Newsletter #15, Thursday, July 13, 2017

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35 weeks down, 69 weeks to mid-term elections.

Keeping up the Health Care Fight

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delays August recess to complete work on health-care bill.

Senator McConnell will release a revised bill on Thursday that purportedly will keep the taxes on the wealthy, then subject it to CBO analysis, and try to get both centrist and conservative Republicans led by Cruz to agree with it. The upshot is that we need to keep up the pressure on Republicans to preserve Obamacare. The Washington Post


Sunday, July 16, 11 am: Healthcare Town Hall with Congressman Dan Kildee, State Representative Christine Greig and AHCA Policy Expert Charles Gaba.

Join Indivisible Michigan District 11 and area residents as we ask unscripted questions and get straight answers to your health care concerns.To RSVP, fill out this form: Plymouth-Ann Arbor Elks 325, 41700 Ann Arbor Road East, Plymouth.


Senate healthcare bill defunds Planned Parenthood for a year.

It could leave women with few options. “The suggestion that FQHCs become the main source of publicly funded family planning care is a matter of political convenience, not a viable policy proposal,” according to a Guttmacher report. Washington Post


Indiana’s efforts to collect “Obamacare horror stories” fail miserably.

Indiana Republican Party Facebook page instead received an overwhelming majority of comments in support of the Affordable Care Act.


The Administration’s Own Data Says Obamacare Isn’t Imploding. Report shows the health insurance marketplaces were relatively stable in 2016. Contrary to the “death-spiral” narrative the mix of healthy and sick people buying insurance in that year was surprisingly similar to those who enrolled in 2015.


Call Your Democratic Senators

Democratic senators have an important role to play in the healthcare debate by urging the Senate to give Americans time to make their voices heard. Please call now and thank them for their opposition to the Republican bill:

  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow (202) 224-4822
  • Sen. Gary Peters (202) 224-6221

Call Republican Senators

Also call Republican Senators who are known to have reservations about the bill and urge them not to support it.

  • Shelley Moore Capito (WV) (202) 224-6472
  • Susan Collins (ME) (202) 224-2523
  • Tom Cotton (AR) (202) 224-2353   
  • Jeff Flake (AZ) (202) 224-4521
  • Cory Gardner (CO) (202) 224-5941
  • Charles Grassley (IA) (202) 224-3744
  • Dean Heller (NV) (202) 224-6244
  • John McCain (AZ) (202) 224-2235
  • Lisa Murkowski (AK) (202) 224-6665
  • Rob Portman (OH) (202) 224-3353
  • Lamar Alexander (TN) 202-224-4944
  • Bill Cassidy (LA) 202-224-5824
  • Bob Corker (TN) 202-224-3344
  • Lindsey Graham (SC) 202-224-5972
  • Ron Johnson (WI) 202-224-5323

Focus this week: Planned Parenthood

Monday, July 17, 6 pm: PP invites PEG readers to come learn about Planned Parenthood and the work it’s doing in our area.

Discuss the status and impact of the GOP’s proposed American Health Care Act, the defunding of Planned Parenthood, and how the organization is fighting back against attacks at the national and state level. Planned Parenthood will also share its proactive legislative agenda, and how it plans to build power and win elections in 2018. With special guest State Representative Ronnie Peterson, Riverside Arts Center, 76 N. Huron St., Ypsilanti. RSVP HERE


Tuesdays, July 25, August 8, and August 22, at 6 pm: Planned Parenthood Activist Nights.

Meetings will consist of event planning, occasional training and some administrative tasks as necessary. Check Facebook page here for updates. RSVP now. Location subject to change due to local events and actions; changes or cancellations will be posted by 3 pm on Tuesdays. Ann Arbor Main Health Center, 3100 Professional Drive.

Gerrymandering and Redistricting

Saturday, July 15, 11:30 am: Community conversation on gerrymandering.

Convened by the Social Action Committee of Temple Beth Emeth. TBE Adult Lounge, 2309 Packard Road, Ann Arbor.


Wednesday, July 26, 7–9 pm: Educate yourself about gerrymandering.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) will sponsor a presentation by Washtenaw County Clerk Larry Kestenbaum on this important topic. Cost is $8. Click here for more information.Turner Senior Resource Center, 2401 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor.

This column by Phil Power, founder and chairman of The Center for Michigan: Gerrymandered political districts poison democracy.


More Events and Things You Can Do Any Time

Saturday, July 15, 10 am: Attend the Political Action Group meeting. Immigrant rights, gerrymandering and healthcare will be discussed. at Morgan & York, 1928 Packard Road, Ann Arbor.

Sunday, July 16, 1:30 pm: Before the Flood: See this spellbinding film on climate change and its effect on the earth. Leonardo DiCaprio travels the world interviewing scientists, world leaders, and activists. A discussion will follow on how pulling out of the Paris Accord will affect the earth. Chelsea District Library, 221 S. Main St., Chelsea, hosted by the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice and Western Washtenaw Democrats. Click here for more information.

Join an ACLU special volunteer team.

Sign up here to join a new Ground Support Team. In addition to the organizing that you all 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 our most important People Power resources from English to Spanish. And, our 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 getting security. This is not normal. Learn more: These four organizations (including the ACLU) protect journalism and support press freedom.


Thursday, August 17, 7 pm. Be part of a group that is interested in starting a conversation about single payer healthcare.

An organizing group is looking for people who are stakeholders and interested in moving this conversation forward. They are partnering with the group Medicare for All and having a march in Lansing on July 24, 4–6 pm. Trinity Lutheran Church 1400 W. Stadium Blvd., Ann Arbor.


Indivisible District 14 maintains a calendar of events. See it here.


Support Immigrants by getting and displaying your free yard sign.

They are available while supplies last, thanks to the Women’s Action Movement, at Grafaktri, 1200 South Main Street, Ann Arbor.



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 at

 Council Candidate Forums: August 8 Primary Election

This week, the local League of Women Voters will interview candidates for Ann Arbor City Council races in the August 8 primary election.



Read, Watch and Listen

ICE Officers Are Being Told to Take Tougher Action Against Undocumented Immigrants. Pacific Standard


The president's eldest son was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton before meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer. New York Times


NAACP statement on nominee to head DOJ’S civil rights division. “The evidence is clear. For the past 20 years, Dreiband has been on the wrong side of issues pertaining to housing, hate crimes and the many other critical areas that the Civil Rights Division oversees as part of its core mission.” For more, see NAACP.


“If you look at the democratic process as a game of chess, there have to be many, many moves before you get to checkmate. And simply because you do not make any checkmate in three moves does not mean it's stalemate. There's a vast difference between no checkmate and stalemate. This is what the democratic process is like."
– Aung San Suu Kyi


Aung San Suu Kyi, activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner  

Thanks CivCity. Read their wonderful newsletter.


From Marty Smith on NPR tweeting the Declaration of Independence on July 4th:

“NPR followed its annual tradition of reading the Declaration of Independence line by line, but this year, to broaden the audience for this patriotic ritual, it tweeted the declaration line by line. The passage of the declaration was official on July 4, 1776. This act and this document are what we celebrate on July 4th each year.


“Predictably, numbers of Americans decried the tweets as ‘propaganda’ and other ostensibly negative descriptions. Obviously, they were unaware of the historic nature of those words, once more giving credibility to the many quotations similar to this one from George Santayana: ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to relive it.’


“Many of us are ignorant of U.S. history, and the important documents of our founding, including the declaration that we celebrated yesterday, and the Constitution and Bill of Rights. This leads to ignorant political decisions. As is evident from the loud explosions that ring out outside my window on each Independence Day, people think it’s a day to set off fireworks with bright displays and lots of noise. Don’t misunderstand me, as a youth and young man I loved fireworks, but I know what they were all about.”


18 states to sue Betsy DeVos over neglecting student loan protections. The Education Department moved last month to freeze new rules for erasing the federal loan debt of student borrowers who were cheated by colleges that acted fraudulently. New York Times



The man behind the federal voter “integrity” panel. How Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State, plans to remake America through restrictive voting and immigration laws. The New York Times Magazine


ACLU Files Suit Against White House Election Fraud Commission. NPR


Altruism Trumps Narcissism. In this Huffington Post article, Ann Arborite Julie Nagel discusses how altruism may impact the current political situation.


Blue Cities Want to Make Their Own Rules. Red States Won’t Let Them. In the last few years, Republican-controlled state legislatures have intensified the use of what are known as pre-emption laws, to block towns and cities from adopting measures favored by the left. The states aren’t merely overruling local laws; they’ve walled off whole new realms where local governments aren’t allowed to govern at all. The New York Times


Thinking rationally about Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline

"Talking purely conservative common sense here, there is no way any sane government should tolerate something that could easily destroy two of the greatest lakes in the world." Read more.


Do you have an event, organization or something we should read, watch or listen to? If so, tell us by emailing

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Thanks to Richard Gaeth, Jeff Mortimer, Ginny Morgan, Marilyn Scott, Marty Smith, Roger Rayle, Jen Hoffman, Bernie Banet, Vicki Patraka, Bette Cotzin 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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