PEG 12th Congressional District
Newsletter #253. Thursday, February 24, 2022
Michigan citizens can file a petition with the state government to establish a new law, repeal a newly-enacted law through a referendum or amend the state’s constitution.
Groups that want new legislation or a constitutional amendment must submit a copy of their petition to the Secretary of State before circulating it. The format of the petition and a summary of the petition, in 100 words or less, may also be submitted to the state Board of Canvassers for approval.
Groups can start collecting signatures as soon as they submit the petition to the Secretary of State. Approval is NOT REQUIRED for groups to gather signatures, but is recommended to minimize chances the petition is rejected later in the process. The number of valid signatures required for each petition type is based on the percentage of total votes cast in the last gubernatorial election.
The deadlines and percentages needed to amend the state’s constitution, establish a new law or for a referendum to repeal a newly-enacted law can be found here.
The Board of Canvassers, a four-member panel in charge of tallying votes, certifying statewide elections, and recounting ballots for state-level offices, will validate signatures for each petition.
The state Legislature can then adopt or reject petitions seeking new laws within 40 days, a provision that is rare among states. This provision, which has been discussed in Michigan, allows lawmakers to adopt a measure and circumvent the governor and prevent a veto of the law. If lawmakers don’t adopt the measure, it goes on the ballot for the general election.
Constitutional amendments go onto the general election ballot, as will referendum petitions. Laws that are targeted for repeal are suspended pending the outcome of the election. Specific information on petitions, guidelines, rules, deadlines, requirements, format etc. can be found here, Sponsoring a Statewide Initiative, Referendum or Constitutional Amendment Petition
Current petitions that require your action
Petitions that warrant your signature and action to collect signatures
The coalition supporting this petition states that the measure offers flexibility for voters to cast their ballots, make elections more accessible and ensure election security while protecting voter privacy. This would amend the state constitution. Additional and important specifics can be found here.
The Board of Canvassers has approved the revised format and summary of the petition. Signatures are not yet being collected.
To Do – Sign up to collect signatures.
Petitions you should not sign and discourage others from signing
The measure would limit the length of emergency orders from state or local health officials to 28 days, unless extended by the state Legislature or local governments. This measure puts the power to limit emergency measures in the hands of the legislature rather than in the hands of the experts. The petition is currently collecting signatures. The Republican-led Legislature likely would adopt the measure if it collects enough signatures.
To Do: make sure you share this information widely to discourage signatures.
Backers, mostly Republicans, say the measure proposed would add safeguards to the election process and ensure there is no fraud. Opponents say the initiative offers solutions to a problem that doesn’t exist and instead is intended to suppress the vote and undermine trust in elections. Read this article for proposal specifics.
Signatures are currently being collected. The Republican-led Legislature would likely adopt the measure if it collects enough signatures.
To Do: Make sure you share this information widely to discourage signatures.
PEG will review the petitions and keep you up to date on which petitions have been approved, are collecting signatures and on actions needed.
Thursday, February 24, 4-week training program: Running for office
Join Michigan People’s Campaign, People’s Action, SEIU Healthcare of Michigan and New American Leaders for a 4-week training program to simplify the process of running for office and learn to be strategic in your campaign. Whether you’re running for office this year, in the future, or want to help local progressives in your area, the Movement Politics Academy will prepare you to create the positive changes our communities need. Click here to learn more or to apply.
Friday, February 25. Stress on the public health workforce
Watch the League of Women Voters Lunch & Learn series LIVE on Facebook or register for Zoom at https://bit.ly/3qUy4zY. Stress on the public health workforce shows no sign of decreasing as we enter the pandemic’s third year. Jimena Loveluck, MSW, became Chief Health Officer of Washtenaw County in 2019, five months before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. She has served with distinction and was named United Way Washtenaw County’s Woman of the Year for 2021. Noon–1:30 pm.
Visit the PEG website to view the comprehensive listing of Upcoming Events!
Things to do
Call for nurses and doctors to volunteer for 2022 campaigns
Dr. Norbert Goldfield is the founder of Ask Nurses & Doctors (“AND”) a group devoted to organizing local healthcare professionals to help elect House candidates in ten “close” races. AND seeks to leverage the credibility of healthcare professionals to help elect candidates who will promote a healthy population and a robust democracy. If you volunteer, AND will train you in media outreach—including making appearances (virtual or in-person), writing op-eds, and leading social media campaigns.
If you are a nurse or a doctor interested in playing an important role in a 2022 campaign, you can:
- Email Dr. Goldfield at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Listen to the interview with Dr. Goldfiend and Jeff Lerner at Today’s Edition Podcast interview with Ask Nurses and Doctors.
- Explore the Ask Nurses & Doctors website.
Thanks to Today’s Edition by Robert B. Hubbell
Red, Wine and Blue – Suburban moms are mobilizing to counter conservatives
They call themselves “Red Wine & Blue,” and their subtitle is “Channeling the Power of Suburban Women.” Their goal is to “make sure our kids get an honest and accurate education.” According to the Washington Post, over 300,000 women are currently part of their network. Suburban moms from around the country are learning how to combat the vitriolic rhetoric that is being spoken at school board meetings by right-wing groups such as “Moms for Liberty.” They encourage the kind of political discussion women might have with friends over a glass of wine. They have podcasts and an excellent webpage entitled “Book Ban Busters” which tracks banned books across the country. They are running training sessions to help women testify and manage at highly charged government meetings.
“Their mission has taken on new urgency since Republican parents have been showing up at school board meetings denouncing the teaching of topics such as anti-racism and transgender rights. There is additional focus with the increased prevalence of book bans, such as the recent ban in McMinn County, Tennessee, on the teaching of Maus: A Survivor’s Tale, a graphic novel by Art Spiegelman. According to Forbes, the objections to Maus “focused more on eight “rough” words – on the order of “damn” and “bitch” and a small depiction of a naked woman (rendered, like all the Jewish characters in the book, as a mouse).” Mother Jones reports that Board member Tony Allman remarked, “We don’t need to enable or somewhat promote this stuff. It shows people hanging. It shows them killing kids. Why does the educational system promote this kind of stuff? It is not wise or healthy.”
To counteract these right-wing efforts, Red Wine and Blue plans to continue with friend-to-friend organizing and using digital media to mobilize suburban women. It recently founded a charitable education arm to raise money from nonpartisan donors. The group is attracting parents who have never been involved in politics before, she said, “so the momentum is on our side.” She believes these parents will be turning out both to run and vote in school board elections in the coming year. Sign-up for their newsletter on their website. Donate banned books here.
Things to read, watch, and listen to
Hatred was on Trial: Justice in Charlottesville and Beyond
The guest on Conversations was Alan Levine, one of a trio of pro bono heroes who scored a $26-mln verdict against Charlottesville rally organizers. Hear the inside story of a team of courageous lawyers and plaintiffs by clicking here.
Alan spent 4 weeks in “a bubble of hate and violence” as he cross examined the white supremacists that organized and led the anti-Semitic and racist violence that resulted in the death of Heather Heyer and the injuring of dozens of others, including seven of the plaintiffs in the suit.
Opinion: Why Democrats will retain control of the House and Senate next year. And even gain additional seats.
A 4-minute listen (or read) with ten reasons to remain hopeful.
1) It’s likely that job growth between now and November will remain strong.
2) Inflation will begin edging downward.
3) When the pandemic seems to be over — and there’s a good chance it will feel over by the spring — the nation will breathe a huge collective sigh of relief.
Listen to or read the rest HERE.
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