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PEG 6th Congressional District Newsletter 330

Friday, August 11, 2023

Our Planet on Fire: Corporations and Cities Lean into a Clean Energy Future 

The United States is becoming increasingly reliant on solar and wind energy, shifting away from fossil fuels at a speed shocking to the most adamant naysayers. According to The New York Times, even the most Republican states, such as Oklahoma and Texas, are revamping their energy sources. In these gas and oil-rich states, clean energy entrepreneurs are making fast and big bucks. This despite the coal-mining and oil rig and pipe-line building that continue unabated, often subsidized by the federal government.                                                                                                                 The turn to clean energy is not just an American phenomenon: “More than $1.7 trillion worldwide is expected to be invested in technologies such as wind, solar power, electric vehicles and batteries globally this year, according to the I.E.A., compared with just over $1 trillion in fossil fuels.” The Climate Council confirms this, reporting on the eleven nations leading the world in their use of renewable energy. Six of these countries—Costa Rica, Iceland, Scotland, Iceland, Norway, and Uruguay—approach 100% of their energy usage in renewables. Even as the fossil fuel companies continue to promote their coal, oil, and gas, the world is coming to its senses.
Full Article

Student Loans: FEDERAL PROGRAMS – Student Debt Part II
Supreme Court DecisionOn June 30, 2023, the Supreme Court overturned President Biden’s plan to forgive student loan debt. In a 6-3 decision, the court ruled that the Biden administration had overstepped its authority granted in the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003 (HEROES Act) by enacting a policy with broad economic significance where the law permitted only minor “modifications” without congressional approval. Despite the HEROS Act allowing the cancellation of principal amounts of student loans, the proposed plan would cost Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA), a nonprofit government corporation created by Missouri to participate in the student loan market, an estimated $44 million a year in fees which would harm the performance of its public function, thus harming the state of Missouri. This ruling came as a blow to more than 40 million Americans who were eagerly anticipating benefits from the nearly half-trillion-dollar program aimed at easing their student loan burden. Read the full text of the Supreme Court’s student loan forgiveness decision
New Path to Debt ReliefWithin hours of the ruling, President Biden vowed to pursue a “new path” to provide relief to student loan borrowers. The administration would use the 1965 Higher Education Act to achieve widespread debt cancellation. This law allows the education secretary to “compromise, waive or release loans under certain circumstances.” The new program, Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) plan will determine payments based on an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan and family size. Under the new  plan student loans affecting more than 800,000 borrowers would be forgiven, wiping out $39 billion in debt . Monthly payments would decline to 5% of a borrower’s income — down from 10% — and the repayment timeline for loan forgiveness would be decreased to 10 years from 20 or 25 if the initial loan is less than $12,000. This plan also includes a one-time Education Department adjustment, announced in 2022, that addresses past inaccuracies in its repayment program.
On July 31, 2023, the Biden administration launched a beta website for its new income-driven student loan repayment plan, allowing borrowers to begin submitting applications for federal student loan payments. Borrowers can access the beta website here.Impact on MichiganMichigan is amongst the top 10 states for most borrowers eligible for forgiveness. More than 26,000 Michiganders will have their student loan debts forgiven, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Refer to the Michigan Advance article for the specifics.
Last week – Background on Student DebtNext week – Student Loan Debt – Michigan ProgramsKudos – Thank you to Leslie Kamil, OTR/L, MS, JD for her special attention for this series

Events and Opportunities

July and August are months for representatives to share important legislative updates and focus on constituent input and feedback, as well as time for us to ask questions about what they have been up to for the past six months.

Friday, August 25. Coffee and ConversationsState Representative Reggie Miller (D-31) will host coffee and conversation with constituents at The Owl, Morning ’til Night, 9 W Main Street, Milan, MI, 48160. No RSVP required. 11 am

Representative Jason Morgan’s office is hiring
ISO a full time Constituent Services Director and a paid fall internship. Spread the word and maybe apply yourself!
https://house.mi.gov/FullTimePositions https://house.mi.gov/InternPositions  

Application Deadline: August 21. Judicial Vacancy – 36th District Court, Wayne CountyThe Honorable Jacquelyn McClinton is vacating the position. Judicial appointment questionnaire, writing samples, resume, and supplemental documents must be submitted using the online portal at www.michigan.gov/appointments and received by 5 pm on Monday, August 21st, 2023. Learn more here.

Serve on a Board or CommissionOur state government is listening! Be heard in a major way by applying for one of the 100 open appointments on various committees and boards. Search the online portal by interest area here.

Saturday, August 26– Sunday, September 3. Help Get Out the VOTEHelp our friends at the Washtenaw Dems GOTV in Ypsilanti, Chelsea, and Saline. Sign up today at the links below: Saturday, August 26. Parkridge Community Fest & Joe Dulin Day in Ypsilanti

Saturday, August 26. Chelsea Fair Parade
https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090B44A4A622A20-chelsea1 Wednesday, August 30 through Sunday, September 3. Saline Community Fair

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

More things to do, read, watch, and listen to

What??? Assault Weapons for Babies?Advertising Banned in Illinois! Semi-Automatic Weapons Also Banned!Last week, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld the state’s semi-automatic weapons ban in a 4-3 ruling after months of legal challenges that sought to dismantle the law. Despite the challenges by gun rights advocates, the US Supreme Court refused to intervene in May. CNN This week, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed the state’s “Firearm Industry Responsibility Act.” Appallingly, gun manufacturers have begun to market an AR-15 style assault weapon for children called the JR-15. Rachael Maddow elaborated on the issue in a segment on MSNBC: “an assault rifle style semi-automatic long gun made to look kind of like the civilian version of a U.S. military issue M4 rifle, but sized down so, like, toddlers can use them. Not toy guns, not, like. super soakers, not BB guns, not cap guns, but real guns that fire real bullets.” Illinois’s legislation is modeled after similar advertising bans in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Washington, California, Hawaii and Colorado. It’s being challenged by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, an industry trade association that has filed federal lawsuits in nearly every state that has approved a similar law. – PBS

Trump’s Legal Woes
The PEG Newsletter will publish a series of articles over the next several weeks that review pertinent legal terms relating to Trump’s various charges. The articles will identify each of the indictments against the United States/Specific States, hereafter referred to as State, and its’ people and crimes against at least two individual people.
The equality and/or inequality in government, specifically based on the “regular” citizen versus a former President will be identified and realized. Although we are aware of the initial decisions against the people, it is clear at this point in time that none of us working on PEG are privy to enough information to know the actual outcomes of these indictments against the State. 

[i]An indictment is only an accusation, it is the physical means by which a defendant is brought to trial, its sole purpose is to identify the defendant’s alleged offense and it is not evidence that the offense charged was committed. The accusations/charges must be proved at trial beyond a reasonable doubt before a defendant may be convicted.
[ii]?An arraignment is a procedure whereby the accused is brought before the court to plead to the criminal charge in the indictment. The charge(s) are read to the defendant and the defendant is asked to plead guilty or not-guilty.
E. Jean Carroll (Manhattan, NY) – May 2023, New York – $5 million jury verdict against Trump – sex abuse and defamation case. To date, Trump’s efforts have been thwarted. The Judge dismissed Trump’s defamation suit against Carroll and his request for a new trial.
Hush Money case (Manhattan, NY)– 34 charges, falsifying business records to reimburse his lawyer for payments made to an adult film actress.

Classified documents case (Fort Pierce, FL) – 40 charges, unauthorized possession of classified documents and obstructing government efforts to retrieve them.
Federal elections and January 6th case (Washington, DC) – 4 charges, efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, and to obstruct the certification of the electoral vote.
Changing the results of the Georgia Election (Fulton County, GA) – 41 counts, including racketeering, for trying to overturn the election in Georgia.
Although more than 3 in 5 people believe that Trump has committed a crime(s), the outcomes await. It is clear that regardless of the evidence, minds will not be changed amongst his supporter.
[1] Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th Edition[2] ibid.
Stay tuned for more in coming weeks!

Good News

And the WINNERS are

Four progressive candidates endorsed by Run for Something won their elections last week. 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. Last week’s winners are:                                                       
Mai Xiong (Warren, MI – City Clerk)Tamera Carter (Lansing, MI – City Council)Andrea Hendrick (Grand Haven, MI – Mayor)Aaron Martinez (Novi, MI – Mayor)
Read about these progressive winners by clicking on their links.
List of young progressive candidates in Michigan

A special thanks to our Newsletter contributors: 

Lisa Kamil, Bette Cotzin, Bernie Banet, Linda Bennett, Kayla Conrad, Ellen Halter, Leslie McGraw, Leslie Kamil, Mieko Preston, Cartoonist Fred Clark, Molly Boren (new teammate), 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 (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. 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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