The Week Ahead August 26, 2019

Hi Indivisible GGR!

Here is this week’s edition of “The Week Ahead.”

Just a reminder, we have officially scheduled the start of our reoccurring monthly meetings. The first will be on September 29th at 4pm and located in Fountain Street Church. Again, we’ll be hosting a candidate forum for the City of Grand Rapids Commissioner election coming up on November 5th. So far, we have the following people as confirmed attending:

Milinda Ysasi – Ward 2
Wendy Falb – Ward 2
Allison Lutz – Ward 1
Jon O’Connor – Ward 1

We have invitations to the remaining candidate and would love for them to participate. We will be locking this down though in the next couple of weeks.

Please check our Facebook page for event details and be sure to let us know you are coming. We are excited to begin meeting again and we are planning on doing so monthly at least up until October 2020.


Congress is still in recess. Justin Amash though held a series of constituent meetings with his usual two day notice. Various reports suggest he is sticking to his same routine of blaming the two party system for all of our ills and really pushing his independence. While there is some truth to this, we have to remember where he stands on multiple issues.

  • He doesn’t believe Climate Change is a true emergency
  • He thinks regulation of campaign finance is a free speech issue
  • He believes in free market healthcare solutions that do not guarantee coverage as a right

We appreciate his stance against Trump. However, his stances on our core values are very much in opposition to our beliefs. We need to remember that in 2020 and stay focused on the larger goals.

In other news, it was widely reported this week that the Federal budget is expected to have an ongoing yearly deficit of over a trillion dollars for the foreseeable future. To the surprise of nobody, the primary reason is the massive tax cut that in no way paid for itself as Republicans have been claiming the last few times this was tried. Today it is also widely reported that Trump and GOP senators are openly discussing cutting Medicare and Social Security. Make no mistake, this was the plan all along. Claim the tax cut will pay for itself to pass it. Pay off the donors and then cut spending to end up balancing the books.

State and Local

Statewide Indivisible Michigan (SWIM) Updates

We have a small team that is meeting in Lansing on Saturday, September 7thto discuss the statewide races we want to look at. The goal is to identify around races we can look to devote some resources to in an attempt to both flip the Michigan House to a Democratic majority and also assist in US Congressional races.

Michigan Legislature Update

More shenanigans from the Michigan Republican representatives as they once again seek to dilute the Governor’s power. Last week, Sen. Aric Nesbitt introduced Senate Joint Resolution J (or 10), proposing “an amendment to the state constitution of 1963 to require the advice and consent of the senate for gubernatorial appointments of justices of the supreme court of the state of Michigan….the foregoing amendment shall be submitted to the people of the state at the next general election.” The resolution has been referred to the Committee On Advice And Consent, where it is hoped it will stay.

Local Indivisible Updates

We’ve done some good work this week. We are close to rolling up an expanded social media presence on Twitter, Instagram and a public facing Facebook back.

We have also successfully updated our website. If you aren’t familiar with it, go check it out.

Lastly, we’ll be meeting again on September 4th to continue preparing for the end of September meeting.

Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission lawsuit update

Well, Republicans are feeling very threatened by the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission and are throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks in their efforts to prevent its formation. This past week, the state GOP asks a U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids to invalidate the amendment to create the redistricting commission — stopping Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, from seating any members. The lawsuit argues the structure of the 13-member commission –billed as politically independent–violates the GOP’s freedom of association by barring political parties from picking their own representatives.

Attorney General Dana Nessel vowed to “vigorously defend Secretary of State Benson and the legality of the redistricting commission, preserving the will of the people and their right to adopt amendments to Michigan’s Constitution at the polls.”

According the Ralp Owens, the difference between this new lawsuit and the previous one, is that “the first one is specifically challenging the ineligibility of partisan elected officials and their immediate family. This one is challenging the self-identification of party association and the ability of the state legislative leaders to strike applicants from the pools.”

MEETINGS/TRAINING (Thanks to Shellie Jeffries and all the other event organizers for providing this information. If you have an event or topic to share, please reach out to a member of the steering team.)

MONDAY August 26

  • Kent Dems Meet Up – 5:30PM – 9:00PM – City Built Brewing Company – 820 Monroe Avenue NW suite 155, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • Advocacy Engagement Series: How to Run for Office – 7:30AM – 10:00AM – Grand Rapids Chamber 250 Monroe Ave. NW, Suite 150, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • It’s time you draw the line! – Grand Rapids – 6:30PM – 8:00PM – Fountain Street Church – 24 Fountain St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • Grand Rapids Moms Demand Action Membership Meeting – 7:00PM – 8:00PM – Plymouth Congregational Ucc – 4010 Kalamazoo Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508
  • No Complicity with ICE – Phone Zap! – Check the Facebook event for details.

TUESDAY August 27

  • Kick-Off Event for Kent County I-Bond Fund Fundraiser – 12:00PM – 2:00PM – Taquería El Rincón Mexicano – GR – 2055 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508
  • Grand Rapids City Commission Meetings – 9:30AM & 7:00PM – Grand Rapids City Hall – 300 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • No Complicity with ICE – Phone Zap! – Check the Facebook event for details.

WEDNESDAY – August 28

  • HCWM Community Conversation/ Conversacion Comunitaria – 5:30PM – 8:00PM – Hispanic Center of Western Michigan – 1204 Grandville Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 (Pre-registration required)
  • Getting the Word Out: Media Services for Nonprofits – 11:30AM – 1:00PM – Johnson Center for Philanthropy at GVSU – 201 Front Ave SW BIK 200, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
  • Meet and Greet with Nick Colvin (running for 3rd US Congressional District) – 11:30AM – 1:00PM – Taquería El Rincón Mexicano – GR – 2055 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508
  • No Complicity with ICE – Phone Zap! – Check the Facebook event for details.

THURSDAY – August 29

  • Cosecha Ally Training – 5:30PM – 8:30PM – 25 Sheldon Ave SE Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • Grupo Auxilio!!! & the Grand Rapids Red Project – 6:30PM – 8:00PM – Hispanic Center of Western Michigan – 1204 Grandville Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

FRIDAY August 30

  • Grand Rapids Red Project Fundraiser – 5:00PM – 8:00PM – Apartment Lounge – 33 Sheldon Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • Labor Day Retreat & Skill Share Weekend – August 30th 5:00Pm – September 2nd 8:00PM – Ticketed Event

SATURDAY – August 31

  • no events scheduled

SUNDAY – September 1

  • Cosecha Ally Working Meetings – 3:00PM – 5:00PM – 25 Sheldon Ave SE Grand Rapids, MI 49503

On the Horizon

  • Road to 2020 Grand Rapids Regional Kickoff – September 5
  • Fall Fundraiser for Milinda Ysasi – September 11
  • Coffee and Conversation with Senator Winnie Brinks – September 13
  • MI House Dems Staff Septemberfest Party – September 18
  • National Voter Registration Day – September 23
  • Rise Up & Drawdown Michigan Climate Change Conference – September 25
  • Drinks with Brinks – September 25
  • Indivisible of Greater Grand Rapids Monthly Meeting – Check our Facebook page for details – September 29

Thank you,

Toby and the Indivisible Steering Committee