Newsletter #16, Thursday, July 20, 2017

Help register voters at the Ann Arbor Art Fair

(This Thursday, July 20 thru Sunday, July 23)

We’ll show you how!

Please sign up here to help for a 2-hour shift. In keeping with PEG’s values, this is a non-partisan initiative. To keep our democracy strong, people need to vote and you can do your part. For any questions or concerns, contact Hedieh Briggs at (734) 904-4264 or

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.

36 weeks down, 68 weeks to mid-term elections.

More Events and Things You Can Do Any Time

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.


Millions did not vote illegally.

Stop this anti-voter attack in its tracks by sending a written comment to The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Common Cause


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


Thursday, July 21, through Sunday, July 24, Volunteer with Planned Parenthood at the Ann Arbor Art Fairs

Planned Parenthood will be will be tabling in three-hour shifts. To learn more about this opportunity, click here. Ann Arbor Art Fairs, 9:30 am–9 pm.


Monday, July 24, 4–6 pm Millions Marching for Medicare for All

This event is being coordinated with the national march and will take place at the Michigan Capitol Building, East Lansing.


Tuesdays, July 25, August 8, and August 22, 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, 6 pm.

Chip in $5 to help Planned Parenthood. Help counteract the Senate Republicans’ threat to defund this organization that provides family planning services to women throughout the country. (When the Texas legislature defunded it in their state, the maternal mortality rate doubled, and they now have 20,000 unplanned births.) UltraViolet is taking action at congressional offices across America to insure that every legislator gets the message: Hands off Planned Parenthood! Will you chip in $5 to help?

Yes, I'll chip in $5 to UltraViolet PAC.


Wednesday, July 26, 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, 7-9 pm.

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.



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

Click here for a sample letter and the address of the Gov. 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 25th 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.

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

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.

Wednesday, Aug. 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.


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.

Thank Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) for her ingenious way of highlighting discrimination against those living in poverty.

Her proposal requires citizens claiming more than $150,000 in tax deductions to pass a drug test. To thank her for advocating for the needs of the poorest Americans, write her at 2252 Rayburn HOB, Washington, DC 20515.

Oppose health care plan exemptions for Members of Congress.

Call your two senators (lookup or leave message) to express your outrage that senators would exempt themselves from the same healthcare plan they plan to impose on the public.


Tuesday, July 18, Attend a meeting for Lucha Por Lourdes Vigi.

Lucha is a mother of three American-born children, a resident of Ann Arbor for 20 years; she is in imminent danger of deportation. See .

St. Mary’s Student Parish at University of Michigan, 331 Thompson St., Ann Arbor, 6:30 pm

Read, Watch and Listen

The “Election Integrity Commission” gets another vote-suppression superstar. The White House announced on Monday that President Trump is adding another vote-suppression superstar to his “Election Integrity Commission,” former Justice Department lawyer J. Christian Adams. The Atlantic’s Andrew Cohen has described Adams as “a longtime conservative critic of many facets of the Voting Rights Act, whose claim to fame as a federal lawyer seems to be his penchant for accusing black people of discriminating against whites." Salon

Read Voters Not Politicians blog post Michigan’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission: Why Is This Commission Necessary and Who Will Be on It? To learn how a group of 13 Michigan voters will end gerrymandering in our state. Voters Not Politicians announced that they submitted their proposed ballot language to the Bureau of Elections for review.

Watch a reading of Langston Hughes’ poem, "Let America Be America Again." Despite being nearly a century old, it's amazingly relevant today. The poem speaks beautifully to the American ideal, how our reality has fallen short of that, and how together we can make this country the country it has the potential to be. Click here to see the video of its being read.

The Threat to American Elections You Don’t Know About But Should.

10% of Americans aren’t allowed to vote because they can’t satisfy requirements. Time

Nine States Push to Make Voting More Restrictive. NBC News

Advocate for a Bipartisan Health Care Act of 2017.

It’s a crucial time to reach across the aisle in order that Democrats and Republicans work together. Here is the list of Republican Senators who should be called and encouraged to work in a bipartisan way to create a health care bill that works for all Americans.


  • Cotton, Arkansas (202) 224-2353
  • Cassidy, Louisiana (202) 224-5824
  • Toomey, PA  (202) 224-4254
  • Portman, OH (202) 224-3353
  • Gardner, Colorado (202) 224-5941
  • Flake, AZ     (202) 224-4521
  • Heller, NV    (202) 224-6244
  • Collins, ME   (202) 224-2523
  • Capito, W.Va  (202) 224-6472
  • Murkowski AK (202) 224-6665
  • Lankford OK (202) 224-5754


Calls to Democratic Senators are also welcome. Remember, if you can’t get through to their DC office, call one of their local state offices (numbers are on their web sites).

What's Actually Wrong With the U.S. Health System.

A new report shows why American health care performs so poorly compared to its rivals, and suggests the Obamacare replacement proposals aren’t the way to fix it. The Atlantic


Eighty-two percent of respondents to an AP/NORC poll said wealthy people had too much power and influence on what happens in Washington. Other groups that a majority of respondents said had too much power: large businesses, political lobbyists and Wall Street. The Associated Press.


How the Senate health bill would impact enrollee costs, according to your age.

The most striking finding is that the BCRA would lead to a large increase in average annual health care costs for those with lower incomes, whatever their age and family type. Brookings

Betsy DeVos is sabotaging North Korea’s math and science skills.

Andy Borowitz


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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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