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PROTECTORS OF EQUALITY IN GOVERNMENT

Newsletter #2

Monday, April 17, 2017

 

 

Founder’s Message

 

When designing PEG, I was less concerned with the challenge of recruiting others to fight for equality and acceptance in our government than with keeping them engaged through 2020 and beyond. I reflected on my experience at my fitness center where every January it is super busy, February less so, and by March things are back to normal. I suspect that wasn’t because all the new people working out decided that their New Year’s resolution wasn’t a good idea after all, but rather that real life, with its distractions and responsibilities, got in the way. My concern was that PEG could go the way of the Million Man March and Occupy Wall Street.

 

To help concerned individuals sustain their efforts to create an America they could be proud of, PEG is organized to make their efforts easy, enjoyable and meaningful. With our website (www.equalityingov.org), Facebook page, and newsletter, we are working to make finding opportunities to help as easy as buying a DVD on Amazon. We are also giving people the opportunity to join action circles of 10 to 20 like-minded people to engage in activities of their choice that speak to their special interests, such as gerrymandering, women’s rights, environmental justice, freedom of the press or many other important issues.

 

In next week’s newsletter, I’ll describe in more detail how Action Circles will work and how and why we choose to endorse the organizations and the actions that we do.

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 Chuck Newman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Actions You Can Take Now

and Events You Should Know About

 

We want to make it easy for you to know about and participate in these important events and to choose the ones that most directly reflect your own commitments.

 

Chuck Newman will be talking about Protectors of Equality in Government  Tuesday, April 18th at 8:30 AM on the Lucy Ann Lance Show, WLBY 1290 AM

 

 

Tuesday, April 18th from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM Indivisible will hold a Town Hall event with Debbie Dingell at Ypsilanti High School, 2095 Packard St., Ypsilanti MI 48197

       Register for this free event

 

 

Saturday, April 29th, Traverse City and Kalamazoo

Michigan League of Conservation Voters

 

On Saturday, April 29, people from around the country will be flooding into Washington D.C. for the People’s Climate March. Marchers will be speaking out for a clean energy future -- calling for action to protect our climate, our communities, and our clean air and water.

 

The Michigan League of Conservation Voters (LCV) is working with partners here in Michigan to organize local marches in solidarity with communities all over America. Michigan LCV is taking the lead in organizing events in Traverse City and Kalamazoo, and partnering to pull together other marches throughout the state.

 

You can show your support for climate action right now by getting involved in Climate Marches happening throughout Michigan:

      Click here to RSVP for the Traverse City People’s Climate March >>

      Click here to RSVP for the Kalamazoo People’s Climate March >>

      Check out PeoplesClimate.org for information about all of the marches being organized in Michigan and across the country >>

      Don’t see a march near you? Connect with our Regional Coordinators to help coordinate travel plans or even get help organizing a march in your community!

The Climate March is just one step towards building a long-term movement to protect our climate, our health, and our communities.

Planning is ongoing, and we will be sure to provide updates as things continue to progress.

 

 

 

Protectors of Equality in Government Will Host a Talk on Environmental Implications of the Trump Budget and Appointees

for Michigan

 

Sunday, April 30th from 3 to 4:30 PM at the Jewish Community Center,

2935 Birch Hollow Drive, Ann Arbor

 

 

League of Conservation Voters CEO Lisa Wozniak

State Representative Stephanie Chang

 

 

The presentation will focus on the implications of the Trump Administration (budget and appointees) for Michigan, taking into consideration the politics within our state (make-up of our state government, 2018 elections and the deep need for redistricting).

 

The Michigan League of Conservation Voters (LCV) is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to protecting Michigan’s air, land, water, and Great Lakes.  President Trump’s proposed budget has far-ranging consequences for both Federal and state programs protecting our environment.

 

A nationally recognized expert in nonprofit growth and management and a leader in Great Lakes protections, Lisa Wozniak has more than two decades of environmental and conservation advocacy in the political arena. She is a three-time graduate from the University of Michigan, with a Bachelor’s degree and two ensuing Masters’ degrees in Social Work and Education. Before becoming Executive Director of LCV in 2006, Lisa was a member of the Michigan LCV Board and today serves on the boards of the Friends of Rutherford Pool, the Huron River Watershed Council, and the National League of Conservation Voters Education Fund.  Stephanie Chang (D-6) represents portions of Detroit, River Rouge, and Ecorse in the Michigan State House of Representatives.

 

 Lisa Wozniak’s full statement can be found here.

 

At this event, attendees will also have the opportunity to learn about joining small groups of like-minded individuals to achieve PEG’s mission.

 

 

 

 

The ACLU Requests that We Keep Pressure on the NCAA to Hold North Carolina Accountable for Continued LGBTQ Discrimination

 

There’s still time to make sure the NCAA adheres to its stated principles and denies North Carolina the championship games they crave – until the state fixes the damage wrought by HB2.

 

We need as many people as possible to raise their voices and build pressure before the NCAA host site selection is finalized on April 18. Will you send a message now to NCAA President Mark Emmert?

The NCAA’s hypocrisy is staggering. After HB2 became law last year, the NCAA pulled championship games from the state for failing to "assure a safe, healthy, discrimination-free atmosphere for all."

 

North Carolina’s new law is still discriminatory and illegal. It still singles out transgender people. It still bars local governments from protecting LGBTQ people through 2020. The NCAA should know this. So why is the NCAA now allowing North Carolina to bid to host championship games?

 

Call the NCAA on this hypocrisy. Tell NCAA President Mark Emmert he’d be going back on his word if he allows championships to go to North Carolina.

What happened behind the scenes between the state representatives and NCAA officials? How did North Carolina convince the NCAA that this new law is less discriminatory when we know it doubles down on the worst parts of HB2?

 

The ACLU just filed public records requests to get answers. We need to know how the cities and schools bidding to host NCAA games will guarantee a nondiscriminatory environment for LGBTQ people. We don’t think the deal on the table is sufficient – and we need the NCAA to know that we’re not satisfied.

 

Tell the NCAA to refuse to award North Carolina games until HB2 is actually repealed.This fake repeal law is still harmful for LGBTQ people – especially trans people. We can’t let the NCAA hide from this fact.

 

Oppose the Trump Budget Cuts to the Great Lakes by Calling Your Representative

 

The proposed budget will cause significant damage to some of the areas most necessary to our social, environmental, economic, health, and educational well-being. One of the things that Trump plans to do is to eliminate the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. This would cause great damage to our precious, clean freshwater lakes. Please call the following representatives and encourage them to oppose these proposed budget cuts that will be very harmful to our state:

 

Justin Amash, (3rd District; Grand Rapids): 202-225-3831

Fred Upton (6th District; Kalamazoo): 202-225-3761

Dave Trott (11th District; Bloomfield Hills): 202-225-8171

Jack Bergman (1st District; Traverse City): 202-225-4735

Tim Walberg (7th District; Monroe): 202-225-6276

Mike Bishop (8th District; Rochester Hills): 202-225-4872

Bill Huizenga (2nd District; Muskegon): 202-225-4401

John Moolenaar (4th District; Midland): 202-225-3561

Paul Mitchell (10th District; Shelby Township): 202-225-2106

 

Basic Bystander Intervention Trainings

As we see media accounts of attacks against immigrants, Muslims, and other populations, many of us have asked ourselves, "What would I do if I were there?" Bystander Intervention Training will give you the basic tools you need on how to respond.

 

With over 20 years teaching non-violent communication methods and being on peacekeeping teams, Sheri Wander, trainer for Meta Peace Team, together with other ICPJ facilitators,will co-teach the basic tactics you can use to de-escalate or redirect threats and harassment.

 

In addition to the full-cost tickets through the reservation link below, there are a number of free or reduced-cost tickets for each event for those who need them. There are also some spaces set aside for members of targeted communities (people of color, LGBTQ community members, Muslims, immigrants, etc). Email info@icpj.org or call 734-663-1870 for details.

 

Pre-registration is required.  Please register here.

 

Ann Arbor: Sunday, April 23 from 1:00 - 5:00 PM @ First Congregational Church Ann Arbor, 608 E William St

 

Dexter: Sunday, April 30 from 1:00 - 5:00 PM @ St. James Episcopal Church, 3279 Broad St

 

 

MARCH FOR SCIENCE Date: Saturday, April 22

The March will start on the UM Diag at Noon and leave there at about 12:45 PM. Estimated end time of 2 PM, depending on crowd. The exact route will be announced closer to the date.

Sister march of the national March for Science.

Twitter: @ScienceMarchA2Email: MarchForScienceA2@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/events/1237144609734310/?active_tab=about

Educational Town Hall on Redistricting

 

Would you like to know more about Michigan’s current system for drawing electoral districts, and how other states have reformed their redistricting systems? State Representative Yousef Rabhi is hosting a panel discussion on redistricting and its profound effects on our democracy. He strongly believes that voters should pick their representatives, not the other way around, so a fair redistricting system is essential.

 

Monday, April 24 6 PM, Multipurpose Room Downtown Ann Arbor District Library, 343 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor

 

Community Discussions: Yousef Rabhi and YOU

 

Yousef looks forward to the chance to meet many of you in person and to discuss your priorities for our state. To that end, he will be holding open forums in Ann Arbor twice a month. If you have questions about what’s going on in Lansing or would like to let him know what issues are important to you, please try to join him at one of these events.

 

Saturday, April 28 10 a.m. RoosRoast Coffee 1155 Rosewood St., Ann Arbor

 

State Representative Yousef Rabhi 53rd House District

 

 

Listen to Our Website Designer's World Music Program

 

The Dromedary Express is on WCBN every Sunday 11 AM to Noon EST. Yalcin Yanikoglu is nuts about Gypsy music, music of Cuba, Brazil, Ghana, Tuva, Turkey, and more. You can hear the show online at http://www.wcbn.org/listen or in Ann Arbor at 88.3 FM. Listening will not help change our government, but it will put a smile on your face. Thanks for all your help with PEG Yalcin.

 

 

Thank Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Mike Lee (R-UT) for defending Americans’ constitutional right to free speech.

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-twitter-privacy-analysis-idUSKBN17A02M

Customs agents sent an administrative summons to Twitter demanding the records of an anonymous critic of President Trump’s immigration policies. Twitter filed a federal lawsuit accusing it of violating the First Amendment's protection of free speech, and the government withdrew the summons.

Cory Gardner (202) 224-5941, www.gardner.senate.gov

Mike Lee  (202) 224-5444, www.lee.senate.gov

Gentle reminder: phone calls are more effective than emails or letters. If you can’t get through to a staffer, leave a message. If you can’t get through on the DC phone number, try a state office (phone numbers are on their websites).

 

 

 

Subscribe to the Bridge Magazine here.

 

The Bridge is published by the Center for Michigan, Michigan’s leading investigative news organization and is endorsed by PEG.

 

 

You might want to look at the work that Better Angels (better-angels.org) is doing to promote conversation between Trump and Anti-Trump supporters.  Sign up for their newsletter if you are interested.

 

 

If you attend any of these events or participate in any of these activities, we would appreciate your sending us a short email at info@equalityingov.org describing what you thought of them.

 

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Protectors of Equality in Government Endorses Two New Organizations

 

 

Michigan League of Conservation Voters   http://michiganlcv.org/

The Michigan League of Conservation Voters is dedicated to ensuring every Michigander has access to clean air and water and can enjoy the pure beauty of our state. Michigan LCV advocates for sound environmental laws and policies, holds elected officials accountable for their votes and actions, and elects pro-environment candidates.  The organization pursues its goals through voter education, voter mobilization and direct contributions to political candidates.

 

The Center for Michigan  http://thecenterformichigan.net/

The Center for Michigan is a “think-and-do” tank founded by former newspaper publisher and University of Michigan Regent Phil Power in early 2006.  The Center’s objective is to make Michigan a better place by encouraging greater understanding and involvement in policy issues among the state’s citizens and making sure their voices are regularly heard.  They do this by eliciting citizen views, amplifying those views and projecting them into the halls of power.  A major focus is Bridge Magazine, a free online news magazine.

 

 

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Some Redistricting Resources

 

http://www.bridgemi.com/public-sector/gerrymandering-michigan-among-nations-worst-new-test-claims

 

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/4/10/15211122/algorithm-end-partisan-gerrymandering

Constructing a Gerrymandering Measuring Stick

Professor Wendy Tam Cho of the University of Illinois set out to fix this problem. Her goal? To create a “Computational Method for Identifying Extreme Redistricting Plans,” as she put it in the subtitle of one research paper. A full copy of her research paper is available here.

If you would like to know more about your state’s redistricting law, check out this website from Justin Levitt, a professor of constitutional law at Loyola University Law School.

 

Let’s Hear From You

 

This newsletter welcomes letters to the editorial team and will print them as space permits.  We reserve the right to edit for space, clarity, civility and accuracy, and we will send you the edited version before publication. For suggestions regarding length, content, and similar criteria, please refer to the New York Times’ general recommendations for letters: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/23/opinion/23READ.html?_r=0

 

Willing to Help in the Fight?

 

We need your help building PEG. Click here to see see a list of volunteer opportunities. If you might be willing to be a PEG volunteer or to learn more, email info@equalityingov.org and put “VOLUNTEER” in the email subject line.

 

For more information regarding Protectors of Equality in Government go to www.equalityingov.org

 

To contact us email to info@equalityingov.org, to follow us on facebook click here, and  to be on PEG’s contact list click here.  Please forward this newsletter to others you think might be interested in being part of the effort to see that we have equality and acceptance in our government.

 

 

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