Time for Action! Partisan Gerrymandering, DACA, and Michigan Jail Reform need your support

12 mins read

PEG 12th Congressional District Newsletter #240. Thursday, November 18, 2021

Please comment on Commission’s latest maps

It is the final 45 day review period for these 10-year mapsSee NextVote’s recommendations for Congressional, MI State House, and Senate Maps.There are only a few meetings left and three ways to comment.

  1. Send comments online.
  2. Participate in the Meeting of the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission in person.
  3. Participate in the Meeting of the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission virtually.

We encourage you to watch the video, (below), of Conversations! Host Chuck Newman interviewing guests Yalcin Yanikoglu and Bob Chunn (of Wave Michigan and NextVote) on Michigan’s Independent Redistricting Commissions maps. The program was instrumental in understanding how the maps work so citizens can knowledgeably comment on them while there is still time. Review the 15 maps and share comments at https://www.michigan-mapping.org/


Events

Friday November 19 and Saturday November 20. Political Training for People of Color

Training for people of color who are interested in getting involved in political campaigns, whether it be as a candidate, treasurer, campaign manager, volunteer, or any other campaign staff member. Click on the thumbnail image to view and download the event flyer to share with friends and family that might be good candidates for this training. To register for the event, send an email to: WCDPBlackCaucus@gmail.com.Training:

  • Session 1 on Friday, November 19 via zoom from 6–8:30 pm
  • Session 2 on Saturday, November 20 via zoom from 10 am–12:30 pm

Speakers include:

  • Congresswoman Debbie Dingell,
  • State Representative Yousef Rabbi,
  • State Representative Ronnie Peterson,
  • State Representative Felicia Brabec,
  • Honorable Judge Erane Washington,
  • Chairwoman of Michigan Democratic Party Lavora Barnes,
  • Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton

Saturday, November 20. Yousef and You virtual coffee hourRep. Yousef Rabhi, 53rd House district: yousefrabhi@house.mi.gov, Phone: (517) 373-2577. https://housedems.com/yousef-rabhi/. To register, sign up for Saturday coffee hours. 10 am

Visit the PEG website to view the comprehensive listing of Upcoming Events!


Things to do

Proposed rule for DACA – Comments are due November 29On 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!


Who is in our jails? Is this incarceration reasonable?

The Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration stated that “traffic offenses accounted for half of all criminal court cases in 2018 and driving without a valid license was the third most common reason people went to jail in Michigan.”

keyboard_time_for_action.jpg

A package of bills, HB 5436-HB 5443, has been submitted to the House Judiciary Committee. The Michigan Resistance, in its November 7th communication, It’s Time to Reform the Cash Bail System, summarizes that these modifications and guidelines will help address some of the root issues triggering unnecessary jail stays; allowances to police officers for more discretion to issue appearance tickets instead of making an arrest, create incentives and more lenient sanctions for people on parole; and reduce arrests to enforce the payment of debts and fees. These bills also would decriminalize certain low-level traffic offenses, eliminate mandatory minimum jail sentences, and reduce the number of violations required to suspend an individual’s driver’s license.


The Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration was created by Executive Order 2019-10 and was tasked with analyzing the jail populations across the state and developing legislative recommendations for consideration in 2020.The Michigan Resistance, Bridge Michigan and the Michigan Joint Task Force all discuss the need to reform the cash bail system. The current cash bail system is expensive and penalizes those persons without money. Individuals remain locked up on minor charges, not because they are flight risks or a danger to the public, but merely because they do not have the cash to pay to get out of jail. Alternatives to jail, such as monitoring defendants who are free pending trial, is clearly a far less expensive method.Bridge Michigan states that “approximately 41 percent of an estimated 16,350 jail inmates at the end of 2013 were awaiting trial or arraignment. Daily costs vary widely by jurisdiction. But at $75 a day, that would amount to $500,000 a day, and more than $180 million a year. Those costs are largely borne by local taxpayers.” All the aforementioned articles discuss that the current system leaves many low-risk and low-income defendants charged with minor crimes unable to pay bail which results in prolonged incarceration and even creates the situation of defendants pleading guilty to be released immediately on time served. The Task Force found that “research shows that even short periods of jail incarceration can increase future criminal behavior, suggesting that, while jail may be appropriate for those who pose a significant threat to an individual or the public, policymakers should expand and incentivize jail alternatives for those who do not.” Many states and some counties in Michigan have reformed this system and have found success in these reforms.

Michigan law provides little to no guidance on when alternatives to jail should be the preferred or presumed intervention. For the fourth time in the last 5 years, a set of bills that would make cash bail more fair has been submitted to the House Judiciary Committee.
What you can doMichigan Resistance provides a script for calls to these Representatives on the House Judiciary Committee. Ask them to support HB 5436-5443 and reform our cash bail system. 

  • Graham Filler (R-93) 517-373-1778
  • Bronna Kahle (R-57) 517-373-1706
  • Mike Mueller (R-51) 517-373-1780
  • Doug Wozniak (R-36) 517-373-0843
  • Steve Johnson (R-72) 517-373-0840

Things to read, watch, and listen to

Perspective: Are Democrats doomed in 2022 because of Partisan gerrymandering? Try not to be a superspreader of defeatism “When there is nothing in America’s history to serve as precedent, it is silly to predict the future without acknowledging that we are in uncharted waters.”

In 2020, Donald Trump’s 73 million votes was 7 million more votes than any sitting president had ever won. If that was the only fact you knew about the 2020 election, you would surely believe that Trump beat Biden. And yet, Joe Biden garnered 81 million votes to beat Trump. So, don’t let anyone tell you that the “electoral maps” or “experts” or “gerrymandering” or “history” or “conventional wisdom” says that Democrats are going to lose in 2022. If we had listened to those doomsayers in 2020, Donald Trump would still be president.


Should we be worried? You betcha! Republicans are doing everything they can to beat Democrats at the ballot box and, failing that, in the state legislatures. But endlessly reciting the supposed advantages enjoyed by Republicans is pointless. Worse, it is demoralizing and contagious. Try not to be a superspreader of defeatism.” Read more here. –Today’s Edition by Robert B. Hubbell


Visit Our Website

PEG is a (mostly) non-partisan volunteer organization whose mission is to assure that our government will treat all Americans with equality and acceptance. PEG’s work is primarily done by recruiting, educating and nurturing supporters for worthy organizations, actions and events that reflect our beliefs. The weekly PEG Newsletter typically goes out each Thursday. To subscribe to this free newsletter, go to our website by clicking hereTo share with your friends and networks, use the sharing buttons at the top of the email or just “forward” from your email browser.

 special thanks to our Newsletter contributors: Bernie Banet, Ellen Halter, Mieko Preston, Leslie McGraw, Leslie Kamil, Lisa Kamil, Richard Gaeth, Susie Ayer, Bette Cotzin, and Chuck Newman for their contributions and help preparing our newsletters. Write us at equalityingovinfo@gmail.com if you would like help create our weekly newsletter OR if you would like to be a guest contributor! It’s fun and no ongoing commitment is required.


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