PEG 12th Congressional District
Newsletter #217. Thursday, June 10, 2021
Legislation affecting LGBTQ rights across the USA
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in America continue to face discrimination in their daily lives. While more states every year work to pass laws to protect LGBTQ people, we continue to see state legislatures advancing bills that target transgender people, limit local protections, and allow the use of religion to discriminate.
The ACLU has a comprehensive list of these bills, divided by category and has links to each specific bill in the state legislature showing descriptions, status, and more. Here’s the only one for Michigan. SB0218, referred to committee on 3/10/21, “Education: athletics; requirement that only biological males may compete for a position on and compete on a boys' high school team in an interscholastic activity and only biological females may compete for a position on and compete on a girls' high school team in an interscholastic activity.” Read more here. -ACLU
A resource for information on policies affecting the LGBTQ community
The Movement Advancement Project has great graphs and charts and lots of data. View the overall policy tally for each state which counts the number of laws and policies within the state that help drive equality for LGBTQ people. The major categories of laws covered by the policy tally include: Relationship & Parental Recognition, Nondiscrimination, Religious Exemptions, LGBTQ Youth, Health Care, Criminal Justice, and Identity Documents. View your own state. Search data for a particular sub-issue. Learn much more here. -Movement Advancement Project
Op-Ed: Full COVID-19 Recovery Requires Investment in People

by Eli Savit. More than 60% of Washtenaw County residents over 16 have received at least one dose of the vaccine. This public health achievement is in no small part due to the efforts of groups to expand access and locate pop-up clinics in schools...

Read more
equalityingov.org
Events
TODAY–June 11. Smart Justice Week of Action
Join us for a Smart Justice Week of Action where we will showcase the collective power of Michiganders who demand that our legislators use their power to reform our broken criminal legal system. Each night of the week, the ACLU will host a unique outreach event designed to engage our elected officials, letting them know we want bail reform to be a priority, and we are ready to partner with them to enact these critical reforms to fix our pretrial and bail system. 6:30–8 pm
Friday, June 11. Lunch & Learn — Becoming a Voting Ambassador
Join Voting Access for All in launching their Voting Ambassadors program in 1 of 5 pilot cities — Detroit, Pontiac, Jackson, Lansing, or Grand Rapids. Help by reaching out to folks in county jails and communities across Michigan to speak up for the rights of all who are voiceless or vulnerable by being voting ambassadors to help those who may be misinformed to know their rights. Every citizen deserves a vote. RSVP here. 12:30–2 pm
Sunday, June 13. Adopt-a-Traitor Phone Bank - North Carolina! 
Join organizers Field Team 6 in calling eligible voters in North Carolina's 24th district! Callers will be targeting Richard Hudson, who voted to overturn the 2020 Biden election results. In November, Hudson won his district (NC-08) by 6.6 points, or 24,993 votes. There are 33,938 eligible voters to call in his district. Volunteers will be reaching out to people likely registered as Democrats, or signed up to vote from home (vote by mail) if they're already registered. Read and register here. 3–5 pm on each subsequent Sunday in June. **Actually June 13, 27 and July 11, 18, 25.**
Juneteenth is an American holiday that commemorates the June 19,1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in the state of Texas and other parts of the southwest. The day is honored or recognized as a day of remembrance in 47 states. 2021 marks the 27th anniversary of the A2-NAACP’s Juneteenth observation here in Ann Arbor, however this is the first year the city officially recognizes the date as a holiday. Futhermore, PEG is proud to be a sponsor for the Ann Arbor NAACP celebration for the second year in a row. Be sure to check out the special Juneteenth Event section for celebrations near you.
Sunday, June 13. Conversations explores Juneteenth and its significance
This virtual conversation will be William Hampton, the President of the Ann Arbor Branch of the NAACP who grew up in Tyler, Texas which had two African American police officers who were not allowed to arrest white people. He will be joined by Leslie McGraw whose great-grand uncle, Elbert Williams, was an officer of the NAACP lynched in Tennessee for attempting to help blacks register to vote. She will share her efforts to get his story told. The discussion will explore their role in the fight for racial justice and the significance of Juneteenth for all of us. Hosted by Chuck Newman. Register for the Zoom event here. Registrants will be sent the link to the show. 7:30 pm
June 1418. Juneteenth Symposium: Celebrating Black Joy, Hope, And Healing
U-M’s inaugural campus-wide Juneteenth Symposium will explore the theme of “Celebrating Black Joy, Hope, and Healing.” A partnership between U-M and the Ann Arbor Branch of the NAACP, this Juneteenth observance aims to celebrate and recognize the liberation of all Black people from slavery, made official by the emancipation on June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas. Juneteenth is also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day. It is celebrated throughout the nation and as a state holiday in Michigan. It is also in its 27th year of being officially observed in Ann Arbor.

The hope is to bring together the U-M and Ann Arbor communities virtually to underscore the importance of Juneteenth and to ensure that all students, staff, faculty, and residents feel a deep sense of belonging. U-M hopes everyone can join the celebration, while we advance our educational mission as a university and seek to collaborate, enrich, and empower the community in a longstanding annual tradition to promote Black liberation and excellence. Read the full schedule and stream events here.
Friday, June 18. Survivors Speak at T.B.E.
Temple Beth Emeth is celebrating "June for Justice," with a different focus each Friday night of the month at "Erev Shabbat" services. On the night before Juneteenth (i.e., Erev Juneteenth), TBE will be welcoming a special guest speaker, Trische’ Duckworth from Survivors Speak. The community is welcome to attend. Join in by clicking here. 7:30 pm
Friday, June 18. WCTF 2021 Juneteenth Celebration
Join the Women of Color Task Force for their observance of Juneteenth with a day-long conference consisting of panel discussions and keynote speeches. The theme for the event is “Improving Intercultural Race Relations to Develop Intercultural Solidarity.” For a full listing of panelists and speakers, please visit their site. 8:30 am–1:30 pm
Saturday, June 19–July 9. 21 Day Equity Challenge
Join in the next run of the United Way of Washtenaw County’s 21 Day Equity Challenge - kicking off Juneteenth. The Challenge examines the history and impacts of racism on people’s lived experience in Washtenaw County. Take this self-guided journey, and along, participants will also receive examples and tools on how to undo racism and build racial equity and justice. Register here.
List: Juneteenth events in Metro Detroit

The city of Dearborn is hosting its 1st annual Juneteenth Mobility Stroll and Roll Celebration from 9 am to 2 pm. The city of Detroit will host its Juneteenth festival in the same area where the Dabls MBAD African Bead Museum on Grand River Avenue...

Read more
www.clickondetroit.com
Things to do
Why Should Congress Pass Both the “For the People Act” and the “John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act?”
According to Common Cause, it is critically important to pass both pieces of legislation.
The For the People Act (HR 1 and S1) has three major components:
  1. Voting and elections — sets national standards to guarantee all eligible Americans’ the right to vote. Included are items like automatic voter registration, expanding absentee voting, blocking voter purges, etc. t also includes provisions to combat gerrymandering.
  2. Money and politics —­­ offers various solutions to limit the influence of wealthy special interests and big political donors by, for example, creating a new small-donor focused citizen funding elections program and increasing disclosure requirements for dark money groups
  3. Ethics and accountability ­­— includes measures to strengthen government ethics.
The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act
The original Voting Rights Act passed in 1965 with strong bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate. In 2013 in a partisan five-to-four decision, the US Supreme Court struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act that determined which states or jurisdictions with a history of suppressing votes needed federal approval to change their voting laws from a court or the Justice Department. The Supreme Court ruled that Congress relied on outdated information to establish the formula and left it to Congress to rewrite the formula based on contemporary records of ongoing discrimination.
 
According to Common Cause, “these two bills really depend on each other. While the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act will protect the right to vote which is absolutely crucial as state legislatures across the country are creating new barriers to voting. The For the People Act will also move the ball forward by creating new national standards that expand the freedom to vote and make our elections more accessible. Without the For the People Act, the Voting Rights Act would only combat current voter suppression efforts.”
 
Democracy Docket notes that while Senator Joe Manchin has stated his opposition to the For the People Act, he did signal support for the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, stating that he will “continue to engage with my Republican and Democratic colleagues about the value” of the bill and work to move it forward in the Senate on a bipartisan basis. Time will tell……

Protect Michiganders’ right to vote
A huge majority – nearly 67% – of Michigan voters supported expanding our access to the ballot through the Promote the Vote Proposal 3 ballot initiative in 2018.
Yet Michigan Republicans are intent on reducing the number of Michiganders who vote. They’ve introduced 39 bills, all of which make it harder to vote. Standing alone, each bill does not seem all that suppressive, but together they will greatly reduce the number of Michiganders who will vote either through an absentee ballot or at the polls. 
Last week, three of the worst bills passed out of committee and are now ready for a Senate vote. Senate Bills 303, 304, and 285 all have to do with requiring a state authorized photo ID (SB303, SB285), eliminating the affidavit (SB303), issuing Provisional Ballots (SB304) that will need a second trip to the clerk's office. These three bills create unnecessary regulation and restrictions on our ability to vote and run contrary to the text and spirit of the Michigan and Federal constitutions, the federal Voting Rights Act, as well as the wishes of the many Michiganders who voted to support Proposal 3 in 2018. 
These three bills are all unduly hard on minority, elderly, disabled, poor and all those who may lack picture ID. Moreover, they feed the false, dangerous, and festering narrative that the 2020 Presidential Election was stolen.

We encourage you to send a message to your State Senator urging them to oppose this legislation. We have an action alert set up with a pre-written message to get you started. As always, we encourage you to customize your message. We also hope you will share this action alert with your friends and family, so we can all work together to protect Michigan’s freedom to vote. 
Things to read, watch, and listen to
139 Republicans lied, fueled an insurrection, then voted to cover it up                                                         
The Big Lie >the Insurrection> those who want to cover it up. “It’s also no coincidence that of the 147 House and Senate Republicans who voted in January to overturn the election, 139 of them also just voted to stop an independent commission from investigating the insurrection. It’s all connected. They attacked democracy in January and capped it off last week with a second attack on democracy, all in plain sight and with the intention of preserving the lie.” Know their names. Read more
The PEG Newsletter typically goes out each Thursday. 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. To subscribe to this free newsletter, go to our website by clicking hereTo share with your friends and networks, use the sharing buttons at the top of the email or just "forward" from your email browser.
A special thanks to our Newsletter contributors: Ellen Halter, Mieko Preston, Leslie McGraw, Leslie Kamil, Lisa Kamil, Richard Gaeth, Susie Ayer, Bette Cotzin, and Chuck Newman for their help preparing our newsletters. Write us at equalityingovinfo@gmail.com if you would like help create our weekly newsletter. It’s fun and no ongoing commitment is required.