Protectors of Equality in Government

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PEG 6th Congressional District Newsletter 303

Trivia: What is this?

What Is This?
See answer at the end of the newsletter**


Sunday, February 12. Phil Zazove’s story will make you believe that all things in life are possible.

On Conversations (this Sunday at 4 pm ET), Chuck Newman will interview Philip Zazove, MD. Born almost totally deaf, he has spent his entire life beating the odds and discrimination. Among his many achievements, he made the Northwestern University football team as a walk-on, became a respected a well-loved doctor and recently retired as the Chair of the UM Family Medicine Department. They will discuss how he excelled, despite being deaf, and get his assessment of how patient care and outcomes can be improved. Register in advance for the show here. 4 pm

Friday February 10. How To Be – And Raise – An Antiracist

One of America’s leading voices in the struggle for racial equity and social justice, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, MacArthur Fellow, National Book Award winner, #1 New York Times bestselling author and founder of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University. Register HERE. 6–7:30 pm

Thursday February 16, Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Tour of The Universe

Neil deGrasse Tyson will discuss The Cosmic Perspective. There is no view of the world as emotionally potent. It sees Earth as a planet in a vast empty universe and profoundly influences what we think and feel about science, culture, politics, and life itself. Register HERE. 7-8:30 pm

Wednesday February 22, Isabel Wilkerson: Presumed Superiority

Wilkerson will discuss the enduring potency of such hierarchies of human value; America’s unacknowledged system of rigid, inherited social stratification and its parallels in India and Nazi Germany, which mimicked America’s race laws in its early approaches to the “Jewish Problem.” Register HERE. 6:30-7:45pm

Ongoing through April 30, Art Exhibition: Jon Onye Lockard

The founding faculty member of the Department of Afro-American and African Studies at UM, John Onye Lockard had a career that spanned more than a half-century of painting, teaching, mentoring, and exhibiting. On loan from the African American Cultural and Historical Museum of Washtenaw County, the exhibit of John Onye Lockard’s work is on view in the Social Hall now through April. More info here. Monday thru Friday, 9 am–5 pm

Very Good News

Ann Arbor’s Perfect Score on the Municipal Equality Index

The MEI, which measures a city’s LGBTQ+ anti-discrimination laws, hate crimes and policies, gave Ann Arbor a perfect score. As Ann Arbor’s mayor, Christopher Taylor, asserted on his Facebook page, “At City Hall we fly the flag with Pride.”

Detroit and Ferndale also received perfect scores, reflecting Southeast Michigan’s exceptional tolerance for diversity.

Things to do, read, watch, and listen to

Why do Democrats do what they do? 

What legislators do is a reflection of the values those legislators hold. As we look at –and anticipate—what a legislator does, we can make valid assumptions about their values.

Over the years since the Great Depression of the 1930’s, Democrats have built government 

Programs that are now fundamental to our society—public education, fair labor standards, affordable health care, income security for most of the elderly and disabled, civil rights, voting rights, and many more. Why do Democrats focus on these programs? 

The answer lies in the values and beliefs that Democrats hold. These are found in the Democratic Creed—in our role as government, Democrats believe that we have a responsibility to secure Freedom, Justice, and Opportunity for all in equal measure. Social Security, Medicare, public education, organized labor, environmental protection, free and fair elections, civil rights, and voting rights – all these programs are strongly promoted and defended by Democrats because they have the responsibility to do so. That is the heart of the Democratic Creed. 

When someone hears the word “Democrat”, the phrase “Freedom, Justice, and Opportunity for all” should come to mind. When a Democrat promotes governmental protection of personal rights, income security, public education, accessible health care, fair and living wages, clean air, and water, public transportation, safe working conditions, racial, sexual, and gender equality, everyone should think, “Of course, they’re a Democrat, and they’re for Freedom, Justice, and Opportunity for all.” 

Bryan Watson is a Michigan board member of the Democrats 101 organization. He can be reached at Kayla Conrad is a member of Democrats 101. She can be reached at 

We only need 159 more signatures to protect Ottawa County!

ACTION ITEM: Sign the petition to Elizabeth Hertel, Director of MDHHS, to state your opposition to the appointment of Nate Kelly as Administrative Health Officer of the Ottawa County Department of Public Health. He advocates against widely accepted and scientifically sound COVID-19 mitigations and medical practices. For more info and to sign the petition, click here.

Earthquake in Turkey and Syria

The images of devastation in Turkey and Syria from the massive earthquake are shocking. Although the death toll had passed 11,000 on Wednesday, it is difficult to believe that it will not continue to climb. The New York Times has published a list of charitable and relief organizations, here: Earthquake Relief. Thanks to Robert B. Hubbell’s Today’s Edition.

The 1619 Project Docuseries on Hulu

Hulu’s six-part 1619 Docuseries is an expansion of “The 1619 Project” created by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and the New York Times Magazine. The series seeks to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of our national narrative. To subscribe to Hulu, click here. There is a one-month free trial available!

U.S. and the Holocaust Series on PBS through DPTV Passport

The “U.S. and the Holocaust” by Ken Burns is a three-part, six-hour series that examines America’s response to the Holocaust through testimony of witnesses and survivors who as children endured persecution, violence and flight as their families tried to escape Hitler. With public indifference, bureaucratic red tape and restrictive quota laws, the United States proved unwilling to open its doors to more than a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of desperate people seeking refuge. A subscription to DPTV requires an annual donation of $60 or more. The series is available on-line here or through Amazon at $6.99 per episode.

In Case You Missed it

ICYMI – Washtenaw County Dems February Meeting: Breaking Down Barriers

This discussion and panel touched on many topics relevant to Michiganders and local residents including police-related legislation, representation, housing, and mental health.

**What Is This? The Answer: It’s a Guitar Made From Decommissioned Guns!

Disarm Guitar, Pedro Reyes 2018 made from decommissioned guns, metal and string, 

 (©Pedro Reyes, photo by Fiona Tommasi)

Mexican artist Pedro Reyes confronts gun violence and nuclear power through sculpture, print, performance, and video. His large-scale, interactive sculptural projects are celebrated as arresting solutions to social problems. His current show entitled Direct Action is set in a mining town in Santa Fe. 

“Sculpture is about changing the shape of a material, and in social sculpture, the materials are the ideas and relationships of a community.” Hyperallergic

The selection of the site is not accidental. Reyes’s interest in global disarmament reflects New Mexico’s history of mining and uranium extraction and is home to the largest repository of nuclear weapons in the country (-Albuquerque Journal). Reyes wants to contrast the moniker “Land of Enchantment” with what lies deep below the surface, making us think about the relationship of something as innocent/playful as a guitar and what it represents beyond the piece itself.

The show is called DIRECT ACTION because it is a participatory process involving Albuquerque high school students who weld sculptures from decommissioned gun parts sourced from local gun buy-back programs. Proceeds from the sale of pieces in the exhibition (including Disarm Guitar) benefit New Mexico’s Prevent Gun Violence Programs.

Write us at 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.


A special thanks to our newsletter contributors: Ellen Halter, Leslie McGraw, Leslie Kamil, Lisa Kamil, Richard Gaeth, Bette Cotzin, Bernie Banet, Linda Bennett, Kayla Conrad, and Chuck Newman for their contributions and help preparing our newsletters. And, a special shout out goes to Bryan Watson for co-writing the two-part segment on Democracy 101!

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.

Protectors of Equality in Government | 310 S. Division Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48103

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