Sue Hadden and Terri Voepel-Lewis exemplify the new breed of activists who’ve come to the fore since 2016 when Republicans swept to victory in the US House, Senate, and presidency. Soon after Hillary’s defeat, Terri heard about Indivisible, the emerging national progressive organization that was utilizing Tea Party methods, proven so effective in previous elections.
Literary activist, Leslie McGraw, is a descendant of the first voter rights martyr in the United States, Elbert Williams of Tennessee. The right to vote was not given but earned through the blood, sweat, tears, and vigilance of families like that of Elbert Williams.
Hedieh Briggs has gone from Iranian refugee to American citizen, to now that of a well-respected activist in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is a fighter and advocates for people to use one of their most powerful tools, “the vote”.
Melissa Bruzzano is a person filled with gentle strength, which underlies her activism. She has led marchers while chanting with a megaphone; hosted movies and discussion groups about Medicare for All; worked with other activists at the March for Medicare for All at the state capitol; helped with communications for local ACLU People Power actions to help protect immigrants at risk; worked as the first campaign manager for Anuja Rajendra’s Michigan Senate campaign; started and runs PAG, all while being a devoted mother and wife, an attorney, a songwriter, frontwoman (vocals and guitar) for the band Sweet Melissa, and a vocal coach.
Eli Rubin is a youngish (GenX-era) full-time professor of Modern European History at Western Michigan University. He and his wife (also a History professor) are raising 5 children. Despite the obvious demands on his time, I’ve seen Eli around Ann Arbor at many events, and in nearby cities participating in events as well– most notably those connected to the issue of Single Payer Health Care.