means that rather than having to make a single choice among candidates, one can indicate a first, second, or third choice. If a voter’s first choice does not receive enough votes, that vote will then be allocated to the second choice. For an excellent discussion of this system, see the recording of last Saturday’s monthly WCDP meeting.

Another proposal would allow the city to choose a vendor or supplier using more criteria than just the lowest responsible bid. A contract could be awarded to “the bidder that is deemed the best value to the City rather than the lowest responsible bidder.” Two more proposals aim to streamline some purchases, giving the City Administrator more leeway to make lower-dollar value or emergency decisions.

These elections typically see lower participation; this year’s decision on the way we will vote in the future deserves our attention! 
Read about the ballot proposals here.

Dem Candidates! Your information can get posted here, too! Contact us at comms@infowashtenawdems-org

Take Action! Redistricting

At the County Level
The census data is in, and it’s time to determine County Commission district lines. This is decided by a commission including the County Clerk, Treasurer, and Prosecutor, along with the heads of the County Democratic and Republican Parties.

Our Data Officer, Dirk Mayhew, has put together this info page and a tool for drawing your own map as well! If you do, please take a screenshot to submit it to the Apportionment Commission.
http://www.washtenawdempds.org/index.html

Written comments can be provided to the Apportionment Commission using this online form,

Written comments can also be sent by mail to / dropped off in-person at this address.

Washtenaw County Apportionment Commission,
c/o Washtenaw County Clerk – Elections Division
200 N. Main Street, Suite 120
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Or you can fax them to (734) 222-6528.

The next County Apportionment meeting where public comments and proposed maps can be submitted is Saturday 9/18 at 8:30am, via Zoom. Each public speaker will have five minutes.

https://us06web.zoom.us/s/81903976883?pwd=WmxxMHZ2R3MyOUROYlNpY1YrajFjZz09
Passcode: 091121

The last County Apportionment public meeting will be held Monday Sept. 27 at 6:30pm, using the same Zoom link.

At the State Level
Via the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) the various maps for U.S Congressional, State Senate, and State Legislative districts are being drawn, and now’s the time to give your comments and feedback on the proposed maps. 

You can submit comments three ways:

Through the MICRC public comment portal, where you can both submit maps / comments AND comment on other  submitted and proposed maps / comments.

By attending one of the MICRC public meetings, and speak in person or via Zoom. The schedule of meetings is at this link.

By emailing the MICRC at redistricting@michigan.gov.

Want some resources on what to say and how to say it? Here they are.

MDP Redistricting Toolkit
League of Women Voters – Redistricting
Voters Not Politicians – Redistricting
Redistricting Actions YOU Can Take

Sunday, September 19th
3-5pm, Riverside Park

All County Precinct Delegates are invited to an Ice Cream Social hosted by the Precinct Organizing Committee. Bring your kids! It will be an opportunity to meet some of the WCDP Board members and local representatives, and share your concerns. RSVP here.

Sunday, September 26th
1-3pm, Bandemer Park

State Representative Felicia Brabec is also hosting an Ice Cream Social – RSVP at this link: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/brabecicecreamsocial

THE FINAL WORD

“Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine, and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely, as stated above. See, this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.”
    – Martin Luther, 1527 pamphlet on fighting the plague.

STAY IN TOUCH WITH YOUR MICHIGAN REPS

Find your county commissioner here.

State Senator Jeff Irwin has a regular Virtual Coffee Hour — To receive the Zoom access code and the next date, please fill out this form:

State 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:

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

State 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). 

State Rep. Felicia Brabec, 55th House district: FeliciaBrabec@house.mi.gov, Phone: (517) 373-1792, https://housedems.com/felicia-brabec/.


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