PEG 12th Congressional District
Newsletter #122, Thursday, August 8, 2019
159 weeks down, 65 weeks to go until Election Day!
"What do you say [to people in mourning]? There really are no words for that. There really aren't...There's no language for it. Sorry doesn't do it. I think you should just hug people and mop their floor or something."
Toni Morrison, Nobel Peace Prize winning novelist. 2/18/1931–8/5/2019
Beyond Thoughts and Prayers
Advance editor-in-chief Susan J. Demas rounded up the gun control legislation that the Michigan State Legislature could take up in the wake of last weekend's shootings in El Paso and Dayton, including roughly a dozen bills that would do things from toughening background checks to restricting gun sales from purchasers with a high risk of committing violence. But Republicans in charge of the Legislature — State House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) — have yet to move any legislation. Read the Advance article here . Read a related article in the Detroit Free Press on how these two are blocking the “red flag” legislation here . Please call today and demand action. 
  • House Speaker Lee Chatfield: (517) 373-2629
  • Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey: (517) 373-5932
House Speaker Lee Chatfield: (517) 373-2629
Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey: (517) 373-5932
Events
Monday, August 12. Dearborn Heights Dems Monthly Meeting
Canfield Community Center, 1901 North Beech Daily Rd, Dearborn Heights . 7–8 pm 

Wednesday, August 14. Wyandotte Dems Monthly Meeting
Copeland Center, 2306 4th St, Wyandotte . 7–8 pm
August 15. WAVE parties in Ferndale
Fems for Dems and Indivisible Fighting 9 are working with WAVE (We All Vote Everytime) on absentee voter outreach projects that are essential for success in 2020. These projects are a great way to make a big impact even if you only have a few hours to spare.
At this session, we will be focusing on voter outreach via email. You will need to bring a laptop or tablet. Wifi is available, but it is helpful to have your own data source (wifi hotspot or the like) and a charging cord as backups.
There will be plenty of people to answer your questions and guide you through the process. Plus you will have a great time while getting a lot of important work done! Sign up today at waveprojectaugust15.eventbrite.com . FIrst United Methodist Church, 22331 Woodward Ave, Ferndale . 6–7:30 pm
Saturday, August 17. Conversations with State Senator Jeff Irwin

Monday, August 19. Allen Park Dems Monthly Meeting
Call Dan Geb at (313) 600-6720 with questions. American Hungarian Reformed Church , 9901 Allen Rd, Allen Park . 7–8 pm

Wednesday, August 21. Brownstown Township Dems Monthly Meeting
Brownstown Township Parks & Recreation, 21311 Telegraph Road, Trenton. 6:30–7:30 pm
Thursday, August 22–Sunday, August 25. National Network Assembly
Hundreds of local grassroots leaders organizers from around the country will gather in Des Moines, Iowa, August 22 to August 25, 2019.  The first National Network Assembly will strengthen the connective tissue between grassroots groups by bridging multiple networks and organizations that represent over 1,000 leaders across all 50 states.  F ind more information, register, and donate to the scholarship fund here .
Sunday, August 25. Learn how you can help win from home in 2020
WAVE ( We All Vote Everytime ) has absentee voter outreach projects that are essential for success in 2020. These projects are a great way to make a big impact even if you only have a few hours to spare. This meeting will introduce attendees to WAVE’s mission and the various easy and fun ways they can help. This session will focus on voter outreach via email. Touchstone Cohousing Common House, 560 Little Lake Dr, Ann Arbor . 1–2:30 pm
More things to do
POSTCARDING
Here are this week’s issues/addresses write-ups for postcarding. Look them over and choose the ones that speak to you.

Summer Learning – take a class on climate change!
100% online, learn on your own schedule. The level is Beginner. Approximately 18 hours to complete. Suggested: 7 weeks of study, 2–4 hours per week. Learn more and/or enroll here .

Tell your MoCs weakening environmental agencies by relocation is unacceptable
Departments of Agriculture and Land Management as well as the EPA have relocated their employees. “Two vital research agencies at the U.S. Department of Agriculture are hemorrhaging staff as less than two-thirds of the researchers asked to relocate from Washington to the Kansas City area have agreed to do so”; some call it a "blatant attack on science." More at NPR.org
“Critics have questioned moving tenured policy officials of the Bureau of Land Management far from the nation's capital.” More at TheHill.com
Things to listen to, read, and watch
The real cause of the recent mass shootings in America
The Trump campaign paid for more than 2,000 Facebook ads since January 2019 that included the word "invasion" in relation to immigration. The campaign has spent roughly $1.25 million on Facebook ads about immigration since late March, a significant portion of the nearly $5.6 million the campaign spent on Facebook ads overall during that same period. "We have an INVASION!" many of the ads say in large letters. "It’s CRITICAL that we STOP THE INVASION." While there is no evidence that Trump's campaign messaging directly influenced the shooter in the white supremacist terrorist attack that left 22 people dead and dozens injured in El Paso, the shooter declared in his manifesto that "this attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas." ( Media Matters / New York Times / The Guardian / USA Today / VICE News )
Southern Poverty Law Center fights an internal threat to our democracy
All Americans, regardless of their political beliefs, should be concerned about efforts to rig our elections. Special Counsel Robert Mueller warned Americans about Russia’s ongoing attempts to meddle in our nation’s election. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) warns us about efforts to rig our elections from within.

In 2013, the US Supreme Court removed key provisions of the Voting Rights Act which led to partisan politicians in many states enacted a wave of voting restrictions that have disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of people. “The real threats to democracy are laws and election procedures clearly designed to help the party in power win elections by placing needless barriers in front of African Americans, low-income voters and others who are more likely to vote for their opponents.”

This summer, the Supreme Court opined that partisan gerrymandering is not a judicial issue, meaning it will not intervene when politicians intentionally draw legislative and congressional districts in ways that give them a partisan advantage. This decision comes at a critical time as every state will redraw its district lines after the 2020 Census. The new redistricting could help politicians lock in their power for years, even when the majority voters may want something different.

This article provides examples of state laws enacting voting restrictions and SPLC’s legal actions against some of these laws.

The importance of this article cannot be underestimated. It emphasizes that whether through gerrymandering, strict voter ID laws or other types of voter suppression , it’s clear that our electoral system – and democracy itself – is under assault.
Trump’s policies towards poor are simply mean-spirited
In an article in The New York Times , David Super argues that cruelty is all that gives coherence to Trump’s policies cutting three million people off food assistance. In contrast to Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich, who cut federal aid to the poor, each arguing that aid was in the province of the states, Trump has no such rationalization. His huge cuts to poverty programs are “federal power grabs.” To read in greater detail about Trump’s latest plan to curtail assistance to the poor, click here.
Climate Risk Disclosure Act
The Climate Risk Disclosure Act ( H.R. 3623 ) introduced by representatives Sean Casten (D-IL), Matt Cartwright (D-PA), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), will soon come up for a vote in the House of Representatives. H.R. 3623 would require companies to identify the risks they face from climate change—and to explain how they plan to address them. It would tighten requirements for fossil fuel companies to disclose how they detect, mitigate, and seek to reduce leakage of methane and emphasizes the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels to avoid the worst effects of climate change. However unlikely to pass, it is essential that we press our MoCs to sponsor it—and, if they won’t, to let them know that we are watching as they refuse to deal, even in this limited way, with the worldwide emergency that is climate change.
The Crown Act
According to Vox.com , last week the California State Senate passed the Crown Act (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair), which was introduced by California State Senator, Democrat Holly Mitchell. The Crown Act prohibits employers and public schools from banning natural black hairstyles, including braids, cornrows, and dreadlocks. The bill awaits Governor Gavin Newsom’s signature.
 The bill, endorsed by civil rights groups, comes at a time when black women are challenging 
workplace standards that pressure Blacks to adopt white standards of beauty and professionalism that require women to use chemical straighteners. Consider US Senator Ayanna Presley, who wears her hair in a twist, or US Representative Lauren Underwood, who wears her hair in short locs. Standards of beauty are rapidly changing, and the workplace needs to mirror that change, not discriminate against it.
Michigan's Border Security
According to the government, the fourth amendment does not apply fully at our borders. For example, at border crossings (also called "ports of entry"), federal authorities do not need a warrant or even suspicion of wrongdoing to justify conducting what courts have called a "routine search," such as searching luggage or a vehicle. Read more here . - ACLU
Administration’s trade-war farm aid not being distributed evenly
Ten percent of recipients have received more than half the money, according to an analysis by the Environmental Working Group. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley and the president of the National Farmers Union, among others, criticized that imbalance, suggesting that they’ll help large farms get larger and not assist the smaller farms that need the aid. Read more here. - Bloomberg
How prisons inflate rural voters’ power
“States use census data to redraw local and federal legislative districts every ten years. This process is tainted by the fact that the census counts prisoners as residents of wherever they are imprisoned, rather than their original address. Because prisoners can’t vote in 48 of the 50 states, voters who live near prisons have more political clout per capita. And because prisons are typically built in sparsely populated regions, the count inflates rural voters’ power while diluting urban voters’ power, undermining the constitutional principle of “ one person, one vote Read More - New Republic
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