A Few Things To Read and a Lot of Ways To Get Involved

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PEG 12th Congressional District Newsletter 268

BEWARE: The GOP plans to disrupt the 2022 and 2024 elections

In the aftermath of Trump’s Big Lie, Republicans are revving up for the next elections. They are already organizing to undermine Democratic-majority polling places. They are training “an army” of poll workers and attorneys, putting them in contact with each other, all in order to overturn votes in Democratic precincts. Their overall goal is to create chaos at the polling places responsible for Biden’s win.
After the 2000 election, Democrats managed to halt Republican attempts to foil election results. In the forthcoming elections, Republicans plan to be prepared to do optimal damage to the election process. Democrats prepare to fight! 

A Conversation you won’t want want to miss!

Join our very own Chuck Newman this Sunday on a special edition of Conversations.

Guests will share their candid discussions with the individuals who oppose a woman’s right to have reproductive freedom by engaging in harassment, intimidation and threats. Learn who they are and what motivates them. Tune in and leave with boundless admiration for the abortion providers and the woman and girls who choose to terminate their pregnancies despite this abuse. Click here to register for this important event. Once you do so, you will be sent the link to join. Sunday, June 12 at 7:30 pm ET.

REGISTER NOW FOR SUNDAY’s CONVERSATIONS

Just because a petition was not submitted in time for the ballot doesn’t mean it won’t rear its ugly head in the legislature

The following synopsis of the petition process is provided by Bridge Michigan. 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 

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 Bureau of Elections must review samples of signatures submitted and make recommendations to the Board of Canvassers. The Board of Canvassers must validate signatures for each petition.

If a legislative initiative successfully gathers just over 340,000 valid signatures, the proposed law goes to the Legislature, where lawmakers can take up the idea, create a separate proposal that would not impact the original plan or ignore it, sending the proposed law to voters in the form of a ballot question. But if lawmakers do approve the proposal, it is not subject to a veto: It just becomes law. 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.

Is the method that allows collecting signatures and getting legislative approval but bypassing a vote of the people or the governor’s signature good government?  This is currently allowed by the state constitution. Governor Whitmer believes that this current system should be adjusted. If we believe in democracy, we too should be concerned!

STATUS OF PROPOSALS

On June 1, only one out of 10 legislative initiatives submitted signatures to the Secretary of State. Some petitions did not gather enough signatures, and others – even though organizers said they had enough signatures – decided not to turn them in as they were concerned that not all signatures would pass the Bureau’s checking or survive outside challenges. Instead, some are waiting to submit petitions, which would put the measures in front of the state legislature rather than Michigan voters.

Proposals aiming to amend the state’s Constitution, on the other hand, have until July 11 to turn in enough valid signatures to appear on the ballot. One initiative circumvented the signature gathering requirements by persuading the state Legislature to directly place the initiative on the ballot. PROMOTE THE VOTE 2022 AND REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM FOR ALL, are requesting a constitutional amendment, so there is still time to sign these petitions. 

Proposals that will appear on the November ballot

Voters for Transparency and Term Limits 

This constitutional amendment proposal was voted to be placed on the November ballot on May 10, 2022, by the Michigan Legislature. It effectively allowed the bipartisan coalition to skip the signature gathering process. 

If passed, this would amend the state constitution to reduce the maximum length a lawmaker can serve in the Legislature from 14 years to 12 years but would allow them to serve the full tenure in one chamber. Currently, lawmakers can serve up to six years in the Michigan House and eight years in the Senate. In addition, it would require state lawmakers, the governor, the secretary of state and the state attorney general to disclose certain financial information.

Michiganders for Fair Lending The proposal would establish a new law to cap interest rates for payday loans at 36 percent and allow the state attorney general to prosecute lenders who exceed that rate. The group has submitted 405,625 signatures. The Bureau of Elections will review random samples of those signatures and the Board of Canvassers will decide if the group has enough valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot. After that, the state Legislature has 40 days to adopt the measure into law. If rejected or ignored by lawmakers, the measure would appear on the November ballot.

The other nine petitions

MLive has an extensive article on the status of the other nine petitions and why they did not submit signatures on June 1st. As reported in MLive, advocates of the following petitions are planning to focus on passing state legislation within the year: Unlock Michigan 2, Secure MI Vote and possibly Let MI Kids Learn and Raise the Wage MI.

Organizers for Secure MI Vote are delaying their submission by a couple weeks out of “an abundance of caution,” to pass the Bureau of Elections’ review and fend off challengers. By submitting later, the initiative would go before the Republican-majority legislature instead of voters. Lawmakers would have 40 session days to vote on it, and Whitmer cannot undo a passing vote with a veto. But, the Bureau of Elections, which is under a Democratic administration, can wait until 2024 to review the signatures

Petitions anticipated for the 2024 Ballot: Raise the Wage, if going to the legislature within the year is unsuccessful, Michigan Initiative for Community Healing and Yes on National Popular Vote.

What you can do

If you haven’t already signed PROMOTE THE VOTE 2022 and REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM FOR ALL, please review the event portion of this Newsletter for scheduled signing events.  There is still time to assure that these two measures are on the ballot in November. Please attend and bring friends and family to also sign.    


Events and Classifieds

Visit the PEG website for the full list and details of Upcoming Events

New Locations to sign the Reproductive Freedom For All petition

The RFFA initiative needs help collecting 425,000 signatures by 5 pm July 11 in order to be put on the November ballot. Please find it and sign it. If you can please help collect signatures.  See all Michigan locations HERE. If one near you is not listed please save this link and check it frequently. It is continually updating as new locations are posted.

Ann Arbor Farmers Market. RSVP Here. 315 Detroit Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

  • Saturdays thru June 25, 9 am–1 pm

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 

Please stay home if you are experiencing Covid symptoms. Wear masks, and respect others’ space. Masks and hand sanitizer available. 1–5 pm and 5:30–7 pm

Ypsilanti’s 2nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration 2022, Events Below

More details on the official Facebook page HERE. Official parking at 301 W. Michigan Ave.

  • Friday, June 17. Juneteenth Dance Jubilee. Ypsi Freighthouse in Depot Town, 100 Market Pl. 8 pm–12 am
  • Saturday, June 18. Juneteenth Saturday Festival. Parking lot behind Puffer Red’s 113 W. Michigan Ave 11 am–7 pm
  • Saturday, June 18. Kid’s Corner #Blackjoy Washington St. (near the #BLM mural, just west of Puffer Red’s parking lot.) 11am-4pm
  • Sunday, June 19. Juneteenth Worship ExperienceComedy Set and Concert. Parking lot behind Puffer Red’s 113 W. Michigan Ave 1:30-5pm

Saturday, June 18. Ann Arbor NAACP 28th Annual Juneteenth Celebration

  • Community Unity March from Fuller Park (1519 Fuller Rd.) to Wheeler Park (200 Depot St.) Free transportation available. 10 am
  • Wheeler Park Juneteenth Program and Activities. 12–6 pm 

Additional information: (734) 761-9084  Facebook page Herewww.annarborjuneteenth.com/index.html

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

Things to do

How Native American voting rights can be protected now

Voter suppression laws do target Native Americans. One route for protect­ing their voting rights is the courts. Right now, the Native Amer­ican Rights Fund and the ACLU are chal­len­ging the consti­tu­tion­al­ity of Montana’s H.B. 176 and H.B. 530. In April 2022, a state judge blocked enforce­ment of the two laws while the case proceeds. Litig­a­tion can be costly and time-consum­ing. Recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court have weakened federal protec­tions and limited the tools avail­able to fight discrim­in­at­ory meas­ures in court.    But Congress can help. The bipar­tisan Native Amer­ican Voting Rights Act was intro­duced in the House in August 2021 and was included as part of the Free­dom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, which was defeated in the Senate in Janu­ary. Endorsed by many Native Amer­ican tribes and advocacy groups, the bill would allow tribes to determ­ine an assort­ment of items pertain­ing to voting, includ­ing the number and loca­tion of voter regis­tra­tion sites, polling places, and drop boxes on their reser­va­tions. It would also require states to accept tribal ID as voter iden­ti­fic­a­tion. Learn more HERE. -BrennenCenter.org

Benson encourages Michigan high school students to engage young voters as MI Vote Matters Team CaptainsSecretary of State Jocelyn Benson encourages Michigan high school students to serve as a MI Vote Matters Team Captain for the Fall 2022 semester. The deadline to apply is June 17. The Team Captain program is a nonpartisan student-led initiative to engage and improve youth voter registration. Up to two trained students from each school will work to:“Increase voter registration among their eligible peers.Inform fellow students of their voting rights in Michigan and options for participating in elections.Raise awareness with their classmates about the importance of voting and civic engagement.”“It is more important than ever for students to understand their civic rights and set a course to be lifelong voters,” said Secretary Benson. “Democracy is a team sport and empowering students to take the lead in engaging their peers helps ensure Michigan youth are informed and empowered at the polls.” Read more and find the application.

Things to read, watch, and listen to

New York GOP Rep. Chris Jacobs ends reelection bid after backlash for gun control support

His announcement came just days after he broke with his party and voiced support for a federal assault weapons ban. Last week, as the nation mourned deadly shootings at a Texas elementary school and a Buffalo supermarket, Jacobs said he would vote for a federal assault weapons ban and other measures if he had a chance. His comments sparked furious backlash among conservatives, who have refused to consider new gun control legislation to try to curb the violence.

“I want to be completely transparent of where I am in Congress. If an assault weapons ban bill came to the floor that would ban something like an AR-15, I would vote for it,” Jacobs said, according to Spectrum News 1.

Jacobs’ departure from the race will likely lead to a scramble among Republicans in what will now be an open contest in New York’s reddest seat. NPR.org and Politico.com

Conservatives create new ad in support of Jan 6 insurrection hearings

The Republican Accountability Project, an organization of conservatives opposed to Trump, released a new ad promoting the hearings (click HERE to view 30 sec video). “A lie drove the attack,” the ad states. “Now, it’s time to learn the truth.” Consider sharing on your social media.

WashtenawDems.org

Video from June candidate forum

22nd Circuit Court Judge and 14th State Senate District. The whole thing is on their Youtube channel, or zoom in on just what you need to know:

00:12 Welcome by Representative Debbie Dingell – update on gun legislation, formula shortage, gas prices, Dem messaging, August primary

09:35 WCDP Chair Chris Savage on upcoming events

12:38 Contested primaries, WCDP by-laws, and endorsements

15:10 County Prosecutor Eli Savit on Gun Violence Awareness Weekend, Conviction Integrity Unit

25:23 POC Co-Chair Theresa Reid on Promote the Vote 2022 https://promotethevotemi.com/

28:47 Candidate’s Corner 2-minute intros

1:01:40 Candidate Forum: 22nd Circuit Court Judge (Richelew and Slay)

1:39:33 Candidate Forum: 14th State Senate District (Shink and Heck Wood)

Michigan GOP Legislators are Recipients of NRA Gifts                                                             

Six Michigan Republicans in the United States Congress vote against gun control legislation for an obvious reason: They shared $38,607 in donations from the NRA. Michigan Democratic legislators, by contrast, have received no money. The NRA has donated to Representatives Jack Bergman, Bill Huizenga, John Moolenaar and Tim Walberg for three to nine years. (Representatives Peter Meijer and Lisa McClain received a measly $1,000.) And how many would bite the hand that feeds them, even if their vote imperils the lives of Michigan children? 

Good News

NY governor signs law raising age to own semiautomatic rifle            

Monday, Governor Hochul, signed ten public safety-related bills, including one that raises the age from 18 to 21 to own semi-automatic rifles. Now, 18-year-olds cannot own a semi-automatic rifle or handgun but can own shotguns and bolt-action rifles. Some of the other pieces of legislation included requiring microstamping in new firearms, revising the state’s red flag law, and requiring all purchasers of semi-automatic rifles to get a license. Read more

Election Season At a Glance: 

The Washtenaw County Clerk’s webpage enumerates in detail the elections, proposals and candidates to date. A few of the important remaining 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, 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)

Write us at equalityingovinfo@gmail.com if you would like help create our weekly newsletter OR if you would like to be a guest contributor! It’s fun and no ongoing commitment is required.

Visit EqualityInGov.org

A special thanks to our newsletter contributors: Ellen Halter, Leslie McGraw, Leslie Kamil, Lisa Kamil, Richard Gaeth, Susie Ayer, Bette Cotzin, Bernie Banet, and Chuck Newman for their contributions and help preparing our newsletters. PEG is a (somewhat) non-partisan volunteer organization whose mission is to assure that our government will treat all Americans with equality and acceptance. PEG’s work is primarily done by recruiting, educating and nurturing supporters for worthy organizations, actions and events that reflect our beliefs.  To subscribe to this free weekly newsletter, go to our sign up form by clicking here.


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