We will not be silenced even during difficult times

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PEG 6th Congressional District Newsletter 338

Planet Earth on Fire: Our Great Lakes at Risk

Climate change threatens the Great Lakes, the largest group of freshwater lakes on earth. They are a crucial source of fresh water for residents, agriculture, and fish and wildlife as well as a tremendous commercial and ecological resource for the Midwest and the nation. “Extremely warm days (above 90°F) will increase for states bordering the Great Lakes, especially in the southern parts of the region. By century’s end, the region will experience 30 to 60 additional days each year of these extremely warm temperatures.” There will also be a commensurate decrease in the number of extremely cold days.

Warmer winters will bring heavier and more intense precipitation which will raise the risk of catastrophic flooding, soil erosion and “extreme weather events,” such as tornadoes, and destructive thunderstorms.

Governor Whitmer’s Michigan Healthy Climate Plan takes steps to deal with the climate crisis. It has set a goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. This involves the retirement of coal-burning power plants and a 60% renewable energy goal. It also involves creating the infrastructure necessary to run two million electric land and water vehicles.

Reacting to This Week’s Events

To say that it’s been a difficult week would be an understatement. Most horrifying have been the brutal actions of the Hamas terrorists; there are no words. The war being waged by the brave Ukrainian soldiers continues. Our House of Representatives is in disarray.

In her newsletter, “Chop Wood Carry Water,” Jessica Craven writes, “I hate war, friends. Hate hate hate it. I’m a mom. I weep to see young people – or any innocence – killed, maimed, kidnapped, raped, displaced. I struggle for words to convey my sorrow in this moment and I’m sure you do too. That’s OK. It’s what we do that matters. Especially if we lead with love. So let’s send words of support to a Jewish friend. Let’s give money if we can. Let’s check in on our Palestinian neighbors. Let’s bring cookies to a local temple. Let’s spread love, in short, in any way we can. That, at least, can never be wrong.”

She further suggests phone calls to Senators and House Reps.

SENATOR: Hi, I’m a constituent calling from [zip]. I’m calling to demand that the Senate fill all national security positions immediately. This means Republicans need to stop blocking confirmations today. Tommy Tuberville has to lift his blockade on military promotions—we have no senior military defense official in Israel because of him. We also have no Israeli Ambassador because of Rand Paul. We don’t have Ambassadors in Egypt, Lebanon, Oman, or Kuwait, either. We have no confirmed top USAID official for the Middle East. No State Department Coordinator to Counterterrorism. All because of Republican obstructionism. We are in a moment of crisis; these blockades are endangering our national security and hindering our ability to help our allies. Any Senator who continues to stop these confirmations in light of what’s happening should be censured and expelled. Thanks.

HOUSE REP: Hi, I’m a constituent calling from [zip]. My name is ______.

I’m calling to say that House Republicans need to get their house in order immediately. Their disarray is making us look weak and unstable at a moment where the world needs us to be the opposite. The Republican caucus needs to elect a competent, non-extremist Speaker, today. Your job is not to create drama and fight amongst yourselves. It’s to support President Biden as he navigates what’s going to be a challenging and highly consequential foreign policy emergency. I also demand that Republicans stop spreading misinformation about Iranian funding which did NOT come from American taxpayers and is NOT from the humanitarian aid fund we recently unfroze. Republicans only make themselves look worse by spreading what everyone knows is lies. Knock it off. Thanks.

A Statewide Call for Ethics and Transparency

Last year, voters passed Proposal 22-1, a clear call for ethics and transparency reforms in our state government. Over 65% of voters approved this ballot measure because Michiganders are tired of the corruption that has plagued our state government for far too long. However, in the eleven months since the proposal passed, the state House of Representatives has yet to follow through on the measures within it. Voters Not Politicians is asking Michigan residents to call their State Representative and urge them to implement the ethics and transparency laws that voters want.

Example Script:

Hello! My name is ______ and I am a constituent of state House District ____. I’m calling to demand a robust Prop 22-1 bill package be introduced immediately, including stringent ethical standards and financial disclosure for spouses and dependents, and regulations on conflict of interest. I am not willing to wait any longer on the ethics and transparency reforms I’ve been promised. Thank you.

To find the name and contact information of your Michigan House Representative, click here.

Voters Not Politicians requests that after you call your representative, you fill out this form so that they can track how many calls have gone to each legislator. 

Events and Opportunities

Monday, October 16. Coffee Hour at Norfolk Park

Join State Representative Jimmie Wilson Jr (D-32) will host a constituent coffee hour at at Norfolk Park in Superior Charter Township or join by Zoom! 5:30-6:30 pm

Monday, October 16. Coffee Hour at Webster Township

Join State Representative Jennifer Conlin (D-48) will host a coffee hour at Webster Township Hall, 5665 Webster Church Road, Dexter, 48130. 10:30-11:30 am

America at a Crossroads Virtual Series hosted by Jews United for Democracy and Justice

  • Wednesday, October 18. How Has Journalism Changed in the Digital Age? NY Times‘ Adam Nagourney in conversation with Patt Morrison: “The New York Times & the Transformation of Journalism in the Digital Age.” (Register Here) 8 pm
  • Thursday, October 26. What’s Going On With Democracy, the Law, and Trump’s Legal Issues? Former U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal with Larry Mantle: “Trump, The Law, & The Future of Democracy.” (Register Here) 8 pm 
  • Wednesday, November 1. “Ours was a Shining Future: What’s Happened to the American Dream?” Pulitzer prize-winning NY Times journalist David Leonhardt in conversation with Warren Olney: (Register Here) 8 pm

Serve on a Board or Commission for Michigan

Our 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.

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

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

Help Michigan farmers fight for the right to repair their own equipment

Currently, the main manufacturers of farm equipment refuse to provide manuals or tools to fix the equipment they sell. When something breaks, farmers have to wait for a manufacturer-supported handyman to come fix it, which causes delays that farmers can’t afford during growing/harvest season. After the repair, farmers are left with a hefty bill. House Bill 4673 would require certain original equipment manufacturers and authorized repair providers of agricultural equipment to make diagnostic, maintenance, and repair parts, tools, and documentation available to independent repair providers and owners of that equipment; and to provide remedies. This access to more local sources or simple fixes by the owners would decrease time for repair and ease the burden of repair for farmers in both cost and time.

Please help Michigan farmers by contacting the Members of the House of Representatives Agriculture Committee, listed below, and urge them to support House Bill 4673, the Right to Repair, in committee so that it can be sent to the House floor for a vote. If your Representative is not on the committee, call and urge them to vote YES on the Right to Repair bill when it comes to the floor. 

Representatives on the Agricultural Committee:

Example Script for Representatives on the Agricultural Committee:

Please support HB 4673, the Right to Repair Bill, in the Agriculture Committee and allow it to progress to the floor for a vote. Currently, farm equipment manufacturers require farmers to use the manufacturers repair facilities/ mechanics to fix broken equipment. Nobody else can access or repair this broken equipment. This sometimes results in excessive downtime of equipment during critical time-sensitive periods of growing or harvesting. House Bill 4673, would allow farmers and independent repair providers to repair farming equipment, thereby decreasing costs and lost field time for farmers. Please help Michigan farmers.  

Example Script for Other Representatives:

Please support HB 4673, the Right to Repair Bill, from the Agriculture Committee when it comes to the floor for a vote. Currently, farm equipment manufacturers require farmers to use the manufacturers repair facilities/ mechanics to fix broken equipment. Nobody else can access or repair this broken equipment. This sometimes results in excessive downtime of equipment during critical time-sensitive periods of growing or harvesting. House Bill 4673, would allow farmers and independent repair providers to repair farming equipment, thereby decreasing costs and lost field time for farmers. Please help Michigan farmers.  

Get out the VOTE with Next Gen

In Pennsylvania, a Supreme Court seat is up for grabs and abortion is a key issue. With one candidate set on protecting reproductive rights and the other against, this election could have a lasting impact on the state for years to come.

In Virginia, every seat in the General Assembly is up for election this November. This is a chance to flip the Republican majority state House and both protect and add to the Democratic majority in the state Senate.

Starting on October 9, Next Gen will be calling voters in Virginia and on October 10, we’ll begin our texts into Pennsylvania!

Good News

Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Related Legislation

October 9, 2023, was Indigenous Peoples’ Day. This is a time for reflection and to honor the essential contributions of our Native American neighbors.

State Senator Jeff Irwin’s Facebook page explains Senate Bills 137 and 138, signed into law in the spring of 2023, and SB 498, introduced by Irwin last month. Each of these bills “work to repair the damage that has been done to Native American children and tribes under the guise of child welfare.” These changes in the laws allow Native American children to remain connected to their communities and cultures.  Irwin also highlights local author and Native American activist Stacie Sheldon and an open-source website ojibwe.net.

A special thanks to our Newsletter contributors: 

Lisa Kamil, Bette Cotzin, Bernie Banet, Linda Bennett, Kayla Conrad, Ellen Halter, Leslie McGraw, Leslie Kamil, Molly Boren and Brynn Mendelsohn, and Chuck Newman for their contributions and help preparing our newsletters. Special shout out to Joy of Framing of Washtenaw County for their analysis of one person/one vote initiatives.

PEG Video 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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