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

URGENT local action: HPTS Bond Proposal vote tomorrow (Tues, May 2)

Good afternoon, FAM.

Tomorrow (Tuesday, May 2) is the vote for for the Houghton-Portage Township Schools 2017 Bond Proposal.

I personally plan to support the proposal because I believe that it will allow for necessary infrastructure and facilities updates–not only the much-discussed updates to athletics facilities, but also updates to classrooms, restrooms, and the HS auditorium; to information technology; to heating and ventilation systems; and to the parking lot configuration (I can personally attest to the fact that the current elementary school drop-off/pick-up situation is untenable and unsafe, so I’m really happy to see that a solution is in the works).

Here is the link to the informational brochure about the bond proposal so that you can review it and make your own decision.

Please get out and vote, FAM!

Voting Locations & Hours – All Polls Open 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. Tues, May 2

City of Houghton
Precinct 1 – Houghton Fire Hall (for residents west of Bridge Street)
Precinct 2 – Dee Stadium (for residents east of Bridge Street)

Portage Township
Precinct 1 & 2 – Hurontown Fire Department
Precinct 4 – Doelle Senior Center



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.



URGENT local action: Conservation District vote

Hi FAM! This Conservation District vote was brought up in our last meeting. Participating in this vote will allow you to make an immediate positive difference in our local community. Here are more details:

If you are registered to vote in Houghton and Keweenaw Counties, you are eligible to vote in this Board of Directors election which will determine the course of the Houghton Keweenaw County Conservation District Board. Some of the candidates running in this election seem to be anti-conservation and are seeking to allow motorized vehicles access to Conservation District land, so if keeping this land in its current state is important to you, please vote! We suggest that you vote for James Tercha and Steven Siira–they will keep the conservation district doing the good work we have all come to know and love. See Jim Tercha’s memo for more information about these candidates and why you should vote for them.

You can vote in one of two ways:

1. Request an absentee ballot from the conservation district by calling 482-0214. This ballot must be received by the conservation district in time for their April 20 meeting (that’s a week from Thursday), so request and send it asap.

2. You can vote in person at the April 20 meeting. This meeting will take place at the Orpheum Theater in Hancock at 5:00 on Thursday, April 20.

Here is a link to the Facebook event with more details about the vote.

Thanks for your good work,


April 10 FAM – local opportunities for action & protect women’s health

Happy Monday, FAM. There are lots of opportunities for political action at the local level this week, so I’ll get right to it:

Local (via FAM calendar).

Meet & Greet & Potluck with Dr. Abdul El-Sayed – Candidate for Governor is tonight (4/10) at the Super 8 in Houghton. 6:30 pm. Bring a dish to pass.

Houghton County Board of Commissioners meeting is tomorrow, April 11, at 5:00 pm. (Conference room, 5th floor of the Houghton County courthouse)

Houghton City Council meeting is Weds, April 12, at 5:30 pm. (Council Chambers, City Center, 616 Shelden Ave.)

Representative Jack Bergman (invited) Town Hall. Thursday, April 13, 7:00 – 9:00 pm. Masonic Square Red Room 128 W Washington St, Marquette, MI

Marquette Repair Café. Saturday, April 15, 12:00 – 4:00. Marquette Art and Culture Center, Peter White Public Library, Marquette, MI

Trump Tax Day March. Saturday, April 15, 11:00am – 2:00 pm. Meet at Peter White Library, 217 N Front St., Marquette MI.

Federal (via Daily Action). THE WAR ON WOMEN GOES GLOBAL.

“Last week, the Trump administration defunded the United Nations Population Fund, the largest international maternal health organization on the planet, which provides family planning and reproductive health services in more than 150 countries. This includes emergency obstetric care, midwife training, and fistula repair.

Last year, the United States’ contribution of $69 million–or the price of roughly 35 taxpayer-funded weekends at Mar a Lago–helped prevent roughly 10,000 maternal deaths and 100,000 unsafe abortions.

Today’s Daily Action is to ask your Member of Congress to state public support for the United Nations Population Fund. Women’s lives depend on it.”

Bergman’s DC number: 202-225-4735

Suggested script:

“Hello, my name is (NAME), I am a US citizen living in Michigan, my zip code is (ZIP). I am calling to urge Representative Bergman to lend public support to the U.N. Population fund. As I see it, his choice is as simple as this: Does he stand for death in childbirth, female genital mutilation, and the uncontrolled spread of HIV, or does he stand for healthy mothers and babies and basic human rights?

Please ask Representative Bergman to show the people that he values the safety and care of hundreds of thousands of women and children over party rhetoric; ONE preventable death or ONE mutilated girl is one too many. I urge him to make a public stand for the U.N. Population Fund because it takes more than missiles to protect women and children.”



April 4 – Action items: support the press, Russia investigation, & Yemen

Good morning, FAM! In order to make these action alerts sustainable for the long haul, I’m going to try scaling back to one or two a week. Of course if there are urgent action items that come up, I am happy to post them as needed.

Local. Support your local paper. On Tuesday, March 30, the Daily Mining Gazette published an editorial implying that it continues to be criticized for reporting the news truthfully. “We’re going to print what’s happening here,” they write, “regardless of any intimidation or interference we get from anywhere.” If you do not already subscribe to your local paper, please consider doing so. Also, consider writing a letter to the editor on an issue that matters to you. You can subscribe to the DMG here.

Federal (via a FAM member, who attended Saturday’s event with Senator Stabenow): “There was a lot of discussion regarding the investigation of Russia and Donald Trump. Congressman Nunes has cancelled all further Intelligence Committee House meetings. She states that the Senate is committed to completing an investigation ASAP and does not recommend independent investigation because that would create a 9-12 month delay in concluding any findings. She suggests supporting the Senate investigation and applying pressure to the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. These are the contact Senators she indicated were the most receptive to a complete bipartisan investigation.

Please call these Senators and urge them to move ahead with a bipartisan complete investigation of Russia/Trump campaign collusion and election interference:”

Richard Burr (R) Chairman (202) 224-3154
Mark Warner (D) Vice Chair (D) (202) 224-2934
Susan Collins (R) (202) 224-2523
Dianne Feinstein (D) (202) 224-3841
Tom Cotton (R) (202) 224-2353
Kamala Harris (D) (202) 224-3553

Federal. (via Daily Action, Friends Committee on National Legislation) “Urge your Representatives to sign a Congressional letter to the White House demanding that the President seek Congressional authorization before escalating U.S. involvement in the Yemen war.

This is a bipartisan letter drafted by Democratic Representatives Mark Pocan of Wisconsin and Ted Lieu of California and Republican Representatives Justin Amash of Michigan and Walter Jones of North Carolina. It is being circulated to House offices right now.

Yemen’s six-year-long political crisis has degenerated into a coup, a foreign invasion and now a civil war with Saudi Arabia and Iran backing opposing sides and 7 million people facing starvation.

The media reports that the Trump Administration is considering escalating U.S. involvement, risking direct war with Iran. But he is required by law to seek war authorization from Congress and he is obligated to stand before the American people and tell us how this ends.”

In case you don’t already have Bergman on speed dial, his DC number is 202-225-4735.

Here is a script you can use, also via Daily Action:

“Hello. My name is (NAME), I am a US citizen living in (STATE), my zip code is (ZIP). I am calling to ask Representative Bergman to sign the Pocan-Amash-Lieu-Jones bi-partisan letter urging President Trump to seek authorization from Congress before escalating the war in Yemen. The deadline to do so is April 4th.

It’s crucial that President Trump adhere to the rules set forth in the US Constitution. There are millions of lives and escalating aggressions with Iran at stake and broad disagreement within our own government regarding how to respond.

Thank you.”

You can read the text of the letter here. (Scroll down; it’s right before the “Background Reading” heading)