Daily actions (local, state, and national): October 9, 2017

Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day, FAM!

The October 8 New York Times Editorial, “The Republican’s Guide to Presidential Etiquette,” sums up my feelings for this week: what can we do in the face of an administration that seems determined to make the presidency into a joke and plunge the nation, if not the world, into chaos?

I think that all we can do is keep moving forward and keep taking action. It is so easy to become hopeless and paralyzed in the face of the unrelenting barrage of outrageous and insulting statements and actions coming out of the white house, but that is probably part of the strategy, if there is still a strategy. Let’s keep moving forward in supporting our community and resisting the nastiness coming out of Washington.

Local. Attend the Fall Powow this Saturday, October 14 at the SDC from 11:00 am – 9:00 pm. Grand Entry at 1:00 and 7:00.

Local. Attend the Running for Local Office workshop hosted by the Houghton County Democratic Party. The event takes place this Weds, Oct 11, at the Portage Lake District Library. 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. This is a basic primer on running for local office. Goals of workshop are:

  • Know what local elective and non-elective positions there are
  • Know what you need to do to get on the ballot
  • Know what you can do right now to get ready to be a candidate
  • Know the core components of a campaign plan
  • Know the resources available to local Democratic candidates

State (via Michigan Resistance). “Urge State Representatives on the Insurance Committee to support the Fair and Affordable No-Fault Reform Plan and the Greimel Bill

  • The bipartisan auto insurance reform plan known as the Fair and Affordable No-Fault Reform Plan aims to keep lifetime injury coverage while reducing costs to drivers and adding consumer protections to the insurance system.
  • The plan creates a Fraud Prevention Authority that will address fraud committed by claimants and providers as well as prevent insurance companies from wrongly and knowingly denying legitimate claims, which drives up litigation and expenses.
  • An additional set of reforms, referred to as the Greimel Bill, work in conjunction with the Fair and Affordable No-Fault Reform Plan to require that rate savings are passed on to drivers.

Please call these Michigan State Representatives on the Insurance Committee:

Lana Theis: 517-373-1784
Beau LaFave: 517-373-0156
Curt VanderWall: 517-373-0825
Jason Wentworth: 517-373-8962
Tom Barrett: 517-373-0853
Gary Glenn: 517-373-1791
Jim Runestad: 517-373-2616
Michele Hoitenga: 517-373-1747
Hank Vaupel: 517-373-8835
Michael Webber: 517-373-1773
Joesph Bellino: 517-373-1530
Phil Phelps: 517-373-7515
Sherry Gay-Dagnogo: 517-373-3815
Robert Wittenberg: 517-373-0478
Abdullah Hammoud: 517-373-0847

Hello, I am calling to urge Representative _____ to support the Fair and Affordable No-Fault Reform Plan and Greimel Bill. These reforms keep the lifetime injury coverage that so many Michiganders who become catastrophically injured depend on while reducing costs and passing on the savings to drivers. We are in dire need of auto insurance reform and the Fair and Affordable No-Fault Reform Plan and Greimel Bill strike the perfect balance of coverage and affordability.”

National (via Rise UP Indivisible). Rise UP Indivisible has asked its members to write to Bergman encouraging him to take action on gun control. Why don’t we joing them? While you’re writing to him, you might ask why his recent visit to Michigan Tech wasn’t better publicized, and why he dodged or refused to answer the questions that were presented to him.

Here are the details about the letter to Jack:

“So this week, let’s concentrate on a single message for our dear U.S. representative, Jack Bergman. We can congratulate him first on joining the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in the House of Representatives. I received this news from the Keweenaw Climate Community. Then let’s encourage him to take at least a baby step in combating gun violence.

Dear Rep. Bergman,
I am proud of you for signing the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in the House of Representatives. You are someone who obviously cares about our environment and wants to take measures to protect our Great Lakes and the increasing hazards associated with climate change.

I have grave concerns about the direction our country is going, in respect to gun rights. I would like to see you step up and support banning bump stocks on semi-automatic weapons. Most Americans favor more gun control measures than that. I would like to see you someday bravely separating yourself from the pack to support such measures. We do not want to take away our rights to own a gun. We just want our legislators to put in place some restrictions that will save lives and possibly prevent future mass killings.

(Your Name)
(Houghton or Keweenaw) County, Michigan”




August 14 actions: Take action against white supremacy

Good morning, FAM. I’m sure, like me, you are feeling overwhelmed, saddened, and disgusted in the wake of the racist and anti-Semitic violence in Charlottesville. The thing is, although they were horrifying, the events in Charlottesville were not shocking or surprising. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are 917 active hate groups in the U.S., and they are emboldened by a president who continually dog whistles his support of their agenda and refuses to denounce their actions.

Here are small steps you can take today to combat hate:

National. Donate to an organization like the Southern Poverty Law Center that is dedicated to fighting hate groups. To donate to the SPLC, click here.

National. In the wake of Charlottesville, Representative Jack Bergman tweeted, “These bigoted acts should be condemned and denounced by all Americans!” While it is good that Jack is denouncing bigotry, his refusal to specify whose bigoted acts he is condemning (like Trump’s refusal to do so) is troubling. Let’s call Bergman (202-225-4735) to demand that he specifically condemn the actions of white supremacists, and that he condemn them as acts of domestic terrorism. Let’s demand that our representatives in Congress hold Trump accountable for his refusal to distance himself from white supremicists. Specifically, we could ask Bergman to sponsor, as this article from The Atlantic suggests, “a bipartisan congressional resolution that condemns white supremacists and censures the president.”

National. (via Daily Action): “Today’s Daily Action is to call the White House at 844-241-1141 (will put you through to either the main switchboard or the comment line) to condemn President Trump’s statements regarding the tragedy in Charlottesville and to urge him to do better. Trump’s statement which cast the blame on “hate on many sides” created a false equivalence between white supremacists, racists and anti-semites – and the counter-protestors.

A later statement from the White House tried to clarify what the President said but only made things worse – because the President refused to say it himself.

Indeed, the founder of a neo-Nazi website called the Daily Stormer thanked Donald Trump for his support saying ‘He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us. When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him.’
The White House needs to know that we are watching. If the lines are busy, call again.

We are tracking the number of calls and so even though the President tries to lie about everything from TV ratings to inaugural crowd sizes and approval poll numbers, he will not be able to lie about how many people have called him today to condemn his coddling of violent domestic terrorists.”



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.”



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.

May 4 Federal Action: AHCA vote this afternoon: call Bergman today!

Congress will be voting on the American Health Care Act, the bill to repeal and replace the ACA, Thursday afternoon despite the fact that the Congressional Budget Office has yet to score it. This lack of a CBO score means that the GOP actually has no way of knowing how much the bill will cost or how many people it will cover.

Please call Bergman (202-225-4735) today and urge him to vote no on the bill. If you are feeling ambitious, you could call other MI representatives–numbers listed below–as well (you might especially want to call Fred Upton to let him know that you are disappointed that he has caved to Trump.

Script (via Michigan Resistance FB page): “Hello, my name is [X] from [CITY]. I am urging Representative [X] to oppose the updated version of the American Health Care Act, which does nothing to address coverage losses, and still puts people with pre-existing conditions at risk. The Upton Amendment doesn’t come close to solving the problem. Will Representative [X] agree to vote against, and publicly fight the updated bill?”

  1. Justin Amash, (3rd District; Grand Rapids): 202-225-3831

  2. Fred Upton (6th District; Kalamazoo): 202-225-3761

  3. Dave Trott (11th District; Bloomfield Hills): 202-225-8171

  4. Tim Walberg (7th District; Monroe): 202-225-6276

  5. Mike Bishop (8th District; Rochester Hills): 202-225-4872

  6. Bill Huizenga (2nd District; Muskegon): 202-225-4401

  7. John Moolenaar (4th District; Midland): 202-225-3561

  8. Paul Mitchell (10th District; Shelby Township): 202-225-2106

Update: Bergman’s DC mailbox is full (which is a good sign) so you may want to try his Traverse City or Marquette numbers first. I was able to leave a message with the Traverse City office. Remember, the vote is happening this afternoon, so call now:

TC: 231-944-7633
Marquette: 906-273-2227

May 3 Federal Actions: Oppose AHCA/MacArthur Amendment, provide feedback to EPA

Good morning, FAM! I hope you are all enjoying the long-awaited arrival of Spring in the Keweenaw today. But on to less sunny topics:

As you are no doubt well aware, the GOP is renewing its efforts to revive and pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a.k.a. Trumpcare. Here is an excellent overview from FiveThirtyEight of the biggest changes to healthcare in the latest version of the bill, as well as those proposed by the MacArthur amendment. (Spoiler alert: they’re not good changes. They’re bad. Bigly bad).

This week, please call Representative Bergman (DC: 202-225-4735; TC: 231-944-7633; Marquette: 906-273-2227) to voice your strong opposition to the latest version of the AHCA, including the MacArthur Amendment. If you would like a script to follow, you can use this one courtesy of Indivisible and Families USA.

Also, as a result of Executive Order 13777, the EPA’s Office of Water is “seeking public input on existing regulations that could be repealed, replaced or modified to make them less burdensome.” You can join a Public Listening Session that begins today at 11:00, or you can submit comments online. For more information or to submit a comment, visit this page.

Thanks for your good work.