The Week Ahead: January 21, 2019

Happy Martin Luther King Day! Here is this week’s edition of “The Week Ahead.”

*****Mark your calendars, our next meeting is Sunday, February 24th. ******

Federal

This Wednesday, January 23, national Indivisible is calling for a “national call day” to contact your Senators and urge them to resist any deal that caves on border wall funding. Giving in to the concept of a government shutdown as an acceptable negotiating tactic sets a dangerous precedent. While our Senators consistently resist Trump’s harmful policies, it would good for them to hear from us as we don’t know what kind of pressure they may be under from their colleagues in the Senate. Use the numbers below to contact them this Wednesday.

Senator Debbie Stabenow: 202-224-4822
Senator Gary Peters: 202-224-6221

State and Local

The federal government shutdown will surpass one month this week. Federal workers are under increasing financial strain. Below is a link to local resources designed to help them. If you know any federal employees affected, please share this information with them.

https://www.woodtv.com/…/list-w-mi-deals-for-fe…/1706435118…

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

TUESDAY  January 22

  • Rachel DenHollander (Larry Nassar survivor), 12:30 – 1:30 pm, Calvin College Covenant Fine Arts Center, Grand Rapids, 49506

WEDNESDAY – January 23

  • Climate Justice at the Calvin College January Series, Mary Robinson – President of Ireland 1990 – 1997, 12:30 – 1:30 pm, Calvin College, Grand Rapids (for more info contact: League of Conservation Voters at: shannonabbott@michiganlcv.org(616-288-3057))
  • Coffee With Cops, 9:30 am, Little Space Studio, 111 Division Ave S. Grand Rapids, 49503
  • Progressive Mixer & Planned Parenthood Fundraiser, 5 – 9 pm, Beltline Bar, 16 28th Street SE Grand Rapids, 49548

THURSDAY – January 24

  • End the ICE Contract, Kent County Commission Meeting, 8-10:30 AM, 300 Monroe Ave, NW, Grand Rapids
  • Connect with your Legislators, for more info contact: League of Conservation Voters at: shannonabbott@michiganlcv.org (616) 288-3057

FRIDAY  January 25

  • no events scheduled

SATURDAY – January 26

  • Whitmer Warm-Up – Meet Governor Whitmer in Grand Rapids, 12 – 2 pm, Grand Rapids Public Museum, 272 Pearl St. NW Grand Rapids, 49504. (for more info contact: League of Conservation Voters at: shannonabbott@michiganlcv.org (616) 288-3057)
  • No Detention Center in Ionia, 11 AM – 12:30 PM, 300 Ottawa Ave NW, Grand Rapids

SUNDAY – January 27

  • no events scheduled

On the Horizon

  • Betsy’s Bash – January 29
  • From Research to Public Policies – June 14
  • Michigan Democratic Party Convention – February 2
  • Medicare for All Brainstorming – February 13
  • Michigan Climate Action Summit – February 21

Week Ahead: December 17

This is the last issue of this post for 2018. Many thanks to you all for your comments, corrections, suggested edits, and other feedback during the year. If you have any thoughts on improvements, as always, let us know. The steering team is always striving to make this weekly guide useful to as many as possible.

Federal

Negotiations to fund the federal government will come to a head in the next week. Expect a fight over the border wall.

Also, given the egregious power grab attempts by Republicans in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Missouri, don’t be surprised if Congressional Republicans try to bury a few surprises in must-pass budget legislation in an attempt to constrain the authority of the incoming Democratic majority.

As the Democrats move closer to assuming power in the House, expect increased speculation about the types of things they will investigate. For those things affecting Trump’s family and his finances, expect more hysterical and irrational reactions from Trump. Investigations into more peripheral actors and issues my still be extremely important but receive less attention.

State and Local

Lame Duck Update

Unfortunately, the lame duck session in Michigan is playing out as expected with Governor Snyder signing the bills to derail the increased minimum wage and paid sick leave this past week. There are still other bills on their way to his desk and, although vetoes are likely a long shot, please continue to call and email.

Ken Sikkema Challenge from Michigan Radio

Ken, a former Republican state legislator and now a consultant with Public Sector Consultants, said that the lame duck legislation that we are now seeing is “just politics as usual.” When questioned if there could be a back-lash in 2020, his response was:
“people have short memories and will forget this by 2020”.

Let’s prove Ken Sikkema wrong and keep the momentum going with calls, emails, rallies and most of all, votes. Let’s see if we can get the #KenSikkemaChallenge trending on social media.

Another excellent summary of the lame duck bills from Shellie Jeffries follows:

One week to go, so expect a flurry of activity and voting. Time to stay alert and be ready to make phone calls to your legislators and Gov. Snyder.
governorsoffice@michigan.gov
rick.synder@michigan.gov
517-335-7858

Bills waiting for Gov. Synder’s signature

  • SB1198: Permanently ban physicians from prescribing the two-step abortion pills during telemedicine sessions.
  • HB4205: State agencies could not set stricter standards than the federal government.

Bills passed in the Senate and awaiting House action:

  • SB1022: Allow senators who earlier ran for the House to transfer surplus funds from their Senate campaign committees to their House committees.
  • SB1176: Makes some election donations — the millions that came from nonprofit political advocacy groups — harder to trace.
  • SB1188-1194: Prohibit local governments from adopting or enforcing ordinances or charters “prohibiting or restricting the removal of trees or other vegetation.” The concern is that the bills remove important land-use provisions from local officials, planners and developers.
  • SB1211: Reduce protection of wetlands
  • SB1238-1240 (Prop 3): Require a declaration of U.S. citizenship on driver’s licenses and state IDs before a person could automatically be registered to vote and also allow a person to opt out of registering to vote when they got state identifications or driver’s licenses. And, while the proposal allows people to register to vote up until the day of the election, the bill limits the ability to register to 14 days before an election.
  • SB1244: Limits the state’s ability to use the most current science when deciding how much cleanup a toxic site requires.
  • SB1250-52: Shift oversight of campaign finance law from the secretary of state to a six-person commission appointed by the governor, diluting the Secretary of State’s powers and authority
  • SB1254 (Prop 2): Define how party affiliation is determined and fine people who wanted to become one of the 13 members of the redistricting commission up to $500 if they mischaracterize their political affiliation. The concern is that given the volatile nature of the lame-duck Legislature, a relatively benign bill will morph into something more onerous.

Bills passed in the House and awaiting Senate action:

  • HB6553: Let the legislature intervene in legal proceedings when the state is a party (thus undermining the roll and power of the state Attorney General and Governor)
  • HB6595: Put new restrictions on gathering signatures for ballot proposals making it harder (if not downright impossible) for citizens to amend the MI constitution.

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

MONDAY  December 17

  • Michigan League of Conservation Voters Phone Bank Days, 5pm-7pm, 400 Ann St NW, Ste 206, Grand Rapids, MI 49504 Contact: Anne Marie office 616-288-3057.

TUESDAY  December 18

  • no events scheduled

WEDNESDAY – December 19

  • no events scheduled

THURSDAY – December 20

  • ACLU Monthly Meeting, 5:30 pm, Wealthy Theatre Annex, 1130 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506

FRIDAY  December 21

  • no events scheduled

SATURDAY – December 22

  • no events scheduled

SUNDAY – December 23

  • no events scheduled

On the Horizon

  • Congressman Bill Huizenga Accountability Rally – Jan 3
  • Women’s March Grand Rapids – Jan 19
  • Grand Rapids Whitmer Winter Warm-Up – Jan 26

The Week Ahead: Dec. 10, 2018

f you haven’t taken the Indivisible GGR survey and given your feedback on the election experience, please do so at the link below. A randomly chosen member who responds will win a $50 gift card. Please complete the survey by this Friday, December 14th.
https://goo.gl/forms/UL74M7DHw6gLgHin1

Federal

This past Friday, court documents filed by federal prosecutors directly implicated Trump in two campaign finance felonies. These crimes related to payments to women he had affairs with and paid off to remain quiet just before the 2016 election. While House Democratic leadership has been keeping talk of impeachment at arm’s length in recent months, pressure may build to start these proceedings in the new year given this news. As the new term and Democratic investigations loom and as Special Counsel Mueller makes public more results of his investigations, Trump is likely to remain irrational and unpredictable.

The debate on a continuing resolution to fund the government, temporarily paused because of the funeral for George H.W. Bush, may heat up this week. Funding for Trump’s border wall is likely to be a flash point. Entitlement spending could also be targeted as this is likely the last shot at these programs for a Congress where Republicans control both houses.

Next Saturday, December 15th is the deadline for signing up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). The Trump administration has cut the advertising budget 90% during this open enrollment period and enrollment is lower than expected. Please spread the word to those who may qualify.

State and Local

Several lame duck bills are moving through the state legislature and appear likely to make it to the governor’s desk for signature. These constitute a cynical, naked power grab by Republican legislators and must be resisted. Contact Governor Snyder at the number and email address below and urge him to veto these bills.
Email: governorsoffice@michigan.gov
Phone: 517-335-7858

Shellie Jeffries continues her great tracking work with the lame-duck bill status update below.
1. Bills waiting for Governor Synder’s signature (governorsoffice@michigan.gov, 517-335-7858):

  • SB1171: Guts the minimum wage law.
  • SB1175: Guts the part-time worker sick time leave law.
  • (New) HB4205: State agencies could not set stricter standards than the federal government.

2. Bills passed in the Senate and awaiting House action:

  • SB1022: Allow senators who earlier ran for the House to transfer surplus funds from their Senate campaign committees to their House committees.
  • SB1176: Makes some election donations — the millions that came from nonprofit political advocacy groups — harder to trace.
  • SB1188-1194: Prohibit local governments from adopting or enforcing ordinances or charters “prohibiting or restricting the removal of trees or other vegetation.” The concern is that the bills remove important land-use provisions from local officials, planners, and developers.
  • SB1197: Allow a tunnel to be built under the Straits of Mackinac to transport Canadian (Enbridge) oil (has strong support of Gov. Snyder)
  • SB1211: Reduce protection of wetlands
  • SB1238-1240 (Prop 3): Require a declaration of U.S. citizenship on driver’s licenses and state IDs before a person could automatically be registered to vote and also allow a person to opt out of registering to vote when they got state identifications or driver’s licenses. And, while the proposal allows people to register to vote up until the day of the election, the bill limits the ability to register to 14 days before an election.
  • (New)SB1244: Limits the state’s ability to use the most current science when deciding how much clean up a toxic site requires.
  • SB1250-52: Shift oversight of campaign finance law from the secretary of state to a six-person commission appointed by the governor, diluting the Secretary of State’s powers and authority
  • SB1254 (Prop 2): Define how party affiliation is determined and fine people who wanted to become one of the 13 members of the redistricting commission up to $500 if they mischaracterize their political affiliation. The concern is that given the volatile nature of the lame-duck Legislature, a relatively benign bill will morph into something more onerous.

3. Bills out of committee, waiting for a full vote (at any time):

  • SB1198: Permanently ban physicians from prescribing the two-step abortion pills during telemedicine sessions.

4. Bills passed in the House and awaiting Senate action:

  • HB6553: Let the legislature intervene in legal proceedings when the state is a party (thus undermining the role and power of the state Attorney General and Governor)

5. Bills introduced and sent to committee:

  • HB6532-36: Eliminate Michigan’s bottle return law (which would benefit one of the sponsors of the bills)

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

MONDAY  December 10

  • Michigan League of Conservation Voters Phone Bank Days, 5pm-7pm, 400 Ann St NW, Ste 206, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
  • Breakfast with Legislators, 7:30 – 9 am, Hope Network, 3075 Orchard Vista Dr. SE, Grand Rapids MI 49546

TUESDAY  December 11

  • Michigan League of Conservation Voters Phone Bank Days, 1 – 4 pm, 400 Ann St NW, Ste 206, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

WEDNESDAY – December 12

  • Kent County Dems Meeting, 7 – 8:30 pm, American Postal Workers Union, 2554 Burlingame SW, Wyoming, MI 49509
  • Fight for our Families, 12-4 PM, Michigan State Capitol, 110 N. Capitol Ave, Lansing MI 48933
  • RedforEd Lame Duck Vigil, 5:30 pm, Lansing Capitol Building, 100 N. Capitol Ave, Lansing MI 48933

THURSDAY – December 13

  • Justice for Our Neighbors, 12 – 1 pm, Grand Rapids Pride Center, 343 Atlas SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506

FRIDAY  December 14

  • Stand-Up to BCBS: No Health Insurance, 12:30 – 2 pm, State Capitol – Lansing, 232 S. Capitol Avenue, Lansing, MI 48933

SATURDAY – December 15

  • no events scheduled

SUNDAY – December 16

  • no events scheduled

On the Horizon

  • Congressman Bill Huizenga Accountability Rally – January 3
  • Women’s March Grand Rapids – January 19
  • Grand Rapids Whitmer Winter Warm-Up – January 26

The Week Ahead: November 26

**Reminder: Comment on our Facebook page or PM the steering team with any and all input for our 2019 focus. The Indivisible national office has published two updated guides for the strategy going forward. Read them as they will be an important input to future strategy.
https://indivisible.org/resource/indivisible-offense-introduction
https://indivisible.org/resource/indivisible-states-introduction

Federal

Trump is reportedly planning to travel to a Mississippi rally before the run-off election for a Senate seat there this Tuesday, November 27th. Expect all kinds of crazy rhetoric to energize the base.

As in the days leading up to the mid-term election, Trump may use fear mongering about immigration as unrest at a California border crossing is making the news.

There hasn’t been a lot of buzz on social media or in the news regarding threats to the Mueller investigation, but please stay vigilant.

State and Local

Lame duck session shenanigans from the Michigan state legislature are expected as they are back in session starting November 27th. The more noteworthy bills are shown below. The numbered Senate bills were mentioned last week as well.

  • Legislation to create private police forces is reported under consideration. Supporters say private police officers could free up public law enforcement agencies to focus more on serious crime. Critics say the legislation would create special police forces for the rich.
  • Senate Bill 1171 would remove tipped employees from that minimum wage structure.
  • Senate Bill 1175 would shorten from three years to six months a requirement to maintain a record of hours worked and earned sick time. The bill would also eliminate a legal “rebuttable presumption” for workers if their employer penalizes or punishes them for alleging a violation of the paid sick leave law.
  • Senate Bill 1176: Will make some election donations — the millions that came from nonprofit political advocacy groups — harder to trace.

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

MONDAY  November 26

  • no events scheduled

TUESDAY  November 27

  • Line 5 (Oil & Water Don’t Mix) – Lame Duck Lobby Day, 8 am – 1 pm, Central United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, First Floor, 215 N Capitol Ave, Lansing, MI 48933. RSVP Sean McBrearty – smcbrearty@clearwater.org https://www.oilandwaterdontmix.org
  • Prides Giving, 5-8 pm, New Holland Brewing – The Knickerbocker, 417 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

WEDNESDAY – November 28

  • Neighborhood Match Fund Informational Meeting, 12-1 pm, Grand Rapids African American Health Institute, 413 Hall St. SE Suite 1, Grand Rapids, MI 49507

THURSDAY – November 29

  • no events scheduled

FRIDAY  November 30

  • Domestic Violence Awareness Night, 6-9 pm, GRCC Campus Dining, 122 Lyon St. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

SATURDAY – December 1

  • no events scheduled

SUNDAY – December 2

  • no events scheduled

The Week Ahead: October 29

vote-1190034_1280

We are offering a slimmed-down version this week.

Here’s why:

  1. This past week we’ve seen what may be the largest political assassination attempt and the most deadly anti-Semitic attack in our country’s history.
  2. In nine days we have the opportunity to use our most powerful weapon to change the course we’re on – our vote. If we don’t vote, we get a government that serves a moneyed minority, not a civically engaged majority.

Because of these two things, the message this week is simple:

  1. Be kind to each other. Even though our leaders divide us, we have the power to unite us through acts of kindness, big and small, every day.
  2. Vote. Help others vote if they need it. Help a campaign that shares your values (canvass, make calls, donate, etc). 9 days to go.

MEETINGS/TRAINING

TUESDAY  October 30

  • Debate with Dr. Rob Davidson and Bill Huizenga, 7-8:30 PM, Lakeshore Middle School, 900 Cutler St. Grand Haven MI

WEDNESDAY – October 31

  • Blue Wave Wednesday, watch the Facebook feed on Wednesday morning for who the spotlight candidate is for the week and donate! Any amount is ok.
  • Newaygo County Wednesday Canvass & Phonebank for Dr. Rob Davidson, 5:00 pm, Newaygo County Dems Office 26 W. Main St. Freemont MI 49412

THURSDAY – November 1

  • Grand Rapids Get Out the Vote (GOTV) Canvass – Whitmer and Candidates, 2935 Buchanan Ave SW

SATURDAY – November 3

  • Cathy Albro Road Rally – Cathy and her team will be driving around the 3rd district this Saturday. 37 stops are planned to cover 450 miles in all five counties in the district. It’s expected to take 13 hours. Cathy wants to be a representative for ALL of the 3rd district and does the work to prove it. Come out and see here and follow her all day Saturday on social media.

On the Horizon

  • General election! – November 6
  • Indivisible Greater Grand Rapids Happy Hour – November 11
  • Grand Rapids Pride Festival – June 16
  • Evening Reception with Winnie Brinks and Congressman Dan Kildee – June 18

Other Ways to Get Involved
-Volunteer for the One Michigan campaign. (field organizers are Riley or Jason) The office is at 2935 Buchanan Avenue SW More information is at: https://michigandems.com/onecampaign/

-Blue Wave Wednesdays

-Adopt-A-Day (to work on a campaign)

-Need To Vote (notecard writing): https://www.needtovote.com/write-notecards

The Week Ahead: September 17

***Announcement Regarding Monthly Meeting: Based on your feedback in the recent survey, the steering team would like to restart our periodic meetings, however, not hold them monthly. We’re currently thinking about having them about once per quarter. The first one on this new schedule would be in mid-November shortly after the election. Hopefully, we’ll have a lot to celebrate. If you have questions or are interested in helping plan the November meeting, please PM one of the steering team: @Pamela Benjamin, @Farida Islam, @Gary Stark, @Kevin Young, or @Joel Ombry.***

Federal

50 more days until the mid-term election. It may seem like a ways off but it will be here soon. The deadline for voter registration is October 9th just four weeks away. I know it seems like there are a lot of requests for your time and it can seem overwhelming. Pace yourself, take breaks, find activities that give you energy; step by step, keep working for our democracy.

Trump has been relatively quiet since his former campaign manager Paul Manafort flipped this past Friday and is now cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. This is very bad news for him and, as always, be prepared for crazy tweets, the potential firing of Mueller, and other efforts to stop the investigation.

Remember: all of the immigrant families separated are still not reunited yet.

State and Local

Bill Schuette has become more active with TV advertising and social media in recent weeks. He is polling behind Gretchen Whitmer right now but we can’t afford to be complacent. Please consider volunteering to support the entire Democratic ticket by joining the One Michigan campaign. Contact field organizers Riley or Jason. The office is at 2935 Buchanan Avenue SW and they’re open Monday – Saturday. More information is at https://michigandems.com/onecampaign/

MEETINGS/TRAINING (Thanks to Linda Kristensen and The Hub – Organize for much of this information.)

MONDAY  September 17

  • Canvasser Training for Cathy Albro, 6:00 – 7:30 P.M., 401 Hall St. SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

TUESDAY  September 18

  • no events scheduled

WEDNESDAY – September 19

  • Blue Wave Wednesday, watch the Facebook feed on Wednesday morning for who the spotlight candidate is for the week and donate! Any amount is okay.
  • Introduction to Precinct Organizing in Kent County, 7:30 – 8:30 P.M., Sheldon Cleaners Café, 3000 Breton Road SE, Kentwood, MI 49512
  • Newaygo County Wednesday Canvass & Phonebank, 5:00 P.M., Newaygo County Dems Office, 26 W. Main St., Fremont, MI 49412
  • Art Prize Begins – Come see: MICHIGAN GERRYMANDERED by Five for Michigan VOTE CODE: 66721
    Visit our 9’ x 9’ Quilt depicting gerrymandering in Michigan
    Volunteers also needed to stand by the quilt to explain gerrymandering and ballot proposal #2 to visitors. If interested go to https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080b4daaa92fabfa7-vnpevents
    The quilt is located on the 5th Floor of the WMU Building (corner of Cherry & Ionia)
    Western Michigan University – Grand Rapids (Heartside), 200 Ionia Avenue SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

THURSDAY – September 20

FRIDAY  September 21

  • no events scheduled

SATURDAY – September 22

SUNDAY – September 23

  • no events scheduled

On the Horizon

  • Muskegon Meet and Greet, Sam Bagenstos, MI Supreme Court candidate –September 25
  • Grand Rapids Happy Hour, Sam Bagenstos, MI Supreme Court candidate – September 28
  • Candidate Forum: Solutions for Preventing Gun Violence – September 30
  • General election voter registration deadline – October 9
  • General election! – November 6

Other ways to get involved
-Blue Wave Wednesdays
-Adopt-A-Day (to work on a campaign)
-Need To Vote (notecard writing): https://www.needtovote.com/write-notecards

The Week Ahead: September 10

Federal

56 more days until the mid-term election. The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday, October 9th. Even if you think you are registered, please confirm your registration at the Michigan Secretary of State website: https://webapps.sos.state.mi.us/MVIC/ Ask your family and friends to confirm their registration as well.

While the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are completed, the Senate will not vote until later in the month. There is still time to contact your friends in states represented by Republican Senators (especially Collins in Maine and Murkowski in Alaska) and have them call and tell their Senators to vote no on Kavanaugh. The number for the Capitol switchboard is 202-224-3121.

Remember: all of the immigrant families separated are still not reunited yet.

State and Local

An appeals court reinstated the state legislature’s ban on straight ticket voting. This decision is being elevated to the U.S. Supreme Court, but if it’s not heard, or if it’s upheld, straight ticket voting may not be allowed in the November general election. This could lead to long lines at the polls, especially in urban areas. Plan ahead for this possibility and if you are in line to vote by the times the polls close, stay in line.

The Promote the Vote ballot initiative was approved by the Board of Canvassers to be on the November ballot. The initiative is designed to make voting more accessible, fair, and secure. It includes things like no-reason absentee voting, anytime voter registration, and automatic registration at Secretary of State offices unless the voter declines. Learn more at https://promotethevotemi.com/

As anticipated, the state legislature passed bills for raising the minimum wage and enacting paid sick leave this week. This effectively removes them from the ballot in November and some are concerned that this is cynical effort to gut the legislation after the election by the Republican majority. These laws passed by the legislature can be amended by a simple majority vote rather than a three-fourths vote if the ballot measures had been approved by voters. After the election, we need to be watchful that Republicans in the legislature don’t renege on workers and families by drastically cutting back these bills.

MEETINGS/TRAINING (Thanks to Linda Kristensen and The Hub – Organize for much of this information.)

TUESDAY  September 11

  • Education on the Ballot – Candidate Town Hall, 7-8:30 PM, East Grand Rapids High School, 2211 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids MI 49506

WEDNESDAY – September 12

  • Blue Wave Wednesday, watch the Facebook feed on Wednesday morning for who the spotlight candidate is for the week and donate! Any amount is ok.
  • Kent Dems Meeting, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm, American Postal Workers Union, 2554 Burlingame Ave SW, Wyoming, MI 49509
  • Newaygo County Wednesday Canvass & Phonebank, 5 PM, Newaygo County Dems Office, 26 W. Main St., Fremont MI 49412
  • Medicare for All Workshop, 6:30-8:30 PM, Eastown Community Association, 415 Ethel Ave SW, Grand Rapids MI 49506

THURSDAY – September 13

  • Justice for Our Neighbors, 12 – 1 pm, Grand Rapids Pride Center, 343 Atlas Ave SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506
  • People’s Commission on Ending the Contract with ICE, 8-10 am, Calder Plaza 300 Ottawa Ave NW Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503
  • OUR WATER, OUR VOTE, 5 – 7 pm, Creston Brewery, 1504 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
  • GR Water Protectors Meeting, 6:30 – 8 pm, Riverside Park, 2001 Monroe Ave NE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49505

FRIDAY  September 14

  • no events scheduled

SATURDAY – September 15

  • Kent County Progressive Caucus Meeting, 12 – 2 pm, Riverside Park NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
    Other ways to get involved: Blue Wave Wednesdays, Adopt-A-Day (to work on a campaign contact: rtinney@1campaignmi.com)

SUNDAY – September 16

  • no events scheduled

On the Horizon

  • General election voter registration deadline – October 9
  • General election! – November 6

The Week Ahead: August 27

statue-of-liberty-1922168_1280

Federal

This past week was a bad week for Trump. His personal lawyer pleaded guilty to several crimes and DIRECTLY IMPLICATED TRUMP. Trump’s friend, the head of The National Enquirer, who buried scandalous stories for him and the longtime Chief Financial Officer of the Trump Organization were both granted immunity. These men are perfectly positioned to know details of Trump’s actual and potential crimes. Expect more indictments, plea deals, and crazy tweets.

These events add pressure on Trump and he is ramping up pressure on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign so a new appointee can stop the Mueller investigation. Remember, we take to the streets in protest if Mueller is fired.

With Trump directly implicated in a crime, there is increased pressure to delay the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh. If Trump is indicted or impeached, the Court could decide important issues. Thus, by selecting Kavanaugh, Trump is in effect a potential defendant selecting one of his own jury members. This nomination must be delayed until the end of the investigations against Trump. If you know of anyone who lives in a state with Republican Senators, ask them to call and tell their Senator the vote must be delayed. The number for the Capitol switchboard is 202-224-3121.

Senator John McCain passed away yesterday. While I disagreed with him a lot, he was a patriot and a good man. Honoring him knows no party and is a step towards healing.

Remember: all of the immigrant families separated are still not reunited yet.

State and Local

Both the Democratic and Republican parties in Michigan held their state conventions this weekend in East Lansing and Lansing, respectively. Some highlights:

-Republicans chose Mary Treder Lang for Secretary of State and Tom Leonard for Attorney General.

-They will run against Jocelyn Benson and Dana Nassel, from the Democratic party for those offices.

A subject discussed at the Michigan Democratic Party convention was the importance of the courts, especially the Michigan Supreme Court. With Trump and McConnell packing the federal judiciary with judges on the right, the federal bench is becoming more closed off to future civil rights cases. Increased importance may shift to the state level courts, especially the state Supreme Court. In November we have the opportunity to open the state and local courts to these cases. Just remember vote: “ABC”

A = “Alida” – Alida Bryant, candidate for Kent County Circuit Court Judge
B = “Bagenstos” = Sam Bagenstos, candidate for Michigan Supreme Court
C = “Cavanagh” – Megan Cavanagh, candidate for Michigan Supreme Court

Also, keep in mind that the judicial races are in the non-partisan section of the ballot. If you vote “straight ticket” for the Dems you will NOT have voted for these races. They may be near the bottom of the ballot or even on the other side. Please check to make sure you complete this section of the ballot. (easy as “ABC”)

GOP opposition to Proposal 2 (Voter’s Not Politicians anti-gerrymandering measure) is taking shape. A literature piece circulating at the GOP convention called Proposal 2 a “flat-out lie.” and claims that the proposal puts redistricting power in the hands of “specially selected liberal bureaucrats to forward a liberal agenda.” The antidote is simply the truth. There will be Republicans on the commission, there will be Democrats, and there will be independents. If you’re talking to people and they don’t believe you, they can read the proposal for themselves; it’s all there. And then tell them to Vote YES! on Proposal 2!!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SFm-w9-Ky0

MEETINGS/TRAINING (Thanks to Linda Kristensen and The Hub – Organize for this information.)

MONDAY  August 27

  • Volunteer for a campaign.
  • GR Rapid Response to ICE August Training, 6:30-8:30, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 250 Commerce Ave SW, Grand Rapids MI 49503

TUESDAY  August 28

  • Volunteer for a campaign.
  • Pizza and Phone Bank Kent County, 3777 44th St. NE, Grand Rapids MI 49512, (for Rob Davidson)

WEDNESDAY – August 29

  • Volunteer for a campaign.
  • Campaign Kick-Off for Deb Havens for Kent County Commissioner District 1, 5 – 7 pm, Bostwick Lake, 7327 Davies Drive, Rockford, Michigan, (hosted by Tom Appel)
  • GRUP Monthly Meeting, 6-8 pm, Central Parkway NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
  • Ask for Changes at the Rapid, 4-7 pm, Rapid Central Station, 250 Grandville Ave SW, Grand Rapids MI 49503

THURSDAY – August 30

  • Volunteer for a campaign.

FRIDAY  August 31

  • Volunteer for a campaign.

SATURDAY – September 1

  • Volunteer for a campaign.
  • Kent County Progressive Caucus Meeting, 11 am – 1 pm, Riverside Park, 2001 Monroe Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505

SUNDAY – September 2

  • Volunteer for a campaign.
  • Crowd Safety Training National Assembly, 2:30-5 pm, 1650 Godfrey Ave SW, Wyoming MI 49509, hosted by Movimiento Cosecha GR

On the Horizon

  • Meet the Blue Wave Candidates for 2018 – September 6
  • General election! – November 6

Election Cheat Sheet – Midterms – 2018

A Guide to Voting in a Blue Wave this November!

 

Position

Vote for the Democratic/Progressive Candidates:

Governor

Gretchen Whitmer

Attorney General

Dana Nessel

Secretary of State

Jocelyn Benson

U.S. Senator

Debbie Stabenow

U.S. Representative, 2nd District

Rob Davidson

U.S. Representative, 3d District

Cathy Albro

State Senator, 26th District

Garnet Lewis

State Senator, 28th District

Craig Beach

State Senator, 29th District

Winnie Brinks

State Representative, 72nd District

Ron Draayer

State Representative, 73d District

Bill Saxton

State Representative, 74th District

Meagan L. Carr

State Representative, 75th District

David LaGrand

State Representative, 76th District

Rachel Hood

State Representative 77th District

Dana Knight

State Representative, 86th District

Lauren Taylor

Justice of State Supreme Court

Sam Bagenstos & Megan Kathleen Cavanagh

Kent County Commission, 1st District

Deborah Havens

Kent County Commission, 2nd District

Jeremiah Anway

Kent County Commission, 4th District

Kari Smith

Kent County Commission, 5th District

Neville J. Mark

Kent County Commission, 6th District

Pam DeGryse

Kent County Commission, 7th District

Mike Johnson

Kent County Commission, 8th District

Devin Ortega-Fergason

Kent County Commission, 9th District

Bob Smith

Kent County Commission, 11th District

August Treu

Kent County Commission, 12th District

Monica Sparks

Kent County Commission, 13th District

Betsy Melton

Kent County Commission, 14th District

Carol M. Hennessy

Kent County Commission, 15th District

Jim Talen

Kent County Commission, 16th District

Dave Bulkowski

Kent County Commission, 17th District

Robert Womak

Kent County Commission, 18th District

Stephen Wooden

Kent County Commission, 19th District

Phil Skaggs

Judge of Circuit Court—17th District (non- partisan)

Recommend: Alida Bryant & Christina Elmore

Ballot Initiative 1: Marijuana Legalization Initiative

Use your own judgment

Ballot Initiative 2: Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission Initiative

YES

Probable Ballot Initiative 3: Paid Sick Leave Initiative

YES

Probable Ballot Initiative 4: Minimum Wage Increase Initiative

YES

Probable Ballot Initiative 5: Voting Rights Policy Initiative

YES

The Week Ahead: August 20

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BUILDING THE BLUE WAVE

Don’t wait for the Blue Wave—you must BE the Blue Wave. This election won’t be won on November 6: it has to be won before election day, through voter outreach and mobilization. That’s why in recent months we have been urging you to become active knocking on doors, making calls, registering voters, and then turning them out on Election Day. The GOP has deep pockets and it will be tough to go head to head with them on fundraising.  We still need to do our best to raise funds (see the next item below) but our strength is in our numbers.  Canvassing, calling, texting, or helping with an event are necessary for winning elections.  Find what you feel comfortable doing and volunteer to help with a campaign today!  Not sure what all is involved?  Not sure why these things are important and why they work? Take a look at National Indivisible’s A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO WINNING ELECTIONS: https://indivisible435.org/a-practical-guide-for-winning-elections/

And speaking of fund-raising, a special shout out here to our member ELLEN SCHENDEL, who came up with a great idea for how we can all help build the Blue Wave before November 7: Blue Wave Wednesdays. Once a week, she will be featuring a West Michigan candidate on our FB page. All us who can do so should give $5-10 (or more, if possible) to that campaign. Every little bit adds up, and that wave of support by small donors will buoy our candidates and give them a talking point: having LOTS of small donors, rather than just a few rich ones. Ellen’s first Blue Wave Wednesday raised over $1000 for Cathy Albro! Watch for, and participate in, the next Blue Wave Wednesday this week. Thanks, Ellen, for this simple yet effective way for us all to help ensure a Blue Wave in November. If any of you have other great ideas along these lines, please share them with us.

THE FUTURE OF INDIVISIBLE GREATER GRAND RAPIDS

The IGGR leadership group will meet next week to discuss our group’s future. What do we want IGGR to be and to do, especially after November? We will soon be posting a short Facebook poll to get your feedback on some questions. If you have ideas or opinions about what IGGR should CONTINUE doing, should START doing, or should STOP doing, please post them on the FB page this week. If you are not on Facebook but want to share your opinions, leave a reply on our website: https://indivisiblegr.org/. We are all busy; we only want to do things you find worthwhile and in which you want to participate.

Federal

Trump is threatening to revoke the security clearances of current and former intelligence and law enforcement officials who have criticized him and/or been involved in the Russia election meddling investigation.  Not surprisingly, this potentially violates three federal laws including obstruction of justice, witness intimidation, and retaliating against a person for cooperating with a federal investigation.  What are our Congressional representatives Bill Huizenga and Justin Amash doing about this?  Let’s ask them.

A verdict is expected this week in the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.  If the verdict is guilty, we might expect a pardon from Trump, who claims these crimes had nothing to do with campaign activity (true) and further hysterical tweeting about a witch hunt.  If the verdict is not guilty we can expect Trump to claim full exoneration and call for an end to the “rigged witch hunt.” (it’s not)

Hearings are scheduled to begin September 4th for Bruce Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.  This is proceeding despite an unprecedented lack of document disclosure from Kavanaugh’s past.  Those documents that are being released are first being reviewed by a Republican who used to work for McGahn, not from the National Archives as was past practice.  Senate Democrats have filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the documents that Republicans apparently don’t want the Senate, or the public, to see.  Let our Senators know that there should be no hearings and no vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination without full disclosure.

The Senate is expected to vote on another government funding bill next week. The bill, which will cover the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Defense, could include amendments that are harmful to immigrants (e.g. allowing the indefinite detention of families).

A court in Texas will rule on the legality of DACA next week. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is leading a lawsuit that argues that the DACA program is illegal. Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the Federal District Court in Houston is expected to hand down his decision by August 23. That decision will affect the hundreds of thousands of Dreamers who are currently in limbo.

There could be an announcement about NAFTA renegotiation by the end of August. A deal would have to be reached by this time in order to satisfy the mandatory Congressional notification period before the new Mexican administration takes office on December 1. (But Canada has not been a part of this round of negotiations.)

Over 500 immigrant families are not reunited yet.

State and Local

The Michigan Democratic Party 2018 State Nominating Convention will be held Saturday, August 25 and Sunday, August 26 in East Lansing at the Breslin Center, 534 Birch Rd. On Saturday, the convention will nominate 2 candidates for the State Board of Education, 2 candidates for the University of Michigan Board of Regents, 2 candidates for the Wayne State University Board of Governors, and 2 candidates for the Michigan State University Board of Trustees. If you have been a member of the Michigan Democratic Party for 30 days prior to the convention, you may attend and vote on your preferred candidates for these positions.

Vote YES! on Proposal 2!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SFm-w9-Ky0

MEETINGS/TRAINING (Thanks to Joel Ombry, Kathleen Underwood, and The HUB for this information.)

MONDAY – August 20

  • Volunteer for a campaign!

TUESDAY – August 21

WEDNESDAY – August 22

  • Volunteer for a campaign!

THURSDAY – August 23

  • Muskegon Healthcare Townhall, 7:00 – 9:00 P.M., Carolyn I. and Peter Sturrus Technology Center, MCC Downtown Campus, 388 W. Clay St, Muskegon, MI 49440
  • Inaugural Women’s Equality Day Fundraiser, 5:30 – 7:30 P.M., Hoopla, 4060 29th St. S.E. Grand Rapids, MI 49512

FRIDAY – August 24

  • Volunteer for a campaign!

SATURDAY – August 25

  • Michigan Democratic State Party 2018 Nominating Convention, 7:30 A.M. – 7:00 P.M., Breslin Center, 534 Birch Rd, East Lansing, MI 48824

SUNDAY – August 26

  • Michigan Democratic State Party 2018 Nominating Convention, 8:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M., Breslin Center, 534 Birch Rd, East Lansing, MI 48824
  • Pizza Buffet Fundraiser for Peter Ricketson 4 Wyoming, 1:00  – 4:00 P.M., Pizza Ranch, 3858 28th St. SE, Kentwood, MI 49512

Volunteer Opportunities with the Rob Davidson Campaign, Michigan 2nd District:

Kentwood Week of Action, 3777 44th St. SE, Kentwood
Tue Aug 21: 6-9pm
Wed Aug 22: 6-9 pm
Thur Aug 23: 6-9 pm
Sat Aug 25: 10 am-1pm, 1-4 pm, 4-7 pm
Sun Aug 26: 12-3 pm

Walker Weekend of Action, 2047 Cider Mill Trail NW, Walker
Sat Aug 25: 10-1, 1-4 pm

Wyoming Weekend of Action, 2626 Porter St. SW, Wyoming
Sat, Aug 25: 10 am–1pm, 1-4pm

Grandville Weekend of Action,  3381 Wilson Ave. SE (Entrance on Wilson, between Prairie St. SW and 40th St. SW, Grandville
Sat, Aug. 25: 12-3pm

On the Horizon

  • Grand Rapids Response to ICE Training – August 27
  • Campaign Kickoff at Bostwick Lake hosted by Deb Havens for Kent County Commissioner – August 29