As we thought about some of the challenges we were going to face as an organization, we became concerned about how we could help sustain the desire of individuals “to do something” about where our country is headed. Our concern was heightened when we saw how busy some of our gyms were in January, less busy in February, and back to normal in March. We doubted that this was due to people deciding that their New Year’s resolution to get in shape was misguided, but rather to real life intruding. We wanted to avoid this fading of resolution and create something with more enduring effect than the Million Man March or Occupy Wall Street.
There are organizations such as the addiction support groups or Weight Watchers that assist people in doing things that they know are important, but that they have difficulty doing alone. These organizations are often successful because participants form into small groups that share similar objectives. They meet regularly with a facilitator, share useful information, enjoy one another’s company, support one another, and celebrate their successes together. We are copying this model by forming into Action Circles of 10 or more people who share a common interest. The first Action Circle meetings will be held this Sunday, April 30th. See the flyer below for more details.
Actions You Can Take Now and Events
You Should Know About
April 30 – PEG Speaker Series. Lisa Wozniak and State Representative Stephanie Chang
May 1 – Ann Arbor City Council is expected to easily pass a resolution on giving undocumented immigrants additional protections. It’s always worthwhile to show up and show your support. Click here to read the full story.
May 2 – Special elections in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor. Click HERE for details.
May 3 – Proposed policies developed in conjunction with the Washtenaw County Sheriff”s Office to separate County law enforcement from federal immigration enforcement as much as possible were presented to the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners by Commissioner Conan Smith on Wednesday, April 19, and may be considered at the May 3 meeting or a subsequent one. Click here to learn more.
May 9 – Planned Parenthood of Michigan’s educational/networking event on the topic of gerrymandering will take place at the Ann Arbor Distilling Company (220 Felch Street in Ann Arbor) from 7-9 pm. Click HERE for more details and to RSVP.
May 21 – PEG Speaker Series. Steve Mustapha Elturk, Imam/President Islamic Organization of North America, IONA, will speak on how the government’s actions are affecting Muslims in America including the generation of Islamaphobia and the assault on the basic human rights of American citizens, residents and visitors of the Muslim faith in this country. The meeting will be held at Morris Hall in the Pittsfield Township Administrative Building, 6201 West Michigan Ave., Ann Arbor, at 3 pm.
June 25 – PEG Speaker Series. Washtenaw County Sheriff Clayton will speak on “Immigration-related Enforcement Issues in Washtenaw County.” Sheriff Clayton is nationally recognized for contributions in this area and has done briefings in Washington D.C.
Things To Do at Any Time
- Call your senators and reps about the new healthcare plan coming down the pike, and argue for the need to protect individuals with pre-existing conditions.
- Call your senators and reps about the budget and all the terrible cuts to vital programs and agencies. Remind them that the money spent covering Trump at Mar-a-lago could cover many of these, and that Trump said he would be in the White House working all the time — not vacationing and playing golf.
- If you are in an industry that cares about and needs skilled H1-B workers, remind your senators and reps that we hurt American competitiveness by not welcoming such workers, especially at a time when we appear to not be promoting education for our own children in many places.
- Call your senators and reps about Trump’s terrible plan to blackmail Democrats into giving up important spending bill and healthcare issues by either shutting down the government or withholding ObamaCare Insurance.
- Call your senators and reps to tell them to say no to money for a wall. It won’t work, and the American people should not have to waste money for it.
- Write to your congressperson. To see a terrific sample letter covering the issues we’re concerned about, and that you can edit for your own use, click here. Here’s the basis of a similar letter to your senator.
To find your elected representatives and their contact information, click here.
Are you looking for a way to make a difference in your community? Do you believe that women and families should have access to low-cost reproductive healthcare and family planning services? Planned Parenthood needs you! Click here to volunteer. Their event calendar here.
Their main site here.
April 27 – Lansing Activist Night
All are welcome. No RSVP required. This will be a weekly meeting through May 4.
Activist meetings will consist of event planning, occasional training, and some administrative tasks, as necessary. Snacks provided. Children welcome, but we are unable to provide child care. Any event changes (time, location, cancellation, etc.) will be posted by 3 pm on event day.
PPAM Office, 115 West Allegan St., Suite 500, Lansing, MI 48933 6–7:15 pm.
Click here to learn more.
April 27 – Mount Pleasant Sex Trivia Night
7–9 pm Let’s talk about sex! Bring your friends and join us for a night of sex trivia. Non-tax-deductible donations benefit Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, the statewide advocacy organization and voice of Michigan Planned Parenthood patients and supporters. All ages are welcome. We hope to see you there!
$10 suggested donation for the event. And there are prizes! Rubble’s Bar, 112 W. Michigan St., Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858 Registration begins at 6:30, with the first round of trivia beginning at 7 pm. Click here to learn more.
April 28 & 29 – Planned Parenthood Concerts Benefitting Reproductive Rights ( Friday & Saturday)
Stone Clover, Tripp ‘N’ Dixie, BARS OF GOLD, Dead in 5, and Nina & The Buffalo Riders at The Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac, MI 48342
Tickets available at the Crofoot Box Office, www.ticketweb.com and by Phone: (866) 468-3401. Tickets are also available fee-free with cash at UHF Records in Royal Oak, MI.
May 2 – Ann Arbor Activist Night
All are welcome. No RSVP required. Meetings are bi-weekly through summer, and will resume their weekly schedule on September 5. Events and volunteer opportunities are sure to arise, however!
Activist meetings will consist of event planning, occasional training, and some administrative tasks, as necessary. Snacks provided. Children welcome, but we are unable to provide child care. Any event changes (time, location, cancellation, etc.) will be posted by 3pm on event day.
Ann Arbor Main Planned Parenthood Office, 3100 Professional Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48104. 6–7:15 pm. Click here to learn more.
May 4 – Lansing Activist Night
All are welcome. No RSVP required. Meetings are bi-weekly through summer, and will resume their weekly schedule on September 7. Events and volunteer opportunities are sure to arise, however!
Activist meetings will consist of event planning, occasional training, and some administrative tasks as necessary. Snacks provided. Children welcome, but we are unable to provide child care. Any event changes (time, location, cancellation, etc.) will be posted by 3pm on event day.
PPAM Office 115 West Allegan St Suite 500, Lansing, MI 48933, 6–7:15 pm.
Click here to learn more.
Our Favorite PEG Facebook Post This Week
Interesting Reading, Viewing, Listening
Check out “21 of the best March-for-Science” signs! Enjoy!!
Protectors of Equality in Government (PEG) has endorsed 11 organizations. A short description of and a link to each organization can be found on the PEG website: https://equalityingov.org/endorsed-organizations/
Please check out the list and choose those of interest to you for action.
Gerrymandering is a serious bipartisan issue that impacts the effectiveness of each person’s vote. To gain an understanding of this important issue, read this article by the nonpartisan Bridge (Center for Michigan) magazine.
Read this “Salon” article to meet the man — a retired Wisconsin law professor — whose Supreme Court case may end gerrymandering.
Sending postcards can be an effective way to inform your representatives of your views and concerns. Check out this website to design your postcard, find your representatives’ addresses and mail it — all for only 99 cents!
Not all members of the House live in the Districts they represent. The Constitution only requires that Representatives live in the State they are representing. Often this is related to redistricting. Check out this Washington Post article for more information.
April the giraffe caught the imagination of people all over the world as she awaited the birth of her baby. In these uncertain times, Julie Nagel, PhD comments on what April taught her in her Huffington Post blog.
We Need to Hear From You
We are constantly seeking ways to improve this newsletter and make it more useful for you, so we welcome 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 via email, click here email@example.com. To follow us on facebook, click here. 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 maintain equality and acceptance in our government.
Thanks to Richard Gaeth, Vicki Patraka, Bette Cotzin, Donna and Mike Heine, Bernie Banet and Julie Nagel for their help preparing this newsletter. Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org 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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