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.”

Onward,

M

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.

M

April 26 – State and Federal actions – oppose anti-women’s health license plates & pro-corporation budgets

It’s nasty out there today, FAM, and it’s likely to be nasty tomorrow, too. Good weather for making some calls.

State (via Michigan Resistance): URGENT. Call Senator Casperson at (517) 373-7840 today and urge him to oppose SB163, the “Choose Life” license plate bill. This bill was recently approved by the Senate Transportation Committee (chaired by Casperson) and would have the state develop and issue a plate with the message “Choose Life.” According to a recent MLive article, the proceeds would “go to the Choose Life Michigan Fund, controlled by anti-abortion group Right to Life Michigan.” Here is a suggested script from Michigan Resistance:

“I am opposed to SB163, the ‘Choose Life’ license plate bill. This 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.

Senator Casperson, please courageously prioritize women’s health by focusing on solutions for the state’s high unintended pregnancy rates and for reducing abortion rates.”

State (via Michigan Resistance):

“Urge Michigan House Republicans Not To Eliminate Vital Services: Republicans are developing the state budget, and we are deeply concerned about proposed cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Education, and Environmental Quality. Their proposal would eliminate funding to vital programs and services such as, homeless shelters, Meals-on-Wheels, funding to water testing in schools, and many others. There is an alternative budget being presented called the ‘executive recommendation’, and it doesn’t have these cuts, so we are asking Republicans to support this instead.

Please call these State Representatives who we think could be swayed to oppose these tax cuts:

Representative Cox (Livonia): 517-373-3920
Representative VerHeulen (Cedar Springs): 517-373-8900
Representative Pagel (Berrien Springs): 517-373-1796
Representative Afendoulis (Grand Rapids Twp): 517-373-0218
Representative VanSingel (Grant): 517-373-7317
Representative Inman (Traverse City): 517-373-1766
Representative Allor (Alpena): 517-373-0833
Representative Brann (Wyoming): 517-373-2277
Representative LaSata (Benton Harbor): 517-373-1403
Representative Marino (Harrison Twp): 517-373-0113

Hi, I am calling to ask Representative ____ to OPPOSE the proposed cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services, School Aid, Higher Education, Environmental Quality, and Natural Resources. The programs supported by these departments provide essential services that many Michiganders depend on it. These cuts will make our state much less competitive and put the lives of those that depend on these services at risk.

We must have a state budget that supports programs and services that helps Michiganders flourish. I know that there is an alternative budget being presented called the executive recommendation, and I know that it is a much more compassionate budget that does not eliminate these cuts. I am asking that the representative stand up for Michigan and OPPOSE these budget cuts and accept the executive recommendation. Thank you.”

Federal (via Daily Action)

“Today, Donald Trump is proposing a $2 trillion tax cut that almost entirely goes to corporations, hedge funds, law firms and real estate partnerships like his own business. Today’s Daily Action is to call the House (Bergman: 202-225-4735) and give them a reality check: don’t even try it.

Trump’s plan adds to the deficit with no attempt to even pay for these tax cuts – there’s nothing included to raise other taxes or reduce spending to make up the difference. If our elected officials are going to make a deal with Donald Trump, they’d better show us first how every single dollar in tax cuts gets paid for. Otherwise, we are holding them accountable.
This has been tried before in the 80s under Republican policies that were so terrible that one of their own – George H.W. Bush – summed it up as “voodoo economics” because you’d have to believe in magic to think that tax cuts could “automatically” pay for themselves.

There are ideas on both sides of the aisle that have been tried and shown to fail. But there’s a big difference between making a mistake and REPEATING a mistake and our message for Congress today is do not repeat this terrible mistake.

(To receive Daily Action alerts, text DAILY to 228466.)”

Suggested script:

“Hello. My name is (NAME). I am calling from Michigan, and my zip code is (ZIP). I am calling to urge Representative Bergman to say no to Trump’s tax cuts. These tax cuts amount to a windfall for businesses, like Trump’s, and a ballooning budget deficit for the United States.

Don’t let the legacy of your public service be contributing to a crippling budget deficit, say no to Trump’s tax cuts.”

Onward,

M

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.

Onward,

M

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