PEG 12th Congressional District
Newsletter #209. Thursday, April 15, 2021
Michigan – Voter suppression alert
Republican State Senators plan to evade Whitmer’s veto 
Republican State Senators have proposed 30+ bills (Senate Bills 273-311) whose net effect would suppress Michiganders’ access to voting.
Aware that Governor Whitmer will veto these bills, the GOP legislators plan to circumvent her veto through a petition. (Michigan is one of two states which allows a successful petition — one which consists of signatures of 8% of the votes garnered by the governor in the last election — to become law.) Thus, if the GOP collects 340,047 signatures, their bills will become law.
Their measures, demanding voter ID, and restricting drop boxes, postage for absentee ballots, and new voting machines among other items, are designed to make it increasingly difficult for the poor and people of color to vote.
This is a serious abrogation of democracy: Governor Whitmer won by about 2.3 million votes, yet 340,047 signatures could negate the authority granted to her by the majority of voters. - Bridge
Burdensome Voter ID Laws provide no additional election security
Do these proposed election laws protect our election integrity? According to Michigan Resistance, the answer is NO; the new rules will only complicate the Michigan voting process. This week in their newsletter, they reviewed SB285 and SB303.
“SB285 requires you to mail in a photocopy of your ID with your absentee ballot application. If you do not include this ID, you will be sent a “provisional ballot” that will not be counted unless you visit the clerk and show your ID. How many law-abiding, absentee voters will have their rights denied because they cannot go the clerk’s office, or will not even realize that the ballot they get is not a regular ballot? How many will forgo their right to vote by mail because it is even more cumbersome than going to the polls?” For voters without ID while voting in person, SB303 eliminates the affidavit for a provisional ballot. Read more
Voters show ID when registering to vote, and signatures are validating every election. Adding more ballots to the already cumbersome provisional ballot process would cause more voter disenfranchisement. 
Thursday, April 15. Maintaining democracy in times of crisis
The Michigan LCV’s executive director Lisa Wozniak and Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson are joining forces for a virtual conversation, part of their People, Planet, Public Health webinar series. Secretary Benson and others have taken meaningful steps towards ensuring that the right to vote is accessible for all citizens, regardless of race, class, or any other arbitrary factor. Therefore, Wozniak and Secretary Benson will be joined by election workers and clerks across the state to discuss the importance of election reforms to ensure all citizens have not only the right to vote, but understand how they can vote. Read and register here. 4 pm 
Thursday, April 15. A2D2 Conversations about climate action
Join A2D2 Indivisible for a conversation with climate fighters from the Sunrise Movement, the Citizen’s Climate Lobby, and the DNC Council on the Environment and Climate Crisis. The Sunrise Movement is a youth-led coalition specializing in direct action to pressure lawmakers to adopt climate change legislation. Speaking will be one of their representatives, Mary Garton of Citizen’s Climate Lobby, and Michelle Deatrick, chairwoman of the DNC Council on the Environment and Climate Crisis. Read the details and find the zoom link here. 7:15 pm
Thursday, April 15. Sexual Assault in Washtenaw County: Challenges and strategies for achieving justice
The Southeast Michigan Criminal Justice Policy Research Project (SMART) at Eastern Michigan University will host a virtual roundtable outlining persistent challenges to the administration of justice for sexual assault cases in Washtenaw County, as well as new innovations in how they might be addressed. The panel will be moderated by EMU Professor Dr. Paul Leighton and will include the following speakers: Washtenaw County Prosecuting Attorney Eli Savit, SafeHouse Center Executive Director Barbara Niess-May, and Eastern Michigan University Title IX Coordinator Anika Awai-Williams. Read the details and register here. 6:30–8 pm
Sunday, April 18. Conversations! about Restorative Justice in Washtenaw County
Chuck Newman will host Belinda Dulin, executive director of the Dispute Resolution Center; Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit; and Chief Assistant Prosecutor Victoria Burton-Harris to discuss an innovative, evidence based approach to improve survivor satisfaction, decrease serious crime, racism and the number of people being incarcerated. 

Learn why Restorative Justice is a better way. They will also address the controversy around no longer prosecuting consenting adults exchanging sex for money. Click here to join the Zoom session. 7 pm
Monday, April 19. Blue Victory War Room briefing
Join forces with other blue warrior grassroots organizations nationwide as D.C. based 2020 Victory hosts a virtual gathering of their weekly "Mobilize Monday'' briefing. Attendees throughout the country are welcome. This week will focus on Biden’s first 100 days and continuing progressive efforts on issues that need vigilance and action in various states. Read details, find resources and register here. 6–7:30 pm

Monday April 19. Town Hall - Michigan Redistricting and COI
League of Women Voters Town Hall webinar on Michigan’s redistricting process and Communities of Interest. Panelists include Dr. John Chamberlin, League member, University of Michigan Professor Emeritus at Gerald R Ford School of Public Policy and Political Science; and Dr. Vicki Paulissen, EMU chemistry professor for 27 years and member of the Michigan LWV’s Communities of Interest team. To register, use this link. 7 pm

Monday, April 19. Reclaim Our American Democracy - ROAD meeting with special guest
Special guest Simon Schuster will give a presentation with in-depth news and analysis of the 2020 election. He will also give current information about big money in Michigan politics. Be ready to take notes, get motivated, and activated to do something about political spending in Michigan. Join the Zoom here. Meeting ID: 815 3655 9780, Passcode: ROAD. 7:30 pm
Thursday, April 22. A short history of racism in Detroit virtual tour 
This virtual tour will provide an overview of some of the most devastating policies and events in Detroit’s last 100 years. Black Detroiters have been a part of Detroit’s greatest moments but have also had to bear the brunt of its worst. Too often those low-points stemmed from racist federal and local policies that disproportionately impacted the city’s Black residents. From segregation and redlining, to police brutality and the destruction of Black and immigrant neighborhoods, systemic racism has been a part of the city’s story since its founding. This virtual tour will provide an overview of some of the most devastating policies and events in Detroit’s last 100 years, help attendees understand how our region’s past is still impacting our region today and provide suggestions on how allies can be part of the solution moving forward. Read details and register for tickets here. 6:30–7:30 pm
Saturday, April 24. Activist’s Self-Care Clinic
WCDP has a strong community of activists, and lots of them have been immersed in so many competing demands for time and attention! Here is some help from a group of some of the strongest activists on self-care tips. Hosted and organized by Trisch’e Duckworth of Survivors Speak. Register here. 1–3 pm
Friday, April 30. A Conversation with Josh Douglas about Voting Rights
University of Kentucky Law Professor Joshua A. Douglas, author of Vote for US: How to Take Back our Elections and Change the Future of Voting, is widely considered to be one of the most important voting rights experts in the country. Join League of Women Voters-Ann Arbor President Joan Sampieri, as she talks with Douglas about his book and the current state of voting rights. Register here. Noon–1:30 pm
Things to do
Many of our action items encourage you to reach out to your representative(s). To find your representatives, use the following links:
Congressional representative: Federal Election Commission site at
Bridge Michigan stated that business leaders from some of Michigan’s largest employers on Tuesday urged the state’s Republican-led Legislature to avoid approving any new election laws that would reduce participation or disenfranchise voters. General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Ford CEO Jim Farley, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan CEO Daniel Loepp were among those who spoke out as legislators begin to debate a 39-bill election reform package. The business leaders did not object to any specific bills — which include proposals for strict voter ID laws, new regulations for absentee ballot drop boxes and a ban on pre-paid return postage — but urged “equitable access” to the ballot box.

The New York Times reported that as Michigan’s Senate prepares to hold hearings on a package of voting bills, the chief executives of 30 of the state’s largest companies, including Ford Motor, G.M. and Quicken Loans, released a joint statement on Tuesday declaring their opposition to changes in the state’s election laws that would make voting more difficult.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said this week she wants state business leaders to get involved early, before the GOP proposals become law.

Corporations gave over $50M to voting restriction backers in recent years, according to a new report by Public Citizen, a Washington-based government watchdog group. The money may not have been given with voting laws in mind, but it nonetheless helped cement Republican control in statehouses where many of the prohibitive measures are now moving forward. More than 120 companies detailed in the report previously said they would rethink their donations to members of Congress who objected to the certification of President Joe Biden’s win following the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol. What is certain, is that withholding corporate donations to state-level candidates, like many companies did at the federal level, would have a far greater impact in statehouses.
It is an interesting read to see what companies donated.

Contact companies that you frequent and urge them to act now by:
  • withdrawing donations and investments in states that propose restrictive voting bills
  • publicly supporting federal voting rights legislation
Things to read, watch, and listen to
Corporation heads discuss stopping donations to fight controversial voting bills
On March 31, 2021, CNBC aired a segment featuring Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier and former American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault, who coordinated a letter signed by 72 Black business executives asking companies to fight divisive voting bills driven by Republican lawmakers in at least 43 states after Georgia’s law was passed.

Corporate activity has continued. This month,Coca-Cola, Major League Baseball, Delta Air Lines, Citigroup, ViacomCBS, UPS and other companies opposed the law in Georgia that critics say will make it more difficult for poorer voters and voters of color to cast ballots. Baseball officials decided to move the All-Star Game this summer from Georgia to Colorado because of the voting bill. This past Saturday more than 100 chief executives and corporate leaders gathered on line to discuss potential ways to show they opposed the legislation. Reuters reported that most CEOs on the call said in a poll they will reassess donating to candidates who fail to support voting rights, while many will consider holding back investments in states that restrict voting access. The call’s goal was to unify companies that had been issuing their own statements and signing on to drafted statements from different organizations after the action in Georgia. The joint statement was organized by Civic Alliance, a nonpartisan group of businesses focused on voter engagement. Bridge Michigan reports that Jim Fitterling, CEO of DOW, was one of about 200 corporate leaders — and the only one from Michigan — to sign on to a recent statement from The Civic Alliance that condemned voting bills that restrict access to the polls.  It is important to note that no final steps were agreed upon.

On April 14, The New York Times reported that this is the biggest show of solidarity so far by the business community as companies around the country try to navigate the partisan uproar over Republican efforts to enact new election rules in almost every state. Some CEOs are using company names, others are using their personal names and some companies have not signed. Read the article for the specifics.

In addition to condemning voting proposals in dozens of states, activists want companies to testify in front of legislators, withdraw financial support from lawmakers who support them, and throw weight behind federal election reform legislation.
Daunte Wright, yet another Minneapolis Black person killed by police: Analysis by Heather Cox Richardson
“What is on trial is the fundamental American principle of equality before the law.... Either [Black people killed at the hands of police] had the right to due legal process, or police officers could condemn them to death without the due process of the law. If the former, it is imperative to defend the principle of equality before the law against those who would undermine that principle. If the latter, Floyd and Wright are not equal to white Americans, and we need to revisit exactly what sort of government we have.” Read more here: HCR Letters from an American Monday, April 12, 2021
The PEG Newsletter typically goes out each Thursday, with a repeat send on Sunday that only goes out to recipients that have not opened it 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.
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