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”




Local Action: Millage meeting for Portage Lake District Library tomorrow (Thurs 9/28)

Hi FAM! I’m trying to get back to sending out action alerts after an unually busy August/September. Please see Chris Alquist’s message below about a meeting tomorrow for those interested in helping with the PLDL’s 2017 millage renewal:


FAM members expressed an interest in helping with the 2017 millage renewal for the Portage Lake District Library that will be voted on this November. Please forward this to FAM members.

The Friends of the Library encourages everyone who wants to work on the millage renewal and help with planning to attend their next meeting:

Thursday, September 28, 6 pm at Maria Bergstrom’s house 

The meeting will be a chili potluck dinner, so feel free to bring a side dish to share (or just come since there will be plenty of food). Bring along friends who would be interested in helping advocate for the library.

If you are willing to help with election efforts but can’t attend this meeting, please send an email to folpldl to let us know.

You may contact Maria Bergstrom, President of the Friends of the Library, at 906-523-4050 for more information.

Also, details of the millage renewal can be found on the library’s website at www.pldl.org. Click on About, then click on 2017 Library Millage.

Thank you for all your help with this!

Chris Alquist
Community Programs Director
Portage Lake District Library
58 Huron St.
Houghton, MI 49931
(906) 482-4570

CTE millage vote tomorrow – Tuesday, August 8

Dear FAM,

Don’t forget to vote at your usual polling place tomorrow for the career and technical education (CTE) millage! As a recent Daily Mining Gazette op-ed put it, "If passed, this millage would support relevant training and career exploration, provide technical and employment skills for students to be successful in their chosen career field and provide our community with future trades people, health care workers and college graduates to meet the needs of local businesses in the Copper Country."

Polls are open from 7AM to 8PM. Please turn out to vote and enourage others to do so. This is our chance to make a meaningful difference in our loal community.



Local Action: Letter to the Editor workshop at tomorrow’s FAM meeting

Hi FAM! At tomorrow’s meeting, Stephanie Carpenter & I will be leading a workshop on writing letters to the editor. (Stephanie & I both teach writing courses at Michigan Tech.) Bring a draft if you have one. If you don’t have a draft just bring yourself and your ideas, and we’ll help you get started! Hope to see you there.

FAM Letter to the Editor Writing Workshop
Tues June 6, 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Portage Lake District Library Community Room

Saturday, May 13: Bergman/Trumpcare Die-In — Noon, Veteran’s Park

Join us in Veteran’s Park on Saturday, May 13 at noon for a "Bergman/Trumpcare Die-In" (organized by the Houghton County Democratic Party, Houghton/Keweenaw FAM, and Indivisible) to expose the American Health Care Act for the harm it will do, to hold Congressman Bergman accountable to his constituents for the lives that will be lost, and to put the Senate on notice.

If you are not sure what a "Die-In" is , see this how-to guide from Indivisible. As they put it, "A die-in is a form of nonviolent direct action protest where participants publicly pretend to die to highlight a deadly problem."

Here are the details for Saturday’s event:

  • Gather in Veteran’s Park at noon this Saturday, May 13.
  • Bring a sign shaped like a tombstone–see the photo in this article for ideas (the sign could name a preexisting condition that would no longer be covered, comment on the AHCA, or call out Bergman/the GOP directly). There will be a sign making event in the Michigan Room of the Portage Lake District Library on Thursday, May 11 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. You can drop in at any time during these two hours to make a sign. We will have supplies on hand. (If you don’t have time to make a sign but would still like to participate in the die-in, please come anyway!)
  • The MC will make opening remarks about the AHCA, and then signal that it is time to die (lie down) with the phrase "Here are the consequences." At that point, everyone lies down and holds up their tombstones. (If you are not able to lie down, you could bring a folding chair to sit in or remain standing). Those who are sharing ACA stories should remain standing & lined up next to the MC.
  • Around 10 people will share brief (1-2 minute) stories about how the ACA helped them, or about how the AHCA would negatively effect them or people they love. If you would be willing to share a story, please email me at marika.seigel.
  • *The MC will make closing remarks, and then signal that it is time to stand with the phrase "We will rise."

I’ve attached the press release for the event. Please join us, and help us spread the word!


Die-In Press Release.docx

May 5 action: Stay angry, stay focused, & keep calling

The GOP managed to push Trumpcare through the House, but remember that it’s not over yet. This article from the Washington Post gives an excellent overview of the different things that could happen as the AHCA moves to the Senate (we’re on step 2). Take a few minutes to read it; I think you’ll find it encouraging.

Before we focus our attention on the Senate, however, let’s flood Jack Bergman’s offices (DC: 202-225-4735 TC: 231-944-7633 Marquette: 906-273-2227) with calls telling him exactly what we think about his voting yes on this immoral, irresponsible bill.

Some talking points:

  • Tell him how the AHCA would affect you or someone you love
  • Tell him that you believe it was irresponsible for him to vote for the bill without knowing its CBO score
  • Tell him that you will remember his failure to vote in the best interests of his constituents come 2018

If you feel fired up to make more calls, you can call (844) 241-1141 to be randomly connected to one of “the most politically-vulnerable Representatives who voted for the yesterday’s terrible health care bill” courtesy of today’s Daily Action. The purpose of these calls is to make “an example of these future ex-Congressmen in order to send a warning to the Senate (ahem: Senator Heller and Senator Flake who are both up for reelection in 2018).”



Local action: Worker’s Memorial Day event tonight in Calumet

There is a "Worker’s Memorial Day – Italian Hall Vigil" event from 7:30 – 8:30 pm this evening at 7th & Elm in Calument. Here is the event description:
"On April 28, the unions of the AFL-CIO observe Workers Memorial Day to remember those who have suffered and died on the job, and to renew the fight for safe jobs.

JOIN US for a short ceremony to commemorate the workers and children who died in the Italian Hall Tragedy of 1913, and to draw inspiration from the brave Copper Country workers who stood up for workers’ rights and safety in the workplace. All are welcome!

If anyone knows how to play the guitar or can sing we would love to have a song at the end of the ceremony!

Contact Katie Barglind at 906-282-1390 or uprlfcoord for more info!"