Let’s Celebrate as we push ahead

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PEG 6th Congressional District Newsletter 316 Thursday, May 11, 2023

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Ann Arbor’s First Climate Change Teach-In

On Sunday, May 7, the first annual Climate Change Teach-In was held in Genesis, the building owned jointly by St. Clare of Assissi Episcopal Church and Temple Beth Emeth. (In addition, six other congregations sponsored the event.) Ann Arbor’s mayor, Chris Taylor, gave a keynote speech, focused on his city’s commitment to combat climate change. (To read about Ann Arbor’s plan for climate action, see our Good News section.) Over two hundred people attended this conference, inspired by the tradition of the sixties anti-war teach-ins whose purpose was as much advocacy as education. As its website states, “It’s about community building and creating momentum for action.” To that end, local climate and advocacy organizations showed up, distributing literature and sign-up sheets. 

The Teach-In included break-out groups on Local Advocacy, Climate justice and How to Eat Green. It concluded with a talk by University of Michigan Professor, Shelie Miller, Director of the Program in the Environment, and the Jonathan W. Bulkley Collegiate Professor of Sustainable Systems. Acknowledging the difficulty of altering deeply ingrained lifestyle choices, she called for change as well. See more photos here!

Bail a Michigan Mom Out for Mother’s Day

The Michigan Liberation organization has been working towards bail reform and advocating for criminal justice reform in Michigan. One of their initiatives is the “Mom Bail Out,” which aims to raise funds to bail out mothers who are incarcerated and separated from their families on Mother’s Day. This initiative is part of a larger effort to bring attention to the harm that the cash bail system causes, particularly to marginalized communities. Michigan Liberation is working to create a more just and equitable criminal justice system for all. Find out more here.


May 11. A Conversation About the School to Prison Pipeline

Join Ann Arbor School Board President, Jacinda Townsend Gides, and Washtenaw County Sheriff Candidate, Alyshia Dyer, at York to talk about the school to prison pipeline, and solutions for reducing harm for children in our community. York Ann Arbor, 1928 Packard St, Ann Arbor. As this is a hybrid event, you can tune in to the online option here. 6–7:30 pm

May 6-12. Nurse Appreciation Week

This week is an opportunity to recognize and appreciate the hard work and dedication of nurses across the country. Nurses play a vital role in the healthcare system, providing care and support to patients and their families. They work tirelessly to ensure that patients receive the best possible care, often going above and beyond the call of duty. During Nurse Appreciation Week, it is important to show our gratitude and thank nurses for all that they do. This can be done through simple gestures such as thank you notes, gifts, or recognition events. If you know a nurse, send them a tangible thank you by sending them this Freebie and Discount List!

May 7-13. Teacher Appreciation Week

According to the White House, this year’s Teacher Appreciation Week is being honored from May 7 through May 13 (It’s always the first full week in May, beginning on a Sunday). During this time, we honor the hard work and dedication of teachers across the country. President Biden issued a proclamation that recognizes the vital role that teachers play in shaping the future of America’s youth. It’s an opportunity to show our appreciation and support for the teaching profession, and to reflect on the impact that teachers have on our lives.

Monday, May 15. Campaign Finance Reform at YDL – Whittaker

Join Voters Not Politicians to learn more about the role of multinational corporate money in politics, how it’s drowning out the voices of voters and what you can do about it. RSVP at www.mobilize.us/vnp/event/561286 . Ypsilanti District Library – Whittaker, 5577 Whittaker Rd, 48197. 6:30–8 pm

Thursday, May 18. Spotlight on Formerly Incarcerated Women Panel

The Voting Access for All Coalition (VAAC) is hosting a special panel discussion to spotlight Navigating Freedom, Reentry, and Second Chances for formerly incarcerated women. Register in advance for this ONLINE event here. 6 pm

Saturday, May 20. Coffee Hour with Senator Jeff Irwin

Join Senator Jeff Irwin, District 15, for an in-person coffee hour at York Ann Arbor, 1928 Packard St, Ann Arbor. 10 am

Resident input for Early Voting accepted until May 22

Starting with statewide federal elections, residents of Michigan will soon be able to participate in early voting, thanks to the approval of Prop 2 in November 2022. In Ann Arbor, Jackie Beaudry, the A2 City Clerk, is leading an initiative to determine residents’ preferred method of voting. To this end, the city is asking residents to take a six-question survey, which is available on the A2 Open City Hall website and can be completed anonymously.

Thursday, May 25. Washtenaw County Homelessness Policy

Continuum of Care coordinates our community’s policies, strategies, and activities toward ending homelessness. This is your opportunity to get involved! Questions? Email Kristin Kunes at kunesk@washtenaw.org. Ellen Thompson Women’s Health Center at St. Joseph’s Hospital, 5320 Elliott Dr, Ypsilanti 48197. RSVP at bit.ly/CoC-May 1–4 pm

Things to do, read, watch, and listen to

Do you subscribe to cable or satellite TV? If so, you are subsidizing Fox News!

All TV networks charge cable and satellite providers a fee per subscriber. Fox News charges providers roughly $2 per subscriber per month, making it the second most expensive channel after ESPN. Vanity Fair has reported that Fox News aims to increase this fee to $3. Fox News is unique among commercial TV channels in that it doesn’t need advertisements to be profitable, thanks to its carriage fees. Visit www.nofoxfee.com to tell your cable company not to send your money to Fox News.

Mental Health Awareness Month 2023, Part I

Mental Health Awareness Month, beginning in 1949, is an important way of raising awareness of the importance of mental health, of reducing the stigma and discrimination toward those who are challenged by mental health problems, of promoting the importance of taking care of our own mental health, and of providing mental health screens and support for those seeking more information. [1

Our country is facing an unprecedented mental health crisis that is affecting not only adults, but also young people from every background. President Biden is aware of the growing problem, and his administration has made important progress on expanding access to mental health services by investing billions of dollars through the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to send a clear message that support is available. [2

Stay tuned for Part II Next Week!

Who is Harlan Crow?

Harlan Crow has gained notoriety for his generous gifts to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. A Republican donor from Texas and a billionaire who has earned and inherited money in real estate, Crow paid for Justice Thomas’s nephew’s school tuition and provided the Thomases with luxurious vacations and a home for Thomas’s mother. These details were reported by The NY Times and other publications in recent months.

Now, it has come to light that Crow has also donated thousands of dollars to Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin. In addition to contributing to Democratic senators who have caused headaches for Biden’s agenda, Crow has also given money to more conservative Democratic representatives.

Harlan Crow’s contributions to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s political action committees

Screenshot/Federal Election Commission

Despite the donations he has made, Harlan Crow’s character has been defended by many, including commentator and NY Times contributor David Brooks, who says, “I have been friends with Harlan Crow for about 20 years. I find him a wonderful man…. I am probably biased about Harlan….” – PBS
However, The NY Times article “Harlan Crow, Clarence Thomas’s Benefactor, Is Not Just Another Billionaire” paints a different picture. This GOP billionaire collects Nazi memorabilia, including a signed copy of “Mein Kampf,” two paintings by Hitler, Nazi linen napkins, and he has a “garden of evil” with statues and busts of notorious dictators.According to Jamelle Bouie of The NY Times, “It is, to most people, jarring to see Nazi paraphernalia in the wild (versus, for example, in a World War II museum). And it is alarming to learn that one such collector of Nazi paraphernalia is a close friend of a Supreme Court justice and has strong ties to conservative media and the conservative movement.” – NY Times

Good News

Ann Arbor has assumed a leadership role in combating climate change

To read in detail about its well organized and well-funded action plan in reducing our city’s carbon footprint, go to A2gov.org/A2Zero. There you will find details of the programs and resources of Ann Arbor’s Office of Sustainability.

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