Our country has never been colorblind

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PEG 6th Congressional District Newsletter 323

Saturday, July 30, 2023

SCOTUS guts affirmative action

CBS News Breakdown of Ruling

The Supreme Court has ruled against affirmative action in college admissions in two cases about private and public universities. Six of the Supreme Court Justices ruled in favor of this ruling, citing the 14th Amendment. Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson voted against the ruling with the following statement:

“…Our country has never been colorblind. Given the lengthy history of state-sponsored race-based preferences in America, to say that anyone is now victimized if a college considers whether that legacy of discrimination has unequally advantaged its applicants fails to acknowledge the well-documented “intergenerational transmission of inequality” that still plagues our citizenry.

It is that inequality that admissions programs such as UNC’s help to address, to the benefit of us all. Because the majority’s judgment stunts that progress without any basis in law, history, logic, or justice, I dissent.”

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel: Fighting for Our State

Fighting for the Great Lakes   


Nessel filed an amicus brief in support of the Chippewa Indians Bad River Band’s claim that Enbridge had been trespassing on their land. She applauded the federal judge’s ruling that “Enbridge must shut down its pipeline [in Wisconsin] within three years and pay more than $5 million in profits to the Chippewa Indians Bad River Band.”                          

Nessel pledged to fight against the portion of the Pipeline in Michigan, “to stop a similar trespass on the bottomlands of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron in the Straits of Mackinac.”

She called the 60-foot-wide pipeline which transports 23 million gallons of oil and natural gas daily a “ticking time bomb” for the Great Lakes should an anchor or heavy object strike it. Enbridge is contesting all efforts to shut it down.

Fighting for a PFAS Cleanup

In a similar effort to protect our state, Nessel claims that though 3M has settled a $10B PFAS settlement nationally, it doesn’t begin to touch the magnitude of the damage PFAS has rendered on Michigan communities. She promises to “pursue litigation or settlement for the state independently and on my own timeframe.” (3M has announced it will cease the production of PFAS, these “forever” molecules, which have contaminated water and caused health problems all over the US.)

Action Item: Try a Plastic-free July

Find motivation in this short video, which illustrates how Small Changes Add Up . You may aspire to have a plastic-free July… or at least take one step in the right direction! Write us and let us know how it goes!

Trump met with anti-Maga rally in Novi

Trump was in town this past weekend to receive an award at the Oakland County Republican Party dinner. Distill Social and friends welcomed Trump to Michigan in the most appropriate way possible. Follow Distill Social’s Twitter for a full account of the evening: https://twitter.com/distillsocial

Events and Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer at Voters Not Politicians booth at the Ann Arbor Art Fair

Help is needed Friday 7/21 and Saturday 7/22. You can see all the available 2-hour shifts & sign up by clicking this Mobilize link.  Share the link with friends who might be interested. We plan to have 2 volunteers for every shift so we definitely need lots of your bright, energetic selves to help us out.

The primary mission to be at the Art Fair booth is to sing (not literally) the praises of this statewide nonpartisan grassroots group working to promote democracy reform. Also to continue to build and strengthen a volunteer pool for current and future work. In order to remain a predominantly volunteer organization focused on electoral policies & transparency in government, people must be reminded who VNP is and what it’s done. 

Zoom training for messaging will be held. Please consider giving 2 hours of your time at this festive event where Michiganders from all over the state can be reached.

Help Wanted!!

One of our dedicated, long-serving newsletter team members is leaving us later this month to more fully enjoy his retirement. One of his primary commitments was to search for and update events on our website. If you have 2-3 hours to spare per week, we will teach you the ropes! Please reply to equalityingovinfo@gmail.com to express interest.

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

(More) Things to do, read, watch, and listen to

In Case You Missed It – LIVE Update from Ukraine

Listeners were extremely impressed by the bravery and determination of my Conversations guest Olena Nonvytska and the Ukrainian people…and you will be, too! We plan to share frequent updates directly from Ukraine in the newsletter and on the PEG website. We believe that the outcome of the conflict with Russia and Ukraine will have a serious impact on the United States and the entire world.

Please share this link so more people can hear their story.

June 25 LIVE Ukraine Update

Good News

Hate Crime Bills pass Michigan House

On June 20, 2023, the Michigan House approved a set of bills aimed at reclassifying certain offenses as hate crimes and establishing separate penalties for defacing synagogues, churches, or cemeteries. The Michigan Hate Crime Act, which passed by a 59-50 vote, would replace the state’s existing ethnic intimidation law from 1988 and expand protections to include sex, sexual orientation, age, gender identity, and physical or mental disabilities. Religion, ethnicity, and race, which were already covered under the previous law, would continue to be protected under the new act. The legislation broadens the definition of hate crimes to encompass targeted force, intimidation, threats, bodily harm, or damage to personal property, whereas the current law mainly addresses threats or property damage.

Opposing lawmakers expressed concerns about the vague terminology in the bills and potential infringement on constitutional free speech rights. However, proponents argued that protected free speech would not be criminalized, and the expansion was necessary to address challenges faced by prosecutors when pursuing hate crime charges in Michigan.

The House also passed the Institutional Desecration Act, a separate two-bill package with margins of 83-26 and 82-27. This legislation would replace the charge of malicious destruction of property if intentional destruction, defacement, damage, or threats occur against facilities such as places of worship, cultural centers, cemeteries, schools, businesses, or digital assets based on race, religion, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical or mental disabilities.

Data from Michigan Incident Crime Reporting indicates a gradual increase in hate or bias incidents over recent years, with violations based on race accounting for 57% of reported incidents in 2021. The package of bills will now proceed to the Michigan Senate for consideration and voting. To support the passage of these hate crime bills, citizens are encouraged to contact their senators and urge them to vote in favor of the package.

Good News from the Michigan Legislature

Michigan Representative Jason Morgan (D) introduced a referendum to change the MI state constitution’s ban on same-sex marriage. As Michigan’s views on same-sex marriage have shifted, lawmakers want to revise the state’s laws to reflect that change. This is not an overnight process. Approval from two-thirds of the House is needed, presenting a challenge given the Democrats’ narrow majority. The resolution would allow a public vote through a ballot initiative if successful. Concerns about relying solely on court decisions, such as the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015, drive the push for this change. Recent events, like the overturning of Roe v. Wade, have raised fears about court decisions’ stability and their impact on same-sex marriage. Representative Jason Morgan stresses the importance of enshrining marriage equality in the state constitution. 

Also, Representative Joey Andrews (D) is sponsoring a bill allowing cities and townships to impose higher minimum wages, paid sick leaves, and fringe benefits on private businesses. The proposed legislation aims to overturn a 2015 law that prevented local governments from regulating salaries and benefits in the private sector. Proponents argue that the 2015 law hindered communities’ ability to protect workers and attract talent. However, Republicans and business groups express concerns about the complexity of complying with varying local laws, potential job losses, and would deter businesses from Michigan. If the bill passes, Michigan would be the second state, following Colorado, to repeal such a law.

Michigan – The Anti-Florida (Free Stickers!)

Michigan has been dubbed the Anti-Florida by multiple media outlets and the Attorney General herself so that makes us AntiFLa! Let’s flaunt being the AntiFla with a free sticker. Get yours by emailing Chuck@LBA80.com with your interest and your address.

As PRIDE Month 2023 comes to a close, please note there are local and virtual resources to support the LGBTQ+ community throughout the year including:

  • Stand with Trans is a Michigan organization that supports transgender youth and their families with support groups, trainings, advocacy, and more. Especially during this really hard time, this organization is serving a very important role.Ozone House and Neutral Zone both offer LGBTQ+ youth in our community excellent opportunities to gather and get support. Jim Toy Community Center is “a resource center that exists to provide information, education, social events, and advocacy by and for the Queer and Ally community in the Washtenaw County area.”LGBTQ Psychotherapists of Color (QTOC) is a California grassroots organization with virtual services with licensed queer therapists of color.The Trevor Project provides information, support, and 24/7 lifeline support to LGBTQ people ages 13-24. Trevor lifeline is 1-866-488-7386GLBT National Prevention Toolkit on Officer-Involved Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking provides telephone and email counseling, information and local resources based on your location. It is also the home of the Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project’s 24-Hour Hotline (1.800.832.1901)Call the LGBT National Youth Talkline at 1-800-246-7743

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, Mieko Preston, and Chuck Newman for their contributions and help preparing our newsletters.

Cartoon of the Week

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

PEG is a (mostly) 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. The weekly PEG Newsletter typically goes out each Thursday. To subscribe to this free newsletter, go to our sign up form by clicking here.

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