PEG 12th Congressional District
Newsletter #234. Thursday, October 7, 2021
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Redistricting commission adjust maps "to be fairer to both parties and protect minority votes"
In the October 4 edition of Bridge Magazine, there is an analysis of the newest Michigan Senate redistricting maps (tweaked on Monday) which concludes that the Democrats and Republicans would equally split seats, i.e., 19 seats each. Current district maps favor Republicans 22-16. The commission could vote on the Senate district maps this week.

Proposed congressional and state House maps may be reviewed and adjusted this week. Before final approval late this year, the commission plans five public hearings across the state to hear from the public, before making additional adjustments. More details of this analysis can be found here.
Early Voting for November election has begun
Early voting for the November 2 election in Michigan has started. You can cast your ballot in person at your city clerk's office.
Find your early voting location
In-person early voting will be available until November 1, but why wait? Cast your vote this week -- it'll feel great to make your voice heard and check it off your to-do list! If you're not sure if you're registered to vote or if your registration is up to date, you can check here.
Events
Sunday, October 10. Walk Against Hate with ADL
Join the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for an opportunity to move as an individual, family or community toward a future without antisemitism, racism and all forms of bigotry. Engage friends, family, neighbors, coworkers and set a fundraising goal to make a difference in your community. All participants, in person or virtual, must register for the Walk Against Hate. The in-person walk will be taking place at the Southfield Civic Centre (26000 Evergreen Rd, south of 1-696). More info and register here. Support a walker or team here. Registration opens at 9 am, the walk program will begin at 10 am.
Monday, October 11, Ranked Choice Voting: Boon or Doom for Dems?
Virtual debate from Washtenaw County Dems. Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) for municipal elections is on the ballot in Ann Arbor (as Proposal B) on November 2. RCV has gained a lot of momentum in recent years, with advocates touting it as a cure for extreme partisanship and boon for accurate representation of voters’ interests and inclinations. But what if, as WCDP Chair Chris Savage says in a recent Eclectablog post, RCV strongly favors Republicans in Michigan, and could “doom democracy”?
This special meeting is devoted to sorting out these competing claims.
Questioning the wisdom of RCV for Ann Arbor, Chris Savage and Dirk Mayhew
Defending its benefits, Sarah Woolsey of Rank MI Vote (and office manager for the Kent County Democratic Party) and Ann Arbor City Council member Lisa Disch.
It’ll be a lively night. Register for the meeting here. 7–8:30 pm via Zoom
Yousef and you virtual coffee hours
Rep. Yousef Rabhi, 53rd House district: yousefrabhi@house.mi.gov, Phone: (517) 373-2577. https://housedems.com/yousef-rabhi/. Typically discussions are 10 am on the 4th Saturday of the month and 6 pm on the 2nd Monday of the month. Click to register:
October Capitol Conversations: Fixing Michigan’s broken bail system
Join the movement and the ACLU of Michigan's virtual community forum where Michiganders and lawmakers will come together to advocate for bail reform legislation. Reforming our bail system could have a powerful impact on ending systemic racism and reducing the number of people needlessly sitting in Michigan jails. RSVP and more info here. Remaining dates in October, 10/12 West Michigan, 10/13 Northern Michigan. All programs 6:30–8 pm
Contribute to Voters Not Politicians!
Learn more about VNP Here.
  • October Statewide Volunteer Call - Sunday, October 10, 7 pm. Sign up here
  • Freedom to Vote Table - Macomb Pride Street Fair - Saturday, October 16. Sign up here
  • Freedom to Vote Table - Rochester Farmers’ Market - Saturdays through October 30. Sign up here  
  • Clipboarding for Voter Education - Chelsea Farmers’ Market - Saturdays through October 16. Sign up here
  • Clipboarding for Voter Education - Ypsilanti Farmers’ Market - Saturday, October 9. Sign up here
  • Voter Education Clipboarding - Plymouth Farmers’ Market - Saturdays through October 23. Sign up here
  • Voter Education Clipboarding - Oakland County Farmers’ Market - Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays through October 30. Sign up here
  • Voter Education Clipboarding - Ann Arbor Farmers’ and Artisan Markets - Saturdays and Sundays through October 31. Sign up here
  • October Virtual Trivia Night - Thursday, October 14. Sign Up here
Visit the PEG website to view the comprehensive listing of Upcoming Events!
Things to do
A Humanitarian Crisis in Michigan
On July 21 the victims of catastrophic car accidents were plunged into another, ongoing catastrophe: a government-mandated 45% cut in reimbursements for specialized care went into effect, thus rendering many, if not most, long-term, intensive care facilities insolvent. These patients may have nowhere to turn and nobody they can hire at the drastically lower rate of compensation.
This is a humanitarian crisis that only the Michigan legislature can repair. Fierce lobbying on the part of the auto insurance industry has made that an impossibility, thus far.

ACTION: Please call your state legislators and demand a return to fair compensation for caretakers of auto accident victims.
PEG Exclusive: Protect our children from COVID

The Michigan Senate Education Committee advanced a series of bills that would bar local school districts from requiring masks and other measures to keep students and educators safe, denying schools the basic tools that are needed in order to keep ...

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equalityingov.org
The Secure MI Vote petition, a Republican effort that, according to the FREEP, “proposes new voter ID rules, restrictions on election funding and a ban against election officials mailing absentee ballot applications unless voters specifically request them.” The petition requires 340,047 signatures from registered voters, which must be collected within 180 days, after which it can be introduced to the legislature and would be veto-proof. Voters Not Politicians is encouraging voters to Decline to Sign this effort to make it harder to vote!

Lt. Gov Garlin Gilchrist issued this statement: “Secure MI Vote is anti-democracy and anti-American. We must stand together against this and any attempts to make it more difficult or confusing for Michiganders to vote. This is a dishonest effort that is wrong for Michigan. Its purpose is to make voting harder, and create additional, complicated burdens on election workers whose effort and professionalism just delivered the most secure, accessible, and high-turnout election in our state's history.” 
 
Let your friends know about this effort. Send emails to your Michigan friends:

Dear (Friend),
During the coming 180 days you may be invited to sign a petition by Secure MI Vote. This petition is an effort to make voting more difficult! It is also an effort which would circumvent a potential veto by the governor.
Voters Not Politicians encourages all voters, regardless of party affiliation, to Decline to Sign!
Thank you,
(Your signature)
Things to read, watch, and listen to
Pandora Papers
On Sunday, October 3, Heather Cox Richardson’s column stated that “the Washington Post broke the story that the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) obtained more than 11.9 million financial records including emails, spreadsheets, contracts, and so on that reveal a vast international network of financial schemes to hide money from taxation, investigators, creditors, and citizens”. PBS specified that the “documents included records from 14 financial service providers around the world” and “reveals the hidden assets and secret deals of some of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful people, including 130 billionaires, 35 current and former world leaders and more than 330 politicians and public officials.”

The New York Times article reports that [T]he Pandora Papers reveal the inner workings of what is a shadow financial world, providing a window into the hidden operations of a global offshore economy,” said the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation, a Paris-based advocacy group that “enables some of the world’s richest people and multinationals to hide their wealth and in some cases pay little or no tax.”

Why is this important?
The Pandora Papers was published at a time when the rich and poor divide around the world has become pronounced. The pandemic has heightened emotional resentments about wealthy privilege in many countries.

Richardson relates Pandora Papers story to the march on October 2nd against the Texas Abortion Law as illustrating the will of many determined people “to reclaim the government that listens to what the majority wants.” She further states that “a government that answered to a majority rather than an extremist minority would crack down on the growing global elite uncovered by the Pandora Papers.”
The ICIJ hopes that the Pandora report would accelerate action to strengthen international financial regulations, curb tax avoidance and severely restrict the ways that the wealthy can hide assets. One of her main takeaways from the report is that the wealthy cannot hide money on their own; there is complicity of bankers helping their most affluent clients. 

Review the various articles on the ICIJ page to gain a better understanding of the findings and their significance. 
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy: Why is he still around?
The Postmaster General is not appointed by the president. Rather, the position is selected by the USPS Board of Governors. The board decides how long each Postmaster says in the position. At the time of DeJoy's appointment, there were six members of the board — all of whom were appointed by Trump. Biden recently filled three vacancies on the board, but Trump appointees still hold a 6-3 majority. And, thus far, they seem loyal to DeJoy.

Biden can fire and replace members of the board, but only for cause. Some Democrats are calling on Biden to remove the Trump-appointed board members so that new members can oust DeJoy. But it's unclear whether any of the Trump-appointed board members have done anything that would justify their removal.
Still, even without ousting board members, DeJoy supporters could soon be in a minority on the board. Of the six Trump-appointed members, one "is a holdover member whose term ended last year, and the term of another expires in December." If Biden replaces those vacancies with new appointees that have a different vision for the USPS, DeJoy's days could be numbered.

PEG Exclusive: The Road to Fascism by Ellen K. Halter

Critical Race Theory originated as a body of scholarship analyzing systematic racism. It alleges that racism is systemic and evident in all aspects of American society, including health care, housing, economics, education, clean water, and the...

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equalityingov.org
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. The weekly PEG Newsletter typically goes out each Thursday. 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: Bernie Banet, Ellen Halter, Mieko Preston, Leslie McGraw, Leslie Kamil, Lisa Kamil, Richard Gaeth, Susie Ayer, Bette Cotzin, and Chuck Newman for their contributions and help preparing our newsletters. Write us at equalityingovinfo@gmail.com if you would like help create our weekly newsletter OR if you would like to be a guest contributor! It’s fun and no ongoing commitment is required.