WCDP News: New Year Edition

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13 mins read

5 Jan 2022

Celebrating the New Year!

We can celebrate that we have a Democratic administration heading our state; Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II, Attorney General Dana Nessel, and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. The last three years would have been much grimmer had Republicans been in charge.

Together, our team promoted the safe and effective vaccines to protect Michigan from COVID-19. They enacted historic state budgets that closed the school-funding gap, expanded eligibility for low-cost childcare, funded transformational infrastructure investments across our state, and put Michiganders on a tuition-free path to better paying jobs.

It’s now time to start working to keep them in office. Volunteer!

Join us at our Saturday meeting (via Zoom)!

Details in the Events section near the end of this newsletter.


Celebrate New Maps!

A long, complex, and truly grueling-for-commissioners process, started by a ballot proposal to change the state constitution and set up a citizens redistricting commission, has formally concluded. The work of thousands of volunteers in getting ballot signatures, millions of votes at the polls, and hundreds of people speaking before the commission and commenting on maps, has come to fruition.

The new maps give us a reasonable chance, when Dems get the majority of votes at the polls statewide, of sending a Dem-majority caucus to the U.S. House, and of taking back the Michigan Senate and House. The maps certainly aren’t perfect, but they are MUCH better than the Republican-controlled State Legislature would have created. The MICRC did the job that we the voters asked them to do. And THAT is worth celebrating!

Wondering about the new maps for Washtenaw?
Check out this two-minute video.
Play with this interactive tool.
MICRC Final Maps for the state

Listen to this Michigan Radio Stateside segment.
(The maps commentary starts about 31 minutes in – you’ll have to forward to it.)

Yes, Washtenaw is now covered by more State House districts (7 vs 4), with many extending beyond the county borders, but that means our Dem votes can help turn more districts blue, instead of being bottled up within the county. And that gives us a better chance at getting good policies passed in Lansing.

Celebrate the Lives of Heros
We mourn the passing of many this year that will never be eulogized publicly; too many who died needlessly in a pandemic, from disasters, from violence. All are heros, in ways big and small, to their families, communities, and to the world.

Here are three people who died in December. While mourning their passing, we can celebrate how they lived their lives.

Harry Reid, the quiet man who as Senate Majority Leader helped pass the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, protecting and improving the lives of millions.

Bishop Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Peace Prize winner who helped dismantle South African apartheid with his activism and later chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

And Betty White. You may wonder why Betty’s included here as a hero. It’s not well known now, but in the early 50s at the dawn of television Betty was the first woman to produce a national television show, in which she also starred. She was strongly criticized for featuring Arthur Duncan, a black tap dancer and singer on her show. Stations across the Jim Crow South threatened to take the show off the air if she didn’t get rid of Arthur Duncan. Her response? “I’m sorry, but he stays. Live with it!”  She risked her job. And, sure enough, her show was cancelled by the network shortly after.

We are all called to take a stand, in our own ways, every day, for what’s right, for the right thing to do, and at personal cost. May these memories ease our grief and inspire us to keep taking our stands with grace and generosity of spirit.

Stephanie Mitchell / Harvard University

Celebrate New Heros
New Day’s Lyric

May this be the day
We come together.

Mourning, we come to mend,
Withered, we come to weather,

Torn, we come to tend,
Battered, we come to better.

Tethered by this year of yearning,
We are learning
That though we weren’t ready for this,
We have been readied by it.

Steadily we vow that no matter
How we are weighed down,
We must always pave a way forward.

This hope is our door, our portal.
Even if we never get back to normal,
Someday we can venture beyond it,
To leave the known and take the first steps.

So let us not return to what was normal,
But reach toward what is next.

What was cursed, we will cure.

What was plagued, we will prove pure.

Where we tend to argue, we will try to agree,
Those fortunes we forswore, now the future we foresee,
Where we weren’t aware, we’re now awake;
Those moments we missed
Are now these moments we make,
The moments we meet,
And our hearts, once all together beaten,
Now all together beat.

Come, look up with kindness yet,
For even solace can be sourced from sorrow.

We remember, not just for the sake of yesterday,
But to take on tomorrow.

We heed this old spirit,
In a new day’s lyric,
In our hearts, we hear it:

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.

Be bold, sang Time this year,
Be bold, sang Time,
For when you honor yesterday,
Tomorrow ye will find.

Know what we’ve fought
Need not be forgot nor for none.

It defines us, binds us as one,
Come over, join this day just begun.

For wherever we come together,
We will forever overcome.

   – Amanda Gorman

We Need Volunteers!

Now is the time to plan and organize for the next cycle. We need your help to ensure we can continue to make the world better for ALL of us, not a select few.

Come join us.


The Communications Team is gearing up, joining a groundswell of local activism determined to trumpet the Democratic message far and wide. How many times have you read, “The Dems don’t know how to message” or “Why doesn’t anyone know what our legislation is doing for them?” or, (see below), “Don’t people see the danger of the push away from Democracy?”

To get our message out effectively, we are looking for writers, graphic artists, photographers, videographers, content monitors, and information activists willing to share their skills and donate between 2 and 10 hours a month from February through November. If you would like to join us, reach out to communications@washtenawdems.org

Check out the Jobs Board. There are many other ways you can join forces as Dems to ensure that the 2022 election returns our bulwark, our “Women from Michigan”, to the Executive and solidifies our leadership at all levels. WCDP leaders are working hard to build strong teams in many areas, and we’ve created a new Volunteer Jobs Board to help match you with opportunities to be part of this effort. We can only succeed if we unite, each doing what we can. Please visit us at https://www.washtenawdems.org/volunteer/ for a sample of the many ways you can contribute!

And if you have an idea we aren’t mentioning, please let us know. We have a Party, we have resources, we have passion, we have smarts – let’s make it work for us. ALL of us.

Events

Thursday, January 6th 7-8pm
January 6th Vigil for Democracy
Virtual event

Register at this link

Saturday, January 8th 9:30am
Washtenaw Dems Monthly Meeting (via Zoom)
Co-Sponsored with the Ann Arbor Dems

Responding to Climate Change in Ann Arbor
Mayor Christopher Taylor will speak about  promoting energy efficiency, recycling, and environmental justice with funds from a proposed new millage.

The National Democratic Party’s plans to Combat Climate Change
Michelle Deatrick, National Chair, DNC Council on the Environment and Climate Crisis, former Washtenaw County Commissioner

Taking Fear Seriously in Western Washtenaw County
Responding with hope when School Board and municipal elections are met with fear-based political strategies.  Speakers will include Chelsea Mayor Jane Pacheco and Dexter Community Schools Board of Education Member Jennifer Kangas.
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83659458089

One tap mobile :
    US: +13017158592,,83659458089#  or +13126266799,,83659458089#

Telephone:
After you have dialed one of these telephone numbers, you will be asked for the identification number for the Webinar. It is found below. After you type in the Webinar ID, please press the pound key (#). This should permit you to listen to the discussion at the meeting.
    Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
        US: +1 301 715 8592  or +1 312 626 6799  or +1 346 248 7799  or +1 646 558 8656  or +1 669 900 9128  or +1 253 215 8782
Webinar ID: 836 5945 8089
    International numbers available: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kCD9H7gMc

And coming up in February…

THE FINAL WORD
“Nothing could be worse than a return to normality.”
As Arundhati Roy points out, there’s a new world possible.
Let’s fight for it.

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:https://senatedems.com/irwin/coffee-hour-sign-up/

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:
Monday coffee hours

Saturday coffee hours

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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