President’s Day on Monday, February 19, 2024

In 1862, Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation declaring February 22 a day of celebration honoring George Washington. A federal holiday on February 22 was officially passed into law in 1879 for federal employees in Washington, D.C., and in 1885 the day became a paid holiday for all federal employees. Over time, it became a holiday for many state and business employees, too. 

The shift from Washington’s Birthday to Presidents’ Day occurred in the late 1960s, when Congress proposed a measure known as the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. This Act included a provision to combine the celebration of Washington’s birthday and Lincoln’s birthday (February 12, 1809) on the third Monday in February. 

Since 1862, there has been a tradition in the United States Senate that George Washington’s 1796 Farewell Address be read on his birthday. The address is a 6,000-word statement printed in Philadelphia’s American Daily Advertiser in which Washington sought to explain his decision not to run for a third term re-election.

Supreme Court of Ethics

The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued a code of ethics following months of financial scandals associated with Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas. The nonbinding code, signed by all nine justices, outlines five canons intended to guide their behavior, emphasizing integrity, impartiality, diligence, and the avoidance of impropriety and political activity.

The code itself is unremarkable. It is based on the American Bar Association’s Model Code of Judicial Conduct, which is used throughout the country. In structure and in content it is largely the same. It, however, is absent of specifics and teeth.

Planet on Fire: Michelle Regalado Deatrick, Washtenaw County’s Climate Activist

Southeastern Michigan’s Michelle Regalado Deatrick is a climate activist who is fighting the climate crisis both locally and nationally. Born to a Latina mom and telephone lineman, she’s founder and chair of the DNC Council on the Environment and Climate Crisis. Committed to a Democratic party that runs a panoply of diverse “climate candidates” committed to “climate and environmental justice,” she believes climate activism has been shown to be vital to the protection of our planet.

One Person/One Vote Initiative: Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote

Many Americans believe that we live in a democracy and that the presidential candidate with the most votes wins. Unfortunately, this is inaccurate. Although national, state, and local officials and initiatives are counted by direct popular vote, the president is elected by electoral votes. This indirect process is often referred to as the winner-take-all model. That is, the candidate who wins a majority of votes in almost every state in the Union is given the state’s electoral college votes, while votes cast for the losing candidate are canceled in 48 states.

June Month of Action Against Gun Violence

On June 2 the “Rock” at Washtenaw and Hill was painted orange by supporters of Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety. Wear Orange honors survivors of gun violence and demand a future free of gun violence – and has been expanded from one weekend to the entire month of June. Joining in the project while wearing orange was Rep Debbie Dingell!

Silence the Violence Michigan and Moms Demand Action have organized 25 additional events through Michigan during June. Find an event near you!