The Week Ahead: June 18

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Hello, Indivisible Grand Rapids.

First, 3 important announcements: 1) Since we serve a wide area of West Michigan, we have decided to now call ourselves INDIVISIBLE OF GREATER GRAND RAPIDS. 2) We are suspending monthly meetings for the summer—there will be no June, July, or August general meetings. Let’s DO, not TALK. Time spent on planning and attending those meetings can be much better spent on genuine political activism for the Resistance: calling, writing, working, canvassing, volunteering for candidates and causes that will help ensure a huge Blue Wave in November. 3) We are committed to continuing–and, if possible, improving and expanding–our Facebook group page (now at 1890+ members and growing weekly), The Week Ahead, and our website (https://indivisiblegr.org/) by including more information about specific opportunities for activism, candidate fundraisers, and the like. All these outlets will continue to facilitate and urge election activism by our members.
Make sure you are registered to vote for the August 7, 2018, Michigan primary election!

 

Federal

Family separation policy. The stories from the border are growing more disturbing every day. We can’t let this continue one more day: call your members of Congress to act right now to stop this inhumane agenda.  Paul Ryan cut a deal this week to allow votes on two immigration bills and avoid an open debate. But both bills hold Dreamers hostage in return for radical changes to our legal immigration system and billions of dollars in funding for the border wall. Here is an analysis of these bills: https://www.indivisible.org/resource/queen-hill-breaking-four-immigration-proposals-play/   The best way to protect Dreamers isn’t taking a bad deal; it’s electing MoCs who will fight tooth and nail for a permanent protections for Dreamers.

The Senate may mark up a new blank check for Trump to wage war this week. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is considering the “Corker-Kaine AUMF” that would make Trump’s wide-ranging war authorities even wider. After delaying mark up this week, we expect they will take it up this coming week. But we’re hoping, it will be delayed indefinitely. Trump doesn’t need a blank check for war — this bill must not become law.

House Republicans could kick off a new health care fight. House Budget Committee Chairman Steve Womack said that his committee could mark up a budget resolution next week that would start the reconciliation process (the special procedure that allows legislation to pass the Senate with only 51 votes). Womack didn’t say what Republicans might want to use reconciliation for, but it could be another attempt at repealing the ACA or Tax Scam round two. We’ll find out when we see text on Tuesday.

Don’t let the media spin on the North Korea summit fool you — Trump’s actions this week made us less safe. Trump emerged from the summit proclaiming that North Korea is “no longer a nuclear threat,” but the truth is that years of difficult negotiations and setbacks are ahead if we are going to achieve peace and denuclearization in the Korean Peninsula. Trump’s war cabinet hasn’t demonstrated they’re up to the task.

State and Local (Thanks to Shellie Jeffries)

SBs 652, 653 and 654, which would create private-sector panels to oversee decisions made by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, have passed the Michigan legislature and were sent to the Governor on June 13. His spokeswoman said he will review the final version of the bill when it reaches his desk. 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 the governor at 517-335-7858 and ask him to veto these bills.

Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission ballot proposal: As expected, Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution asked the Michigan Supreme Court to block the proposal and put an immediate hold on the lower court order to the Michigan Board of State Canvassers to “take all necessary measures to place the proposal on the November 2018 general election ballot.” While there’s no timeframe for the Supreme Court justices to decide on whether to hear the case, the Court did refuse to stay the lower court’s order. The Board of State Canvassers will consider the ballot proposal at its Wednesday, June 20 meeting. VNP requests that supporters of the ballot proposal come to Lansing and attend the Board of Canvassers meeting at 3:30 pm in the Lansing Center as a sign to the Supreme Court what broad public support this initiative has.

SB897, work requirement for Medicaid recipients: The bill passed the state House and Senate and is now awaiting the Governor’s signature. He is expected to sign it and the requirements will go into effect on January 1, 2020. Please call the governor at 517-335-7858 and ask him to veto this bill.

Interesting new legislation proposed: Bills introduced in this week would change the voting age in Michigan to 16. House Joint Resolution KK and Senate Bill 1064 were simultaneously introduced to the legislature and would also necessitate a change in the federal and state constitutions, which would require a supermajority in the House and the Senate and a vote of the people. Although this is unlikely to happen in the Republican-controlled state legislature, it is an intriguing idea, sparked by the activism from students after the shooting at Marjorie Douglas Stoneman High School in Parkland.

This week is the Michigan legislature’s last week before their summer recess. After meeting one day in July and one day in August, they will resume their full schedule on September 5.

MEETINGS/TRAINING (Thanks to Linda Kristensen and others for this information.)

MONDAY  June 18

  • no events scheduled

TUESDAY  June 19

  • no events scheduled

WEDNESDAY – June 20

  • Wood TV 8 Live Democratic Gubernatorial Debate, 7:00 – 9:00 P.M., Wood TV 8
  • State Board of Canvassers meeting to approve Ballot Initiative on Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, 3:30 P.M., Lansing Center, Lansing
  • We Demand an End to the Kent County Contract with ICE, 8:00 – 9:00 A.M., Kent County Building, 300 Monroe, Grand Rapids, MI
  • Introduction to Precinct Organizing, 7:30 – 8:30 P.M., Sheldon Cleaners Cafeteria, 3000 Breton Rd SE

THURSDAY – June 21

  • ACLU, 5:30 – 7:00 P.M., Wealthy Theatre Annex, 1130 Wealthy SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
  • Beer and Burgers with Ryan Jeanette, 6:00 – 8:00 P.M., Shots on the River, 5760 West River Drive NE, Grand Rapids, MI  49306

FRIDAY  June 22

  • no events scheduled

SATURDAY – June 23

  • Grand Rapids United Progressives at Grand River Water Festival, 10:00 A.M. – 10:00 P.M., Riverside Park, Grand Rapids, MI 49505

SUNDAY – June 24

  • Kent County Democratic Party: Pancakes & Politics, 11:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M., 912 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI  49506
  • Don’t Move—Fight Back! Housing Justice for Grand Rapids NOW!, 6:00 – 8:00 P.M., Garfield Park

On the Horizon