WCDP News: October Meeting, Endorsements, and more!

15 mins read

29 September 2021

The Black Lives Matter mural in Ypsilanti’s Riverside Park., created on June 8th, defaced on September 19th.

Photo Attributions: (left) Jacob Hamilton / MLive, (right) Trische’ Duckworth

Responding to Hate and Racism With Love and Unity in Ypsilanti

Since June 2021, two Black Lives Matter murals adorned downtown Ypsilanti and Riverside Park. The idea was to inspire community unity in the call for an end to racism and  injustice for people of color. Over the weekend of September 19th, vandals splashed white paint all over the Riverside Park BLM mural. “Survivors Speak” founder and executive director Trische’ Duckworth helped bring those murals to life. She joined WEMU’s David Fair to discuss the process of moving forward. 

You can listen to the interview and read the transcript here.


WCDP October Meeting
and Endorsement Meeting

9:30am, Saturday, October 2nd
The WCDP October meeting will be held via Zoom.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This program is dedicated to Courtney Neely and all other victims of domestic violence.

Domestic violence in America is a problem of shocking magnitude to which we’ve become almost completely inured.

Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, emotional and psychologial abuse, threats, and other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and coercive control perpetrated, almost exclusively, by men against women.

Domestic violence is a grim reality in Washtenaw County, as in every other U.S. jurisdiction. In this meeting, we will hear from expert practitioners working in all capacities to intervene in and prevent domestic violence. Speakers include:

  • Marieh TanhaPhD, JD, Lead Domestic Violence Prosecutor for Washtenaw County
  • Lisa Young Larance, PhD, LMSW, Post-doctoral research fellow, U-M School of Social Work, Lead Investigator, “Survivor Perspectives Research Study”
  • Derrick Jackson, MSW, Director of Community Relations, Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office
  • Arianne Slay, JD, Deputy City Attorney, Ann Arbor, DV trainer for Prosecutor’s Association of Michigan, Academy Instructor, Washtenaw Community College, DV homicide and strangulation prevention and investigation
  • James Henderson, MSW, Private Consultant, Accountable Choices Domestic Violence Intervention Program
  • Jeffrie Cape, ACSW, LMSW, Founder and Director Charron Services, Heal and Weave Program
  • Mikel Brown, LMSW, MA in Crisis Intervention and Trauma, Facilitator, Better Choices Domestic Violence Intervention Program, Associate Pastor Jesus International Ministry
  • Nicole Beverly, LMSW, SSW, Survivor & advocate, founder of the Enough Initiative  www.the-enoughinitiative.com
  • Rep. Debbie Dingell, representing the 12th District of Michigan in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2015, and a recognized national advocate for women and children

Please click the link below to join the webinar:https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85200023450


12:15 pm, Saturday, October 2nd


The WCDP will hold an endorsement meeting immediately following the General Membership meeting. It will begin at 12:15 p.m. and registration is required. We will consider the endorsement requests from candidates on the November 2021 ballot as well as resolutions. We will send out the resolutions and names of candidates in advance if we receive them in time. In order to vote in this meeting, you must live in Washtenaw County and have been a member of the Michigan Democratic Party for at least 30 days. If your membership lapsed within that 30-day period, you may rejoin before the meeting and be eligible to vote. Democratic elected officials and Precinct Delegates are waived from the 30-day requirement but must become members before the meeting begins. Send proof of membership to Chris Savage (chrissavage123@sbcglobal.net.) If you are a candidate for office and wish to receive the WCDP’s endorsement, send your request to Chris Savage as soon as possible. You must be a member of the MDP in order to receive our endorsement. If you wish to submit a resolution, contact Chris Savage for details.


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 Western Washtenaw Democrats are hosting a Chelsea Candidate Meet and Greet on Tuesday, October 5th at the Chelsea Depot. More details in the Events section below.


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

We must vote, and must protect the vote.

  • The right to vote is the foundation of democracy. 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


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 Monday Sept. 27 at 6:30pm, at this Zoom link.

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

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.

After rewriting their schedule last week, the MICRC spent three days mapping the state Senate. They have not yet finished. Their work on the Senate map largely focused on meeting target population requirements. Commissioners do not have partisan fairness data in front of them as they are mapping. 

See the latest state Senate draft map.
Senate Districts drawn: 23 out of 38.
Likely Democratic districts: 6
Likely Republican districts: 14
Districts with neither party having more than 50%: 3


Immediate Public Comment Needed


    •    Splitting cities is necessary to create fair districts.
    •    Thanking the MICRC for splitting Lansing and Grand Rapids into two Senate districts.
    •    Notes on how the Grand Rapids split could be better.
    •    Ask the MICRC to also split Ann Arbor from Ypsilanti, to give Ypsilanti its own Senate district. Ann Arbor needs to be split into multiple Senate districts to create fair districts in Washtenaw.
    •    Ask the MICRC to map with partisan fairness data and past election results. The MICRC is creating more right-leaning districts than we had in the previous gerrymandered maps that voters chose to get rid of in 2018.

Looking Ahead

The MICRC is continuing to work on the Senate map and then will move ahead to mapping Congressional districts as indicated by their most recent schedule.

Three Ways to Submit Public Comments

  • 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 more 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


Attribution: Emma Winoweicki, Michigan Public Radio

Events

Saturday, October 2nd
9:30am
WCDP General Membership Meeting
   (Zoom info at top of this newsletter)

Saturday, October 2nd
12:15pm (immediately following the GMM)
WCDP Endorsement Meeting
    (Zoom info at top of this newsletter)

Saturday, October 2nd
12 noon
Ann Arbor – Federal Building, 200 E Liberty St
Lansing – State Capitol, 100 N Capital Ave

  • The Women’s March organization is coordinating marches on October 2nd all across the U.S. in support of women’s reproductive rights. You can RSVP online at https://womensmarch.com/

Tuesday, October 5th
6:30-8:30pm, Chelsea Depot, 125 Jackson St, Chelsea

  • The Western Washtenaw Democrats are hosting a Candidate Meet and Greet! Come meet progressive candidates running for Chelsea City Council and Mayor! Jane Pacheco, Mayoral Candidate, and City Council Candidates will be available to speak with voters at this event.

THE FINAL WORD


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