PEG 12th Congressional District Newsletter 299
Monday, January 16. MLK Day of Service
We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
U-M Memorial Keynote Lecture: Dr. Aletha Maybank, Mr. Edward Buckles, Mr. Jalen Rose, with Moderator, Dr. Earl Lewis
“The (R)evolution of MLK: from Segregation to Elevation,” will explore King’s activism after 1964, highlighting the evolution of King’s primary focus on segregation to a broader, more radical, and revolutionary platform that included health, economics, and education. Artwork by John Rodriquez. Download full program here. Keynote is free and open to the public at Hill Auditorium, 825 N. University Drive or live streamed HERE. 10–11:30 am
EMU MLK President’s Luncheon and Keynote Address
A weekly MUST – Zoom Wednesdays – America At A Crossroads
Zoom the virtual conversation series with the country’s most renowned names in political analysis, journalism, and politics – America At A Crossroads. Guests include Minxin Pei, Larry Diamond, Russian Amb. Michael McFaul, Rep Adam Schiff, and David Brooks, among others. 8-9 pm ET
Saturday, January 21. Senator Jeff Irwin Coffee Hour
Plug into what’s happening in the legislature and in our communities and talk about the issues that most affect you! To receive zoom details please fill out this form by 5:00 PM on 1/21/22: https://senatedems.com/irwin/coffee-hour-sign-up/. 11 am
More Things to do
Everybody can be great because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love. – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Sign the Petition! Stop Appointment of an Anti-Masker as Ottawa County Health Officer!
Who is Nate Kelly? He works at an HVAC company, has masters degrees in health from a for-profit online institution (Columbia Southern University), advocates against masking and social distancing, and promotes unfounded treatments for Covid, including ivermectin. Taking the advice of the far-right group, Ottawa Impact, the newly-elected right-wing majority of the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners has selected him to become the county’s health officer! – Bridge Magazine
Fortunately, there is a vetting process through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services with specific requirements that need to be met. While he apparently has the requisite degrees, he lacks the required experience in public health. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) must review candidates of official health positions.
Furthermore, Doug Zylstra, a Democratic commissioner indicated that “none of this matters” because there is currently a health officer in the position, and the health officer can only be fired for “incompetence, misconduct, or neglect of duty.” The resolution submitted by the commissioners makes no reference to these types of charges. Fox17 News
ACTION ITEM: Sign the petition to Elizabeth Hertel, Director of MDHHS, to state your opposition to the appointment of Nate Kelly
***To access and sign the full petition, click here.
What we need to succeed in 2023
In considering political action in the new year we might be feeling overwhelmed, asking, “Should I stay engaged at that exhausting pace? Or should I quit?”
Striving to immediately act on all of the issues that we are drawn to, with all of their outrage and urgency, we can really burn ourselves out. Sometimes we must disengage to save our own health from the toxicity and tension. But that can be really hard knowing that our absence condones extremist ideologies and contributes to the suffering of our neighbors.
To help us go forward sustainably and with balance we need to figure out which issues are most important to us and focus only on them. Maybe we already know which ones they are. If we’re unsure, the worksheet link above can help us determine what we care most about so we can begin to re-engage in 2023 in a more healthy way. Inviting friends to review it over beverages might be a fun way to share this helpful info.
Unhelpful habits – Reduce or eliminate these and watch hope and energy return.
Doom-scrolling, over-consuming negative media, and arguing with ignorant remarks in comment sections. These things can contribute to feeling overwhelmed and hopeless.
Helpful habits – Practice these and take back power.
Limit social media time, stay out of the comment sections.
Reduce contact with people who: “awfulize” the present, predict bad future outcomes, overly criticize leaders we like, overly celebrate enemies’ misfortunes, overly talk about blame. Are we doing some of these things ourselves?
Do any of these others speak to you?
Connect with community, join an effort, choose fewer issues or take just one action, take breaks to rest, unplug from electronics, listen to the experiences of people of color and other marginalized people, remember you can’t do it all, celebrate small wins. Reflect on who’s doing work you admire and consider joining them.
You *are* cut out for this work. You’re here at this time in history to contribute something meaningful for future generations to enjoy. We’re on the precipice of so much positive change in our country and world. Offering your gifts and experiences can make a real difference. What we all need to succeed this year is you!
Things to read, watch, and listen to
Michigan Daily captures some of the highlights from Vice President Kamala Harris’ Michigan Visit
VP Harris was joined by US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and Governor Whitmer on the stage at Rackham Auditorium. 500 folks from the greater U-M and local community were pulled into a conversation on the state of climate policy, student activism, and environmental justice in Ann Arbor and the United States in general.
Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Henrietta Lacks has the Last Word
A 70-year-old veteran from Roanoke, Virginia, knocked down and subsequently destroyed the Robert E. Lee monument spire in the city’s Lee Plaza in an effort to quell mounting emotions during the nation-wide protests sparked by the state-sanctioned murder of George Floyd in July 2020. A year later, the Roanoke City Council voted unanimously to change Lee Plaza’s name to “Freedom Plaza,” and to commemorate the story and legacy of Henrietta Lacks, a Black Roanoke woman whose cancer cell samples were taken without her consent to be researched, even today, for modern medical breakthroughs.
Have you heard of Henrietta Lacks?
Likely not. She was Black, poor, left school in sixth grade to work the tobacco fields and was dying of cervical cancer in 1951 at The Johns Hopkins Medical Hospital. Following a biopsy, her cell sample did not die but went on to live and replicate at an astounding rate. Named HeLa after her, these cells give life to many, major medical breakthroughs. Was she or her family asked permission to do this? No. Was she given first class medical care? No? Was she discarded? Yes.
Watch the amazing story about the woman who may have saved your life and in death triumphs over racism and health injustice.
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