What’s New in Climate Change?
The earth’s atmosphere is heating up with disastrous consequences for our planet, including higher sea levels and temperatures, and worsening air pollution. Scientists are becoming aware of more intimate problems. As the NASA website describes, our warming earth contributes to the growth of disease-carrying insect populations, including Lyme-bearing tics and malaria-causing mosquitoes. Higher temperatures are also causing the proliferation of pollen which will have serious consequences for asthmatics.
Moreover, the world’s permafrost is melting, releasing a host of unknown bacteria and viruses, which could well become what’s known as “super bugs,” resistant to current pharmaceuticals.
Biden Administration Announces First National Strategy to Combat Antisemitism
Last week, the White House released a 60-page strategy report to address the unconscionable rise in antisemitic incidents throughout the nation. While American Jews account for 2.4% of the US population, the FBI reports they are the victims of 63% of reported religiously motivated hate crimes. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) tracked 3,697 incidents of harassment, vandalism and assault in 2022, which was a 36% jump over the previous year, and the third time in five years that the number was the highest ever recorded. The national strategy includes 100 steps for federal agencies and 100 specific calls to action for Congress, businesses, state and local governments, academic institutions and religious communities. NPR reports that its four pillars focus on raising awareness, improving security, reversing normalization and building solidarity. This report complements other actions, including the 2022 appointment of Dr. Deborah Lipstadt as the special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, and the 2022 appointment of an interagency task force. White House Homeland Security Advisor Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall noted, “Countering discrimination and hate-fueled violence against any race, religion, ethnicity or gender is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue. It’s an American issue.” President Biden emphasized, “In America, evil will not win. Hate will not prevail. The venom and violence of antisemitism will not be the story of our time.” –NPR
Tuesday, June 6. Ypsi Township Community Meeting
The Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees had a special previously unscheduled, unannounced meeting last Tuesday, May 23rd and allocated millions of unused ARPA funding that was available due to the grave impact the COVID pandemic had on the 48197 and 48198 zip codes. A community meeting will be held Tuesday where residents can share their concerns and officials can explain their actions. Meeting held in person at Community Family Life Center, 1375 South Harris Rd, Ypsilanti. 6:30 pm
Embracing Our Differences
Friday, June 9. Opening reception. Culture Verse, 309 S. Main St. Ann Arbor from 6–9 pm
Saturday, June 17. Public Workshop with five artists
Embracing Our Differences Michigan uses the transformative power of art combined with an educational curriculum to celebrate diversity. The centerpiece is a juried, outdoor exhibit featuring 60 billboard size images created by local, national, and international artists, writers and students reflecting their interpretations of the theme “enriching our lives through diversity,”character building and Social Emotional Learning. All lesson plans The exhibition venues include Gallup Park, Ann Arbor and Riverside Park, Ypsilanti. Free tours are offered at both sites. Check out the EOD Michigan Website more information.To see artwork online, click here.
Sunday, June 11. Coffeehour with Council Member Ayesha Ghazi Edwin of Ward 3Monthly coffee hour with Councilmember Travis Radina and Ann Arbor’s Sustainability and Innovations Director, Dr. Missy Stults. Come grab a refreshing dessert or beverage, ask questions, and share your thoughts and concerns. La Pina Loca at 3980 Platt Rd, Ann Arbor, 48108. Facebook event HERE. 11 am
June Events for the Dems in MichiganSaturday, June 3 @ 3–4 pmLearn (on Zoom) to Register MI Democrats (In Person)!Sunday, June 11 @ 11am–1:30 pm · Michigan Democratic PartyMotor City Pride ParadeTuesday, June 13 @ 7–9 pm (Tuesdays thru Dec) · Oakland County Democratic PartyOCDP Monthly Executive Committee MeetingThursday, June 22 @ 6–9 pm · Michigan Democratic PartyDearborn Democratic Club – 2023 Legacy Scholarship DinnerWednesday, July 26 @ 5–9 pm · Michigan Democratic PartyDearborn Democratic Club – 2023 Friendship Picnic
The Election Deniers’ Playbook for 2024
The Brennan Center for Law at NYU Law recently published an in-depth analysis of 14 tactics that were used in 2022 and are evolving in order to undermine upcoming safe and secure elections. The report further suggests tactics those that will continue to play a role in the next election cycle: 1) conspiracy-driven attacks on election infrastructure, 2) threats to election officials and workers, 3) election police forces and other government-sponsored initiatives to target voter fraud, 4) increasingly brazen measures to restrict access to voting, and 5) disinformation-fueled efforts to undermine election results. The analysis concludes with recommendations for safeguarding elections in preparation for 2024, aiming to counter these tactics and ensure the fairness and integrity of the electoral process. The report suggests congressional action as well as state legislative action to protect voting and the administration of elections. Click here to read this important analysis.
Equity Challenge returns with resources for the whole familyUnited Way of Southeastern Michigan is nearing the end of its 2023 21-Day Equity Challenge. The catalog covers, in part, levels of racism, interpersonal racism, institutional and systemic racism, privilege and white supremacy, honoring Michigan’s first people, injustice in the justice system, talking with children about race, and Tools for the Racial Equity Change Process.
Many of the days have listening, reading, watching, and action activities related to the subject discussed that day. For example, below is a sampling of Day 4, Confronting Whiteness, White Privilege, and White Supremacy activities:Listen to this 10 min article from Tonya Mosley, Lean Into Discomfort When Talking About Race and then explore Talking About Race a new web portal from The National Museum of African American History and Culture that’s meant to spark discussion, community building and self-care.Read this VeryWell Mind article describing “What is White Fragility” – what it looks like, what causes it, and critiques of it.Watch this video where Bonnie Billups, Jr., Executive Director of the Peace Neighborhood Center, describes the impacts of systemic racism and housing on the demographic makeup of Ann ArborWatch this TED talk by Russell Ellis, a “reformed racist” who aims to teach other white people how to deconstruct their own racism, White Supremacy: Same Dog, Same Tricks-Time to Change the Training Act:Complete a free bystander intervention training so that you have the tools to stop anti-Asian/American and xenophobic harassment if you see it happening.Consult the White Accomplices.org website on ways that white people can show up positively and proactively for racial justice.In an attempt to create a more just and inclusive society your participation in the challenge and working on the associated activities are definitely worth your time.
Good News and a Rare Victory for LGBTQ+ Rights in Louisiana!A statewide ban on gender affirming health care for minors was defeated last week!! Governor John Bel Edwards as well as the Democrats on the Louisiana Senate Health and Welfare Committee were opposed to the bill which was part of a wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. According to the NOLA Gambit News, the key player was Chairman Fred Mills (R) who cast the tie-breaking vote. He is a pharmacist who said he trusted physicians and the process already in place for revoking the license of any bad actor. “I’ve always in my heart of hearts have believed that a decision should be made by a patient and a physician.” Thank you, Chairman Mills!! –Gambit News
New York Library is giving American teens access to banned booksIn the wake of book bannings, Brooklyn Public Library is offering any American teen unlimited digital and audio access to banned and challenged books. Visit bklynlibrary.org/books-unbanned for more information.
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