PEG 6th Congressional District Newsletter 340
Gun Safety Groups Support 2 Michigan Senate Bills
Two Michigan Senate Bills Supported by Both “Gun-Owners for Safety” and “End Gun Violence” Groups!
Members from both End Gun Violence Michigan and Giffords Gun Owners for Safety are advocating for passage of Michigan Senate Bills 471 and 472. According to Rep. Amos O’Neal (D-Saginaw), the proposed legislation would prohibit domestic abusers from owning or possessing firearms for eight years after sentencing. Even those with misdemeanor domestic violence charges would be unable to purchase or possess firearms for eight years. The bills were passed by the Senate and are awaiting passage in the Michigan House. Let your Representative know you want to see them pass Senate Bills 471 & 472!
Are Americans Sleepwalking?
Tom Nichols writes in The Atlantic (September 18, 2023) that the media is normalizing dysfunctional and reactionary rhetoric, “pretending that all is well while charlatans, aspiring theocrats, and would-be authoritarians set fire to American democracy.”
Examples normalizing of this dysfunction include:
- Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama holding up hundreds of military promotions for months
- The impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden
- The governor of Florida and his vaccine-skeptic surgeon general telling people under 65 not to get boosted against COVID
These are some of the instances of the media normalizing authoritarianism, “pretending” that one dysfunctional party is not part of a reactionary, anti-constitutional, and sometimes violent movement. Nichols concludes that Democrats should focus their energy on promoting Biden’s positive legislation and its impact on the country, versus defending his fitness to serve.
Events and Opportunities
Thursday, October 26th. School Board Messaging Training
Great Lakes Political Academy-Leadership, Education and Development (GLPA-LEAD) MI is hosting a virtual training about School Board Messaging and persuasively handling controversial issues in education today with Rust Belt Rising’s Paul Kendrick. This training is open to current or future school board candidates and others interested in supporting candidates who are running for school board. Visit here to register or to find out how to be a candidate. 7 pm
America at a Crossroads Virtual Series
- 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
Now through Tuesday, November 7. GET OUT THE VOTE WITH NEXTGEN
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 on erasing them, 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 Virginia House and both protect and add to the Democratic majority in the Virginia Senate.
- Call Young Voters in PA and VA to GOTV (Get Out the Vote) – sign up here!
- Text Out the Vote in Pennsylvania & Virginia – sign up here!
- GOTV w/ the Social Team – sign up here!
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.
More things to do, read, watch, and listen to
ACTION NEEDED – Fall 2023 Michigan Clean Energy Legislation Package
Three Michigan Senate Bills related to clean energy—SB271, SB275, and SB520—have advanced out of the Senate Energy and Environment Committee and will be voted on in the full Senate soon. Please contact the senators below and urge them to support the Clean Energy Bills by voting “yes.”
- Sen. Hertel: (517) 373-7315 or (855) 347-8012
- Sen. McDonald-Rivet: (517) 373-1725 or (855) 347-8035
- Sen. Cherry: (517) 373-0142 or (855) 347-8027
Sample script (If you must, please leave a message.)
“My name is ____ and I am a [profession). I am calling today to ask Sen. _____ to stand firmly on the side of the health of their constituents by voting yes on the strongest versions of the Clean Energy Bills coming up for a vote in the Senate soon.”
Please follow up these calls with one to Governor Whitmer at 517-335-7858 (press 5, then 2).
Sample script (If you must, please leave a message.)
“Governor Whitmer, my name is __________. I am a voter and I live in ______. Please work to make sure we get the strongest possible renewable clean energy legislation this session that includes:
– 60% clean energy by 2030
– MPSC authority to consider climate change and equity in decision-making
– greater utility investment in energy efficiency
– increased grid-based storage by 2030
– state-wide streamlining for permitting of utility-scale solar and wind. Thank you.”
After Election, Poland May Turn the Illiberal Tide
In Poland’s recent election, the nationalist ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) secured the most votes, but is on course for defeat. An opposition coalition led by Donald Tusk and known as the Civic Coalition collectively won the majority of ballots, signaling a dramatic shift away from PiS’s right-wing policies, which have steered Poland toward illiberalism over the past eight years. During their tenure, PiS faced censure from the European Union for judicial reforms, restricted abortion rights, and targeted LGBTQ+ communities. They manipulated the media and election laws to bolster their chances of reelection. And yet this, election, though marred by concerns of unfairness, showcased the resilience of Poland’s civil society and a mobilized anti-PiS coalition.
Donald Tusk’s Civic Platform party, coming in second, has enough potential coalition partners to form a majority. This surprising outcome highlights the resilience of democracy when the opposition rallies and citizens in urban areas and the west of the country turn out in high numbers.
Per Anne Applebaum of The Atlantic, “Even if you don’t live in Poland, don’t care about Poland, and can’t find Poland on a map, take note: The victory of the Polish opposition proves that autocratic populism can be defeated, even after an unfair election. Nothing is inevitable about the rise of autocracy or the decline of democracy. Invest your time in political and civic organization if you want to create change, because sometimes it works.”
PEG Graphic of the Week
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.
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