We Are Fighting for Our Freedom

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PEG 12th Congressional District Newsletter 288

Organizations Fighting for your Freedom

How do you ensure support for Proposal 3, which protects women from government mandated forced birth?

Invite folks to a free movie and show them how they can help!

Distill Social hosted a free advance screening of the new motion picture, Call Jane, based on the inspiring story of the women in Chicago who organized to help those who needed abortions. An enthusiastic crowd of 600 enjoyed the movie and learned how to reach out to other voters, talking to volunteers from the Reproductive Freedom for All campaign (Prop 3), and Promote the Vote (Prop 2).

Distill also hosted RiseFree.org, a student group working to encourage voting on campus with their BallotReady nonpartisan voting guide, and Red Wine and Blue whose Rally Your Squad campaign supports reaching out to our friends, which will be crucial for both Reproductive Freedom and Promote the Vote, and ask for their vote.

An afterglow with adult beverages was well received, and the audience went home ready to roll. 

As we celebrate the success of the October 24th event, we are also celebrating the success of these amazing groups coming together to support it with information and action steps for reproductive and citizen rights. They are the following:

  • Protectors of Equality in Government (PEG), founded by Chuck Newman, is a group of concerned citizens who banded together in the wake of the Trump “election” in 2016. We believe that information is power and share the power of good information, connect with local activists, and encourage each other reach out and directly contact our lawmakers.
  • Distill Social, a Michigan-based non-profit, is dedicated to restoring truth to our media, all of which, both liberal and conservative, is biased towards corporate interests. Through their website they offer opportunities for citizens to join their fight.
  • Reclaim, a non-profit, was launched by Renee Chelian, based on her recognition that a commitment to abortion requires ongoing advocacy and public education regarding reproductive health and rights. Its work is premised on the belief that women, not government, should have the power to determine their own reproduction.
  • Rise, founded in 2014 to fight for equal rights for survivors of sexual assault, has evolved a curriculum, Hopeanomics, for fighting for democratic change. This aptly named guide empowers citizens to fight for social change.
  • Reproductive Freedom for All is the Michigan organization fighting for the passage of Proposition 3, which would guarantee reproductive rights for the women of our state. It will restore the rights once protected by Roe v. Wade and ensure that Michigan women will determine their own reproductive future, and will have access to immediate health care if suffering from a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.
  • Fems for Democracy and Red Wine and Blue, both activist and feminist organizations, are collaborating to fight for their shared goals: winning the vote for reproductive and voting rights propositions (Prop 2 and Prop 3).
  • Voters Not Politicians is an organization focused on promoting the vote in Michigan in order to restore political power to its citizens. In these weeks prior to the midterm election, their fight is coalescing on the Promote the Vote 2022 initiative (Proposition 2) which will modernize our elections as well as keeping them accessible and fair.
  •  The League of Women Voters, founded in 1920, is a national and non-partisan organization which works to empower all voters and defend our democracy through advocacy, education, and litigation.

Get Your Prop 2 and Prop 3 Yard Signs

Get these beauties at the campaign office at 2500 Packard, Suite 101A (park and enter at back of building), Ann Arbor, MI 48104. They are open 2–4 pm on weekdays and 10 am–3 pm on the weekend. Be sure to call first to make sure they have some in stock because they are going fast! Phone: (734) 660-8954

There is still time to Get Involved in the November Elections

The Most Memorable Volunteer Experience

by Ellen K. Halter, PEG Contributor

As a white, progressive woman, I want to share with you the most memorable volunteer experience I’ve had to date.

In October 2008, my husband and I became Democratic Challengers in the forthcoming November election, Barack Obama’s first. Many details of that experience are lost to me now, though I do remember going to the elegant University of Michigan law library where volunteer lawyers provided training. We were given thick manuals, which we brought home and studied.

I won’t lie to you. We spent many boring hours while we and the Republican challenger floated around our assigned Romulus poll. As the district was 98% Democratic and African American, her job was to challenge the registrations of as many Democratic voters as possible; our job was to defend their right to vote. In point of fact, she challenged only a few, and generally, those few were given provisional ballots. (That meant in the event of an extremely close election, the legitimacy of those votes would be examined in detail, and if cleared, would be counted.)

It’s the inspiring part I want to share with you. Before 7 am on a cold and rainy election day, we drove up to the school hosting our poll district and were greeted by a line of African American voters snaking out the door and around the playground. These fourteen years later, this memory brings tears to my eyes. All that boring day, when we and the poll workers went about our business, I grew teary-eyed whenever thinking that Obama was likely to win and how joyous these voters would be.

If you’re the type of person who cares about our democracy, I encourage you to become a challenger and help ensure the fairness of our elections. Above all, if you’re the type of person who likes viewing the flowers in other people’s gardens, I encourage you to become a challenger and obtain that unique perspective.

Also known as voter protection volunteers, Election Challengers are appointed by the Democratic party to ensure that every eligible voter gets to vote. If challengers believe the election law is not being followed and a voter is unfairly disenfranchised, they have the right to challenge the actions of poll workers.

If you are a registered voter and think you’d like to become an election challenger, here are the requisite steps to attaining that status.

  • First, you must liberate your time and energy on election day by voting absentee. For a link to an application for absentee voting, click here. The last day to request an absentee ballot is November 4.
  • Second, you must attend a training session. The next Election Day Poll Challenger training is Tuesday, November 1st at 7:00-8:00 p.m. 
  • Third, you must submit this form.

From MI Dem Voter Protection: Poll Challengers serve as the eyes and ears on the ground at polling locations on Election Day. They observe the process and report voting issues to our team of lawyers, working with election officials to make sure voters can cast a ballot that counts. Our Challengers never challenge voters; rather, they advocate for voters. Visit MI Dems for other trainings and opportunities. If you think you might like to sign-up, watch the 5 min Election Worker Intro video to learn about the responsibilities of working as election inspector in Michigan, and about the eligibility requirements for serving. Then select the “Next” button to complete your sign-up form. (If you have already signed up through Democracy MVP, you do not need to sign up again.)

You can also apply in-person at any local clerk’s office in Michigan, not just your own. Locate a local clerk by county HERE. Once you’ve applied please wait for a local clerk to contact you. In order to serve as an election inspector in Michigan, you must be officially hired and trained by an election clerk’s office. If you have questions about your application status, rate of pay, training schedule, or placement please contact the election clerk’s office where you applied.

Volunteer. Vote. Then Volunteer some more.

Voters Not Politicians                                                               

Particularly crucial is Proposition 2, a ballot proposal also known as Promote the Vote, which provides safeguards to the electoral process. It will put significant voting rights directly into the Michigan Constitution, thereby enhancing the integrity of our elections and protecting the vote of every eligible Michigan voter.

We must promote Proposition 2 by canvassing at every opportunity. Promote the Vote is in desperate need of more volunteers. If you are interested in contributing to this effort, please go to votersnotpoliticians.com/volunteer. Remember, those who wish to suppress the vote haven’t lost time, going on the street and airwaves with outright lies. We must counteract their duplicity.

If you would like to be nonpartisan Poll ChallengerSign up here!

One Campaign For Michigan                                                                                

Another avenue for volunteerism is through the ONE Campaign for Michigan. On their website, you can sign up to talk to voters both about the two vital propositions (Promote the Vote and Reproductive Rights) and a wonderful slate of Democratic candidates, most notably, of course, Governor Whitmer and Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist, both running for reelection. If you sign up to campaign and you’re nervous about calling strangers, never fear. You’ll receive training on phone-banking with an expert over Zoom.


If you wish to volunteer in the safety of your own home, you can do so through the website, DemCast.com. Describing themselves as a “digital movement,” they and their army of volunteers are dedicated to opposing the GOP’s network of lies on social media. DemCast uses Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to message the truth. You can join this effort by going to their website.

Pre-Processing Observers Needed! 

Help monitor absentee ballot pre-processing activities prior to Election Day this year. In light of strong GOP and “Big Lie” scrutiny of this process, we are taking nothing for granted and intend to keep a watchful eye throughout. Click the button to complete the 2022 General Election Absentee Ballot Pre-Processing Observer Availability Form. 

Complete Form Here

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

Things to do, read, watch, and listen to

Michigan Voter Information Center

All you need is right here: https://mvic.sos.state.mi.us/

New Voting Resources

Do you know where your Ballot Dropbox is??

With Election Day only 11 days away, the best way to insure your ballot is received by 8 PM on that day is by delivering it to your city/township clerk’s office or dropbox. Do you know where your dropbox is?? Ballots should be deposited in the city or township where you live. There is an excellent website here with pictures of every Ballot Dropbox in Washtenaw County. Along with the pictures, there is additional valuable information, such as:

Clerk’s name, office address, contact information and office hours. Additional sites for voting/registration. Office hours for registration or change of address prior to ElectionAdditional information, e.g., deadlines for requesting an absentee ballot, deadlines to register to vote, etc. Other information might include when there is Election Day Line Tracker so you can check the number of people waiting in line to vote. Note that Sylvan Township indicates the Google Maps shows an incorrect location; need to Google “Sylvan Township Hall.”The Michigan Secretary of State’s office has a Voter Information Center with extension information here. Included is a site to track your absentee ballot. And head to “Registering to Vote with 14 Days of Election” if you have not yet registered.

Voting Corner

This month, PEG’s Leslie McGraw launched the Elbert Williams Voting Corner, inspired by on her great-grand uncle and NAACP officer who was kidnapped by the town Sheriff and led into a mob in 1940 Tennessee after word was leaked that he was seen “on the corner” planning a NAACP meeting to help folks register to vote. This evolving digital “corner” with how-to’s, civics, testimonials from new and returning voters, and GOTV resources is for everyone, but especially for new, returning, and/or disenfranchised voters and folks wanting to join in the fight against disinformation and voter suppression targeting black voters.

Be sure college students know how to vote!

College students who are US citizens have two choices:

Register to vote using your student address or register using your permanent home address. Go to https://www.govote.umich.edu/ to register! What’s on the ballot? Check out the ballots at BallotReady.org or vote411.orgMLive reviewed how students at UM, EMU and MSU can vote.

And check out the UMMA (UM Museum of Art) for their efforts on registering students “Vote 2022: Midterms Matter.”

MI Voter – Check out and share this short video 

mivoter.org instantly provides all the info you need to cast an informed vote. Go to the landing page, enter the name, birthday, and zip code you used when you registered to vote, and magically the Democratic Party’s recommendations for your specific ballot will pop up. You can then use the list to fill out your ballot or click on the links to get more in-depth info on the candidates and issues. For more information, go to miVoter.org and click on FAQ.

Download and share these informative graphics!

Kudos to the Calhoun County Dems (Prop 3) and the Ann Arbor Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (Prop 2) for these easy-to-share infographics for Instagram, email, or wherever you like to share information online.

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.

November 8 – State General Election

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.

What are the voting deadlines?

  • Today through 8 pm on November 8: In-person registration with local clerk with proof of residency. (168.497)
  • November 4: Last day to request an absentee ballot (by 5pm)
  • November 7: Last day to pick up an absentee ballot at the clerk’s office

Voter Protection Hotline

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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We have a lot to be thankful for

About  ·  Endorsements  ·  Volunteer Opportunities  ·  Newsletters  ·  Resources  ·  Events  ·  Highlight We have so much to be grateful for this year

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