PEG 12th Congressional District Newsletter #243.
Clarification on PEG’s Missions and Values
We who write for the Protectors of Equality in Government (PEG) on-line newsletter turn to the self-evident truth of the Declaration of Independence: All people are created equal. Thus, we only support elected and appointed government officials, and candidates who stand for that truth.
End Gerrymandering Redistricting Process Continues
The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) has added two additional public hearings. One happened earlier today in Detroit and the next one is on Thursday, December 30, from 10 am–2 pm, in the Lansing area. The MICRC web page also has these listed and will provide instructions on how to either speak in person or remotely.
Review the maps. Reasonable maps include giving the majority of seats to the majority of voters, Voting Rights Act (VRA) districts and communities of interest (COI). After much analysis the following that are considered reasonable are: Congressional maps – Chestnut (7D & 6R seats; 2 VRA Districts) and Birch V2 (7D & 6 R seats; 2 VRA Districts; protects most COI in Detroit) and Michigan Senate map – Linden (21D & 17R; 6 VRA Districts; 2 competitive districts make this a possible tie with a slight lean towards the Democrats). The only Michigan House map that includes partisan fairness, strengthens the VRA Districts and keeps communities of interest together, such as LGBT Detroit, is a recently submitted revision of the Hickory map HickoryHandled11 (#P9240). This is the ONLY House map that meets the criteria of fairness. Thank you NextVote!
It is extremely important to publicly provide comments and indicate the good Congressional and Michigan Senate maps and emphasize that the Commission MUST consider the newly revised and submitted Michigan House map HickoryHandled11. It is both easy and essential to register and provide personal comments. You only have one (1) minute to speak!
Michiganders voted to end gerrymandering. Let’s make sure we get what we voted for!!! What you can do:
- Publicly comment on the maps!
- Encourage the Commissioners to select Congressional maps Chestnut or Birch V2; Michigan Senate map Linden and to adopt the only fair Michigan House map HickoryHandled11.
|Sunday, December 12. Voters Not Politicians Statewide Volunteer Call|
Join the VNP leadership team for updates on the campaign to fight for voting access in Michigan, and an important update on the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission.
For more information and to RSVP, please click HERE.
In order to participate in the Zoom session, you must sign up using the link above. Upon completion of the sign-up form, you will receive a confirmation email with the Zoom access information to join the call. If you would like to connect to the Zoom meeting by phone call, please make sure to follow the instructions in the confirmation email to register for the Zoom. You will receive a second email with the call-in phone number and passcode. 7–8pm EST
|Yousef and you virtual coffee hours|
Rep. 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: Monday coffee hours Dec 13 6 pm
Saturday coffee hours Dec 18 10 am
|Friday, December 17. Lunch & Learn: Protecting our watershed: Keeping our rivers clean and healthy with League of Women Voters|
Join a panel discussion on the importance of keeping our watershed clean with Kris Olsson and Janet Kahan of the Huron Watershed Council and Diana Kern of the Legacy Land Conservancy.
Register for zoom here https://bit.ly/3C0rmMD or stream it on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LWVWashtenaw. Noon–1:30 pm
Visit the PEG website to view the comprehensive listing of Upcoming Events!
American democracy is at risk without passage of the Freedom to Vote Act
The Statement in Support of the Freedom to Vote Act published in New America on November 21, 2021, is an extremely powerful statement signed by scholars from many universities/colleges that is a CALL TO ACTION TO PRESERVE AMERICAN DEMOCRACY.
The statement succinctly explains the history of voting in the United States, the erosion of the belief in a free and fair election process and an explanation of recently passed and proposed legislation in many states that allow a legal pathway for partisan politicians to overturn state election results if they are dissatisfied with the outcome. Previous PEG articles have explained the “Secure MI Vote” petition and proposed Michigan legislation that is designed to keep people from voting. So, this issue is present in Michigan and must be stopped.
This is no ordinary moment in the course of our democracy — it is a moment of great peril and risk.The current partisan politicization of what has long been trustworthy, non-partisan administration of elections represents a clear and present threat to the future of electoral democracy in the United States. Congress must pass the Freedom to Vote Act to maintain American Democracy.What you can do?
- CONTACT YOUR SENATORS to suspend the filibuster for this issue and pass the Freedom to Vote Act
- Read this article.
As Democracy Summit approaches, Biden must make the Freedom Vote Act his priority “As the Democracy Summit approaches, President Biden must make the Freedom to Vote Act his absolute priority. To proclaim democracy’s virtues of freedom and inclusion in sharp contradistinction to authoritarianism’s intolerance and oppression, all the while standing idly by as our own democracy crumbles before us, not only renders the summit meaningless, but it also further deteriorates our credibility abroad.” Read moreFreedom to Vote Act
Contact your representatives, the President and all legislators who believe in democracy to act on the Freedom to Vote Act https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative. https://www.cop.senate.gov/states/MI/intro.htmhttps://www.whitehouse.gov/get-involved/write-or-call/
Champions of American Democracy
At this very tenuous time for American democracy when so many Republicans believe Trump’s message that Biden’s victory was due to fraud, many heroes have emerged who are highlighted in the latest edition of The New Republic.
Kadida Kenner, the executive director of the New Pennsylvania Project, is another hero of our fraught times. She hopes to replicate the success of Stacey Abram’s New Georgia Project in registering and mobilizing voters in her home state. She deals with Republican state legislators who want to invalidate the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s Secretary of State, a lawyer long committed to voting rights, has proposed many provisions for expanding voting rights, all of which have been opposed by the Republican-dominated state legislature. Her general optimism is hampered by her daily reality. “We are very much in the middle of a war over the future of our democracy,” she admits.
Trey Martinez Fischer is the Texas State House Representative who helped lead Democrat legislators in the walkout protesting the Republican effort to suppress the vote. A member and former chair of the state’s Mexican American Legislative Caucus, he’s provided leadership in their lawsuits against gerrymandering and the voter-ID requirement. Sadly, the federal courts upheld the new Texas laws. Says Fischer, “at a time when minorities make a majority of the state’s population, we still have to fight for these fundamental rights to be represented and to be heard.”
Lina Hidalgo, county judge for Harris County, Texas––the first Latina elected to that post–also defends democracy in that Republican-dominated state. She initiated drive-through voting and 24-hour voting, reforms so effective that Governor Abbott and the Republicans in the state legislature proceeded to ban them after the election. She notes that the biggest problem “is that elections themselves—and democracy itself— have suddenly become fair game for political fighting.”
William Barber, II Is probably the most visible of these six champions of democracy. The former head of the NAACP, he holds Moral Monday protests in Raleigh, North Carolina, to dramatize that state’s voting suppression laws. He notes, “[The North Carolina] House has passed a ruthless attack on democracy, a poll tax in disguise, an attack on college students, the elderly, minorities, and the poor.” As fewer low-income people vote, it “produce[s] a system where low-income voters and their interests are neglected by elected officials,” he observes. This recognition caused him to expand his fight for voting rights to alter the economic balance of power. As co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, he’s committed himself to long-term changes in favor of the poor.
Oliver Semans, a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and a Native voting rights activist, has championed voting rights for Native Americans. Along with his wife, he founded Four Directions to protect and expand voting rights throughout Indian country. In working to get out the vote, he became aware of the barriers to voting on the reservation. He fought successfully for the creation of satellite election offices on the reservations, ones comparable to the regular state election offices .Moreover, he pressured Montana and Nevada to adopt similar systems. After the Supreme Court dealt another blow to voting rights, he put his hopes on a federal voting rights bill. When asked about the future of voting rights for Native Americans, he admitted they may achieve equality, but “it’s still going to be a continued fight to keep it.”
Perspective and opportunity for action
Help flip control in swing districts to advance progressive policy
There has been much reporting in the last few days asserting that the GOP is consolidating control over state election officials. I have received many worried emails from readers who believe that the Republican “infiltration” of state election infrastructures will make it impossible for Democrats to win in 2022 and 2024. We should be concerned about those efforts, but we should not grant imaginary superpowers to Republican officials to change votes. Almost all ballots in the U.S. are tallied electronically with computer audit trails, and it is a felony everywhere to tamper with votes. (Are you listening, Merrick Garland?)
That said, the proper response to this concerning state of affairs is for Democrats to do everything in their power to place law-abiding Democrats in key election positions and in state legislatures. There are several organizations that focus on state elections and would welcome the opportunity to channel your nervous energy into victories at the state level. Readers of [Today’s Edition] are heavily involved in Sister District, which is actively recruiting volunteers to help with all phases of the 2022 election. A reader sent the following note:
“Our flagship electoral program works to get Democrats elected to strategic state legislative seats by supporting campaigns with grassroots action. We “sister” volunteers from deep blue districts with carefully targeted races in swing districts, where flipping control of the state legislature will advance progressive policy. Our volunteers canvass, phonebank, write postcards, text bank, and fundraise for candidates. We welcome volunteers and candidates of all genders!”
So, rather than worrying about what Republicans are doing, why not give Republicans something to worry about? The democracy you save might be your own! Read more here. –Robert B. Hubbell’s Today’s Edition
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 here. To share with your friends and networks, use the sharing buttons at the top of the email or just “forward” from your email browser.
A 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 email@example.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.
DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.