June 20 URGENT state action: Urge Gov. Snyder to veto “Choose Life” license plate bill

Greetings, FAM. I just learned (via the FAM FB page) that SB163–the bill that would have the state develop and issue a plate with the message “Choose Life,” the proceeds of which would go to a fund controlled by the anti-abortion group Right to Life Michigan–is on the Governor’s desk for signature. You can see the progress of the bill here. It was presented to him yesterday.

Please take a moment this afternoon to contact Governor Snyder and urge him to veto SB163. You can contact him via email here or you can call 517-335-7858. You can use the following script if you would like (adapted from one provided by Michigan Resistance):

“Governor Snyder, I am contacting you to voice my strong opposition to SB163, the ‘Choose Life’ license plate bill. This bill is an attack on women’s health. I oppose exploiting State resources to subsidize an organization that doesn’t even provide health care, but focuses instead on conducting its own political campaign.

The proposed license plates do not generate money for education or contraception access, two things proven to reduce abortion rates. I disagree with the creation of a fundraising mechanism for an ideological group that stands in the way of reducing abortion rates.

Governor Snyder, please courageously prioritize women’s health by focusing on solutions for the state’s high unintended pregnancy rates and for reducing abortion rates. Please don’t sign SB163.”

Week of June 13 actions: Help beautify Hancock, RSVP for “How to Run for Local Office Workshop,” & call about AHCA

Good afternoon, FAM!

Local: I learned today that there is a need for volunteers to plant annuals along Hancock’s main street. Although this isn’t a political action, it is a way to beautify and spread good will in our local community, and I thought some of you might be interested. Here is the information I have: “This is the first year in quite a while that there will be annuals planted down Hancock’s main street (Quincy Street). It’s rather involved so the following times have been allotted for prepping and planting so all flowers will be in place for the upcoming Bridgefest weekend.

Tuesday/today – 5 to 7 pm
Wednesday – beginning around 2pm through 7pm
Thursday – from 11am to 2pm and 4pm to ?
Friday – from 9am- 11am

Your help would be appreciated if you can spare an hour or two. The more the merrier. Let me know and plan to bring gloves, hand garden tools, etc. Thanks!”

If you can spare some time to help with the planting, please do! Contact Jeannie (jsdecler@mtu.edu) for more information.

Local (via Houghton County Democratic Party). RSVP for “How to Run for Local Office Workshop.”

RSVP by emailing Valorie Troesch at vtroesch@gmail.com, or RSVP on the Facebook event.

On Monday, June 19, from 6:00 – 9:00 pm, the HCDP is hosting a workshop on running for local office at the Portage Lake District Library. According to the Facebook event page, “this Workshop will address the truths and myths about what it takes to run for local office. If you have ever considered putting your hat in the ring, this workshop is for you! Come and learn:

What are the local elective and appointed positions and what are the qualifications for these offices?

How do I get on the ballot?

How do I prepare myself to run for local office?

How do I run a winning campaign?

You won’t be in this alone – What resources are there to support me?

Hear from others who have been there.”

This promises to be an excellent and informative workshop, and I hope to see you there!

Federal (via Rise UP Individible). “AHCA is on the fast track to get passed this month and is currently in the hands of 13 male U.S. senators. Everyone else has been left in the dark, as far as we know. Our parent organization, Indivisible, has requested us to join a furious campaign this month to get in touch with our senators and express our dismay (you can read Indivisible’s alert on our FaceBook page. Here are some highlights that you can begin to do immediately)”:

Wednesday, June 14 is National Senate Call-In Day:Our senators Stabenow and Peters are strong supporters of improving the ACA. They should be as fired up as you are and doing everything within their power to stop or slow the process in the Senate. Ask them to withhold consent on all Senate business until Republicans agree to hold a public hearing on TrumpCare.

Here’s a suggested script (you can request to speak to a HEALTH STAFFER instead of the intern or aide answering your call):

Senator Stabenow: 202-224-4822
Senator Peters: 202-224-6221

‘Hi, my name is __________ and I live at ______________. I hope Senator (Stabenow) (Peters) is fired up about fact that the Senate might decide on passing their version of the AHCA without consulting the rest of the Senate and without getting approval from the CBO (Congressional Budget Office). I ask the Senator to withhold consent from all Senate business until a public hearing on the AHCA is held.’

We are so lucky that our two senators care deeply about providing decent healthcare for all! If you want to reach across the aisle to people who need more persuading, please contact the following senators, and encourage any family or friends who live in these states to contact them as well: Susan Collins (ME) (202) 224-2523; Lisa Murkowski (AK) (202) 224-6665; Dean Heller (NV) (202) 224-6244; Shelley Moore Capito (WV) (202) 224-6472; Bill Cassidy (LA) (202) 224-5824; Rob Portman (OH) (202) 224-3353; Tom Cotton (AR) (202) 224-2363; Cory Gardner (CO) (202) 224-5941; Jeff Flake (AZ) (202) 224-4521; Pat Toomey (PA) (202) 224-4254; and Dan Sullivan (AK) (202) 224-3004.”



Local Action: Letter to the Editor workshop at tomorrow’s FAM meeting

Hi FAM! At tomorrow’s meeting, Stephanie Carpenter & I will be leading a workshop on writing letters to the editor. (Stephanie & I both teach writing courses at Michigan Tech.) Bring a draft if you have one. If you don’t have a draft just bring yourself and your ideas, and we’ll help you get started! Hope to see you there.

FAM Letter to the Editor Writing Workshop
Tues June 6, 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Portage Lake District Library Community Room

Local Actions: Progressive Regional Caucus and Hancock City Council vacancy

Local (via FAM FB). Progressive Regional Caucus: Marquette, MI.

Tomorrow (Weds Jun 1) there is a Progressive Regional Caucus being held in Marquette, MI. The Caucus is hosted by Progress Michigan, and according to the event page “the goal of this meeting and others like it around the state is to bring together likeminded activists and organizations to work together in order to advance progressive causes in our communities and the entire state. We want to know what actions you’re taking locally, what issues you care about, and how we can help each other in those efforts. We want this to be a collaborative effort that allows us to take action in our neighborhoods and unify the progressive community in Michigan.”

Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Weds June 1
Location: 1510 M-28, Marquette, MI 49855, United States

Local (via Daily Mining Gazette). NOTICE TO CITY OF HANCOCK RESIDENTS.

The Hancock City Clerk is accepting applications from interested persons to fill an At-Large vacancy seat on the City Council. The term of this Council appointment runs until November, 2018. You must be a registered voter in the City of Hancock to apply for this vacancy.

Applications will be accepted for this opening until 5:00 p.m. local time, Wednesday, June 7, 2017 with tentative Council action to make the appointment at a special meeting on Wednesday, June 7, 2017 starting at 6:00 p.m.

Submit applications to:

Mary Babcock
City Clerk
399 Quincy St.
Hancock, MI 49930

May 26 state action: Fight gerrymandering in Michigan!

Good afternoon, FAM!

As you prepare for this holiday weekend, please consider volunteering to collect signatures for the Voters Not Politicians ballot initiative, whose purpose is to get an anti-gerrymandering initiative on the 2018 ballot. Specifically, their vision is to “to establish an Independent Citizen Redistricting Commission through a state constitutional amendment.” In order to get this initiative on the ballot, they have to collect over 300,000 signatures in 180 days, and they hope to begin in mid-June. We’ll need all hands on deck to get this done! Click the below link in order to volunteer:




May 17 Federal Action: Pressure Bergman to support HR 356, the “Protecting Our Democracy Act”

FAM, I don’t think I need to fill you in on the dumpster fire that is currently happening in DC. Maybe, just maybe, the GOP will finally grow spines and stand up to Trump. To that end, I encourage you all to make this call to Bergman today:

URGENT Federal Action (via Daily Action and Indivisible): “Today’s Daily Action is to call your Representative at (844) 241-1141 [Jack Bergman’s DC number: 202-225-4735] and urge them to support HR 356, which calls for an independent commission on Russia’s interference in our election. Representative Eric Swalwell is leading the bill and already has two Republican co-sponsors, so today is the day to push hard and let your Representative know that you’re watching.

They’re scrambling, they’re desperate, and Republicans are finally starting to feel the heat. Keep it up!”

Also, here are more details on Bergman’s district staff’s Mobile Office Hours held in Marquette and Calumet next week (Sharon mentioned these in her email). These are another opportunity to have our voices heard:

May 25, 2017
Houghton County Courthouse
401 E. Houghton Ave.
Houghton, MI 49931
10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

May, 25, 2017
Calumet Village Theatre
340 6th St.
Calumet, MI 49913
1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 13: Bergman/Trumpcare Die-In — Noon, Veteran’s Park

Join us in Veteran’s Park on Saturday, May 13 at noon for a "Bergman/Trumpcare Die-In" (organized by the Houghton County Democratic Party, Houghton/Keweenaw FAM, and Indivisible) to expose the American Health Care Act for the harm it will do, to hold Congressman Bergman accountable to his constituents for the lives that will be lost, and to put the Senate on notice.

If you are not sure what a "Die-In" is , see this how-to guide from Indivisible. As they put it, "A die-in is a form of nonviolent direct action protest where participants publicly pretend to die to highlight a deadly problem."

Here are the details for Saturday’s event:

  • Gather in Veteran’s Park at noon this Saturday, May 13.
  • Bring a sign shaped like a tombstone–see the photo in this article for ideas (the sign could name a preexisting condition that would no longer be covered, comment on the AHCA, or call out Bergman/the GOP directly). There will be a sign making event in the Michigan Room of the Portage Lake District Library on Thursday, May 11 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. You can drop in at any time during these two hours to make a sign. We will have supplies on hand. (If you don’t have time to make a sign but would still like to participate in the die-in, please come anyway!)
  • The MC will make opening remarks about the AHCA, and then signal that it is time to die (lie down) with the phrase "Here are the consequences." At that point, everyone lies down and holds up their tombstones. (If you are not able to lie down, you could bring a folding chair to sit in or remain standing). Those who are sharing ACA stories should remain standing & lined up next to the MC.
  • Around 10 people will share brief (1-2 minute) stories about how the ACA helped them, or about how the AHCA would negatively effect them or people they love. If you would be willing to share a story, please email me at marika.seigel.
  • *The MC will make closing remarks, and then signal that it is time to stand with the phrase "We will rise."

I’ve attached the press release for the event. Please join us, and help us spread the word!


Die-In Press Release.docx