October 2018

HEY FOLKS!

We are excited to launch our first We The People newsletter! We’ll be sending out monthly updates highlighting important work happening across the state. See the newsletter links for specific regions for more in-depth highlights of powerful work happening in communities across Michigan.  

We know a lot of you are hard at work engaging people in your communities around the upcoming election. Only 25 days away! Thank you all for the important work you’re doing. As we all know, the work doesn’t stop there. Our ability to build meaningful power across Michigan will depend on what happens after the election as we continue to organize our communities around pressing challenges, build relationships and strategies with each other across the state, and create the aspirational vision of the Michigan our communities deserve, like we began doing at The Idlewild Convening just over two months ago.

We also want to be sure that folks know about the upcoming “lame duck” legislative session. The lame duck session is when the state legislature meets to pass laws after the election but before newly elected people take office at the beginning of 2019. Over the past several years lame duck has been destructive. For example, in 2012 voters across Michigan went to the ballot box and repealed the Emergency Management law. During lame duck, the legislature simply tweaked the original law and re-passed it. It didn't matter that voters had rejected the undemocratic law at the ballot box. It was back on the books causing incredible destruction in our state, leading directly to the Flint water crisis. Lame duck has been used as a sneak attack to pass harmful policies in a condensed timeline with little transparency, and they’re at it again.

Last month, the state legislature passed One Fair Wage (increasing the minimum wage) and Time to Care (access to earned paid sick time), in order to keep the two ballot initiatives off of the ballot with plans to gut the laws during lame duck. We also know that they will likely be attacking voting rights, reproductive health care, our environment, and public employee retirement. We won't know what specific policies they will move until after the election, so we have to be ready to act. 

The legislature acts with impunity because they don't think our communities are paying attention. At The Idlewild Convening, we had a historic gathering of people across race, identity, and region that committed to have each other's backs. We have an opportunity to act in solidarity with each other across the state and make sure our elected officials know that our communities are watching. Three weeks ago, we hosted a strategy call and four committees have been launched that are currently doing research, planning actions, and building a narrative and digital strategy. If you haven’t gotten engaged yet, please sign up for committees here.

Finally, the We The People team is growing! Please welcome Star Roland to the team. Star is a leader, organizer, and mother who helped launch Hope Village Families, a neighborhood organization, and comes to We The People after working for Focus Hope. She’s joining us as an organizer in Detroit. Welcome Star!

Looking forward to continuing to throw down with you all!

Much love and solidarity,
Art

Art ReyesComment