We must fight for women’s rights
Help get “Reproductive Freedom for All” on ballot
Although the news this week that the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade came as no surprise, it was a gut punch for most of us. My earliest memories of activism were from joining my mother at marches for reproductive rights and the Equal Rights Amendment in the late 70s. Now, nearly fifty years later, we seem to be returning to those dark days.
It’s easy to become despondent. The end goal for forced-birthers is not returning the decision on legality of abortions to the states. It’s a nationwide ban that affects every person able to become pregnant in the U.S. And the right to marry who you wish and the right to use birth control seem next on their hit list.
But, like the election of Donald Trump, we cannot allow this to stop us from acting. We must continue the fight to elect Democrats at all levels and then to hold them accountable for fighting hard for their constituents once they are in office.
In Michigan, we have a referendum process that allows the citizens of the state to pass new laws. Although it is abused by our opponents regularly, it also provides us with an opportunity to make change ourselves. Last week, the WCDP voted to endorse nine of the ballot proposals currently collecting signatures to be put on the November ballot. One of them, “Reproductive Freedom for All”, would make abortions legal in Michigan. Others would help preserve and strengthen democracy in our state.
I urge everyone reading this to take the sadness and anger you are feeling as a result of the demise of Roe and turn it into action by helping these ballot proposal groups to get the signatures they need to get on the ballot. It’s not an easy task but it can be done and they need all of our help to collect enough valid signatures within the 180-day window required by law.
WCDP endorses ballot proposals for reproductive freedom, voting rights, wage increase, more
On April 25, 2022, the Washtenaw County Democratic Party (WCDP) voted overwhelmingly to endorse these 2022 statewide ballot proposals:
● Promote the Vote
● MI Right to Vote 2022 Citizen Initiative Reform
● MI Right to Vote
● Reproductive Freedom for All
● Raise the Wage MI
● Michiganders for Fair Lending
● Voters for Transparency and Term Limits
● Michigan United (Good Time Credit)
● Michigan Initiative for Community Healing (Decriminalize Nature)
The WCDP also passed resolutions related to prevention education in schools, law enforcement training, procedures to remove firearms that have been court-ordered to be surrendered, and emergency assistance to ensure safety for survivors of domestic violence. The WCDP also passed resolutions in support of new wilderness areas in Michigan and a millage renewal for the Ann Arbor Area Transit Authority.
“Washtenaw County Democrats are eager to help get these proposals on the ballot in November,” WCDP Chair Chris Savage said, “From expanding voter rights and ballot access to ensuring the right to obtain an abortion and beyond, we are fighting for the people of our County and our state.”
“Democracy is on the ballot in 2022,” Savage continued. “The passionate, engaged Democrats in Washtenaw County are all in on the fight to preserve it, this year and into the future.”
New VOICES Committee hosts two rallying events, more to come!
The Visibility, Outreach, Involvement, and Community Engagement (VOICE) committee (chairs Caroline Sanders and Crystal Lyte) makes sure the WCDP has a visible presence at local events. Volunteers are “out in the field” engaging with the community and making sure the Democratic message is heard.
VOICE partnered with the Whitmer/Gilchrist campaign last week to host two wonderful events in Ypsilanti! Puffer Red’s and 734 Brewing Company hosted the events and both featured Lt. Gov. Gilchrist, who encouraged everyone to get out the BLUE VOTE this November. It was a great launch for the 2022 campaign season, and a celebration of Washtenaw’s rich history of African American leadership and activism!
(Top left, l-r) Commissioner Caroline Sanders, Arianne Slay, candidate for Judge, 22nd Circuit Court, and Kerene Moore, candidate for Judge, Third District Court of Appeals
(Top right, l-r) WCDP Executive Board Members Caroline Sanders, Crystal Lyte, and Mary Hall-Thiam
(Middle left) Lt. Governor and Mr. Eric Williams, owner of Puffer Red’s, a 42-year-old Black owned business located in downtown Ypsilsanti
(Middle right) Lt. Governor and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell
(Bottom, l-r) Gayle Richardson, President, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Delta Psi Omega Chapter; Lt. Governor Gilchrist; Mary Hall-Thiam, Vice-Chair of both Statewide Engagement and the Washtenaw County Democratic Party; Parliamentarian; and Esther Hampton, Secretary, Ann Arbor Branch NAACP
Doug Kelley memorial service this Saturday
After our General Membership meeting on Saturday, May 7, please join us at 2 p.m for a memorial service for longtime WCDP leader Doug Kelley at the First Unitarian Congregation of Ann Arbor, 4001 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd.
A reception will follow and go until 4:30 pm, featuring Doug’s favorite “Kerry cookies” among other food and drink. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests making a donation in Doug’s memory to the ACLU, Green Corps, and/or Democratic candidates in the midterm elections.
May WCDP Membership Meeting
Featuring Candidate Forum
Get to know the Democratic primary candidates for two of Washtenaw County’s new State House districts.
The newly redrawn House District 32 covers the city of Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti Township and parts of Pittsfield and Superior townships.
House District 47 includes northwest Ann Arbor and stretches west and south to cover Scio Township, Dexter, Manchester, other parts of western Washtenaw, and southeastern Jackson County.
Invited candidates include:
Roderick Casey, Sr.
Robyn Lynn McCoy
Jimmie Wilson, Jr.
James Johnson, Jr.
Join the webinar on May 7 @ 9:30 a.m. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83415806030
Save the date: Add to Google Calenda
Be a Paid Election Inspector
Deadline looming: May 15!
We need Democratic election inspectors (paid poll workers) to assist the municipal clerks in our county for the 2022 election cycle. Election officials ensure that election laws are followed and that our voters are not intimidated. The Big Lie is still very much alive in Michigan, and Republicans are doing everything they can to suppress votes and create chaos in voting and vote counting. But you can help.
Free webinars by faith, labor, community leaders
WeROC (Washtenaw Regional Organizing Coalition) has some exciting webinars planned throughout the month of May. Washtenaw County influencers and decision makers will share information and respond to questions from participants in a series of four issues-based virtual panels with audience Q&As.
WeROC is a county-wide collaboration among Faith, Labor, and Community influencers who bring new voices—people of color, lower income families, and youth—to the tables where consequential decisions are made.
To register and for additional information visit werocmi.org.
Who Killed the King: Challenges and Trauma of Black Men and Boys in America
With Leah D. Mills Chapman, LMSW, licensed clinical therapist, and CEO of Ntervene, LLC. May 3, 6:30-7:30 p.m. FREE
Voting Down-Ballot Elections. Why It Matters. What Happens if I Don’t Vote?
With Yousef Rabhi, State House Democratic Floor Leader; Ed Golembiewski, Washtenaw Deputy Clerk. Assistant to Michigan Representative Jeff Irwin, and Sarah Collier, Superior Township County Chief Deputy Clerk and Director of Elections; Erinn Williamson, Legislative. May 12, 6:30-8:00 p.m. FREE
Advancing Equity Through the Public Defender’s Office
With Washtenaw County Public Defender Delphia Simpson. Presentation and audience Q&A. May 18, 6:30-7:30 p.m. FREE
With State Senator Jeff Irwin and Peri Stone-Palmquist, LMSW, MPP, Executive Director of the Student Advocacy Center. May 24, 6:30-7:30 p.m. FREE
The sessions are a precursor to a big WeROC Friendraiser/Fundraiser on Sunday, September 4, 2022. Stay tuned for more about this event.
Join the WCDP team!
The Precinct Organizing & VOICE committees need you! Even a few hours can make a difference in 2022. Roles in demand now include:
Precinct Delegate: PDs are elected by neighbors to represent them to the WCDP. It’s easier to get elected than you think! Find out how here, and find out why here. Paperwork is due by May 3, so now is the time!
The Precinct Organizing Committee (POC) is Here for Good! Due to redistricting, WE CAN WIN the Michigan legislature. The midterms are critical to re-elect our executive team and secure the Dem majority on the MI Supreme Court. Washtenaw County might be solidly “blue,” but our voting record needs to be better– We left 96,000 Dem votes on the table in 2016. Our work is to get every Dem vote in Washtenaw County to swing the state and possibly the nation!
Voter Guide Indesign Team: Our voter guide reaches tens of thousands of people and is a key part of voter mobilization. And it’s a big job. Looking for folks with Adobe Creative Cloud installed, print production experience, and experience iwth inDesign & Photoshop. Is that you? Let us know.
Communication Team: We are in need of volunteers who can give 2-3 hours each week now through the election and have graphic design, newsletter creation and/or social media management skills.
Fill out the Volunteer Interest Form and we’ll get back to you right away. We’re all in this together!
Volunteer to #DefendDemocracy
Yard Signs Available
- Whitmer Gilchrist Nessel Benson: $15
- Black Lives Matter: $5
- Whitmer Gilchrist on white: $10
Sales support the WCDP. We can only accept check (preferred) or cash. Pick up at the WCDP Ypsilanti office on Wednesdays, 5 to 7, Saturdays, 11 to 3; and Sundays, 1 to 3. Please call ahead to check on stock: 734-879-0556.
Petition-signing and much more
There are many important ballot initiatives that need signatures and many ways to help. Catch up what you can do from home, events in our area, and connections with allied organizations at the WCDP Mobilize dashboard.
As we get closer to November we’ll be using it more & more, so get in the habit now!
ActionHub connects you to 100+ local groups who share our Democratic values. We are better together. Take action today.
Bridge Michigan continues to do the reporting a democracy needs with their detailed ballot proposal tracker, explaining what each would do, major funders, & more. Confused? Find out what you need to know.
Jason Morgan for State Representative, 23rd District
2022 Campaign Kickoff @ Witch’s Hat Brewery, South Lyon
Sunday, May 15 from 3-4:30pm
More details at https://www.facebook.com/events/317814136956820
Your elected representatives
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: email@example.com, 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.
The Final Word
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