PEG 12th Congressional District
Newsletter #201. Thursday, February 18, 2021
Hate groups going mainstream in Michigan
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there were 25 hate groups active in Michigan. ‘“I think what all this points to is that the far-right is not simply a collection of groups, but it’s really a widespread social movement,” said Cassie Miller, a senior research analyst at SPLC."

‘’...Many believe that violence is the only thing that can help them remedy what they see as the perceived threats to the country.” Read more

Adding to that is the alliance of the Michigan Republican Party with militants
The “Liberate Michigan” movements encouraged by Donald Trump last spring gave way to the Lansing capitol protest against Covid stay-at-home orders by Governor Whitmer. 
‘“Initially, Republican leaders had some misgivings about their new allies. The optics weren’t good. Next time tell them not to bring guns,” complained Mike Shirkey, the State Senate majority leader, according to Jason Howland, one of the protest organizers. But Michigan’s highest-ranking Republican came around after the planners threatened to return with weapons and “militia guys signing autographs and passing out blow-up AR-15s to the kiddies on the Capitol lawn.” “To his credit,” Jason Howland, the organizer, wrote in a social media post, Shirkey agreed to help the cause and “spoke at our next event.”

Fast forward to January 6, 2021
A handful of Michigan Trump supporters were arrested for storming the Capitol. It seems one of the organizers, Meshawn Maddock — the person who filled many buses to DC — was recently elected co-chair of the Michigan state Republican Party.

After the riot in Washington, some argue such endorsements endanger the future of the party. “It is like the Republican Party has its own domestic army,” said Jeff Timmer, a former executive director of the Michigan party and a vocal Trump critic.

How different is this from the 1930s Nazis’ early paramilitary army, the “Brown Shirts?” This is a MUST read.
Violence and lack of media attention to hate crimes on Asian Americans is a double issue
Visit PEG Website for Full Article and Video
PEG Exclusive: Rise in hate crimes on Asian Americans

President Biden signed a memorandum denouncing xenophobia and violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, but the recent violence has caused communities to hunker down again during the normally celebratory time of Lunar New Year....

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From Sojourner Truth to Stacey Abrams
Read the full article on the PEG Website
The unseen heritage of Black women working for the vote

Black female activists fighting for voting rights was the focus of many media reports in the 2020 Presidential Election and the US Senate runoffs in Georgia. It was clear that Black female voting rights activists were pivotal...

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Presidential Actions - Part III
Find out what the Biden Administration is doing about Public Health below. For more local information, scroll to the bottom of this newsletter for tips and updates on getting tested for COVID19, vaccinated, and how to stay safe.
Presidential Actions: Environment, Science and Public Health

The following Executive Orders, Proclamations, and Memoranda represent a marked change from the last administration to this one. They address the importance of issues that have been reversed or...

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A recap: in case you missed it
Presidential Actions: Part I
Presidential actions — what's the difference?

The President of the United States has various tools that he can utilize to exercise the authority of the Executive Office. The most well known and powerful is the Executive Order...

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Presidential Actions: Part II
COVID-19: Federal Executive Orders, relief, and more

Executive Order 13995: Ensuring an Equitable Pandemic Response and Recovery, signed January 21, 2021; Executive Order 13996: Establishing the COVID-19 Pandemic Testing Board...

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Something to do NOW
Read about the fight to raise the minimum wage and how you can help. Read here about Michigan's needs and take the actions below.
Call Your Senators and U.S. Rep. to Vote YES on Raise the Wage Act of 2021
Call Your Michigan Senators
Senator Debbie Stabenow: (202) 224-4822
Senator Gary Peters: (202) 224-6221
Click here to find your representative’s name and phone number

URGE THEM to Support the “Raise the Wage Act of 2021”
The Act can lift 1.3 Million Americans out of poverty

UPDATE: On February 4, the Senate adopted an amendment to not raise the minimum wage during the pandemic. Bernie Sanders, the author of The Raise the Wage Act of 2021, stated that his bill would not have increased wages during the pandemic but would have increased the wage in steps over five years. Both of Michigan’s Senators were co-sponsors of a $15/wage bill during 2020, as were all of Michigan’s Democratic U.S. Representatives. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that whatever happens with the stimulus package, Democrats would not abandon the cause. However, Sen. Joe Manchin (D- West Virginia) has said he will not support an increase to $15/hour but said he would support something “responsible and reasonable”. This means that citizen advocacy will be even more urgent. 

  • The federal minimum wage hasn’t increased since 2009, when the wage was $7.25/hour
  • Raising the minimum wage to $15/hour is supported by two-thirds of Americans.
  • According to a Congressional Budget study, a $15/hour minimum raise would boost paychecks for 27 million American workers and would lift 1.3 million people out of poverty
  • Many states, including New York, New Jersey, California, Illinois and Florida, have already adopted a $15 minimum wage
  • Vote YES on the Raise the Wage Act of 2021.

A February 20 forum, "Raising the Minimum Wage — A Reform Whose Time has Come," will explore this issue. See the Events section for details.
Saturday, February 20. MDP Spring State Delegates Convention
Qualifying members of the Michigan Democratic Party will meet virtually on Saturday, February 20, for the 2021 Spring State Convention. The Convention will include the casting of votes for the chair and two vice-chairs of the State Central Committee, each of different gender and race, and for delegates to the Democratic State Central Committee. Read about qualifications and how to participate here. 9 am–2 pm

New to the Convention? For an easy-to-read Guide to the Convention from the Washtenaw County Democratic Party, click here
Saturday, February 20. Raising the Minimum Wage — A Reform Whose Time has Come
Jonathan Kinloch, the political director of the Michigan Service Employees International Union (SEIU), will speak on the topic of the insufficiency of the current minimum wage. Kinloch is a progressive member of the Wayne County Commission, and over the years, has taken the lead in the “Fight for 15.” There will be opportunities for questions. The event is cosponsored by Michigan Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Network and the Grey Panthers of Metro Detroit. Register here. Click here to join the Zoom meeting. 10 am
Wednesday, February 24. Fighting White Supremacy: From Charlottesville to Capitol Hill
Join a conversation between Integrity First for America Executive Director Amy Spitalnick and State Representative Felicia Brabec, with opening remarks by Washtenaw County Prosecuting Attorney Eli Savit. This discussion will explore the path from Charlottesville to the Capitol; how this movement of violent white supremacists and other far-right extremists has grown; and, most importantly, how to bring these individuals and hate groups to account. Hosted by the Jewish Community Relations Committee of Ann Arbor and Temple Beth Emeth. Full details and registration found here. 7–8 pm
Thursday, February 25. The Next Big Thing: Redistricting In Michigan
This webinar will help educate stakeholders about “communities of interest”: what they are; the role they will play in Michigan's new redistricting process; and how they can strategize and engage effectively in that process. While these methods have been a part of redistricting in other states, this is a new concept in Michigan, and is not yet widely understood. The event is co-sponsored by the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP), the Program in Practical Policy Engagement, Detroit Public TV, the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, and Voters Not Politicians. Read the details and register here. 7–8:30 pm
Friday, February 26. Covid Response, focus on Michigan
The League of Women Voters will host their February Lunch and Learn with Robin Erb and Mike Wilkinson, reporters from Bridge Michigan on-line magazine. They have been covering COVID matters from the beginning. They will discuss their findings about progress in the State of Michigan’s COVID response efforts. Send questions in advance by including them when registering for the meeting. Read and register here. noon–1:30 pm
Saturday, February 27. How to run for office
Join Rep. Christine Morse and Rep. Kelly Breen to hear all about choosing a seat, preparing now, and more! Organized by the Great Lakes Political Academy (GLPA-LEAD) Michigan.  Click for more info. 11 am–noon
Things to read, watch, and listen to
NAACP files lawsuit accusing Trump and Guiliani of inciting the Capitol insurrection
On behalf of House Homeland Security Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss), the NAACP has filed a federal lawsuit accusing Donald Trump, Rudy Guiliani, the Proud Boys, and the Oath Keepers of conspiring to incite a violent riot on January 6, 2021. The goal of the accused was to prevent Congress from carrying out its official duty to certify the presidential election.
The lawsuit alleges that Trump and Guiliani violated a fairly obscure law, the Ku Klux Clan Act, which was passed in 1871. It was a response to the “KKK violence and intimidation preventing Members of Congress in the South during Reconstruction from carrying out their constitutional duties. The statute was intended specifically to protect against conspiracies.” (NAACP) Although presidents are historically offered broad immunity for actions they take as commander-in-chief, this lawsuit was brought against Trump in his personal, not official capacity, because none of the behavior had anything to do with his presidential responsibilities.
According to Huff Post, “though the impeachment case focused squarely on accusations of incitement, the lawsuit more broadly accuses Trump of conspiring to disrupt the constitutional activities of Congress — namely, the certification of election results establishing Biden as the rightful winner — through a months long effort to discredit the outcome and to lean on individual states and his own vice president to overturn the contest.” More lawmakers are expected to join the lawsuit. We’ll be following it!
Good News
PEG celebrated it's 200th issue!
We have all accomplished so much over the past four years, but there is still a lot to do! Below are the top 5 areas that PEG would like to focus on. If you have valuable information, related events, or would like to be a guest contributor, please send us an email at
  1. Civics Deck: A tool to mitigate misinformation and help explain "how this works"
  2. Updates from Lansing and other statewide updates
  3. Increasing support of community partners in the quest for equality in government. This includes monthly features, event sharing, and social media distribution.
  4. Help to share science and data-based information about vaccinations and public health in general
  5. Voting Rights
Chelsea Clinton starts chapter book series on famous women
Chelsea Clinton has turned her picture book series “She Persisted” on famous women into full-blown chapter books, with enticing details on the lives of her renowned subjects. Her authors are well-known writers for young readers.
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.
A special thanks to our Newsletter contributors: Ellen Halter, Mieko Preston, Leslie McGraw, Leslie Kamil, Lisa Kamil, Richard Gaeth, Bernie Banet, Susie Ayer, Bette Cotzin, and Chuck Newman for their help preparing our newsletters. Write us at if you would like help create our weekly newsletter. It’s fun and no ongoing commitment is required.
Bridge Article - How do I get a COVID vaccine in Michigan?

1. Register with as many large retail locations as possible. 2. Register with your local health department. 3. Check with local hospitals. 4. Check with local providers and pharmacists. 5. Monitor social media. 6. Be persistent. 7. Be Prepared...

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Click on the boxes below to see up-to-date info on Washtenaw County COVID testing, news, and vaccination updates.