PEG 12th Congressional District
Newsletter #134
170 weeks down, 52 weeks to go until Election Day!

Thank you
to all our veterans!
Good News from Election Day
Election results for Washtenaw County, Nov. 5, 2019

Voters headed to the polls Tuesday to decide on issues impacting local governments and school districts, including a $1 billion Ann Arbor Public Schools bond proposal [which was approved], and a proposed ban on marijuana businesses in Northfield.

Read more
www.mlive.com
Voters in several states signaled a moderate political shift

Nov. 5 (UPI) - Attorney General Andy Beshear (D) declared victory in a tight gubernatorial race over Gov. Matt Bevin (R) in Kentucky. Democrats in Virginia took control of both houses in the state legislature, a historic victory...

Read more
www.upi.com
Events
Thursday, November 7. WeROC Meeting 
The main program this month will be a "mini-training" focusing on a powerful approach to community power-building -- "Relational Organizing" -- that fits well with the mission of WeROC. Contact Tad Wysor, WeROC Organizer and MOSES Liaison (734-883-3225) with your questions. A light dinner will be provided. Strong Tower Ministries, 134 Spencer Lane, Ypsilanti Township (first driveway off Michigan Ave, Annex building at the south end of the parking lot). 5:30–7:30 pm
Thursday, November 7. Drafts with Donna Lasinski
This is an opportunity to have an informal conversation with you about the issues that face our community. Saline District Library, Brecon Room B, 555 N Maple Rd, Saline . 6–7 pm
Thursday, November 7. Asylum Seekers Support Coordinating Committee Meeting
Temple Beth Emeth, 2309 Packard St, Ann Arbor . 7:30–9 pm
Poor People’s Campaign Washtenaw County Weekly Coffee & Catch Up
B-24's Espresso Bar Eats and Entertainment, 217 W Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti .  
  • Friday, November 8, 2:30–4 pm
Sunday, November 10. Learn to have respectful conversations about politics
Better Angels invites anyone interested in having better conversations with people on the other side of the political aisle to a Skills Workshop to learn skills for having respectful conversations that clarify differences, search for common ground, and affirm the importance of the relationship. Contact Sandra Xenakis: sjxena@yahoo.com with your questions. St Paul United Church of Christ, 122 W Michigan Ave, Saline . Please arrive a few minutes early to get settled.  1–4 pm
Sunday, November 10. The WCDP Annual Gala
The speaker will be Congressman Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, a nationally recognized leader in this country on progressive issues, fighting for policies that promote social and economic justice. Tickets are $100 with an advance reservation, $125 at the door. Reserve your tickets here. IBEW Local 252, 7920 Jackson Rd, Ann Arbor . 5–7:30 pm
Monday, November 11. Yousef and You Forum
Come meet with State Rep Yousef Rahbi at Banfield’s Bar and Grill, 3140 Packard St, Ann Arbor . 6–7:30 pm
Call with MI Resistance
S upport the open impeachment process
Safeguarding our democracy should not be a partisan issue.
Wednesday, November 13. Carbon Neutrality Summit / Town Hall
Join the City of Ann Arbor and more than 13 partner organizations to begin exploring what it would take for the entire Ann Arbor community to become carbon neutral. Space is limited for the Town Hall so interested attendees should register as soon as possible . Cobblestone Farm, 2781 Packard St, Ann Arbor . 5:30-7:30 pm
Wednesday, November 13. Orientation to League of Women Voters
Introduction to League Basics for members and prospective members. The first half-hour will be a chance to meet and get to know each other, followed by the program. Contact Barb at speckle.bb@gmail.com with questions. Meeting Room 1C. Ypsilanti Library, 5577 Whittaker Rd, Ypsilanti. 4 pm
Thursday, November 14. Eastern Washtenaw County Dems
For info, contact Micheal White at electmichaelwhite@gmail.com
WCDP Office . 418 W Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti. 7–8 pm
Saturday, November 16. Coffee with Jeff Irwin
Carrigan Cafe, 101 S. Ann Arbor St, Suite 107, Saline. 10:30 am–12:30 pm
Milan Coffee Works, 508 County St, Milan . 1–3 pm
Cards and postage are provided, but you can bring your own. Panera Bread, 903 W Eisenhower Pkwy, Ann Arbor . 2 pm
Sunday, November 17. March for Housing NOW
The need for affordable housing in Ann Arbor has increased exponentially, especially as the average rent has risen significantly in recent years. According to a report to the city council, Ann Arbor needs to build 140 units a year through 2035 to meet a goal of 2700+, however, only 50 have been built in the last 5 years. This is disappointing proof the city is remiss in meeting the growing need despite the city council’s recent decision to incentivize developments. To bring awareness regarding this disparity and demand the city better address this pressing issue, the Washtenaw Defense Committee is sponsoring a march on November 17 at Liberty Park. 255 E Liberty St, Ann Arbor . 1–4 pm
Tuesday, November 19. Abortion legislation townhall conversation
This program is presented by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan and will discuss the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) unveiled in the Michigan legislature. This ground-breaking legislation would ensure all Michiganders can make personal decisions regarding their health and pregnancies without interference from politicians. Learn more and take action here . Location TBD, 5–7 pm
Things to do
Tell your Members of Congress to support this important new bipartisan bill
The legislation is a fix for immigrant farm workers. Called the Farm Workforce Modernization Act ( Read H.R. 4916 here . ) it would “provide a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants who have already been working in the farm and agriculture industry for at least two years and plan to continue in this sector.” MoCs, particularly in agricultural areas know the need for and the value of these workers. Read more here. - McClatchyDC.com
Make an important contribution to our democracy by working in a polling place on Election Day
Almost every city/township needs more qualified election inspectors, but some places have particular needs, e.g. in 2020, Detroit will open 6 satellite clerk's offices, in addition to the main clerk's office, where people can register and vote early via absentee ballot. They plan to have these offices open for at least 30 days before Election Day, including some weekend hours, and will be hiring temporary staff before each election (including the March 2020 presidential primary) to staff all of these offices. These won't be poll workers -- they'll be temporary clerk staff who will be asked to commit to a month or more. For more information, contact Deb Olson at dgolson@c2be.org .
Read and comment on ACLU website: New rule will undercut Fair Housing regulations
A proposed new rule by the Trump Administration undermines the power of the Fair Housing Act, preventing the most vulnerable communities from access to stable dwellings by reinvigorating covert systemic and discriminatory barriers. The rule increases the difficulty faced by claimants to prove unjust policies disproportionately affect them, while strengthening a defendant’s opposition. Such a change will increase racial disparities for housing at a rate that has already significantly increased in recent years.
Although public commenting has recently closed, readers can still share their comments here or contact David H. Enzel, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement Programs, Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW, Room 5204, Washington, DC 20410, Tel. (202) 402-5557. Read the full exclusive article by new PEG contributor, Mieko Preston, MA, here.
Let’s encourage whistleblowers at the Department of Justice!
Postcards for America is promoting a postcard campaign to encourage whistleblowers at the Department of Justice to step forward. In their recent post , they suggest writing to the DOJ, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC 20530 with a message such as,
“Dear DOJ Career Civil Servant, Thank you for your service; you are appreciated.
Now, democracy is teetering and we need more Whistleblower heroes. Can you be one?”
They also suggest adding agency names (see list of agencies ) so the DOJ mailroom will distribute the postcards. Let’s flood the mailroom!
Things to read, watch, or listen to
Declining State Funding for Michigan’s Universities
Writing in Michigan’s Bridge Magazine, Phil Powers telegraphs his concern about the declining enrollment in Michigan’s universities (with the exceptions of the University of Michigan and Michigan State) as well Michigan state legislators failure to provide adequate support for their institutions of higher learning. This year, they approved an increase in annual funding for universities of only .9%, which, given inflation, amounts to a budget cut of .5%. Thus, our universities face both declining enrollment, and hence tuition money, and state money. (Michigan is 44th in the nation in its per resident support for higher education.) How will our state compete in the next century with its high tech demands, when only 44 % of the workforce will have post high school education? – Bridge Magazine
Beyond term limits: 5 "good government" ideas eyed by Michigan reformers
An unlikely coalition eyeing changes to the state’s term limits law is working to break a legislative logjam on government reform proposals in a state notorious for failing grades on ethics and transparency.  

Voters Not Politicians, the grassroots group that successfully pushed an anti-gerrymandering ballot proposal last fall, is discussing a suite of reform ideas with Republican legislative leaders and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, which fought the creation of an independent redistricting committee ultimately approved by voters. 

Early talks have included possible action on:
  • public records access laws
  • lobbying reforms
  • personal financial disclosures
  • ethics oversight
  • limitations on aggressive legislating during the state’s lame-duck session
Thank Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Sen. John Thune (R-SD) for  defending the integrity and reputation  of individuals who speak their truth
Share why you appreciate an evenhanded and professional demeanor regarding current impeachment proceedings.
Addresses:
  • LC: 2120 Capitol Avenue, Suite 8005, Cheyenne, WY 82001
  • RB: Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse, 111 South 10th Street, Suite 23.305, St. Louis, MO 63102
  • JT: 5015 South Bur Oak Place, Sioux Falls, SD 57108 
2020 Refugee Admissions
At a time when there are over 70 million people displaced in the world, on November 1st, President Trump made official the refugee resettlement ceiling of 18,000 for Fiscal Year 2020. This is the lowest number ever set by any president since the Refugee Act became law in 1980.
The administration proposed the refugee admissions number, known as the Presidential Determination , in late September. HIAS and other refugee assistance organizations, faith leaders, policy experts, and hundreds of elected officials repeatedly called on the administration to change the number. This year’s cap represents a 40% cut from last year’s number – nearly 80% lower than fiscal 2016– and it comes amidst the largest global refugee crisis in recorded history.
In response to this, Melanie Nezer, HIAS’ Senior Vice President of Public Affairs stated “it’s heartless and senseless to yet again lower the number of people that America, a nation built by immigrants and refugees, is willing to resettle… It’s wrong to tell people who are fleeing violence that there is no safe place for them here–when resettlement has saved countless lives and so enriched our country–and to leave them to needlessly suffer instead.”  
Gerrymandering and the courts
US Supreme Court overturns ruling in Michigan gerrymandering case: What it means
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday officially overturned a ruling which had called for nearly three dozen congressional and legislative districts in Michigan to be redrawn because they unfairly helped one political party. 

The decision — which vacated an earlier ruling made by a three-judge panel by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati — had been widely expected since the Supreme Court decided in June that it would allow state courts to decide questions about political boundary lines rather than ruling on them itself. Read More.
Court freezes North Carolina's gerrymandered map
A North Carolina state court has ruled the state cannot proceed with next year’s House primaries under its current congressional map, temporarily setting aside the GOP-drawn districts in a potential boon for Democrats.

A three-judge panel in Wake County preparing to hear a case over whether the congressional districts are politically gerrymandered granted a motion Monday to put the map on ice. The court said Democrats are likely to prove the districts violate the state constitution, and preparing to conduct the March 3 primary under the current lines would be improper. Read More.
New rule will undercut Fair Housing regulations
The Fair Housing Act (FHA) was ratified in 1968 to ensure marginalized and minority communities have equal opportunity access to safe, stable housing. It has been the strongest protection against unjustified and discriminatory housing practices, both overt and covert. In the fifty years since the FHA was enacted, exclusionary housing policies may be more difficult to distinguish, but sadly are still in effect. The Disparate Impact Rule (DIR) , has been the FHA’s sharpest enforcement tool for decades . It’s a means for affected parties to directly challenge concealed inequities through algorithmic measurements of risk or creditworthiness, unwarranted tenant screening tools, exclusionary marketing schemes, segregated rezoning, and general unjust policies.
The Trump Administration’s new rule , proposed in August, mitigates the DIR by requiring that potential victims of housing discrimination must meet a significantly increased ‘burden of proof’ of violations. According to the proposal, a complainant must now prove five different supporting elements to pursue their claim. Conversely, the change allows more leeway for a respondent’s successful rebuttal by choosing one of three methods. In one such method a defendant can claim that a policy is necessary for business even if it does disproportionately impact protected communities.
This new rule will undermine the strength of the DIR by reinforcing covert systemic barriers to fair housing. Meanwhile sellers, landlords and state insurers are protected from adhering to equitable standards of practice, thus preventing the most vulnerable communities from access to a basic civil right.
Although public commenting has recently closed, readers can still share their comments here or for more information contact David H. Enzel, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement Programs, Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW, Room 5204, Washington, DC 20410, telephone number (202) 402-5557.
OPINION - Wake Up, Democrats
“Nearly two-thirds of the Trump voters who said they voted for Democratic congressional candidates in 2018 say that they’ll back the president” in hypothetical match-ups against Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.

Democrats won in 2018 by running a smartly populist campaign , focused on reducing health care costs and helping ordinary families. The candidates avoided supporting progressive policy dreams that are obviously unpopular, like mandatory Medicare and border decriminalization.” 

Jonathan Chait , New York magazine: ‘The poll contains substantial evidence that Trump’s party lost the midterms for the hoary yet true reason that Republicans took unpopular positions, especially on health care, and ceded the center. Rather than learn the lesson, Democrats instead appear intent on ceding it right back to them.’ The NY Times
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Why should I WAVE?
Wave’s Grand Master
Barry Gross, a retired physician, is the Grand Master of the new WAVE technology, which encourages people to vote by signing up for absentee ballots. He has made 352 contacts and sent out 500-600 emails. 

Gross explains his success: Quite simply, he likes it. Of all the community volunteering he has done over the years, this has been his favorite. He enjoys sending out email pitches of his own design; he does not have to persuade someone to vote for a particular candidate; and he feels as if emailing is far less intrusive than phoning or even texting. Over the months of his involvement, he has expanded his circle of contacts—other physicians, professors, fellow congregants. To his surprise, he’s received Thank you emails from recipients grateful that he’d informed him of this easier, more convenient way of voting.

If you or another organization you are affiliated with would like to learn more about the WAVE initative, give us a WAVE at ContactWAVEMichigan@gmail.com or check out Wave-Michigan.com . Also, now you can find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/WAVEMichigan !
About PEG and WAVE
WAVE  (We All Vote Every time)  is its own entity. However, to alleviate redundancies, information is distributed via the Protectors of Equality (PEG) Newsletter. The PEG Newsletter typically goes out each Thursday, with a repeat send on Sunday to recipients that have not opened it Thursday. PEG is a 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.

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Thanks to Newsletter contributors: Bernie Banet, Leslie McGraw, Richard Gaeth, Ellen Halter, Lisa Kamil, Leslie Kamil, Susie Ayer, Mieko Preston, Jim Morgenstern, 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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