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 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:




April 18 actions: turn out in defense of science, the environment, and Georgia!

There are lots of opportunities for action this week, FAM: let’s turn out to defend our environment, march for science, & make calls to flip a congressional seat in Georgia. You might even consider a spur-of-the-moment road trip to Escanaba tomorrow afternoon…

Local. Don’t forget that the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District vote is taking place at their annual meeting this Thursday, April 20 at 5:00 at the Orpheum Theater (426 Quincy St.) in Hancock. It’s too late now to request an absentee ballot, but if you can’t make their meeting you can also stop by their office to cast your vote: 711 W. Lakeshore Drive, Houghton. Call the office first to make sure someone is there: 482-0214. As a reminder, we are suggesting that you vote for James Tercha and Steven Siira who will keep the conservation district doing the good work we have all come to know and love. See the April 11 FAM post for more information.

Local/National. This Saturday, April 22, join the MarchforScienceHoughton for more details

State (via Michigan Resistance). “Shut down the Enbridge Line 5 Oil Pipeline: The Enbridge oil pipeline Line 5, which is 64 years old, runs underneath waterways that connect Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. It has a number of problems that can quickly escalate into major environmental issues.”

Michigan Resistance suggests that we call these members of the House Energy Policy Committee, to which the resolution has been referred:

  1. Chair Gary Glenn (Midland): 517-373-1791
  2. Roger Hauck (Mt. Pleasant): 517-373-1789
  3. Tom Barrett (Potterville): 517-373-0853
  4. Triston Cole (Gaylord): 517-373-0829
  5. Jim Tedder (Village of Clarkston): 517-373-0615
  6. Joseph Bellino (Monroe): 517-373-1530

“Hi, I am calling to ask Representative ____ to support House Resolution 51 and urge the governor and attorney general to shut down the Enbridge Line 5 oil pipeline. The Great Lakes and clean water are among the most precious resources for Michigan families. The highly problematic line, which has shown coating issues, could cause major economic and health issues in our region. I urge you to please support House Resolution 51 and end the Engbridge Line 5 pipelines on the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac.”

Federal. As I’m sure you know, there is a special election taking place today in Georgia’s 6th congressional district! If you would still like to volunteer to make calls and help to get out the vote for democratic candidate Jon Ossoff in Georgia and help him to earn more than 50% of the vote in order to avoid a runoff, you can sign up here.

Federal. Jack Bergman is hosting a town hall in Escanaba tomorrow (Weds, April 19) from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Bay de Noc Community College (2001 N Lincoln Road, Escanaba, MI 49829). I know it’s quite a long drive to make mid-week (it’s almost as though he doesn’t want a large turnout…hmmmm…), but if you can attend please do! If you would like to attend but don’t have a ride go ahead and message the list or post to our FB page; maybe we can work out some carpools. If anyone does attend, we’d love to hear how it went.



April 11 federal actions: Phone bank for Kansas & Tax Day postcards

It’s a busy week, FAM. Here are two more suggested actions that you can take this week at the national level.

Federal. (URGENT – time sensitive) As mentioned at our last meeting, there is a special election happening in Kansas today in which the Democratic candidate, James Thompson, has a slim chance of flipping a solidly red district (Mike Pompeo’s seat–Pompeo is Trump’s CIA director). Please consider participating in a phone bank today to get out the vote in Kansas!

Phonebank through James Thompson’s website

Phonebank through Our Revolution.

Federal. To coincide with the Tax Day marches and events, send a postcard asking to see the President’s tax returns to:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

March 13 – Daily Houghton/Keweenaw FAM

Hello Houghton/Keweenaw FAM!

Action You Can Take Today & This Week

  • Today there is a meeting about establishing a rotating emergency homeless shelter for the winter in the Copper Country. This is something that does not exist yet, and the weather from the last few days is a reminder of how crucial it could be for some. The meeting is from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Hancock (401 Quincy St.)
  • The Houghton County Commission is meeting tomorrow at 5:00 pm in the Conference Room on the fifth floor of the Houghton County Courthouse.
  • The Hancock City Council meeting is Wednesday at 7:30 pm in the City Council chambers at City Hall.
  • Let us know if there are meetings or volunteer opportunities happening locally that should be shared with our group!

Issues at the Local Level
I have attached some images provided on Facebook by Krissy Sundstrom relating to the proposed bond and millage for Houghton-Portage Township schools.

Issues with at the State Level
A bill proposed by Senator Casperson to streamline permitting of small mines has passed the MI Senate, it will move to the house and Representatives Kivela, Dianda, and LaFave all support the measure.

We saw a number of familiar faces at the Count MI Vote town hall. The overall tone of the crowd was positive that change needed to happen to stop gerrymandering (including in our own 110 MI House district!), but it will take a lot of signatures and work to get the MI constitution amended in 2018. Details on the proposal are not yet available, and if you want to have input on the final proposal you can go here or here to learn more.

Issues at the National Level
Call Representative Bergman and say thanks for his seeming reversal from his March 7 town hall position on Great Lakes funding. He has posted that he supports the Great Lakes and has signed a letter to the President in favor of the GLRI funding, but he is going to need both political cover (so call and say thanks), and to have his feet held to the fire when it comes time for voting.


March 8 – Daily Houghton/Keweenaw FAM

Happy International Woman’s Day Houghton/Keweenaw FAM!

A reminder about some of the things you can do to celebrate International Women’s Day can be found here and here. I’m going to try something different today and place some direct actions up at the top, regardless of their scale, and then include local, state, and federal issues that warrant a phone call or a letter down below.

Action You Can Take Today

  • Houghton City Council meets this evening at 5:30, it would be great to have a member(s) at all of the local council meeting. If you attend let me know what you heard!
  • If you took part in Representative Bergman’s telephone town hall last night I would love to hear your thoughts on any of the questions and answers, I am trying to put together at least a summary of the event.
  • The organizers of the unofficial Town Hall for Rep. Bergman in Marquette on April 13th @ 7:00 PM have sent an invitations to all of the representative’s offices via certified mail, so he knows he is invited. The cost for to advertise, rent a venue, send postage, etc. may reach up to $3000. If you are able and interested the organizers would love a small donation via paypal.
  • Let me know if there are meetings or volunteer opportunities happening locally that should be shared with our group!

Issues with Local Impact
With the budget talks looming in Congress one often overlooked but important federal program that benefits our area is the Essential Air Service, which provides subsidies to small, rural airports that may not otherwise be commercially viable, including Houghton County Memorial Airport. See this column in the Daily Mining Gazette for more info.

Issues with State Impacts
A partnership approach has been proposed by the state Superintendent Brian Whiston to avoid closure of 38 schools. This approach would partner local school districts, ISDs, and the state to develop 18-month action plans for low performing schools.
Critics of bills to change state education standards point to a section in the bill that allows parents to opt their children out of any ‘testing that the parent finds unacceptable with no negative repercussions’.
According to survey data from MSU & YouGov, 59% of Michiganders support protecting the environment over ensuring economic growth when the two are in direct conflict (my two cents: good environmental stewardship will lead to long-term economic growth, which is more important than short-term profits). This is good information to use in conversations with neighbors, family, and political staffers.

Issues with National Impacts
A bill introduced into the Michigan State Senate would require candidates for President and Vice-President to make publicly-available 5 years of tax records in order to appear on the ballot. It is currently in the Elections and Government Reform Committee (Senator Casperson is not a member).