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.”

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:

http://www.votersnotpoliticians.com/volunteer

Onward,

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

Town Hall with Scott Dianda tomorrow (Sunday April 2)

Hi FAM,

Representative Dianda is hosting a “Listening Town Hall” tomorrow (Sunday, April 2) from 2:00 – 4:00 at the Franklin Township Hall (49850 U.S. Highway 41) in Hancock.

For more information about this event, as well as about coffee hours that Representative Dianda is hosting on Monday in Mohawk and L’Anse, go here:

http://housedems.com/article/dianda-will-host-listening-town-hall-0

Have a great weekend,

M

March 27 – Daily Actions: Russia investigation and thanks, governor!

Hello, FAM! I hope that you all had a restful weekend and enjoyed the knowledge that the ACA remains intact (at least for the time being). Here are your suggested actions for today:

Federal (via FAM FB): “Call all of your MoC to demand an independent investigation of the possibility that Russia interfered with our election and that the Trump campaign may have colluded with Russia in the process. The actions of Senate Intelligence Chair Nunes last week clearly indicate that committee is compromised and Nunes is more interested in communicating with President Trump than finding the truth.”

Additionally, Indivisible suggests the following talking points:

  • “Tell your Representative to cosponsor H.R. 356, the Protecting our Democracy Act, which would create a special commission to investigate Russian interference into our elections.
  • Tell your Senator to cosponsor S. 27, which would similarly create an independent commission to investigate Russian interference in our democratic institutions.”

Representative Bergman: 202-225-4735
Senator Stabenow: 202-224-4822
Senator Peters: 202-224-6221

State (also via FAM FB): How about some positive reinforcement? FAM suggests that we “call Governor Snyder and thank him for having the wisdom to request the Medicaid expansion to the ACA, and for protecting our health care during the threat to repeal the ACA. (Remember, he reached out to all the Republican members and asked them to not vote for the replacement.)”

Governor Snyder: 517-373-3400

Onward,

M

Week of March 20 – State call to action

STATE CALL TO ACTION: This is your state homework for the whole week. Remember it is easier to move the state than the nation.

In Michigan, the Freedom of Information Act does not apply to the legislative or executive branches of government. This was crucial in protecting politicians from accountability in matters like the Flint water crisis. And who knows what else we don’t know about the corruption in politics, because our state politicians are heavily protected from the press.
Dianda cosponsored the Legislative Open Records Act (LORA), composed of House Bills 4148-4157. It passed the house unanimously.  It went to the Senate where Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhoff (R-Ottawa County) sent the package to his own committee, the Senate Government Operations Committee, so the bill could be killed, as he is publicly opposed to the bill.

Similar legislation was introduced separately in the Senate as Senate Bills 246-247.
You can read the text and see the status of the separate legislative efforts at these links (you will need to re input the various numbers to read each collection in its entirety):

HOUSE BILL 4148 – 4157
http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(uql0kmoqzlzs3dgdi3a3afls))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=2017-HB-4148
SENATE BILL 246-247
http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(uql0kmoqzlzs3dgdi3a3afls))/mileg.aspx?page=getobject&objectname=2017-SB-0246

Here is your action:
1. Call Senator Casperson (who is your senator) at (517)373-7840. “Hello, my name is (name) calling from (city). I am calling to encourage Senator Casperson to support Senate Bill 246-247. Likewise, I ask that Senator Casperson pressure Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhoff to support House Bills 4148-4157 which are currently tied up in the Government Operations Committee.”

2. Call Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhoff at (517)373-6920. “Hello, my name is (name) calling from (city). I am calling to register my support for House Bills 4148-4157 which Senator Meekhoff referred to his own committee so that he could block them. I am very disappointed by Senator Meekhoff’s actions.”

3. If you have any steam left, call Representative Dianda’s office and thank him for cosponsoring this bill at (517)373-0850.
“Hello, my name is (name) calling from (city). I am calling to thank Representative Dianda for cosponsoring House Bills 4148-4157.”