Newsletter #17, Thursday, July 27, 2017

VOTE! August 8, 2017 Ann Arbor City Primary Election

The August 8 Primary Election for City Council Members in Wards 1,3,4 and 5 is the next election in the City of Ann Arbor. City polling places in all wards except Ward 2 will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

The last day to register to vote for the August 8 Primary Election was Monday, July 10, 2017. Please email or call the City Clerk for more information or to check the status of your voter registration in the City.

Official List of Candidates

Ward 1: Jason Frenzel (incumbent) vs. Anne Bannister

Ward 2: Jared Hoffert (will be challenging incumbent Jane Lumm in general election.)

Ward 3: Stephen Kunselman vs. Zachary Ackerman (incumbent)

Ward 4: John E. Eaton (incumbent) vs. Jaime Magiera

Ward 5: David A. Silkworth vs. Chip Smith (incumbent)


For information on write-in candidates, including filing an affidavit of write-in candidacy, or a list of names of current candidates, please email or call the Ann Arbor City Clerk. Check out for bios of each candidate and links to relevant articles.

For additional primary elections go to for official lists of candidates and ballot proposals.

PEG is a non-partisan volunteer organization whose mission is to assure that our government will treat all Americans with equality and acceptance. We do our work by recruiting, educating and nurturing supporters for worthy organizations, actions and events that reflect our beliefs.

Click here to see us on Facebook and our frequent posts.

37 weeks down, 67 weeks to mid-term elections.

 Council Candidate Forums for August 8 Primary Election. This week, the local League of Women Voters has interviewed candidates for Ann Arbor City Council races in the August 8 primary election. AA City candidate forums have been conducted by LWV-AAA and video-taped by CTN TV. You can see them on Channel 19 or your computer ON DEMAND at
The Ypsilanti Water Street millage proposal—pro and con—was the subject of a debate on July 19. You can see a video of the event on the YouTube.

Upcoming Events and Things You Can Do Any Time

Tuesday, August 15, Governor’s Environmental Justice Work Group Listening Session.

The members of the group want to hear from community members about how we can work together to improve our state and local communities around environmental justice. Attendees should be prepared to discuss their needs to best address environmental justice in their community and their ideal vision for environmental justice in Michigan. Read more about the Environmental Justice Work Group here. If you have questions, email River Rouge High School, 1460 Coolidge Hwy, River Rouge, MI 48218. Reception at 5:30 pm, Listening Session 6–8 pm.

 Wednesday, August 16, Donna Lasinski is hosting a listening tour stop with the Progressive Women’s Caucus.

This is part of a statewide listening tour. Come voice your concerns about policies and challenges facing women and families in Michigan. There will also be opportunities to take action on the issues that matter to you. It will take place at the Scio Township Hall Board Room, 827 N. Zeeb Road in Ann Arbor, 6–7:30 pm.

Sunday, September 24, Jocelyn Benson will speak on Voter Suppression in Michigan and What to Do About it.

Jocelyn Benson is a member of the board of directors of the Southern Poverty Law Center and served as dean of the Wayne State Law School from 2012–2016. She is now CEO of the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality, as well as co-founder and president of the Board of Military Spouses of Michigan. A former member of the ABA's Committee on Election Law, Dean Benson has developed and supervised three statewide nonpartisan election protection efforts in Michigan. Touchstone Cohousing Common House, 560 Little Lake, Ann Arbor, 48103, 2 pm.

Please read, like and share this video.

Al Franken destroys climate deniers! Click here to see how.

Join an ACLU special volunteer team.

Sign up here to join a new Ground Support Team. In addition to the organizing that you do on the ground for the ACLU, you can also join one of its Special Volunteer teams. These groups help support the work of activists nationwide. The Texting Team gives the ACLU the capacity to text for rapid response events and more local events. The Call Team has helped activists fight back — from healthcare rallies in West Virginia, to vigils in Alaska, to voting rights action training in Florida. The Translation Team has been working around the clock to translate some of its most important People Power resources from English to Spanish. And, its Ground Support Team helps with Freedom Cities and beyond.


Advocate for press freedom and safety for journalists.

With growing hostility toward the press, reporters are receiving threats and news agencies are increasing security for reporters. This is not normal. Learn more: These four organizations (including the ACLU) protect journalism and support freedom of the press.


Call your governor to join the U.S. Climate Alliance.

Take 30 seconds and use this number to be connected automatically to your governor's office: (844) 559-9552. Just say something like this, "I urge you to join the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of states committed to honoring the Paris Climate Agreement." 37 states, including Michigan, launched campaigns urging their governors to join the U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition of 12 states and Puerto Rico that committed last month to honoring the promises made in Paris.

Oppose the border wall whose site preparations have begun. Call or write your members of Congress. (lookup or leave message)


Call Governor Snyder [(517) 373-3400] to ask him to denounce the sham that is the Election Integrity Commission and call for it to be dismantled.

The commission, led by voter-ID law advocate Kris Kobach, is attempting to instill distrust in our election systems in order to suppress the vote with stricter federal voting requirements. Nearly every state pushed back against their request for a host of private voter data from Secretaries of State, citing concerns of the commission's intended use of such delicate data, not to mention the commission's insecure system to store that data. Call now with the easy script provided here


Calling is the single most effective means for making change.

Please restore faith in America’s voting system by calling your 3 Members of Congress now. Look up their local numbers with this link by entering your zip code at Call a local office not Washinton DC. (or leave message).

Tip: put the local numbers into your favorites or speed dial because once you learn how easy this is you may want to do more!

Script: Hi. I’m calling with two concerns about voting. First, Russia’s attack on our elections was wrong. I want [name] to act decisively to prevent hacking, changing voter data, and the use of social media bots as we approach the 2018 midterm elections. (pause) Second, The Kobach commission undermines America's faith in the voting system and still has no stated purpose. Can you tell me what [name] is doing to oppose stricter voting laws and to keep voting fair, free, and open?


However if you only use email to contact the governor you may only get a response similar to this one that one of our members recently received [underline emphasis added]:

From: Nelson, Christine (GOV) <>

Date: Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 10:26 AM

Subject: Executive Office of the Governor, Rick Snyder

To: Xxxxx Xxxxx

Dear Xxxxx Xxxxx,

Thank you for your email to Governor Rick Snyder regarding the federal government’s election commission request for Michigan voter information. The Governor appreciates your email and has asked me to respond on his behalf.

In Michigan, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson oversees the election bureau. In a recent statement, the Secretary said she “will not release personal information to the election commission. State law clearly protects the disclosure of a full birthdate, Social Security and driver’s license numbers, or how people voted to a person or entity without an authorized purpose.” [who determines ‘authorized’?]

However, as in most other states, Michigan law does require disclosure of some basic public voter information. Political parties, candidates and news organizations routinely request and receive this data. As in Michigan, similar laws in almost all states make this basic voter information a public record. Michigan will not go beyond what is legally required in any response to this data request. We fully understand the desire of Michigan residents to keep what is private as private.

Again, thank you for your correspondence and your interest in this topic. Should you have further questions or comments regarding this or any other state-related matter, please do not hesitate to contact Governor Snyder’s office again.



Christine Nelson

Constituent Relations

Executive Office of the Governor, Rick Snyder


End gerrymandering in Michigan: 28 Days and counting.

Michigan’s Bureau of Elections staff says they are reviewing the petition, but there’s still no hearing date with the Board of Canvassers! Continue to encourage the folks in Lansing by signing up and spreading this link

You want state officials to do their job and you have a right to participate in a direct democracy. Last week over 2,000 supporters added their name to the website above. Many called, tweeted, and emailed the Bureau of Elections and Secretary of State, telling them that they #workforMI.

Also you can: donate. Or use this easy way to set up your own personal fundraising page for family, friends or an event.

Sign up to volunteer! Help circulate petitions, hold education events, and spread the message with your friends and family. Voters Not Politicians needs at least 2,500 trained circulators to hit the ground running and gather 315,654 signatures fast for the proposal to get on the ballot! (If you’re already signed up as a circulator make sure to complete training as soon as possible. Your team captain will send you the link and an ID number.)

Sign in to see draft petition here. Learn more at


Indivisible District 14 maintains a calendar of events.

The calendar includes events such as marches, protests, Indivisible meetings, Democratic Party meetings, Women’s March activities, meet your local reps, Michigan Legislature meetings, etc. See the calendar here.

Additional actions to take, as recommended by the Immigrant Rights Action Circle

Tell Governor Snyder you support "Welcoming Communities” in Michigan.

Click here for a sample letter and the address of the Governor. Also please reach out to people you know in other parts of the state and jurisdictions to oppose bills similar to those that came up in Michigan. Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton gave an informative talk June 25 and explained some of the nuances of the Executive Order regarding how law enforcement and ICE work. As a "Welcoming Community," Washtenaw County is a collection of 11 jurisdictions that worked to create a unified position on the Executive Order. President Trump’s order casts a wider net than that under Obama. While Sheriff Clayton doesn't see the point of challenging the federal order (although he felt there are parts that are unconstitutional), he encouraged us to work hard to oppose Michigan HB 4105 and MIchigan HB 4334 which reiterate the federal Executive Order and ultimately endorse racial profiling, among other issues.


Get a Washtenaw ID

The Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition of Immigrant Rights urges all county residents to apply for a Washtenaw ID as a way of supporting the county’s immigrant community. By obtaining that ID, a legitimate alternative to a driver’s licence, you legitimize all those who must rely on this kind of ID. Learn more and obtain a Washtenaw ID at It’s easy and takes only 15–20 minutes.

Advocate for fixing ACA instead of repealing.

Call your Senators, (lookup or leave message) and tell them you want them to listen to constituents and start fighting for fixing what’s not working in the ACA





Support the Bill to Encourage States to Reform or Replace Unjust, Costly Money Bail System

To learn more click here.


Engage in one of this week’s Indivisible actions:

Read, Watch and Listen

Kobach email confirms goal of voter fraud commission to gut National Voter Rights Registration Act

The Trump administration’s voter fraud commission is poised to attack a federal voting rights law that prevents states from capriciously disenfranchising citizens. Slate


The First Public Meeting of Trump’s Voter Fraud Panel Was a Horrifying Parade of Outright Lies Slate


NYT Editorial: The Bogus Voter-Fraud Commission

The truth can’t be repeated often enough: The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which held its first meeting last week, is a sham and a scam.

It was born out of a marriage of convenience between conservative anti-voter-fraud crusaders, who refuse to accept actual data, and a president who refuses to accept that he lost the popular vote fair and square. The New York Times


America’s voting systems are not ready for midterm elections The Guardian


Don’t Let Detroit’s Revival Rest on an Injustice

While Detroit is undergoing a renaissance in housing, its scope is limited to 7.2 square miles of its total of 143 square miles. The author sites issues of illegal foreclosures and tax assessments, as African-Americans continue to face discrimination in housing. The New York Times


Three Things Trump Is Already Doing to “Let Obamacare Fail.” The New York Time

These State Attorneys Are Demanding Betsy DeVos Keep Campus Rape Rules In Place. BuzzFeed News

Supreme Court: Trump Refugee Restrictions Allowed for Now; Ban on Grandparents Rejected. The New York Times

The Mothers Being Deported by Trump. The New Yorker

The Immigration Effect

In an analysis for ProPublica, an independent economics firm, estimated that for every 1 percent increase in U.S. population made of immigrants, GDP rises 1.15 percent. So a simple way to get to Trump’s 4 percent GDP bump? Take in about 8 million net immigrants per year. ProPublica


President Trump’s Contempt for the Rule of Law

In less than an hour last Wednesday afternoon, President Trump found a way to impugn the integrity and threaten the livelihoods of nearly all of the country’s top law enforcement officials, including some he appointed, for one simple reason: They swore an oath to defend the Constitution, not him. New York Times.

Message from Senators Graham (R-SC) and Durbin (D-IL) to treat DACA Children Fairly. The DACA program, implemented under President Obama in 2012, protects immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. President Trump campaigned for an immediate end to that protection, but modified the hard-line stance after taking office. The Department of Homeland Security last month said DACA recipients "will continue to be eligible" for renewed status, and the president has called DACA a tough issue to decide. In an interview with CBS, Graham and Durbin state that they are reviving a new version of a bipartisan bill Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and urge the president and fellow Republicans to treat law-abiding immigrants whose parents brought them as children "fairly."The question for the Republican Party is, what do we tell these people? How do we treat them? Here's my answer. We treat them fairly. We do not pull the rug out from under them," Graham said, adding those immigrants, "are no more connected with a foreign country than I am." Play video.

An interesting article on 2 successful referenda against gerrymandering. Reclaim

A CBO score of the latest GOP bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act found it would leave 32 million more people uninsured by 2026 compared to current law.

This straight repeal, no replace legislation compounds the uninsured more than other recent plans and could see a vote next week. CNN Money


With 4 Bills In Play To Repeal Obamacare In the Senate, Confusion Reigns

An extensive analysis of contents of each bill and their effect if they were to be adopted. Shots - Health News NPR


Don’t get distracted: The GOP’s cruel health-care plan isn’t dead yet. The Washington Post

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office defended by all eight former directors.The nonpartisan CBO has been under attack by the White House and members of the Republican party. All the former directors - both Republicans and Democrats - have come to the defense of the agency.

Interior Department Scientist Reassigned for Speaking up about Climate Change Washington Post
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Thanks to Richard Gaeth, Idelle Hammond-Sass, Laura Nathan, YuJin Woo, Vicki Patraka, Jen Hoffman, Linda Zlotoff, Bernie Banet, Ginnie Morgan, Bette Cotzin, Susan Ayer, and Chuck Newman for their help preparing this newsletter. Write us at if you would like to learn how you can help create our weekly newsletter. It’s fun and no ongoing commitment is required


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