Memorial Day Weekend

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PEG 12th Congressional District Newsletter 266

Memorial Weekend Issue

Events and Classifieds

Visit the PEG website for the full list of Upcoming Events

Saturday, May 28. Petition Signing

2129 Autumn Hill Drive off of Miller a mile west of Maple, Ann Arbor, 48103. 1–3 pm

More locations to sign the Reproductive Freedom For All petition The RFFA initiative needs help collecting 425,000 signatures by July 11 in order to be put on the November ballot.

The following is a list of locations where you can find the petition in the upcoming dates. See all Michigan locations here

Ypsilanti Farmers Market. RSVP Here.16 S Washington St, Ypsilanti, MI 48197 Saturdays thru June 25, 9 am – 1 pm

Saline Farmers Market. RSVP Here.100 S Ann Arbor St (Lot #4) Saline, MI 48176 Saturdays thru June 25, 8 am-noon 

Monday, May 30. Memorial Day

Saturday, June 4. Silence the Violence March and Rally

This is the 15th annual Silence the Violence March and Rally in Detroit to honor and remember victims of gun violence. It is led by Pastor Barry Randolph of the Church of the Messiah. Our communities needs to draw from this collective power, particularly in light of the horrors in Buffalo and now Texas. Click the flyer to the left for a shareable PDF download to email to others. Located at the Church of the Messiah: 231 East Grand Boulevard @ Lafayette. Detroit, MI 48207. 10 am–noon 

Saturday, June 4. Panel discussion with Judicial and MI Senate Candidates

The Washtenaw County Democratic Party (WCDP) will host a Zoom webinar panel discussion with the candidates vying for the November election ballot slots for Judge of the Washtenaw County Trial Court and the state senate seat in the newly drawn 14th district.

Voting for judges matters but about 25% of those who vote skip them on the ballot. 80% can’t identify any judicial candidates by name, incumbency, or party affiliation much less the candidates’ stands on issues says the nonpartisan chooseyourjudges.org. Judicial candidates — Marla Linderman Richelew, executive director of the Washtenaw Association for Justice, and Arianne Slay, Deputy City Attorney of the City of Ann Arbor– will discuss their positions and answer participant questions.

Democratic candidates for the 14th State Senate district will also take part in the June 4 webinar: Chair of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners Sue Shink and program director of America Votes Kelsey Heck Wood. The new district includes Chelsea, Dexter, portions of Ann Arbor, and most of Jackson County. Additional information, including how to submit questions for the candidates and the Zoom link for the webinar, can be found on the WCDP Web site. 9:30am

Wednesday, June 22. Words to Win Our Future with Anat Shenker-Osorio

In 2020, fellow Michiganders forged their names on official documents attempting to overturn your vote, take your power, erase you from history. What’s holding you back? Learn how to talk about wages, CRT and more in Words to Win Our Future with Anat Shenker-Osorio. Learn how to deliver messages that inspire people to vote for our hopeful vision for the future, expose the opposition’s unrelenting dog whistles, and defuse their attacks on good, effective government. Register for this free Zoom here: https://tinyurl.com/ASO-MI2022. 6 pm

PETITIONS

Share information about these petitions and discourage others from signing. Learn more here bit.ly/3v7vA3F and tracker at Bridge MI. Download the screenshot of the chart below (left) and share it with your friends and followers on social media. Locally, the Washtenaw County Democratic Party (WCDP) voted 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)

Things to do

Major cinema chain brings the Big Lie to theaters nationwide

The latest version of “Trump won but was the victim of voter fraud,” is a propaganda film called 2000 Mules from Trump-pardoned far-right polemicist Dinesh D’Souza. The film is based on claims by True the Vote, a right-wing group with a history of “baseless allegations,” and D’Souza has a lengthy history of promoting false information and was convicted in 2014 of violating federal election law by making illegal donations.

    In 2000 Mules, True the Vote says it bought “a trove of geolocation data obtained from electronic devices.” True the Vote says this data shows 2000 people came within a 100-foot radius of a ballot dropbox 10 times or more between 10/01/2020 and 11/03/2020. (The same people were also recorded near unnamed non-profits that the film calls “stash houses.”) D’Souza and True the Vote claim that this is proof that these 2000 people were paid “mules,” stuffing multiple drop boxes with illegal votes for Biden.

This claim is absurd and it is the entire basis for the film. Last weekend one of the nation’s largest movie theater chains, Cinemark, began offering the film in hundreds of theaters across the country, including the Ypsilanti location on Carpenter Road. You may want to take your business to one of your many other choices this summer. Read more HERE. Thanks to –Popular Information, which is described as “Excellent” by The New York Times.

Petition Needs Your Signature!


Reproductive Freedom for All
 is a campaign to amend the Michigan Constitution. The proposal affirms that every person has the fundamental right to reproductive freedom, which involves the right to make and carry out decisions without political interference about all matters relating to pregnancy, including birth control, abortion, infertility, miscarriage care, prenatal care, and childbirth. No one could be punished for having a miscarriage, stillbirth or abortion.The coalition behind this measure includes the ACLU of Michigan, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, and Michigan Voices, a progressive nonprofit. If you are interested in volunteering, e.g. signing the petition and/or collecting signatures, go to mireproductivefreedom.org. The petition needs about 425,000 verified signatures! 

Shown to the left is an Abortion Messaging Guide, with a downloadable PDF. Here are some more resources and messaging to share:

L3 blog post 

SHARE THESE and repeat, repeat, repeat:

  1. A woman must have the freedom to decide her healthcare, including abortion care. 
  2. Don’t use the word “choice.” Choice is a libertarian/marketplace value that trivializes this decision.

Three Word Statements: freedom to decide; trust women; abortion is healthcare
Stay connected with your elected representatives

Things to read, watch, and listen to

Biden Restores the State Department and Unites NATO

As we have seen for the last few months, since the war in Ukraine, Biden has united the western world. When Biden took office, he was handed a decimated State Department. During his time in office, Biden/Blinken rebuilt the department and brought NATO back to a most powerful alliance, with new members waiting in line. Read more

Analysis | The list of anti-Ukraine Republican lawmakers is quickly growing.  Where will this end? As Ukraine fights for its life and democracy, more republicans in Washington desire a halt on all of these funds. “Two months ago, three voted against the first pro-Ukraine bill. This week, [the week of May 14] 57 opposed a request for weapons and humanitarian aid.” 

Led by Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, who “is the only member of the House to hold a perfect 16-for-16 record opposing legislation to support Ukraine and oppose Russia, according to House records and a Democratic analysis provided to The Washington Post. Read more.

At the Hungarian CPAC

Hungarian talkshow host who has called Jews ‘stinking excrement’ and Roma ‘animals’ addresses rightwing conference speaks at CPAC in Hungary. Orban and the US right bond at Cpac in Hungary over ‘great replacement’ ideology.                                             

“Orbán, like many American Republicans, has embraced the “great replacement” conspiracy theory, which involves promoting the belief that the white population is being deliberately reduced by leftist policies and diluted by immigration.”

“The US contingent will include several Republican members of Congress, Donald Trump’s former White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and the chairman of the American Conservative Union, Matt Schlapp. Most influential of all, the Fox News talkshow host Tucker Carlson will be addressing the conference, though he – like Meadows and Farage – will be participating virtually.”

Contraception: In Legal Jeopardy  

Jacky Eubanks, a Trump endorsed GOP candidate for the Michigan House of Representatives, has declared her intent to work for the banning of all forms of birth control in our state. She had no compunction about justifying her opposition to contraception by her commitment to her own religion: “And you cannot have a successful society outside of the Christian moral order and things like abortion and things like gay marriage are outside of the Christian moral order and they lead to chaos and destruction and a culture of death.” 

Eubank’s stance reflects the new reality: If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, thereby abolishing the right to an abortion, other long-established rulings such as Griswold v. Connecticut, which established the right to contraception, will come into legal jeopardy.

First Amendment Challenge:

Texas and Florida laws challenge social media content

Genesis of the Laws

Republican party members have been hit with several Twitter bans following their violations of the site’s rules against things such as hate speech and the spreading of COVID-19 misinformation. As a result, many in the right-wing political sphere see social media moderation to be a form of censorship despite sites like Twitter and Facebook being privately owned platforms with their own explicitly stated rules.

Texas and Florida Laws

Texas passed House Bill 20 in a special session in September 2021 that prohibits social media companies from banning users for posting viewpoints different from their own. The law makes it illegal for any social media platform with 50 million or more US monthly users to “block, ban, remove, deplatform, demonetize, de-boost, restrict, deny equal access or visibility to, or otherwise discriminate against expression.”

A federal court district judge blocked the bill in December stating that “social media platforms have a First Amendment right to moderate content disseminated on their platforms.” However, last week, the law was reinstated by the conservative U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Social media companies, NetChoice and the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), have asked the Supreme Court to reinstate the injunction to prevent Texas from enforcing the law while litigation continues.

Governor Ron DeSantis tried to punish social media companies for moderating extremist posts on their platforms. Florida passed a law telling social media companies what speech they must permit on their private platforms—a clear violation of the First Amendment. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the district court’s ruling that the Florida law violates the First Amendment prohibition against government control of speech. While the specifics of the laws are different—the Florida law is aimed at preventing de-platforming of politicians, while the Texas law addresses content moderation more generally—they raise a set of overlapping questions about the limits of government power over the free speech rights of private entities.

Pending SCOTUS challenge

The coming months will thus see two different federal appeals courts weighing in on cases concerning one of the most important contemporary technology-related constitutional law questions: To what extent can the government regulate social media content moderation decisions without running afoul of the First Amendment?

Additional Readings

Read the article in Wired on how the laws violate social media companies’ First Amendment right to moderate user content and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

The Texas Observer discusses how the Anti-Censorship law censors social media and the First Amendment ramifications if this law stays in effect. CNN presents ideas on how social media platforms might respond.

Good News

Kudos to Michigan’s own Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson

Benson is one of five recipients to receive the John F. Kennedy Library’s Profile in Courage Award in 2022. Undoubtedly, the award was given in recognition of her commitment to voting rights in our state and her unrelenting courage in the face of threats for that very stance.

The Washtenaw County Clerk’s webpage enumerates in detail the elections, proposals and candidates to date. A few of the important dates are listed below.

What are the remaining election dates in 2022?

  • August 2 – State Primary as well as proposals that are not yet “official” – including the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority proposal
  • November 8 – State General Election 

What are the deadlines for submission of ballot proposals?

  • By 5 pm, June 1: petitions to place a legislative initiative proposal on the November general election ballot filed with the Secretary of State (340,047 valid signatures required). (168.471)
  • By 5 pm, July 11: Petitions to place a proposed constitutional amendment on the November general election ballot filed with the Secretary of State (425,059 valid signatures required). (168.471)

What are the voter registration deadlines?

Visit MichiganGov/Vote to register

  • July 18: Last day to register in any manner other than in-person with the local clerk for the August primary. (168.497)
  • July 19: through 8 pm on August 2 In-person registration with local clerk with proof of residency. (168.497)
  • October 24: Last day to register in any manner other than in-person with the local clerk for the November general election. (168.497)
  • October 25 through 8 pm on November 8: In-person registration with local clerk with proof of residency. (168.497)

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