PEG 12th Congressional District
Newsletter #123, Thursday, August 15, 2019
160 weeks down, 64 weeks to go until Election Day!
Photo: Diverse descendants of Declaration of Independence authors and signatories
recreate an iconic painting of their ancestors 241 years later.
From Physical Action to Public Outcry, Activism Still Works
Here are a few ways in which the will of the people have been victorious over the past few weeks:
  • A billboard targeting four congresswomen of color is taken down following public outcry.
  • Thanks to the tireless work of 9/11 first responders and allies—including fierce advocate Jon Stewart—the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund has been extended through 2092, essentially making it permanent.
  • Following the recent raid announcement, Chicago revoked ICE’s access to their police databases and banned them from using them in the future.
  • Inmates in Washington state prisons will still get to receive and read used books from non-profits after officials were shamed into reversing their initial ban by public uproar.
Events
August 15. WAVE parties in Ferndale
Fems for Dems and Indivisible Fighting 9 are working with WAVE (We All Vote Everytime) on absentee voter outreach projects that are essential for success in 2020. These projects are a great way to make a big impact even if you only have a few hours to spare.
At this session, we will be focusing on voter outreach via email. You will need to bring a laptop or tablet. Wifi is available, but it is helpful to have your own data source (wifi hotspot or the like) and a charging cord as backups.
There will be plenty of people to answer your questions and guide you through the process. Plus you will have a great time while getting a lot of important work done! Sign up today at waveprojectaugust15.eventbrite.com . FIrst United Methodist Church, 22331 Woodward Ave, Ferndale . 6–7:30 pm
Saturday, August 17. Non-violent communication skills workshop, Free
This free event will introduce you to a new framework for understanding conflict.
  • New ways to communicate that enhance mutual respect 
  • Strategies you can use immediately to improve your relationships
Ann Arbor Library: Pittsfield Branch, 2359 Oak Valley Dr, Ann Arbor . 9:30am–12:30pm
Presented by Lisa Gottlieb, MSW, SSW; NVC Certified Trainer; cofounder, Selma Café. For more details, write to nvclisagottlieb@gmail.com or see GreatLakesNVC.com . (no advance registration required.)
Saturday, August 17. Conversations with State Senator Jeff Irwin

Monday, August 19. Allen Park Dems Monthly Meeting
Call Dan Geb at (313) 600-6720 with questions. American Hungarian Reformed Church , 9901 Allen Rd, Allen Park . 7–8 pm

Wednesday, August 21. Brownstown Township Dems Monthly Meeting
Brownstown Township Parks & Recreation, 21311 Telegraph Rd, Trenton. 6:30–7:30 pm
Thursday, August 22–Sunday, August 25. National Network Assembly
Hundreds of local grassroots leaders organizers from around the country will gather in Des Moines, Iowa, August 22 to August 25, 2019.  The first National Network Assembly will strengthen the connective tissue between grassroots groups by bridging multiple networks and organizations that represent over 1,000 leaders across all 50 states.  F ind more information, register, and donate to the scholarship fund here .
Friday, Saturday, Sunday. August 23-25. WCDP at the Ypsi Heritage Festival  
They will have a table there, and at the Ballard Street Festival, an Ypsilanti community tradition, on August 31. Come help us spread the word about the Washtenaw County Democratic Party, and offer voter registration and absentee voter information. Signups will be available soon on the WCDP calendar and on Facebook.
Saturday, August 24. Yousef and YOU
Come to meet your Michigan Senate Representative, Yousef Rabhi. Community Room, RoosRoast Coffee, 1155 Rosewood St, Ann Arbor. 10–11 am
Sunday, August 25. D3 FUNraiser
Fems for Dems is heading Downriver with its newest installment of their "D3" FUNraiser. Following the theme, we'll stop at three mystery "dive bars" in Downriver communities, and we will be greeted by a surprise SHEro at each location. Who will our surprise guests be?!? Get your ticket to find out :) Seating for this FUNraiser is limited, so you'll have to act fast. More info and tickets at: d3august2019.eventbrite.com. 4–10 pm
Reader Poll
Do you know of a jurisdiction that allows online requests to vote by absentee ballot?
We are aware of Grand Rapids and the City of Ann Arbor. If you know of others, email us at equalityingovinfo@gmail.com
Sunday, August 25. Learn how you can help win from home in 2020
WAVE ( We All Vote Everytime ) has absentee voter outreach projects that are essential for success in 2020. These projects are a great way to make a big impact even if you only have a few hours to spare. This meeting will introduce attendees to WAVE’s mission and the various easy and fun ways they can help. This session will focus on voter outreach via email. Learn more from the event page on Facebook. Touchstone Cohousing Common House, 560 Little Lake Dr, Ann Arbor . 1–2:30 pm
Things to do
Contact your clerk at the city, county or township
Action: Find your clerk to verify your voting machines are up to date. As US counties update their voting machines, many run on outdated software. Following the 2016 presidential election, states like Pennsylvania indicated that they would be working to upgrade their voting machines to allay security concerns. A new report from the Associated Press reveals that while counties across the United States have purchased new equipment, many of the machines are running outdated software that could still be vulnerable to hackers.
Furthermore, the AP says that two of the three major election equipment vendors — Election Systems and Software LLC, and Hart InterCivic Inc — supply machines that are running outdated software: Hart InterCivic’s operating system will reach the end of its mainstream support on October 13, 2020 ( apparently Windows 10 Enterprise 2015 LTSBWindows 10 IoT Enterprise 2015 LTSB ), while Election Systems and Software says that it will be offering a new system running on Windows 10. However, it’s unclear if that will be cleared for use and distributed to counties before the 2020 election in November. The AP says that a third vendor, Dominion Voting Systems Inc., is unaffected by the issue, but points out that it does have systems that it “acquired from no-longer-existing companies that may run on even older operating systems.”’ Read more . - Verge
The congressional recess in August is NOT their vacation time
It’s time for Members of Congress to do the other part of their job: Meet with their constituents. Encourage them to hold town halls during this time.
Call : Your one House rep and two senators’ local offices ( look up ).
Script : Hi. I’m a constituent from [ZIP]. Please tell me when [NAME] is holding town hall meetings in [TOWN] during the August recess?
If no meetings planned : It’s important for [NAME] to meet with their constituents. Can you let me know when they plan to hold the next town hall?
If meetings planned : Thank you! I plan to be there.
Overwhelm Congress with your postcards
Here are this week’s issues/addresses write-ups for postcarding. Look them over and choose the ones that speak to you.
Tell your MoCs weakening environmental agencies by relocation is unacceptable
Departments of Agriculture and Land Management as well as the EPA have relocated their employees. “Two vital research agencies at the U.S. Department of Agriculture are hemorrhaging staff as less than two-thirds of the researchers asked to relocate from Washington to the Kansas City area have agreed to do so”; some call it a "blatant attack on science." More at NPR.org
“Critics have questioned moving tenured policy officials of the Bureau of Land Management far from the nation's capital.” More at TheHill.com
Why won’t the Senate protect American elections?
“As noted below, the bills demonstrate relative bipartisan agreement over several key remedies. A number of members have proposed providing additional funding for the Election Assistance Commission, sharing election security expertise with the states, providing paper ballot backups of electronic voting systems, sanctioning financial institutions that support foreign interference, authorizing retaliatory actions against any nation interfering in American elections, and requiring intelligence agencies to determine whether any foreign agents interfered in American elections. A version of these ideas already has been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on a 225 to 184 vote , but has been repeatedly blocked from a Senate vote by Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY). Calling the bill “highly partisan,” McConnell blocked a unanimous consent vote on the bill just hours after Mueller’s testimony.” Read more.
What is Michigan doing about Gun Control?
Advance editor-in-chief Susan J. Demas rounded up the gun control legislation that the Michigan State Legislature could take up in the wake of this month’s shootings in El Paso and Dayton, including roughly a dozen bills that would do things from toughening background checks to restricting gun sales from purchasers with a high risk of committing violence. But Republicans in charge of the Legislature — State House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) — have yet to move any legislation. Read the Advance article here . Read a related article in the Detroit Free Press on how these two are blocking the “red flag” legislation here . Please call today and demand action. 
  • House Speaker Lee Chatfield: (517) 373-2629
  • Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey: (517) 373-5932
Ads supporting Tucker’s white supremacy? Really?
Let USAA Executive Director Laura Powers hear from you that USAA [United Services Automobile Association] should not be sponsoring his show. Easy e-mail template from Sleeping Giants here Facebook post and script . Tucker Carlson Tonight has argued that women shouldn't earn more money than men, has referred to Iraqis as "semi-literate primitive monkeys," called white supremacy "a hoax," and, "a conspiracy theory used to divide the country." He has said that immigrants are making our country "dirtier." If Tucker worked at USAA his comments would get him fired. Yet they remain one of his last major sponsors. See more advertisers leaving Tucker here at  -Sleeping Giants .
Climate Risk Disclosure Act
The Climate Risk Disclosure Act ( H.R. 3623 ) introduced by representatives Sean Casten (D-IL), Matt Cartwright (D-PA), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), will soon come up for a vote in the House. H.R. 3623 would require companies to identify the risks they face from climate change—and to explain how they plan to address them; it would tighten requirements for fossil fuel companies to disclose how they detect, mitigate, and seek to reduce leakage of methane and emphasizes the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels to avoid the worst effects of climate change. However unlikely to pass, it is essential that we press our MoCs to sponsor it—and, if they won’t, to let them know that we are watching as they refuse to deal, even in this limited way, with the worldwide emergency that is climate change.
Summer Learning – take a class on climate change!
100% online, learn on your own schedule. The level is Beginner. Approximately 18 hours to complete. Suggested: 7 weeks of study, 2–4 hours per week. Learn more and/or enroll here .
Things to listen to, read, and watch
Trump’s Endangered Species Act overhaul worries Michigan conservationists
“Environmental advocates and political leaders in Michigan are slamming the Trump administration’s planned overhaul of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). 
Under the new regulations, regulators must look at economic factors when determining whether a species should be classified as endangered. Environmentalists say doing so could allow regulators to ignore the impact of climate change.“ Read more here.
Why does the FBI fear fully investigating white nationalists?
Former FBI supervisor, Dave Gomez, told the Washington Post he thinks it’s because of, “fierce political debates surrounding the issue.” (in other words, it will anger Trump’s base). Read more here. -The Washington Post
And the War on the Poor Continues
New Trump rules could deny green cards to immigrants on public assistance
“The Trump administration took one of its most aggressive steps yet on Monday to target legal immigration, publishing new rules that could deny green cards to immigrants who use Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers or other forms of public assistance, and potentially making it more difficult for some to get legal status in the U.S. click here.
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Thanks to Newsletter contributors: Richard Gaeth, Bernie Banet, Leslie Kamil, Lisa Kamil, Jen Hoffman, Small Victories Newsletter, Leslie McGraw, Susan Ayer, and Chuck Newman for their help preparing this newsletter. Write us at info@equalityingov.org if you would like help create our weekly newsletter. It’s fun and no ongoing commitment is required.
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