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PEG 6th Congressional District Newsletter 329

Our Planet on Fire: Stemming Climate Change, One House at a Time

According to Debra Kamin in this week’s New York Timesindividuals and their households can have a big impact on reducing global warming. Nor do their actions have to be dramatic and expensive like installing solar panels. Merely lowering the thermostat in winter and raising the thermostat in summer can have a significant effect along with composting and removing the gas stove top. 
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Democracy Wins Big in Ohio!! What could this mean for 2024?

There was an unexpectedly high election turnout on Tuesday in Ohio with an overwhelming majority (approximately 57%) voting against a proposed constitutional amendment that would have, among other things, required at least a 60% vote for passage of future constitutional amendments, up from a simple majority. Though the proposed amendment did not mention abortion or reproductive rights, its intent was to thwart a November ballot measure to codify abortion rights. It was supported by Republicans and a variety of anti-abortion interest groups. The strong pro-choice opposition demonstrated that this is far more than a woman’s issue. Rather, a diverse coalition of voters rejected what was perceived as an effort to take away rights.

What does this mean for the 2024 elections? Dan Pfeiffer in his “Message Box” suggests the following:

  1. Abortion remains the Republican’s Achilles Heel — “The best political strategies center on issues that unite your base and divide theirs. Abortion is one of those issues….The anti-choice voters were soundly defeated in a state which Trump won by 10 points.
  2. Rigging Democracy is the GOP’s Plan Going Forward — The Republicans are threatened by the growth of a diverse progressive coalition of voters. Consequently, they support gerrymandering, voter suppression and authoritarianism in an attempt to institute minority rule. As in Ohio, one of their strategies is to make ballot initiatives more difficult. They want to “rig the game.” Democrats need to understand the strategy and mobilize to fight it.

What the Win Says About 2024 —

  1. A Good Sign for Sen Sherrod Brown (D) in his bid for re-election; all his opponents supported Issue One.
  2. Keep the Abortion Issue on the Agenda — Abortion won’t necessarily be a dominant issue in 2024. Republicans will try to distract. It is up to the Democrats to keep it on the front burners, including proposing that a Democratic Congress could codify reproductive rights in its next session. Conversely, Republicans would work to pass a nationwide ban.
  3. The Work is Not Done in Ohio — There’s an election in November to enshrine abortion rights in the Ohio Constitution. This vote matters! Pfeiffer suggests going to VoteSaveAmerica to find out how to donate and volunteer.

As Politico suggests, “With Congress lacking the votes to pass either national abortion restrictions or bring back the protections of Roe, abortion-rights groups see state ballot measures as one of their best tools for maintaining or restoring access in red and purple states.”

Events and Opportunities

Monday, August 14. Health Care for All Townhall

Join State Representative Carrie Rheingans (D-47), who recently introduced her universal, publicly-funded healthcare proposal, MICare, to the Michigan legislature and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell for a discussion on how this legislation could benefit residents of Michigan. Read the bill here. RSVP Here. Ann Arbor Skyline High School. 5:30–7 pm

Thursday, August 17. Housing Town Hall

Join State Representative Jimmie Wilson, Jr. for an August Housing Townhall, with special guests Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and State Rep Jason Morgan, moderated by Ypsilanti City Mayor Nicole Brown.
Housing Issues come in a diverse variety of types and situations impacting us all. Learn how we are working to address housing issues and for us to learn what more is needed from the community. Handouts and information will be available from various Housing Related Groups based in Washtenaw County and political offices. We look forward to welcoming you to beautiful Depot Town at the Ypsilanti Freight House, 10 Market Place, Ypsilanti. If you have any questions please email 7–9 pm

Friday, August 25. Coffee Hour with State Representative Reggie Miller

State Representative Reggie Miller (D-31) is hosting Coffee and Conversation with Constituents at The Owl, Morning ’til Night, 9 W Main Street, Milan, MI, 48160. No RSVP required. 11 am

September 13 thru October 11. GLPA Lead for Justice Training

LEAD for Justice is a candidate recruitment and training program focused on judicial candidates (and those who are interested in running in the future) who need to navigate the judicial appointment process and learn how to run a successful judicial campaign.

  • The next virtual, 5-week judicial training starts on September 13, 2023 and runs weekly on Wednesdays through October 11, 2023.  Sept 13: The Experience of Running for Judicial Office
  • Sept 20: Nuts & Bolts of Campaigning
  • Sept 27: Judicial Ethics & Compliance
  • Oct 4:  Judicial Fundraising
  • Oct 11:  Judicial Appointments & Endorsements

The cost is $50. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.  Must apply here.

Visit the PEG Events Page for all upcoming events at!

Things to do, read, watch, and listen to

Run for Something

Since January 2017, Run for Something has successfully encouraged close to 100,000 diverse individuals from all over the United States to participate in state or local elections. Run for Something is dedicated to fostering progressive leadership and offers structure and guidance to new and promising leaders, assisting them at every stage of their political journey. They focus on supporting candidates with practical and strategic grassroots campaigns, providing guidance and encouragement.
Below is the listing of the Michigan young progressive candidates endorsed by Run for Something 2023. Help support their campaigns and help support Run for Something.
List of young progressive candidates in Michigan

Student Loans: Background and Breakdown of Student Debt Part I

The issue of student loan debt has been a prominent concern in the United States, impacting millions of borrowers.
More than 43 million Americans have student loan debt, and the Federal Reserve estimates that the total U.S. student loan debt is more than $1.76 trillion. 

Although much student debt is held in large loans, most borrowers have small loans. About 13% of federal student debt is held in loans with $20K or less still owed… …but 53% of borrowers owe less than $20K. The Education Department has said federal student loans will begin accruing interest in September, with payments due in October. Biden also said his administration will provide student loan borrowers an “on-ramp” — a 12-month grace period for missed payments to ease more than 40 million people back into the system after a three-year reprieve.

Racial Bias and Health Outcomes: Maternal and Infant Mortality Outcomes

Even world famous Black female athletes at the height of physical fitness, including Serena Williams, have experienced devastating pain and suffering. Tori Bowie (shown left), US Olympic Sprinter suffered from preeclampsia related to high blood pressure and died at age 32 when she was 8 months pregnant. This week in Georgia, 20-year-old Jessica Ross is suing Dr. Tracey St. Julian and Southern Regional Medical Center for the death of her first child due to negligence and excessive force during childbirth. Recent events have sparked a new focus of dismal maternal mortality rates among non-white women associated in part on doctors failing to listen to patients /disregarding input from pregnant women increases the risk of death and complications for the mothers and their babies.

Even as recently as 2021, Black women have the highest maternal mortality rate in the United States almost three times the rate for white women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Black babies are more likely to die, and are far more likely to be born prematurely, setting the stage for health issues that could follow them through their lives.

In Michigan, at least 60% of Maternal Deaths in Michigan are Preventable

State health leaders are looking for ways to cut the rate of maternal mortality, which more than doubled from 2018 to 2019 to a rate of 23.2 pregnancy-related maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. In Michigan, Black women were 2.8 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes in 2015-19 than white women. The maternal mortality rate for Black women was 29.8 per 100,000 live births. For white women, it was 10.7 deaths per 100,000 live births.

Official data on maternal mortality in Michigan for 2020, the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, won’t be released until early 2024, state health officials told the Free Press. But among the pregnancy-related maternal deaths that occurred between 2015 and 2019, more than 63% were preventable, state data shows. Official data on maternal mortality in Michigan for 2020, the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, won’t be released until early 2024, state health officials told the Free Press.

A Michigan literature review reported that Black and Native American women and infants experience the largest disparities in maternal and infant mortality, both nationally and in Michigan. In Michigan, the maternal mortality rate for Black women is two times higher than for White women and Black and Native American infant mortality rates are three times higher than White rates. A growing body of literature points to racism (systemic, institutional, and interpersonal) as a root cause of these inequities. 

How a Michigan hospital is acting to save lives of Black pregnant women

  • Henry Ford Health in Detroit is trying to reduce pregnancy-related deaths through visits to homes of vulnerable new moms 
  • Hypertension in pregnancy is a key driver of maternal mortality, and one that often goes undiagnosed
  • Ensuring new mothers get their vitals checked after they return home will hopefully reduce preventable deaths 
  • Michigan Medicaid on Jan. 1 began reimbursing doula services to provide support for women who are often unheard
  • More work needs to be done to reduce disparities, achieve what advocates call birth justice

Good News

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