The Week Ahead: June 4

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Federal

In a January memo to Special Counsel Robert Mueller just reported on yesterday, Trump’s lawyers argue that he cannot be guilty of obstruction of justice because he is the top law enforcement official and can shut down any federal investigation as he pleases. It’s official; Trump thinks he is above the law. We have a plan in place to immediately assemble in Calder Plaza in the event Mueller is fired. Please stay alert.

As Congress returns next week, Republican leadership is approaching the June 7th deadline for a compromise immigration proposal between moderates and the right-wing House Freedom Caucus. In the case that a compromise doesn’t come to fruition, moderate Republicans have said they have the necessary number of Republicans to sign onto the Queen of the Hill discharge petition and kickstart an immigration debate. As a refresher, here’s an Indivisible resource on the potential immigration proposals the House could debate in June: https://www.indivisible.org/…/queen-hill-breaking-four-imm…/ . At his Caledonia town hall meeting, Justin Amash did not say which immigration bill he would vote for or against (he implied not enough was known about the bills yet). THIS WOULD BE A GREAT TIME TO CALL HIS OFFICE AND ASK WHICH IMMIGRATION PROPOSAL HE FAVORS.

After months (and months and months) of calling, rallying, and organizing, Virginia made history this week by voting to expand its state Medicaid program to 400,000 people across the Commonwealth. Indivisibles across the state laid the groundwork to win — by electing a wave of progressive state representatives in the November 2017 elections who were ready to fight for Medicaid expansion this year. Virginia’s win is a lesson for the entire movement: THIS is what real power looks like. It’s a cycle of mobilizing our communities, advocating to pass historic legislation, electing leaders who support our vision for change — and doing it all over again.

State and Local

As you may know, the Board of State Canvassers was scheduled to meet on May 24 to certify the signatures of the Voters Not Politicians’ anti-gerrymandering proposal and less than 16 hours before the meeting was set to take place, it was canceled by the chair Norman Shinkle. Ann Arbor Indivisible has developed this call to action (in the call to action section below) to get this item back on the Board’s agenda.

Update on SB897, the proposed work requirement for Medicaid recipients: In ongoing negotiations, the good news is the 29-hour per week work requirement has been reduced to 20 hours and the provision that exempted counties with more than 8.5 percent unemployment (mostly rural and white counties) has been removed. The bad news is that Gov. Snyder seems to be on board with this legislation, which mainly serves to punish poor people. GOP House Speaker Tom Leonard said he intends for the House to pass the legislation in June before lawmakers adjourn for the summer.

Legalizing recreational marijuana ballot proposal: in a cynical move designed to decrease voter turnout in November, Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof has developed a plan “that we [the state legislature] adopt it and amend it and put it right under the (medical) marijuana law and regulate it. The legislature, if it chooses to act, must do so by Tuesday, June 5. If both chambers pass the legislation, it remains fully in the legislative domain and can be changed. If the chambers don’t both act, it goes to the ballot, where Michigan citizens can vote on it in November.

SBs 652, 653 and 654, which would create private-sector panels to oversee decisions made by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, passed the state House of Representatives on May 22. Environmentalists object to these bills for obvious reasons: Expecting panels dominated by members of the industries being regulated to make decisions in the best interests of all Michiganders seems foolhardy at the very least. Please call your state senators and urge them to vote no on these bills.

Republicans in the Michigan Legislature are expected to approve the petition next week that will repeal the state’s prevailing wage law. The law, which requires paying union-scale wages for public construction projects, has long been a target of GOP lawmakers, who say taxpayer dollars will be saved with a repeal. Democrats are expected to use the issue as a hammer in this election cycle with the charge that Republicans are actually cutting middle-class wages at a time when there is a critical shortage of skilled trades workers in Michigan.

MEETINGS/TRAINING (Thanks to Gary Stark, Shellie Jeffries, and The Hub – Organize for this information.)

MONDAY  June 4

  • Nonviolent Moral Fusion Direct Action at Michigan State Capital, hosted by Michigan Poor People’s Campaign, 12:00 – 4:00 P.M., First Presbyterian Church of Lansing, 510 W. Ottawa, Lansing, MI 48933

TUESDAY  June 5

WEDNESDAY – June 6

  • Black Lives Matter Vigil, 12:15 – 12:45 P.M., Rosa Parks Statue, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • Grand Rapids United Progressives Monthly Meeting, 6:30 – 8:30 P.M.,1301 Brookview Dr. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505

THURSDAY – June 7

  • no events scheduled

FRIDAY  June 8

  • no events scheduled

SATURDAY – June 9

  • Rock the Block, 11-6PM, hosted by Linc Up, 1167 Madison Ave SE, Grand Rapids, 49507
  • Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Festival, 10:30 am, Rosa Parks Circle, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 http://grasianfestival.com/

SUNDAY – June 10

  • Clean Water, Great Beer – Fundraiser for Cathy Albro, The Mitten Brewing Co. 527 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
  • Organizing Rally for Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, Grand Rapids Brewing Co., 1 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

On the Horizon

  • Grand Rapids Response to ICE Film/Fundraiser – June 14
  • From Research to Public Policies – June 14
  • Grand Rapids Pride Festival – June 16
  • Evening Reception with Winnie Brinks and Congressman Dan Kildee – June 18

Calls to Action
-HELP UNBLOCK THE ANTI-GERRYMANDERING BALLOT INITIATIVE — ACTION: CALL THE GOVERNOR. Ask Governor Snyder to stop the Board of Canvassers’ delay in certifying the anti-gerrymandering ballot initiative. Governor Snyder: (517) 335-7858. Call anytime. If after 5 PM, you can leave a message.

-If you’re in House district 73, Chris Afendoulis, who is a member of the Appropriations Committee, can be reached at (855) 347-8073 or ChrisAfendoulis@house.mi.gov. Otherwise, contact your representative and urge them to vote no on SB897 (the work requirement for Medicaid recipients) when/if it comes to the full house.