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PEG 6th Congressional District Newsletter 308

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Michigan Democratic State Representatives rush to reform

Michigan Democratic legislators, empowered with a majority in both state houses for the first time in forty years, are scurrying to undo Republican legislation they consider damaging. Most importantly, they repealed a “right-to-work” law which weakened labor unions, an act Republicans predicted would hurt Michigan’s economy. Additionally, they voted to protect the civil rights of LGBTQ people and expand background checks for purchases of guns.

These reforms are possible only because Democrats in Michigan won a trifecta—control of both state houses and the governor’s office. The rush to reform is on as all the legislators realize this trifecta might be short lived, only until the next election in two years.

“Ours is the first generation that recognizes the fact that we are destroying the planet and the last generation that can save it”

That’s the assessment of Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and UN high commissioner for human Rights and climate justice champion.

Recently Mike and Steve Newman, respected climate activists, spoke on what we must do if we are going to save the planet. They observed that the climate we have today is the best we’re going to have in our lifetime. This was mentioned last Sunday’s on Chuck Newman’s Conversations where they concluded that enough people will not adopt a truly meaningful green lifestyle (are you going give up air travel? I’m not.), and if they did, while helpful, it still wouldn’t be sufficient to save the planet. Nor can we expect corporations to do so if it isn’t in their economic interest to do so. However they were optimistic the potential impact of new technologies and approaches to reducing emissions, whether it be in producing steel and concrete or producing an abundance of cheap green energy which will allow us to electrify our economy, produce green hydrogen for those applications that cannot be electrified, like air travel, and produce copious amounts of clean water and restoring our lakes and rivers. 

One of the biggest impediments to achieving these benefits NOW when they are so sorely needed, are the delays caused by red tape and bureaucracy at the local and state level. Many worthy projects such as solar or wind farms are delayed by the lack of local citizen advocacy in the face of the “not in my backyard constituency.” Our advocating for sensible green initiatives in our community now can make a huge difference in saving our planet. To learn more, view the recording of Mike and Steve’s appearance on Conversations by clicking here.

Government sanctions of LGBT Community

Amy Churchill, director of the Lapeer District Library, is facing the possibility of criminal charges from a conservative county prosecutor, John Miller, in a fight over an LGBTQ-themed book. The book that has generated this controversy is “Gender Queer: A Memoir,”  a story of the author’s coming of age as nonbinary, and includes illustrations of sex acts.  According to PEN America, a group that advocates for writers, and the American Library Association, this was the most banned book in school libraries in 2022. Miller believes that the book’s availability to youth could meet the bar for a crime in Michigan, criminal code — 750.145a,  because, to him, the book “entices” underage teens to engage in sex acts. Time will tell regarding Miller’s future actions.  To date, the book remains in the library.

In early March, Rep. Neil Friske, R-Charlevoix introduced House Bill 4136. “This bill does not ban libraries from having specific books or genres of books, nor does it discriminate against any individuals,” he said. “The bill simply places content containing things like pornographic images to an area of the library reserved specifically for adults.

According to Debbie Mikula, executive director of the nonprofit organization Michigan Library Association, public libraries cannot buy materials legally considered obscene.

Georgia is considering a bill that would allow school librarians to be charged criminally for objectionable books, as is Indiana, Texas and Wyoming.

Related stories on defunding libraries in Michigan, raising money to keep the libraries open can be found at Bridge Michigan and on the anti-trans laws and rhetoric in this weeks’ PEG.

Anti-trans rhetoric and now policy

New Anti-trans/LGBTQ laws from Florida to Tennessee, Oklahoma to Arkansas have been going on for a while. And now it seems to be the attitude of a larger swath of the Republican party as Anti-trans rhetoric took center stage at CPAC under the guise of protecting children. While many minorities have become targets of increasingly more vocal and violent forms of hate and discrimination, the Transgender community is the test case for government-sponsored hatred and bigotry. 

Per Robert Hubbell, at CPAC ‘one conservative radio host [said,] “transgenderism must be eradicated from public life entirely.” See Rolling StoneCPAC Speaker Calls for Eradication of ‘Transgenderism’ — and Somehow Claims He’s Not Calling for Elimination of Transgender People.’ 

Hubbell continues, “[It is appropriate to pause here and reflect on how closely the speaker’s words came to a call for the eradication of transgender people. For everyone who is exhausted by the fight or unwilling to support the transgender community, the call for “eradication” should be the clarion signal that if we do not stop the hate against the transgender community, similar calls against the broader LGBTQ community will be next, followed by other religious, ethnic, and racial groups that have been the traditional targets of white supremacists. We must draw the line here.]”  This is now about policy, not rhetoricRead Ezra Klein for more

Michigan has a silver lining. Last week, [the] Michigan Senate passe[d]

And LGBTQ advocacy groups are applauding the Biden administration for rolling back a Trump-era rule that they say encouraged discrimination on college campuses.“

Learn about some of the Anti-trans legis

Act Now!! 4 simple actions to help stop LGBTQ sanctions


  • Attend meetings
  • Recruit/retain good board members
  • Work on campaigns of good board members
  • VOTE

WRITE/EMAIL/CALL your legislators to condemn attacks on Transgender Americans

SIGN the National Education Association’s (NEA) petition and pledge to tell politicians to stop banning books.

CONTACT family and friends in states that do not allow free education and have them contact their legislators

Events and (More) Things do

Saturday, March 25. Meet Rep. Jimmie Wilson Jr. for Coffee

State Representative Jimmie Wilson Jr, who represents Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township, is holding his next coffee hour on March 25th at 11:00am at the Ypsilanti District Library-Main Branch. There is a virtual option available. Please complete this form to register. 

Saturday, April 1. Community Violence Intervention

Gun violence has become the leading cause of death for children and teenagers in this country. The Washtenaw Dems April General Meeting will focus on Community Violence Intervention (CVI) and our approach in Washtenaw County to preventing gun violence in our cities and townships and saving young lives. Hybrid program. In-person attendees: The Washtenaw County Learning Resource Center (LRC) is at 4135 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, 48108. Social hour with coffee and snacks begins at 9:15 am. Virtual attendees: Zoom link here. Program begins at 9:45 am.

Help Michigan Resistance make calls

They will be calling constituents to ask Michiganders to call their senators and representatives to support common sense gun legislation bills over the next few weeks. If you’re interested in helping, text Terryl Sperlich at 810-516-0923 and tell her A2D2 sent you. Ann Arbor inDivisible for Democracy

Voice Your Opinions and Concerns – It’s Easy to Email your Representative

The Democracy Labs provides information on how to determine and contact your state representative to voice your opinion/concerns. There is even an email for you to copy and send.

Visit the PEG Events Page for all upcoming events at www.equalityingov.org/events!

Things to read, watch, and listen to

Warning Signs At Silicon Valley Bank May Have Been Missed Because Of Trump Era Stress Test Relaxations

Thanks to all those politicians and bank lobbyists who fought hard to lower risk management requirements for banks under $250 billion assets, Silicon Valley Bank was not required to disclose how much it had in high quality liquid assets to help it cover net cash outflows in a period of stress. Part of the Basel III definition of stress certainly includes testing fleeing deposits. These regulatory changes were signed into law by President Trump in 2018 as part of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, which eased requirements put in place in the aftermath of the 2008 Financial Crisis under Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Protection Act. Learn more HERE. – Forbes

Women in American History

Enjoy these streaming documentaries illuminating the lives and accomplishments of American women throughout history. Click HERE to watch the free videos.

  • Zora Neale Hurston: Claiming a SpaceThe VoteThe CodebreakerVoice of Freedom

Thanks to PBS’s American Experience

Escape Your 24 hr. news cycle—Go to a Museum!

According to columnist David Brooks when the world of politics becomes overwhelming “he flees to the arts.” And how do the arts help him escape?

  • First, he surmises that beauty can change our rhythms, even “startle” us, forcing us to slow down, breath and escape our biases; to see the world in a less judgmental way.
  • Second, artworks create new experiences that can expand our ability to share the emotions of others- “emotional knowledge.” 
  • Third, art enables us to experience the world through the eyes of another, heightening our understanding of “universal suffering.” 

He suggests the act of visiting a museum helps us “kick our political addictions,” move us into a different mindset, unleash our imaginations and lift our spirits, letting us escape, even if just for a short time, the angst and frustrations of the daily political grind. Images stay with us beyond the visit. He refers to Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks, a symbol of both despair and hope.  NY Times

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: Lisa Kamil, Richard Gaeth, Bette Cotzin, Bernie Banet, Linda Bennett, Kayla Conrad, Ellen Halter, Leslie McGraw, Leslie Kamil, 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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