Indivisible Update

Victoria Gutowski (vgutowski@mac.com)To:you (Bcc) + 4 more Details

Hey everyone,

Sorry I’m late in getting this e-mail out, but so many good ideas and things are popping up from everyone that I wanted to be sure to try to get as much in as possible.
As usual, we’ll look at Local, State and National issues.  So skim the e-mail and pick out one or all ideas and take actions to let our County Commissioners, MOCs, FCC, and EPA know our thoughts.  It’s a long e-mail, but very meaty, so tie a napkin around your neck and dig in…
Local:  
 
Indivisible Grand Traverse and Indivisible Traverse City have been doing a lot of work on 7&4 News and combatting Sinclair Broadcasting’s ultra conservative, right winged news  here in TC and I extend heartfelt thanks to Ted and Gretchen Iorio for not failing in their resolve to protect the 1st Amendment of the Constitution.  Below are preliminary steps to make sure our there is an opportunity to fair and balanced and news representative of our community and its needs.  Some of you responded to my e-mail earlier this week letting me know you’ve personally called 7&4 News to let them know you’re boycotting the station.  The steps outlined below take this further. If you’re interested in getting more involved in this issue, you can contact titorchmi@aol.com and ask how you can get more involved:
 
1. Indivisible and ITC will establish a joint committee to meet ASAP for the purpose of generating a Sinclair proposal to both memberships..
2.  Before the committees meet we need commitments from both Indivisible groups ie, willing to go to advertisers and demonstrate if necessary.
3.  Contact 7&4 and Sinclair Corp.to see if they are willing to meet to discuss the problem. If they do not meet we will follow up with a letter confirming their unwillingness to meet.
4.  Contact 9&10 and set up a press conference at 7&4 regarding their refusal to meet and indicate we will be meeting with the advertisers.
5.  Teams of two will contact designated advertisers with an agreed upon script. The script will request the advertisers to contact 7&4 regarding the community’s concern. The team will  follow up  with the advertiser to learn  7&4’s response.
6.  Determine which advertisers to demonstrate against.
The above is a skeletal outline. The two committees will fill in where necessary. For example, the script to be used with the advertisers. We will also outreach to other groups to see if they want to participate. We need to coordinate with  Rabbi Chava Bahle. We would leave it to the joint committee then to complete the proposal so that is  acceptable and present it to the memberships.

If you aren’t convinced that local news outlets operated by Sinclair Media are a problem, you might want to watch this documentary which was previewed at the 2015 TCFF.  It’s called The Brainwashing of My Dad. It’s available at the Traverse Area District Library Woodmere Branch (Call Number DVD TCFF BRA),  Amazon Prime and also on Youtube. (Thanks Linda Koebert for passing along this information…)

On the Leelanau County Commissioners front, your support would be appreciated by attending the next meeting:
 
Board of Commissioners Meeting Needed April 10 at 9:00 AM, Leelanau County Government Center, Suttons Bay

We hope to have public support next week at the Board of Commissioner’s Executive meeting regarding the presentation by April Missais on the upcoming August millage. Presently, it is set at .275 but an increase to .350-.375 will enable the Senior Services Department to more effectively serve our seniors.

There are two primary goals:

  • more effectively connect seniors to the community and more effectively connect the department to these seniors.
  • assist the lowest income seniors in ways that support them staying in their own homes.

Please plan to attend the Commissioner meeting at 9 am on Tuesday April 10 to speak out in support of seniors during public comment. And consider calling the three commissioners whose votes are needed to put the higher millage on the August ballot, that would be wonderful. They are:

  • Tony Ansorge- District 1   941-1078
  • Will Bunek- District 3   256-7124
  • Casey Noonan- District 6   342-9939
 
Women2Women Traverse City is showing the film, “Straws” at The State Theater, Sunday May 6th, 11 a.m.  Anyone who wants to help out by putting up fliers and posters at grocery stores, library, County Building, coffee shops, restaurants, etc., advertising the event about 2 weeks in advance, please e-mail me.  We need help getting the word out.  
 
 
Berta Meserve, an Indivisible member, has written to Meijer asking them to package Meijer products in paper rather than plastic.  Take a look at this CNN piece about a grocery store in Amsterdam that is tackling this problem.  https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/28/europe/ekoplaza-plastic-free-supermarket-aisle/index.html
Post on social media and challenge Walmart, Meijer, Target, and other big box chains to join in.  How hard can this be???
Awareness around plastic, especially Microplastics in the Great Lakes is the subject of our next Leelanau Indivisible meeting, April 14th, 10:30 am, Leland Township Library, 203 Cedar St., Leland, MI.  Please try to attend this meeting. Jeanie Williams of Inland Seas Education Association will be our speaker and will cover the problem and offer ideas for actions we can personally take to reduce plastic.  We can start with refusing plastic straws (hint, hint) and build from there.  
 
State:
This week’s focus: Tell our State Representatives to ditch the NRA’s agenda and support common sense gun reforms.
While the NRA insists on describing gun safety as a “divisive” issue, the truth is that support for common sense gun safety measures is an issue that unifies people across the political spectrum.  More than 90% of Americans support universal background checks for firearm purchases and yet a bill to introduce universal background checks in Michigan sits in committee, stalled by a small group of politicians who are afraid to defy their NRA donors and take this simple step to protect our children and us.
 
In June of last year, Rep. Robert Wittenberg proposed a set of “red flag” laws to the Michigan Legislature. These bills, which have widespread bi-partisan support, would allow law enforcement to temporarily take possession of firearms belonging to people the Court has decided “poses a significant risk of personal injury to [themselves} or others.” This is exactly the kind of law that could have prevented the recent tragedy at Majorie Stoneman Douglas High School, giving law enforcement power to act before a troubled individual commits a violent crime.  
 
The need for this legislation could not be more urgent, or obvious, and yet these bills remain trapped in committee.
 
Let’s use our phone calls and faxes to pressure Republican members of the Judiciary Committee, letting them know they need to do something. These are laws they could put on place that would prevent another Stoneman Douglas, and every day that passes increases the risk of another tragedy.
 
Reach out to these Republican State Representatives on the Judiciary Committee:
 
Jim Runestad 517-373-2616 JimRunestad@house.mi.gov
Triston Cole 517-373-0829 TristonCole@house.mi.gov
Pamela Hornberger 517-373-8931 PamelaHornberger@house.mi.gov
Beau LaFave 517-373-0156 BeauLaFave@house.mi.gov
Lana Theis 517-373-1784 LanaTheis@house.mi.gov
Martin Howrylak 517-373-1783 MartinHowrylak@house.mi.gov
 
Here’s a script you can modify depending on if you e-mail or call:
 
Hi! 
 
I’m calling because I’m heartbroken by the recent tragedy in Parkland and I’m sick of politicians refusing to take the simple steps that could save our children’s lives. I want Rep. _________ to call for hearings immediately on two sets of common-sense gun safety measures: HB 5369-5371, mandating universal background checks, and HB 4706-4707, the “Red Flag” laws. I’m glad to hear the Rep. Runestad has decided not to further pursue legislation that would arm teachers. 
 
I strongly urge Rep__ to support real solutions—namely, laws for universal background check and the red flag laws. It’s simple: either you take sensible action to prevent the next school shooting, or you get voted out of office in November. 
 
Thank you.
 
National:
 
Let’s call Ajit Pai, head of the Federal Communications Commission, and all the other FCC commissioners to oppose the merger of Sinclair Broadcasting and Tribune Media.  
 
Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, 888-225-5322 or e-mail at https://www.fcc.gov/about/leadership/mike-orielly?qt-leadership_tabs=6#qt-leadership_tabs
 
Here’s a script you can use:
 
Dear Commissioner __________________,
 
I urge you to oppose the proposed merger between Sinclair Broadcasting and Tribune Media.  
 
There is no place in a functional democracy for biased media who lack basic transparency about those biases.  This is a STRUCTURAL issue for democracy that transcends ideology.  
 
This proposed merger is a bad deal for the American people who would have no choice in where and how they receive their news.
 
Sincerely,
 
The Women’s March is committed to making sure all voters are registered in 2018.  Text P2P to RTVOTE  This is the Women’s March Power to the Polls voter registration tool for 2018 and they hope you use it all year and share it with folks who want to make sure they are registered or register to vote for the first time.
EPA Officials are planning to re-evaluate the risks and benefits of certain pesticides.  They are considering a proposal to dramatically expand the use of the bee killing pesticide, thiamethoxam. 
 
If approved, the harmful pesticide would be allowed to be sprayed directly on wheat, barley, corn, sorghum, alfalfa, rice, and potato crops, greatly increasing exposure to already at-risk honeybees.
 
Call or write the EPA and ask them to reject Syngenta’s proposal to expande the use of bee-killing pesticides.  The EPA does not make it easy to comment, but they say on their website that they welcome public comment.  Here’s the regulations.gov page to comment on neonicotinoids:
 
 
And finally, from Celeste Crouch of Leelanau Progressive Women, comes this challenge:
 
After a liberal Dem candidate won handily in a Supreme Court race in Wisconsin yesterday, Gov. Scott Walker today appears to be in full on panic mode. He warns the party that a blue wave looms over the mid term elections in Wisconsin. His tweets represent an effort to rouse the well oiled Republican party machine in the state from complacency to view this recent election as a real threat on the horizon.  Walker claims that the Dems will target him next and he is absolutely correct with this prediction. Walker has made a lot of enemies in the state so the Blue Wave may slam him out of office as well.
 
The terrific article in the Washington Post by Paul Waldam explains in detail why the election win for the Dems yesterday strikes fear in Scott Walker’s heart. Let’s
enjoy this one as a harbinger of what is coming down the road for the GOP.
 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2018/04/04/the-republicans-panic-about-their-big-wisconsin-loss-is-revealing/?utm_term=.eb80b8ddf519
 
 
Calls for Scott Pruitt’s resignation are ramping up 
 
Scott Pruitt is trying desperately to hang on to his job as Secretary of the EPA. He blames his predicament on the toxic environment in Washington and that his enemies hate that he has been so effective in eliminating Obama’s environmental regulations. Nice try, Scott. Even members of the GOP can recognize corruption when it is blatant as his has been.. 
 
Did he really think he could get away with staying in a condo owned by a the wife of a gas lobbyist that did business with the EPA forever? And of course there is much more on the laundry list of corruption. Pruitt has spent egregious amounts of  taxpayer money  on trips, meeting with fossil fuel executives on a daily basis, holding fundraisers at the condo while he was residing there.  I guess people like Pruitt get so overwhelmed with power and greed they  cannot restrain themselves from putting their hands in the the cookie jar one more time..Here is a good article from the Miami Newtimes discussing how more GOP officials are saying that Pruitt has got to go. 
 
If you haven’t called the White House demanding tht Pruitt be ousted, please consider doing so.
 
 
Comments: 202-456-1111. Switchboard: 202-456-1414,  1600 Pennsyvania Ave. NW, 20500. 

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