CIVICS DECK – What is a Filibuster?

The Guardian sees the filibuster as a way for a relatively small group of senators to block some action by the majority. The filibuster rule allows a minority of 41 senators (out of 100 total) to prevent a vote on most species of legislation. This political strategy takes advantage of a U.S. Senate rule that says a senator, once recognized on the floor, may speak on an issue without being impeded by anyone, thus allowing senators to speak for hours to delay efforts to vote for a bill.

There is no filibuster in the House of Representatives because rules adopted in that larger legislative body strictly limit the amount of time each representative may speak on the House floor.

The Unseen Heritage of Black Women Working for the Vote

Although the subject of Black female activists fighting for voting rights has been rehashed in the media in the 2020 Presidential Election and the US Senate runoffs in Georgia. It was clear that Black female voting rights activists were pivotal in affecting the change to a new administration. In January, coinciding with the runoffs, Time reprinted a November article illuminating the chronicle of Black women activists that started out fighting for the women’s vote, a story that begins long before the recent historic efforts in Georgia. It is this overlooked history of dedication to progressing forward that today’s Black female organizers fighting for the vote recognize, build upon, and respect. It was evident in November and January, that the under-recognized work by Black women activists, past and present, opens doors and impacts people of all races and genders and will be the key in the continued fight for voting equality.

Encourage Michigan senators to support COVID relief package

DELIVER IMMEDIATE RELIEF TO WORKING FAMILIES: $1,400/person checks; housing and nutrition assistance; increase access to health care, paid leave, and child care; raise the minimum wage to $15/hour, and extend unemployment insurance;
SUPPORT COMMUNITIES: Support hardest hit small businesses; protect the jobs of first responders, transit workers, and other essential workers we depend upon.
Urge them to fight for Michigan families who are struggling to keep food on their tables and a roof over their heads. Urge them to make sure our state and communities have what they need to fight the COVID virus, to protect teachers and other front line workers who are helping all of us. Honor the 29.8 million people who’ve gotten sick from COVID and the 433,000 Americans who died from it.

Good News!…

🗣Good News! BREAKING: The Senate has confirmed Pete Buttigieg as Transportation Secretary with a vote of 86-13, making him the first-ever openly LGBTQ person to be confirmed by the Senate to a Cabinet-level position. #government #goodtrouble #petebuttigieg #senate #United #unitedstates #politics #lgbtq🌈 #transportation #biden #cabinet See our original post at Facebook

Beyond Thoughts and Prayers

Advance editor-in-chief Susan J. Demas rounded up the gun control legislation that the Michigan State Legislature could take up in the wake of last weekend’s shootings in El Paso and Dayton, including roughly a dozen bills that would do things from toughening background checks to restricting gun sales from purchasers with a high risk of committing violence. But, we have some people standing in the way of pushing forward, it seems.

Working for Change from the Bottom Up

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.

Extreme risk protection order legislation can prevent gun suicide

Critical bills that could help stem the alarming rise in Michigan’s suicide rate were recently introduced to the Michigan Legislature. Enactment of Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) legislation, would allow law enforcement and concerned family members to ask a judge to temporarily prohibit individuals known to be at risk of harming themselves or others from purchasing or possessing guns. ERPO type bills are also commonly known as Red Flag laws or Gun Violence Restraining Orders.