November 2018

Hi folks,

Happy November! Last week, the people of Michigan turned out in record numbers for the midterm elections! So many of you worked incredibly hard knocking on doors, making calls, and engaging your communities in an important election. Three important ballot initiatives passed, we elected women and people of color to the top offices in the state, and we’re sending the first Muslim women to Congress, Rashida Tlaib! There are also lots of new, community-rooted and progressive people that were elected to local offices from the Detroit Charter Commission to the Houghton County Commission and lots of places in between. There is much to build on!

We The People also launched our 501(c)4 work, We The People AF (Action Fund), supporting voter engagement work across six counties in northern Michigan where organizers reached nearly 15,000 people in face-to-face conversations, phone conversations, and hand-written notes. This is the first time independent voter engagement happened in many of those counties, where people talked to others about their values and vision for our state and elected progressive leaders at the county and municipal levels. It was a small step into the 501(c)4 work, but we look forward to wading more deeply into that work with all of you for 2020.

As we know, elections are only one part of transforming our state, but much love and congratulations to all of you that worked so hard.

At risk during Lame Duck:

The minimum wage
Paid sick time
Oil in the Straights

We are now fully into Michigan’s Lame Duck session (learn more here and share!). Immediately after the election the state legislature went back into session and introduced bills to gut One Fair Wage and Earned Paid Sick Time. They also introduced legislation giving the Mackinac Bridge Authority (MBA) oversight of the Enbridge oil tunnel, right after Gov. Snyder made four last minute appointments to the MBA – an attempt to force the Enbridge oil tunnel through before the new Governor takes her seat.

A huge thank you to everyone who has already been hard at work in the various lame duck committees over the past month and a half doing research, building narrative, and birddogging elected officials. We’ve got a lot more work to do, so please sign up to plug in here.

There will be more destructive policies introduced over the next few weeks. But it’s also an opportunity. We can decide to stand up together, to have each others’ backs, to work across our communities and fight back. How we show up together now will inform how we show up together down the road. We need each other in order to make Michigan a place where our communities experience dignity and justice. Looking forward to building the state we deserve together.

Much love and solidarity,
Art Reyes III

Art ReyesComment