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PEG 12th Congressional District Newsletter 260

April 14, 2022

Learn why Ukraine must not lose the war and why they will not

In a recent interview on Conversations from Ukraine, former Ukrainian Ambassador to Austria Olexander Scherba and Eugene Kalynk, an organizer of the effort to combat Russian disinformation, spoke about the on the ground and digital war. They were joined by Nick Knudsen of DemCast whose Digital Front project has enlisted 2,500 volunteers to successfully combat Russian disinformation. You can see a video of the show by clicking the player below.

PETITIONS

Both tracker at Bridge MI and previous PEG Newsletters provide information on what the petitions cover and the money behind the petitions. Remember to check periodically to follow the updates. 

OK TO SIGNDO NOT SIGN
FOR MI KIDS FOR OUR SCHOOLSLET MI KIDS LEARN
PROMOTE THE VOTE 2022SECURE MI VOTE
REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM FOR ALLUNLOCK MICHIGAN II
AUDIT MI

Events

Visit the PEG website for the full list of Upcoming Events

Saturdays and Sundays in April. Sankofa: The Art and Legacy of Jon Onye Lockard  

This exhibit is a collaboration between the African American Cultural and Historical Museum of Washtenaw County (AACHM) and the Jon Onye Lockard Foundation, where PEG Contributor, Leslie Kamil (Lockard’s widow) leads a devoted group of family, mentees, and friends of the artist. He quietly challenged world views and societal conscious through art and education. A recording of the opening ceremony can be viewed here. The exhibit will be up through Sunday, May 1. Noon–4 pm

April 21. Voter protection volunteer recruiting   

Save these dates to help balance the Michigan House, protecting Michigan Voting Rights. Calling all phone bankers to GOTV for the May 3 special election to fill four vacant seats in Michigan House Districts. District 15District 36District 43, and District 74Register and get more information. 6–8 pm

April 24. Ballot cure training

Call voters who need help ensuring that their absentee ballots are counted. This is a critical service to voters in Michigan whose special election ballots are in danger of not being counted. You will learn about what errors require curing, how to guide a voter through the process of submitting the necessary information to their clerk, and how to record that information. Sign up Here. 11 am–noon

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

Things to do

Perspective: Florida’s Don’t Say Gay bill is spreading to other states

Republican governors are engaged in a race to the bottom as they fall all over themselves to mimic Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Per NPR, a dozen states have proposed copycat legislation, including Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Ohio, Tennessee, and (of course) Texas. The law passed in Florida (in part) because corporations sat on the sidelines, pretending that a bill stigmatizing a significant portion of their workforce was not a matter worthy of their lobbying efforts.    The Disney Corporation learned the hard way that failing to protect its workers is bad for business. Let’s not allow corporations in other states to make the same mistakes. If you are an executive, employee, or customer of a business in one of the states identified above, make your voice heard now and demand that company leadership take a clear stand on copycat bills.    And here is a point that might help you convince corporate leaders that allowing states to prohibit discussion of LGBTQ+ people is un-American: Russia developed and implemented legislation in 2013 that prohibits the distribution of “propaganda” regarding non-traditional sexual relationships. As implemented, the law has been used to ban, harass, and criminalize discussion of LGBTQ+ people in education, social media, mental health services, and mainstream media. See Mark Gevisser in NYTimes (12/27/2013), Opinion | Life Under Russia’s ‘Gay Propaganda’ Ban and Human Rights Watch (2017), Russia’s “Gay Propaganda” Law Imperils LGBT Youth.    Once the state imposes criminal sanctions against teachers for discussing human sexuality, it’s a slippery slope to state censorship of all speech. For example, a Russian teacher was fired for saying that Ukraine is a separate country—a comment she made after her students asked why Russia was banned from international sports competitions. Business Insider, Russian Teacher Turned in by Student, Fired, Fined for Ukraine Comment.    Let’s stop the madness. Fight efforts by additional states to pass copycat “Don’t Say Gay” bills. Learn more here. –Today’s Edition by Robert B. Hubbell

Things to read, watch, and listen to

This month we Remember: Audre Lorde

Audre Lorde (1934–1992) was a self-described “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet.” Thirty years after her death, we remember her during National Poetry Month for the fearless way she used her poetry to counter racism, sexism, and homophobia. Moreover, in poems such as “To the Poet Who Happens to Be Black and the Black Poet Who Happens to Be a Woman,” she was one of the first to make us aware of the intersectionality or the overlap of the various oppressions.

In addition to her poetry, she’s remembered for her prescient essays, which touted truths far ahead of her time. As Lorde famously wrote,“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.”

Audrey Lorde: The Theory of Difference

Michigan Republicans move to punish official who certified Biden’s election win

Aaron Van Langeveld’s term on the Board of State Canvassers ends January 31, but his fellow Republicans have decided not to nominate him to serve again and have instead proposed three prominent party activists to take his place after he rejected unfounded GOP claims about alleged fraud and joined the two Democrats to certify Michigan’s election results. Read more here. –RawStory.com

Trump’s social media app is failing

According to The Guardian, “Truth Social seems to be going the way of Trump Steaks and Trump Vodka as it sees low engagement weeks after its release and resignations from executives.” Downloads have fallen by as much as 95%. The List reports that the app is available only in the Apple App Store and consequently only people with iPhones are able to download it. And even if you’re able to download Truth Social, there’s a waitlist. 

 It is also interesting that even Trump has barely used his app! Since its launch, Business Insider reports Trump has only posted one “truth” to the platform: “Get ready! Your favorite President will see you soon!” The former president hasn’t posted since.

A 2-billion-dollar “gift” to Trump’s son-in-law

News of the Saudie Crown Prince’s two-billion-dollar donation to Jared Kushner’s private equity fund, Affinity Partners, has surfaced, raising eyebrows throughout the political and journalistic world. Kushner secured this money despite the doubts of the Saudi prince’s own advisors about his competency and inexperience in heading such a firm.

The real question is why the prince went ahead and made this untoward donation into Kushner’s fledgling firm against the consensus of his advisors. Was it in gratitude for Kushner’s defense of the prince after he was implicated in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi? More worrisome, is this a down payment on a future Trump presidency? Will foreign billionaires be allowed to influence American elections? What does this bode for our future democracy? Only time will tell.

Fox viewers transformed after watching CNN for 30 days!

The Independent reported on a 2020 study by David Brockman (Berkeley) and Joshua Kalla (Yale) entitled The manifold effects of partisan media on viewers’ beliefs and attitudes: A field experiment with Fox News viewers.” There were 763 participants of which 40% were randomly assigned to the “treatment” group and were offered $15 per hour to watch 7 hours of CNN per week, during September 2020, prioritizing the hours at which participants indicated they typically watched Fox News.

The study found changes in attitudes and policy preferences about Covid-19, evaluations of then president Donald Trump and Republican candidates as well as elected officials. In their abstract, the authors note that “despite regular Fox viewers being largely strong partisans, we found manifold effects of changing the slant of their media diets on their factual beliefs, attitudes, perceptions of issues’ importance, and overall political views.” Consistent with this, treated participants concluded that Fox concealed negative information about President Trump. “Partisan media does not only present its side an electoral advantage—it may present a challenge for democratic accountability.”

Interview question at MAGA rally goes viral. 1.3 Million views and counting!

See the 30 second video here. A participant was asked what was happening with Critical Race Theory in Michigan. You won’t believe the answer. Join Distill Social in combating disinformation here.

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:

State Rep. Yousef Rabhi, 53rd House district: yousefrabhi@house.mi.gov, Phone: (517) 373-2577. https://housedems.com/yousef-rabhi/. Currently virtual coffee hours with Yousef are at 10 am on the 4th Saturday of the month.

State Rep. Ronnie Peterson, 54th House district: ronniepeterson@house.mi.gov Phone: (517) 373-1771 (855) 347-8054, https://housedems.com/ronnie-peterson/ 

State Rep. Donna Lasinski, 52nd House district: donnalasinski@house.mi.gov, Phone: (517) 373-0828 | (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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