On September 28, 2021, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services published a proposed rule for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to protect the program from future legal challenges. According to United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led network in the country, the rule would be helpful but falls short of laying out a pathway to citizenship and ensuring work permits. There is a 60-day comment period on Regulations.gov. (Be sure to read the rules for comments, including, for example, not using scripted sentences.) United We Dream encourages comments which:
- support and expand eligibility for DACA which provides deportation protection and work permits for nearly 600,000 Dreamers,
- advocate for a clear pathway to citizenship so Dreamers can live in this country without the stress of biannual renewals and fear of deportation,
- include work authorization into the DACA protections, to ensure DACA recipients aren’t blocked from obtaining work permits in the future.
According to the NY Times, a federal judge in Texas ruled in July that the DACA program was unlawful because the Obama administration “had not taken the proper steps in establishing the program, running afoul of the Administrative Procedure Act.” DHS has consequently continued to accept renewals but has not approved any new applications for the program. This new rule would go into effect after the administration considers public input during the 60-day comment period.
ACTION: Submit your comments in support of DACA to Regulations.gov by November 29, 2021!
Comment directly on the Promote the Votes’ three maps
Yousef and You virtual coffee hoursRep. 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:
Thursday, November 4 State Rep Donna Lasinski coffee hour
Join her at the Chelsea District Library for a conversation about recent activity in Lansing and House District 52. More here. 6 pm
Visit the PEG website to view the comprehensive listing of Upcoming Events!
Things to do
Sign up now to comment on the redistricting mapsPlease tell the MICRC they must make sure the redistricting maps have zero political bias and don’t benefit either party. The vote on proposed maps is planned to be by Friday, November 5, so sign up now to give comments, either live or via Zoom.
- Thursday’s link to give comment is: https://www.research.net/r/M2PZ26D
- Friday’s link is: https://www.research.net/r/MC7WRXF
Talking points to prioritize partisan fairness:
- Your job is to get as close to zero on the partisan bias scores as possible. If you’re over 1%, you still have work to do.
- “Communities of interest” is NOT an excuse to pack voters of a particular party into fewer and fewer districts to weaken their voice.
- How is any map fair in which one party can win a majority of the seats while losing a majority of the votes?
- We voted for Prop 2 in 2018 to rid Michigan of the rigged system. We want fair maps that create a level playing field.
- No one on the Commission should vote to approve a map that gives a disproportionate advantage to one political party.
When that’s done, you can also write a comment about partisan fairness on the MICRC’s online portal here: (Scroll down to the Submission Form.)
Things to read, watch, and listen to
Destabilization of democracy impacts the US economy Heather Cox Richardson discusses how the United States “came perilously close to a successful coup d’état” in her November 1 publication. She emphasizes that there has been little discussion of what the destabilization of our democracy means to the economy. As a historian, she emphasizes that the stability of the US has attracted investment, which in turn, builds our economy. Richardson quotes Jonathan Wood, a lead analyst for Control Risks, a specialist in global risk consultancy, “For the first time since the Cold War, there is now concern about medium and long-term political stability of the US business environment,” and what the US “is seeing in voter suppression acts and political gerrymandering, etc, is undermining that perception of the US as a very predictable and stable environment.”
The Perryman Group, a focused team of economic analysts in Texas, have opined that “laws which restrict voter access can have substantial negative economic consequences due to lost earnings and related reductions in consumer spending” known as internal losses. In addition, “controversial laws,” known as external losses, “can lead to reductions in travel, tourism and economic development.” Their April 2021 research article discusses the potential economic impact of legislation restricting voter access on business activity in Texas. As the article explains, “Business activity generates tax revenues and any decrease in business activity leads to a decrease in tax revenue. The economic losses associated with measures restricting voter access would generate a notable decrease in tax receipts to the State and local government entities including cities, counties, schools, and special districts.”
Dr. Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a professor of history and Italian studies at New York University and an expert on fascism, authoritarian leaders, propaganda, and threats to democracy around the world, explains, “When the rule of law, which treats every business equally, has been replaced by the whims of a dictator, success depends on closeness to the leader rather than on quality… This makes anyone with a profitable enterprise a target, regardless of their political sentiments.”
Helpful perspective for these challenging timesfrom Robert B. Hubbell’s November 1 Today’s Edition.We are engaged in a marathon and must pace ourselves if we hope to prevail over the long-term. Robert Reich published an essay last Friday that offers a hopeful perspective about the challenging times in which we find ourselves. His essay, “It’s all about resilience,” acknowledges that Biden’s victory wasn’t the “cure all” that many hoped it would be. He states, “We assumed everything would be fine again once these [challenges of the Trump years] were behind us. But we now find ourselves in a disorienting limbo. There is no clearly demarcated ‘behind us.’”
Reich goes on to say, “If you’re not at least a bit disappointed, you’re not human.” But he follows his acknowledgements of disappointment with a passage I wish I had written: “I’ve learned a few things in my half-century in and around politics, and my many years teaching young people. One is that things often look worse than they really are. The media (including social media) sells subscriptions and advertising with stories that generate anger and disappointment. The same goes for the views of pundits and commentators: Pessimists always appear wiser than optimists.”
That is a phrase worth remembering: “Pessimists always appear wiser than optimists.” I would add, “And it’s always easier to be a pessimist than an optimist” because the former needs only to identify problems, while the latter must propose solutions.
I recommend that you read Reich’s essay in its entirety. It is a good way to begin another week of the hard work demanded by democracy.
The cost of Michigan’s House elections grew more than 40% in 2020According to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network (MCFN), there was unprecedented spending in the 2020 House elections. This rise was primarily due to the fact that the ten most expensive races together cost more than the chamber’s other 100 seats combined. The largest sources of dark money were the Democratic and Republican parties; for example, a third of the $15 million in TV and radio ads came from the parties. Small dollar donations tripled from 2018, with nearly 90% of itemized donations of $20 or less came from outside Michigan. These donations were responsible for 75% of the grassroots dollars raised. The DeVos family members were the top individual donors, contributing close to $860,000. For more detailed information, click here. [To explore further, MCFN has compiled a breakdown of the funding sources for every general election candidate in every district which can be viewed here.]
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