Indivisible Update

Subject: Actions for the week

Indivisibles,Even with all the craziness in Washington, there are some local and state issues that we need to act on.  At our Indivisible meeting yesterday Haley Hildebrand, the regional liaison for Governor Whitmer in northern Michigan, brought to our attention that Representative Thomas Albert (R), the Chairman of the Appropriations committee in the Michigan House won’t allocate federal Covid relief funds unless the Governor opens up the state.  You can see Albert’s position at https://gophouse.org/member/repthomasalbert/posts. and reach out to him at 517 373-0846 or ThomasAlbert@house.mi.gov  You may also want to contact Jack 0’Malley or your own state representative.There is also immediate need to act on this item.  CALL TO ACTION from Democratic state representative Julie Brixie:*** CAPITOL COMMISSION WILL MEET ON MONDAY, JAN. 11 AT 1 PM TO CONSIDER GUN RESTRICTIONS ***

For those asking what you can do to help restore safety at our Capitol, the Michigan Capitol Commission is now going to be meeting virtually on Monday, January 11 at 1 p.m.Members of the public may stream meetings at house.mi.gov/htv.asp and misenate.viebit.comPublic comments may be submitted to mscc@legislature.mi.gov. Please email them and ask them to ban all guns inside and on the grounds, not simply open carry inside the building Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey stated he would support a ban on the “open carry” of firearms in the state Capitol (bit.ly/2MHKb2Z). 

While a positive change in policy, he neglects two important safety measures: concealed carry and the presence of guns on Capitol grounds and near the entrances and exits of the building.  

Banning open carry inside is just a different degree of failure as it would continue to let the militia groups dictate when the Capitol is open to the public, when school groups could visit, and to a certain degree when the Legislature can meet. 

Here in Michigan, militia groups have been an ever-increasing presence inside and surrounding our Capitol.

Last May, Rep. Tyrone Carter and I introduced legislation to ban all guns on Capitol grounds after Republican leadership and the Michigan Capitol Commission failed to keep everyone safe (HBs 5783 and 5784).

For a year now, Republican Leaders have chosen to ignore the problem, close the Capitol, and even cancel committees and session days, acknowledging the Capitol often wasn’t safe for anyone. 

It’s time to actually address the issue – banning guns on the Capitol grounds. Countless states have done this, even Alabama. We cannot continue to let militia members dictate the schedule of the Legislature and make our Capitol an unsafe environment.

If not for the pandemic, countless school groups would have been canceled over the past year of unrest. Michigan’s Capitol usually receives more than 110,000 visitors every year. Many of whom are young children, parents and teachers on school tours. 

With the vaccine in distribution and being administered, school groups hope to resume next fall. It’s our responsibility to provide a safe learning environment for them.

The children and families who come to tour the Capitol, and the employees who work there every day, have the right to do so without fear of intimidation. It’s time to do the right thing and ban all guns on the Capitol grounds.
At the local level the Leelanau Board of Commissioners will be having their executive meeting this Tuesday, January 12 at 9:00 AM.  Ty Wessell told us that public comments make a difference.  The agenda will include goal setting and the anti-bias resolution.  To see the entire agenda and get a link to viewing the meeting go to https://www.leelanau.gov/downloads/01122021_executive_board_agenda.pdfFinally at our Saturday meeting we discussed communicating with Jack Bergman re the events of last week.  He has an office in Traverse City at 231 944-7633, but it was suggested that you are more likely to get through and talk with a more cordial person, if you call his Upper Peninsula office at 906 273-2227.Lots to keep us busy this week.  Jill 

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