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PEG 12th Congressional District Newsletter 280

Saturday, September 3, 2022

66 Days until November Midterm Elections!!

Breaking News in Michigan!

Two proposals are probably going to court

A proposal to amend the state constitution to protect abortion rights and as well as a proposal to allow for early voting are almost certainly headed to court, after a state election board on Wednesday failed to place the measures on the November 8 ballot. The Board of State Canvassers is tasked with certifying ballot measures, but split 2-2 along party lines, failing to move forward the Reproductive Freedom for All initiative as well as Promote the Vote, which would allow nine days of early voting, public funding of mass mailing of absentee ballots and continue state law allowing registered voters to cast ballots without ID if they sign an affidavit.

Both Republicans on the board voted against the measures during the eight-hour board meeting Wednesday, despite a recommendation from state staffers to place them for the ballot. More information in coming weeks on this developing story. (Click on the photo to the left for a quick Tik Tok summary from our friends at Distill Social.)



Its very easy to vote absentee!

Here’s how:

1. First, you must be registered to vote – Find out your status 

2. There are two parts to absentee voting. 

  • The application
  • The ballot

If you apply for an absentee ballot, you will receive an APPLICATION for the upcoming election. Some applications cover more than one election. For example, this summer, the application covered both the August primary and the November general election.

3. To get your APPLICATION

4. To get your BALLOT, complete the APPLICATION for every election and return it to your Clerk. You can hand deliver it or send it through the mail. It is always better to hand deliver to avoid postal delays.

5. A certain number of weeks before the election, you will receive the BALLOT in the mail. Then you MARK THE BALLOT, and return the BALLOT to your Clerk. You can hand deliver it or send it through the mail. Again, it’s always better to hand deliver to avoid postal delays.

6. When applying, ask to be added to the permanent absentee ballot list. You should then get the APPLICATIONS automatically. Apply today, don’t wait.

Get Involved:

Events and Classifieds

Wednesday, September 7. How do you decide to whom to give your political donations?

Join Focus For Democracy for a webinar featuring its top two recommendations for gaining the most votes to win key races in November.

A note from the organizers:

With election season officially upon us, you are likely flooded with political fundraising requests and may be unsure of how to prioritize your giving. We hope to make your decision-making easier and enable you to make a larger impact by sharing our research on the most effective, cost-efficient places to invest your election dollars.

At this event, you will learn how, with our support, Working America can produce thousands of democratic votes in key battleground states. We will also be presenting on an exciting new program from Movement Labs that will mobilize many thousands of voters, especially Black, Latino and Asian American voters. After analyzing the data, Focus for Democracy has concluded that they will be able to produce new net votes at exceptionally low costs by running highly effective texting campaigns based on behavioral science and key learnings from recent elections.

NOTE: Please do not share this information on social media, but feel free to share it through email or text to people who will be open to their message. To register click here or at this link: https://tinyurl.com/F4DSept7 and a Zoom link will be emailed to you. When you register they will ask who invited you, and you can state the PEG newsletter.

9/11 Remembered Through Poetry | Booksweet

Saturday, September 10. 9-11 Remembered with PoetryOn the eve of the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, local authors Leslie McGraw, Desirae Simmons, Zig Zag Claybourne, and Karis Barnett will hold space for healing and connection through poetry and prose readings at Booksweet. 2 pm

Read More

Thursday, September 15.  Reproductive Freedom Event with special guest Cecile Richards

Join us for a fundraising event to support Reproductive Freedom for All; the ballot initiative formed by ACLU, Planned Parenthood and Michigan Voices working to enshrine the right to reproductive freedom in the Michigan constitution. The speaker, Cecile Richards, is the former President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Downtown Ann Arbor address available upon RSVP. 5:30 –7 pm

Read More

Thursday, September 15 – Friday, October 14.

Re:Claiming Justice

The RE:CLAIM project is a collective of artists, advocates, and movements builders in the community as a collaborative effort by the Youth Arts Alliance, Interfaith Council for Peace & Justice, Washtenaw My Brother’s Keeper, Amplify Project, and Title Track. Its goal is to re-envision or reclaim a society ruled by equal justice for all. Audio and visual artists and community advocates have created an immersive experience through an installation at the Washtenaw County Courthouse at 101 E. Huron St. Links to register for the three community conversations will be available soon. For more information, see https://www.facebook.com/ReclaimWashtenaw

Evening conversations are 6–8 pm.
Thursday, September 15.
Opening night
Thursday, September 22. “What If We Were All Free”
Friday, September 30. TBA
Friday, October 14. Closing Session in the afternoon.

Tuesday, September 20. Voter Registration DaySAVE the DATE as PEG is a Michigan partner with this digital movement put together by National Voter Registration Day.

Wednesday, September 21. Free Symposium for emerging activists and advocates

The Annual CEW+ Advocacy Symposium returns in person this fall to bring together staff, faculty, students, and community members to create change through introspection, dialogue, and action. (CEW is Center for the Education of Women)

This year’s symposium will feature:

  • Opening Session: Financial Empowerment roundtable discussions and lunch
  • A capstone presentation by outgoing CEW+ Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist, Theresa Anderson, Senior Researcher, Urban Institute. Dr. Anderson’s work explores the networks that Michigan student parents navigate, providing insights on policy and practice changes that would make it easier for parenting students in the state, and specifically in the U-M system, to meet their educational goals. CEW+ will also announce the incoming 2023 CEW+ Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist.
  • Advocacy Workshops designed to showcase a variety of approaches to advocacy.
  • The Awarding of the 2022 Carol Hollenshead Inspire Award for Excellence in Promoting Equity and Social Change. Awardees will present lightning talks and participate in a panel discussion.
  • The Christobel Kotelawela Weerasinghe Lecture, “From Protests to Policy Reforms: Advancing Gender Equality in a Complex, Multi-ethnic and Multi-Religious Nigeria,” presented by Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, founding Director of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center and executive board member of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding and the Nigerian Women’s Trust Fund. Dr. Akiyode-Afolabi is a professor, lawyer, and civil rights activist whose work is focused on maternal and reproductive health advocacy, gender-based violence, social justice, and the underrepresentation of women in governance.

This Symposium is free and open to all activists, advocates, and allies in the local community. Michigan League, 911 N University Ave 48109. Click HERE to RSVP.  Noon–6 pm

Washtenaw Dems need our help!

With so much at stake—reproductive rights, voting rights, racial justice, fair economy, our environment, gun safety—there’s a lot work to do. Democratic voting falls off for midterm elections, something we can’t allow to happen in this crucial one. Here are the opportunities to get involved, from now to Election Day.

Voter Guide distribution, September 15–30: This is the all-hands-on-deck effort. We’ll be distributing 70,000 guides in two weeks. The guides are important, because there will be many ways to vote our Democratic Party values apart from candidates with “Democratic” next to their names. People welcome the guide, particularly in races where they might otherwise lack information. This is also a door-to-door no-knock activity.

Ballot chase/Get Out the Vote, September 30–November 8: We’ll be using text, phone, and e-mail to encourage people who’ve received but not yet cast their ballots to vote. We’ll also make sure that they get an electronic version of the voter guide. 

eVoter Guide, November 1–November 8: We’ll use text, phone, and e-mail to make sure that our voters who are not on the PAV list have the Voter Guide soon before they head to the polls.

Distributing information at polls, November 8.  Additional info is available on the WCDP website. Please indicate which volunteer opportunities you might be able to help out with by completing their Volunteer Interest Form. It’s not a binding commitment, but it would be great to know who is thinking about which activities. (And remember: Voter Guide distribution is an all-hands-on!)

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

More ACTION items and things to read, watch, and listen to

What is a False Flag operation?

Disinformation Week 3 of 5: Learn how to spot and counter manipulation.

A false flag is a trick of blaming an opponent for something you’ve done. – BBC

The term was first used to describe how pirates flew the flag of a friendly nation to deceive merchant ships into allowing them to draw near. Nations have often done this by staging a real or simulated attack on their own side and saying the enemy did it, as a pretext for going to war.



A more formal False Flag operation definition

Example:

  • Alex Jones claimed that the massacre of schoolchildren at Sandy Hook Elementary was a “false flag” intended to generate support for gun control, and that the families mourning their children were “crisis actors” in on the “giant hoax.” Jones has now been punished for the harm those lies caused: A Texas jury ordered him to pay nearly $50 million to the parents of one of the young victims for compounding their pain and suffering. – Washington Post
  • Trump posted a suggestion that the FBI could have planted evidence. His legal team had already been suggesting the same thing. Alina Habba, a Trump lawyer said on Fox: “I’m concerned that they may have planted something; you know, at this point, who knows?” Rand Paul (R-KY) echoed this question, wondering on Fox how we know “they won’t put things into those boxes to entrap him.” Fox host Jesse Watters said the FBI was “probably” planting evidence. – CNN

Countering False Flags

Use humor and ridicule. George Lakoff, who studies propaganda, calls this a “truth sandwich” — a lie gets sandwiched between true statements. Research shows it effectively corrects a falsehood, because people tend to remember the beginning and end of a statement, rather than what’s in the middle.

Mr. Trump’s resistance to masks is also a target for a derisive truth sandwich: “Wearing a mask is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus. But you sure wouldn’t know it from the president, who has run around in public without one and mocks people like me who wear them. Is it vanity or that he just doesn’t believe in science? I don’t know, but the science is undisputed: wearing masks saves lives.” – NYT

Thanks to DemCast USA. Adapted from their BULLSH!T METER Mar-a-Lago quiz HERE

Bridges over Troubled Waters

The toxic spill of hexavalent chromium from Tribar Manufacturing in July into the Huron River is just the most recent example of the danger to Michigan drinking water and safe water for wildlife and recreation. Some of Ann Arbor’s favorite end of the summer water activities have been canceled due to the pollution in the Huron River. As the Michigan Resistance and Clear Water Action have pointed out, spills like this happen throughout our state, costing the Michigan government, the taxpayers, literally tens of millions of dollars to mitigate the damage done by these corporate polluters.

Background

Prior to 1995, Michigan had the strongest “polluter pay” law in the country. But, in 1995, the administration of former Governor John Engler, supported by the GOP-led Michigan House and State Senate, gutted the polluter pay law, and funding for environmental cleanups and Michigan has suffered ever since. Since 1995, Michigan taxpayers have been financially responsible for cleaning up sites that are contaminated by corporate polluters. Every year since 2017, Senator Jeff Irwin and Representative Yousef Rabhi have introduced bills in the State Legislature to reinstate a strong polluter pay law for Michigan. These bills have never made it out of committee for even one hearing.

HB4314 – Polluter Pay Laws 

Polluter Pay Laws would hold companies accountable for their actions and give them a financial incentive to minimize use of toxic pollutants, provide treatments for pollution generated by their business model and invest in cleaner technologies. 

Businesses that use these toxic chemicals need powerful motivation to see them for what they are: potentially life-threatening to a business, community and ecosystem. 

Action Needed – Support Passage of HB4314 – Reinstate Polluter Pay Laws in Michigan

Call these members on the House Committee of Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation. 

Rep. Gary Howell (R-82)

(517) 373-1800

GaryHowell@house.mi.gov

Rep. David Martin (R-48)

(517) 373-7557

DavidMartin@house.mi.gov

Rep. Gregory Markkanen (R-110)

(517) 373-0850

GregMarkkanen@house.mi.gov

Script for calling Representatives & Senators:

Hello, I am calling to urge Representative ______ to support HB 4314 to reinstate Polluter Pay laws for Michigan. The recent pollution event on the Huron River is

yet another example of why Michigan needs to hold businesses accountable for the pollution they produce. Polluter Pay laws would provide an incentive for those businesses that continue to use dangerous chemicals to minimize the generation of toxic pollutants, provide treatments for pollution generated by their business model and invest in cleaner technologies. Support HB 4314 and reinstate Polluter Pay laws for Michigan. 

Work with Voters Not Politicians (VNP) to Defeat the Election Deniers!

VNP has formed a Super Pac to defeat “election deniers” in November. According to Bridge Magazine, the PAC aims to help elect “pro-voter” candidates who support election integrity and “the freedom to vote” in the state, the press release states. It is an independent group which is not allowed to communicate with or give money to a candidate. However, the Super PAC is permitted to endorse candidates. In that effort, the campaign has sent out questionnaires to state legislative candidates, and Voters Not Politicians will endorse “pro-voter” candidates based on their answers, regardless of their party affiliations. 

VNP has further organized itself with several subgroups to tackle a variety of issues. They include:

  • The Nights and Weekends campaign is to increase access to voting, especially in areas of light turnout. They collaborate with local clerks and municipalities to increase the hours and locations voters can register to vote, obtain an absentee ballot, and vote. This is a municipality-by-municipality project that relies on hundreds of VNP volunteer teams to meet with and support their local clerk.
  •  Voter Outreach Project focuses heavily on high impact communities across southeast Michigan this year including Detroit, Pontiac Melvindale, Ecorse, River Rouge, Inkster and Flint. Their goal is to mobilize voters who voted in the 2020 election but do not have a voting history in midterm elections. Keep a lookout on “mobilize” on their events page.
  •  Dial for Democracy” – Volunteers receive exclusive alerts when it’s time to call lawmakers on legislation or decisions that impact Michigan’s democracy.
  • Bridge Magazine reports that VNP indicates it has 5,000 “organized, highly trained” volunteers to boost voter turnout with “canvassing, texting, phones and paid media.”They will focus on knocking 300,000 doors to engage voters and mail and digital ads are “on the table.”

More help is needed to defeat election deniers! To volunteer with VNP, go to VotersNotPoliticians.com to sign up.

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?To vote absentee, a request must be received no later than 5 pm the Friday before the election. The ballot must then be returned by 8 pm on Election Day
.November 8 – State General Election What are the voter registration deadlines?Visit MichiganGov/Vote to register
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, 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.


DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.


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