The Week Ahead September 9, 2019

  • Hi Indivisible GGR. Below is this week’s edition of “The Week Ahead”. I hope everybody that was able to, had a good Labor Day weekend.
  • 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. 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 this week. Running time on the forum will be around an hour and 15 minutes.

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.

National Updates
Congress was still in recess but will be returning this week. A number of things are on the agenda but the one thing we’ll be watching closely is if any movement will happen on guns. Per usual, there has been a lot of talk after the recent tragedies but little in the way of meaningful action. Let’s see if this time will be different.

On interesting bit of news that got swept under the rug this week as there appears to be a whistleblower regarding Trump tax returns. This person came forward with evidence of the following:

“On July 29th, 2019, the Committee received an unsolicited communication from a Federal employee setting forth creditable allegations of “evidence of possible misconduct”, specifically, potential “inappropriate efforts to influence” the mandatory audit program…”We’ll have to see how this works it’s way through the courts but it seems the House is getting closer and closer to getting a hold of that which Trump has fought the hardness to protect.

Statewide Indivisible Michigan (SWIM) Updates
A small team met in Lansing this weekend to discuss the state house strategy. We feel focus on the Michigan state house races offers a number of benefits including the following:

Building a bench of progressives candidates
Driving voter turnout to up ballot and races and not the other way around
Encouraging more local engagement

I’ve included a few pictures from the event so you can get an idea of what was discussed. We are working with Indivisible Chicago to help drive resources to our state. A proposal will be put together for a meeting in early October to discuss the path forward. More details will be shared during our meeting at the end of September.

Local Indivisible Updates: We held another steering committee meeting this week to further prepare for the upcoming meeting at the end of September. We finalized the details of the candidate forum along with some discussion on the content afterwards.

Additionally, we started future detailed planning on the meeting in October. We are considering holding this meeting in Kentwood. Details to follow.

Michigan Legislature

HB 4642-4649: A package of financial disclosure bills were approved with bipartisan support (there are 63 co-sponsors) in the House Elections Committee. The eight bills that would require candidates and office holders for state House, Senate, governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state Supreme Court and state Court of Appeals to file financial disclosure forms with the Secretary of State. The candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state and attorney general also would also have to file federal tax returns for the three preceding calendar years.The Center for Public Integrity ranks Michigan 50th in the nation in terms of transparency and the Michigan Legislature has tried for years to extend transparency to the state House of Representatives, the Senate and statewide elected officials .The bills now move to the House Ways and Means committee before they’ll get a vote in the full House of Representatives.

MEETINGS/TRAINING
***If you would like an event added, please let a member of the steering team know. Events listed do not infer endorsement***

MONDAY – September 9th

– Meet Hillary at the Mitten! – 7:00PM – 9:00PM – The Mitten Brewing Co. – 527 Leonard St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
– County Fair Parade! Hosted by Allegan County Democratic Party – 6:30PM – 315 Hubbard St, Allegan, MI 49010
– League of Women Voters Grand Rapids Unit Monthly Meeting – 7:00PM – 8:30PM – St Andrews Episcopal Church – 1025 3 Mile Rd NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505

TUESDAY – September 10th

– Grand Rapids City Commission Meetings – 9:30AM & 7:00PM – 300 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
– Sierra Club Monthly Meeting – 6:30PM – 8:30PM – 159 Woodward Ln SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan
– Pink Heart Day – i understand – 5:00PM – 8:00PM – City Flats Hotel Grand Rapids – 83 Monroe Center St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

WEDNESDAY – September 11th

– 9-11 Community Day of Remembrance Hosted by Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation – 7:00AM – 8:00AM – Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation – 303 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
– Fall Fundraiser for Milinda Ysasi – 4:30PM – 6:30PM – Lions & Rabbits – 1264 Plainfield NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
– Ottawa County Democrats Monthly Meeting – 6:15PM – 8:00PM – 451 Columbia, Holland, MI
– Kent County Democrats Monthly Meeting – 7:00PM – 9:00PM – 301 Fuller Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

THURSDAY – September 12th
– DEMOCRACTIC DEBATE NIGHT
– We Demand an End to Kent County’s Cooperation with ICE Hosted by GR Rapid Response to ICE /Respuesta Rápida al ICE – 8:00AM – 10:00AM – 363 Ottawa Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
– Bernie Sanders WATCH PARTY – 7:30PM – 10:30PM – Vitales Sports Bar on Leonard – 834 Leonard St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
– Kent County Dems Debate Watch Party – 7:00PM – 11:00PM – Kent County Democratic Party 301 Fuller Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

FRIDAY – September 13th

– Coffee and Conversation with Senator Winnie Brinks – 5:30PM – 6:30PM – Linc Up – 1167 Madison Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507
– Disability Agency and Sexuality – 4:00PM – 5:30PM – Little Space Studio – 111 Division Ave S, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

SATURDAY – September 14th- Ionia County Democratic Party General Membership Meeting – 9:30AM – 11:00AM – pinSt John Lutheran Church – 617 N Jefferson, Ionia, MI 48846
– Stewardship Workday at The Highlands – 9:00AM – 12:00PM – The Highlands – 2715 Leonard St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
– An Evening with Doug and Bryan Hosted by Bryan Berghoef for Congress – 214 Bay Circle Ct, Holland, MI 49424

SUNDAY – September 15th

– Cosecha Ally Working Meetings – 3:00PM – 5:00PM – 25 Sheldon Ave SE Grand Rapids, MI 49503
– Grand Rapids Out of the Darkness Walk – 11:00AM – 3:00PM – Millennium Park – 1415 Maynard Ave SW, Grand Rapids, Walker, MI 49534
– Art Party! Hosted by GR Rapid Response to ICE /Respuesta Rápida al ICE – 4:00PM – 5:30PM – 25 Sheldon Ave SE Grand Rapids, MI 49503

On the Horizon

September 18th – MI House Dems Staff Septemberfest Party
September 23rd – National Voter Registration Day
September 24th – Flipping Red Seats Blue: A Success Story
September 25th – Rise Up & Drawdown Michigan Climate Change Conference
September 25th – Drinks with Brinks
September 29th – Indivisible of Greater Grand Rapids Monthly Meeting – Check our the events page for details
October 1st – Protest New Immigrant Detention Facility in Baldwin, MI
October 24th – Drinking Water Summit – Grand Rapids

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.

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.

Federal

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.

https://indivisiblegr.org

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

Toby Langworthy’s Summary of the National Campaigns Network meeting, Part 2

Hi All,

Day two wrapped up yesterday. I would have posted earlier but I took some time to walk and see the monuments. I did it mostly at night and I would definitely recommend it as there was hardly anybody around and the buildings look amazing at night.

Anyway, back to the NCN gathering. Day two was just as excellent as day one. We began with the Indi-Awards. They were to call out Indivisible groups doing amazing work around the country. They rewards categories such as red district resistance, visibility for our values, cohesive coalitions, electoral power and birddogging the hell out of them,

Next, Leah and Ezra gave some further details regarding the upcoming We Are Indivisible book. They are asking we get least 5000 pre-orders so that it shows up on the best sellers lists. We were given a copy of the forward of the book as well. You can pre-order from Amazon or other sources.

We then attended a regional work shop that drilled into the details regarding democracy reform. Remember, this was the third overall national objective beyond Resist and Win. If we don’t reform how democracy functions, we simply cannot accomplish anything else. Beyond some of the specific items regarding reform, the filibuster was discussed in detail. The view from the national team appears to be that they support removing the filibuster so that we can implement needed reform. However, I expressed some concern in the room regarding the possibility of significant see-saw in policy and that this would allow Republicans, if they ever take control of the house and the White House again, to implement polices that most of us would agree are terrible. I’ve included a number of images from the presentation. You can review and let me know if you have any questions but this will be a big focus depending on the 2020 results.

Next, we attended a panel discussion regarding the Defund Hate campaign. In attendance were:

Avideh Moussavian from National Immigration Law Center
Richard Morales from LA RED
Juan Manuel Guzman from United We Dream

It was a very informative session from groups that are very deeply involved in this issue.

The next session was involving basic group management and how to boost attendance and involvement of members. There were many good shares from other groups regarding the types of events they do and how they engage with their members. We’ll be discussing some of those best practices to see what we can put in place here.

We then had a quick closing event where Leah and Ezra shared some closing thoughts on the way forward along with some time to reflect on the two days we spent together.

Overall, it was a wonderful couple of days and I am still trying to process everything that I learned. We’ll be compiling this information to share during our meeting in September in greater detail so I hope to see you all there.

I want to close this out with some reflections on the Lincoln memorial. When you are walking up to it, the steps towards the bottom are darker and lined on both sides with stones embedded in the concrete. As you ascend, the stairs get lighter, the view becomes clearer and you feel as though you accomplished something. This struck me as it seems to reflect the times we are in now. We are in a dark place at the moment, but we a little hard work, we can rise to a better place. The path may be rocky sometimes but as MLK said “We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

Toby Langworthy’s Summary of the National Campaigns Network meeting, Part 1

Hi Everybody,

Instead of a The Week Ahead update this week, I’ll create a few posts based on the experience with other leaders here in Washington D.C.

Day 1 from DC and the National Campaigns Network has just wrapped up.

It was a jam packed day filled with very informative sessions. First, we heard from Leah Greenberg and Ezra Levin about some guiding principals of the movement and how we go forward in 2020 and beyond. To sum it up, it breaks down into three parts:

Resist
Win
Accountability to deliver election reforms

The first two I think we all have a good handle on though winning can be different things to different people. We’ll talk more about how we define winning during our September meeting.

The last one though I want to go into a bit. The message from Leah and Ezra, one I totally agree with, is that we really want to focus on demanding accountability to deliver reforms to the electoral process. Let’s be frank, Republicans have been very successful in the past 30-40 years of having a laser like focus on controlling the rules of the game and restricting voting access. They have done this to entrench their own power. We’ll be demanding that any candidate we support commit to enacting laws that return democracy to the people.

Next, we heard from Maurice Mitchell from the Working Families Party as our keynote speaker for the day. There were a number of takeaways from his valuable speech. The two biggest ones for me where that we have to avoid cynicism and apathy. We also have to recognize having unapologetic moral clarity is what we need to counter the party of fear, anger and resentment. We are not in the business of making people comfortable though. It ultimately takes a movement to make a majority and movements often push people out of their comfort zones, at first.

Next, we had a smaller session to share some best practices in other groups specifically in the area of events and meetings. Other’s discussed membership, partnership and communications. All were valuable discussions and we have some good ideas we can implement locally.

Next, was a very informative sessions for me personally called ‘Intersectionality and the Pitfalls of Allyship. I fully recognize and acknowledge that this is an area I struggle with. However, it was a very effective session that built the basics as to how to be an effective ally to marginalized communities. This session is going on the road as well and we’ll see if we can get this in our area.

The last two sessions before the closing dealt with endorsements. We went through an extended session as a full group on the prospect of a presidential endorsement during the primary season. I’ve included two pictures in particular that highlight the positives and the negatives of such an endorsement. I’d like to have this conversation as a group as well during our September meeting to see how everybody else feels about such a prospect so I’ll save my own comments on the matter till then. I’ll just say, I came out of that meeting less opposed to the idea then I did going in. If you would like to know more, please contact me directly.

We also talked about the congressional endorsement process. The process is more complex than this but it boils down to the following:

Local group nominates a candidate based on their own vetting process
National team sends said candidate a questionnaire
Assuming no issues come up with that, an endorsement is then given

This can then invoke support from National in terms of money and direct advertisement.

Finally, to wrap up the day, we heard from inspiring stories from groups around the country and how they flipped their local house races by employing multiple creative methods. Overall, it was a great first and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Let me know if you have any other questions.

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