PEG 12th Congressional District
Newsletter #76, Thursday, September 13, 2018
96 weeks down, 8 weeks to midterm elections
This November you will have to vote line by line
In the past, a single mark could automatically count for candidates of a single party, from governor to county commissioner. Now, after court decisions, each candidate must be voted on separately .

Save your time — don’t stand in line! On November 6 — Vote absentee
This requires some work ahead of time. Washtenaw County voters: Click here , and follow the directions carefully . For more information, contact Lawrence Kestenbaum, clerk/register, 200 N Main St, Suite 120 Ann Arbor MI 48104. Phone: (734) 222-6730. Fax: (734) 222-6528. Email:

Your knowledge of candidates and ballot proposals is essential to your vote, so read below to learn more:

The Secretary of State offers informative brochure
A two-page brochure from the Michigan Secretary of State's office provides a ton of facts about the voting process in an easy-to-use format.

Very false news: Online video arguing against the VNP ballot proposal
A conservative group, The Michigan Freedom Fund, promotes an online video against the Voters Not Politicians (VNP) ballot initiative (Proposal 2) which would create a nonpartisan citizens’ commission to draw congressional districts rather than how it is currently done when redistricting is left to the dominant party in the legislature. Falsely accusing this initiative as being an Obama-backed plan to create a commission comprised solely of liberals rather than one explicitly nonpartisan, it’s full of other lies and distortions with a few truths scattered in. For a full account of the falsehoods and facts in this video, click here.

Promote the Vote: 2nd ballot initiative approved by Board of State Canvassers
According to Bridge magazine, this ballot initiative would legalize “straight-ticket voting and post-election audits; automatically register Michiganders to vote when they visit a Secretary of State office unless they opt out; allow more time for residents to register to vote before an election, including on Election Day; and allow a state resident to vote by absentee ballot without needing to first declare a reason.” (Be wary of a group which calls itself Protect My Vote, which was constituted to oppose this fair-voting measure.)

Kavanaugh SCOTUS hearings: Do-or-die moment in American history
Given Brett Kavanaugh’s ultra-right wing record on LGBT rights, women’s rights, civil rights, immigrant rights and the environment, he will set back progress 100 years. It’s crucial, therefore, to implore the two Republican women Senators who claim they are pro-choice to vote against him. In particular, Susan Collins has gone on record as saying Kavanaugh would not upset Roe v. Wade (though the Senate Judiciary Committee has unearthed evidence to the contrary.) A crowdpac website called "Sen. Collins, Be a Hero," is raising money against her future campaign, to be used only if she votes for Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Please call Collins’ office and mention that fund. (You don’t necessarily have to donate to it yourself.) For more information on this website, click here. Click here for list and script .  
Events and things to do that can help with the 2018 midterm elections
Stand up for the planet — vote for the environment
In an effort to increase voter turnout for people who rate the environment a top priority, the Environmental Voter Project (EVP) is engaging with registered voters who have not voted in recent elections ( ). This is a huge area of opportunity as, according to the EVP , "15.78 million environmentalists did not vote in the 2014 midterm elections, and we estimate that over 10 million environmentalists didn’t vote in the 2016 presidential election." Let's help the EVP get out the vote by volunteering to canvas, text, or phone bank here .
Fight big money with big organizing
Attend a MI-Resistance calling party and Help Michigan Dems take back our state:

Volunteer for the Michigan Dems
Join friends, old and new, to talk to voters about issues they care about and ask them to commit to vote for Democrats on November 6. Success in the election depends on you getting involved.
  • Ann Arbor, Scio Township, Washtenaw County. September 13–29 (excluding Sept. 16)
  • Dearborn. September 13–29 (excluding Sept. 16, 23)
  • Monroe. September 22, 29
To find numerous planned activities, places and times, and to sign up, click here .

Voter Registration at the "Y"
The League of Women Voters and the Ann Arbor YMCA are cooperating to "Get Our Community Registered to Vote." Ann Arbor YMCA, 400 W. Washington St, Ann Arbor.
  • Saturday, September 15. 9–11 am
  • Thursday, September 20. 4–7 pm
Friday, September 21. Join Rep. Dingell
Join Congresswoman Debbie Dingell in Ann Arbor on for a Go Blue, Vote Blue Fundraiser!  Connor O'Neils, 318 S. Main St, Ann Arbor. 6–8 pm
Sunday, September 23. LWV Fundraiser
Help end Michigan’s partisan gerrymandering. Learn more at League of Women Voters v Johnson and Bridge Magazine . RSVP to LWV Redistricting Director Sue Smith to get info on payment options. Home of Mark and Doreen Murray, 3126 Andora Dr, Ypsilanti. 12:30–2:30 pm
Tuesday, October 9.  Last day to register to vote in the General Election
Time is short!! Volunteer NOW to register students to vote!!
After you make sure that you and your loved ones are registered to vote at y our county, city or township clerk's office, we need to help register students to VOTE!
NextGen America is working on campuses throughout the United States to help register students to vote. Volunteers are needed to staff their voter registration tables. If you are interested in volunteering for 2-hour shifts on either the University of Michigan or Eastern Michigan University campus, contact Hudson Villeneuve at or call/text him at (810) 516-6314. Hudson will work with you to find a time and location at U-M, and/or will put you in touch with the NextGen leadership person at EMU.
Nextgen America has openings for organizing positions and paid fellowships
Click here to apply . For more information on the positions or the canvassing, reach out to Jennifer Alberts at or at (734) 560-8172 .
It was important work..
by Bette Cotzin

Along with my husband and an activist friend, I volunteered with NextGen America to register students to vote during move-in week on the University of Michigan campus. The shifts are divided into 2-hour blocks, which begin with a short training. Wearing U of M shirts as our “uniform,” and with clipboards in hand, we ventured out to find spots which we anticipated would be high traffic areas. I stood at the corner of State and N. University, making eye contact with as many people as I could, and asking them if they were registered to vote. If “yes,” I encouraged them to be sure to remember to vote. If “no,” it took about 3 minutes to register the new voter. If they were registered out of state, I offered them the opportunity to register in Michigan, and/or encouraged them to check the procedure for voting absentee in their home state. It was important work ... and we received many words of gratitude for our efforts!

Join the many volunteers like Bette who are making a difference in this election by engaging in one of these activities listed in the PEG Newsletter!
More Upcoming Events
The PEG event calendar is provided as a community service to its readers, and is based on information provided by the event sponsors. Inclusion of material does not imply endorsement by PEG.
Wednesday, September 13. Fundraising Webinar for Voters Not Politicians
How to raise money with a personal fundraising page on the Voters Not Politicians website. Click here to register. 7 pm

Thursday, September 13. 12th District Dems Monthly Meeting
UAW Taylor, 9650 South Telegraph Rd, Taylor 7–8 pm

Saturday, September 15. 12th District Democrats’ Steak Fry

Sunday, September 16. Reception for Sam Bagenstos for Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court
Click here and here to find out just how uniquely qualified he is to represent the people of Michigan. Please RSVP this week to: , (734) 761-9273. 5375 River Woods Ct, Dexter. 3–4:40 pm
Sunday, September 16. Ann Arbor's Choice Event 2018
Questions about this event? Contact Planned Parenthood (855) 896-4966. Tickets are $100. ($25 for students). Bill's Beer Garden, 218 S Ashley St, Ann Arbor . 4 pm
Monday, September 17. Allen Park Dems Monthly Meeting
For more information, call Dan Geb, (313) 600-6720. American Hungarian Reformed Church, 9901 Allen Rd, Allen Park . 7–8 pm

Tuesday, September 18. Planned Parenthood A2 Canvassing Training
  • Come learn how to canvass!
  • Get the time to practice and understand best practices
  • All levels of experience welcome!
Ann Arbor Main Health Center, 3100 Professional Dr, Ann Arbor. 6:15–7 pm

Monday, September 17. Redistricting Town Hall in Saline
Liberty School, 7265 N Ann Arbor St, Saline . 7–8:30 pm

Every 3rd Wednesday. Ward 3 and 4 Issues & Action  
Presented by Lauren Sargent (Precinct Delegate) and Sam Copi (Precinct Delegate Candidate). Morgan & York, 1928 Packard St, Ann Arbor 7–9 pm. Upcoming topics:  
  • September 19: Ballot Initiatives (VNP, Marijuana, Promote the Vote).  
  • October 19: Water (Line 5, Dana Nessel for AG, Nestle, Fracking)

Wednesday, September 19. Brownstown Dems Monthly Meeting
Serving Brownstown, Michigan and Democrats everywhere. Click here for more information. Brownstown Township Parks & Recreation, 21311 Telegraph Rd, Trenton . 6:30–7:30 pm
Wednesday, September 19. Western Washtenaw Dems General Meeting
IBEW 252, 7920 Jackson Rd, Ann Arbor . 7–9 pm     
And...Even More Events!
Be sure to check out the PEG Calendar on our website for a comprehensive list of activists events happening in September and October in the 12th Congressional District.
Things to do
Candidate volunteer opportunities, yard signs and campaign material availability
Read, watch and listen
ACLU fights to unite immigrant families
The federal court's deadline for the Trump administration to reunite separated families expired a month ago, but hundreds of children are still waiting. Over 500 immigrant children remain in government custody. See why here. - ACLU Blog
Portraits in Progressive Activism: focus on Laura DePalma (Now under the Highlights tab)
As we lead-up to the mid-term elections, our political engagement and commitment to activism is more important than ever. There are many wonderful Michiganders committed to creating positive change, sometimes against daunting odds. Activists featured here have spent significant amounts of time “in the trenches,” have inspiring stories of progressive achievements with their groups, and they are working day-by-day to make important differences in the socio-political landscape of our state and country —   just as you can, too!
Check out the  new special section,  Portraits of Progressive Activists, under the Highlights tab on the PEG website at for the most recent interviews! This week's highlight features one of our most engaged activists in Michigan,  Laura DePalma.
Things that are good
2018 Election: Get ready, get set....
Here are sources to get you ready to vote in the Midterm Elections
  • The Ann Arbor League of Women Voters has links to nonpartisan information about candidates and issues.
  • The Michigan Voter Information Center will provide you complete information on your own voter registration including where to vote, sample ballots, tracking the status of an absentee ballot, and more. Just go to
  • enables a user to register, check registration, obtain an absentee ballot, find her polling place, and sign up for reminders.
  • Click here for Bridge magazines guide to state elections, including fact-driven, data-driven, nonpartisan 2018 issues.
PEG is a non-partisan volunteer organization whose mission is to assure that our government will treat all Americans with equality and acceptance. We do our work by recruiting, educating and nurturing supporters for worthy organizations, actions and events that reflect our beliefs.
We believe that there is a limit to what we can accomplish trying to get many of our elected officials to reflect our values of equality and acceptance. Consequently, we are focusing on events and actions that will lead to replacing those elected officials. This newsletter contains many suggestions to contact your congresspeople. Find their contact information here . To subscribe to this free newsletter go to our website by clicking here . To share with your friends and networks, use the sharing buttons at the top of the newsletter or just "forward" from your email!

 Looking for more information?
Check out the webpage. Find out everything you want to know about who we are; the issues and organizations we endorse; an events calendar; and past issues of our newsletter and Facebook postings. It’s all there on the Web! Click here to see us on Facebook and our frequent posts .
Thanks to Newsletter contributors: Bernie Banet, Carolyn Christopher, Ellen Halter, Laurie Williams, Jen Hoffman, Bette Cotzin, Leslie McGraw, Richard Gaeth, Constance Cook, Susan Ayer and Chuck Newman for their help preparing this newsletter. Write us at if you would like help create our weekly newsletter. It’s fun and no ongoing commitment is required.