November 2018

Top priority: FOOD

Before we get all the way into the regional updates, let’s talk about who will host our next potluck, scheduled for sometime the weekend of Dec. 1-2! We haven’t visited Kalkaska, Traverse City, and anywhere in the 107th yet and would love to have a host from one of those places!

Below are some photos from our last potluck in Houghton, Oct. 13. We were able to break bread with about 20 people in person and 2 via video conference!

Election wrap up

Thank you, thank you, thank you to those who voted, talked to your neighbors about issues, encouraged others to vote, organized campaigns and voter engagement efforts or ran for office! Seriously, thank you. There is no such thing as too small of an effort. AND, I am in awe of those of you who took on the hard work of organizing with your peers to get out in the community to make a difference. Election work is not easy, and you all rocked the hell out of it.

Click to view the work!

Click to view the work!

I’ve mentioned this before, but I have the privilege of having a bird’s eye view of the region. I watched as 15 of our peers organized in their communities to touch over 15,000 voters through face-to-face conversation, phone conversation, hand written notes, and mailers.

You know what that is? That’s unheard of. That is amazing. And that is so, so inspiring.

Know what else is inspiring? From Grand Traverse County to South Range, we now have 7 forward-thinking women holding local offices. A big shout out to:

We The People – Keweenaw for helping elect Gretchen Janssen to a Houghton County seat

Carol Petrelius, serving another term in the village of South Range

Jennifer Hill, in her new seat in the city of Marquette

MaryJoan Torongo, repping in Alger County

Johanna Bogater for her spot in the City of Munising (Vicki Ballas won write-in votes and just needs to be appointed to join her!)

Jessica Shaw Nolff, now on the Petoskey school board

And Betsy Coffia, now serving Grand Traverse County


And a special shout out to my friend Joanne Galloway, who stepped up and stepped out for the 107th state house district. She ran a real grassroots campaign, garnering thousands more votes than her blue counterparts in other UP races, even with fewer resources and funding, against a DeVos-backed, far right incumbent in one of the most conservative districts around. That is something truly remarkable.   

I want us all to remember where we were just 9, 12, 18 months ago.

And look at us now. Just look.

And then smile, because this is beautiful. We’ve been learning, growing, and putting ourselves out there, and it is paying off.


Save the date

The regional summit is coming!

While we’ve moved mountains in the last two years, we know we aren’t done yet. And we know that elections are only one way to build power for our region. Now is the time to reflect on where we were and where we are, and then look to the future to continue to transform our region and our state.

And so, we’re bringing ...

Save the date 5.jpg

Grassroots leaders are putting together a vision for the summit. Then, beginning in December, we’ll need people to take action and bring that vision into reality.

Keep an eye out for volunteer sign ups that will include everything from speaking opportunities to washing dishes!

Join in the conversation! We’re building a forum

Angela Carter, Gwinn

One of the topics that came up during the phone conference after The Idlewild Convening was the lack of reliability of Facebook as a platform for discussing We The People projects and the issue with being overwhelmed by emails.

We are happy to announce that a forum was build specifically for We The People. This platform is flexible and reliable. It has the added bonus of being available through an app called Tappatalk.

Have a question? A resource to share? A win or loss to talk about? How about a book or an essay? Start a conversation online!

Currently the forum is open to everyone in the Northern region so we can test it out and figure out how it works best for us. You can sign on at to see the forum and categories and to start using the platform.

This is our platform to make fit our needs. We can change it and organize it however we see fit. Best of all we will see posts when we want to see them rather than when Facebook decides we should see them.

Currently we have categories for the things we imagine will be important but those are very flexible. This is a living website, meaning it can be changed to better suit our needs at any time.

It also has a calendar so all of our events and calls to action can be posted and are viewable to members in one unified place. This will make it easier to see when we can support each other's actions as well as make it easier to plan around each others events.

There are also options for private groups where you can decide who sees the information posted there. Perhaps you are working on a project and don't feel that every little detail needs to be shared to the whole region or perhaps you need a place to share private information. We can make that happen for you. Think of it like a group message on Facebook but with the ability to organize it into separate threads.

The possibilities are endless.

Even better, if we are happy with the forum and how it is working we can open it to the entire state making it easier for us to connect over such long distances and coordinate efforts from one hand to the other (reference to Michigan's universal gesture of using hands to show locations.) This will also make it easier for us to connect on an individual level by making it possible to coordinate region visits with those we met at the Convening.

Please tell us how you would like to use the forum and lets make it a central location for consistent communication across the region and eventually across the state. Your input is valuable. Email Angela at or Megan at

Art ReyesComment