Democrats Ask Biden to Intervene on Line 5

HCDP News for May 2nd, 2023

, 2023

In this Email

MAY 2 2023

  • Party News

    • NEW: Democrats Ask Biden to Intervene on Line 5

    • NEW: Gov Whitmer Named National Co-Chair of the Biden Re-election Committee

    • NEW: Markannen One of Michigan Officials Labeled "Ongoing Threats to Democracy" By Watchdog Group

    • Vote Today

    • NEW: Zack Burns & Nasser Beydoun Announce Runs for US Senate

    • Spring Fling 2023

    • NEW: More Good Things Happening in Lansing

  • Upcoming Events

    • NEW: General Meeting Tomorrow, May 3

    • NEW: Save the Date - Upcoming HCDP Events

    • NEW: Campaign & Community Events

Party News

Democrats Ask Biden to Intervene On

Line 5

Leaders of 44 Democratic county and other grassroots organizations, including the Chair of the Houghton County Democratic Party, have asked President Biden to back Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel in a federal appeals court case aimed at returning to state court litigation involving the Line 5 crude oil pipeline.
The letter to the President was organized by James Mortimer, Chair of the Iosco County Democratic Party. The letter asked President Biden to encourage Line 5 litigation to be returned to state courts here in Michigan where it began four years ago.
The grassroots action follows a January letter to President Biden from Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes and action supporting the state’s efforts at state party conventions. Barnes cited fast-moving currents in the Straits, the threat of anchor strikes, especially during storms and navigation emergencies.
Line 5 was engineered to last 50 years, and is now 70 years old. Line 5 in Michigan has leaked 33 times since it was built in 1953. Studies of the impact of a Line 5 rupture show how crude oil would quickly flow from the Straits into Lake Huron and Lake Michigan oiling over 700 miles of shoreline.
The full text of the letter to President Biden can be found here.
 NOTE: Thanks to the press release from the Oil & Water Don't Mix Campaign for much of the wording of this item. If you have not visited their website, it's chock full of information on Enbridge and the issues surrounding Line 5, the pipeline crossing the Straits.

A National Wildlife Federation diver inspects Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac during a 2013 dive. Source: Detroit Free Press 

Gov Whitmer Named National Co-Chair of the Biden Re-election Committee

As part of the announcement of his re-election bid last week, President Biden named Governor Gretchen Whitmer as one of seven national co-chairs of his campaign. As a national co-chair Governor Whitmer is expected to act as a key fundraiser, and an "ambassador" for the campaign, appearing at events and in the media.
The Governor previously served as co-chair of the 2020 Presidential Inauguration.
Shortly after the announcement the governor tweeted her support for President Biden and Vice-President Harris:

Markannen One of Michigan Officials Labeled "Ongoing Threats to Democracy" By Watchdog Group

A nonpartisan watchdog group has named 41 Michigan local and state officials as "ongoing threats to democracy" for their roles in sowing disinformation about election fraud.
 Informing Democracy is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization made up of election professionals, researchers, and lawyers. In a report released on April 20th the organization identified eight local Michigan officials and 33 state officials, among 204 officials named across six swing states. Most of the officials named in the report are elected to office, and all have tried to undermine elections.
Unfortunately, though not unexpectedly, the list includes our state representative Greg Markkanen.
More information on Informing Democracy can be found at their website. The full report can be found here.

Vote Today

Polls open at 7 AM today, Tuesday May 2nd, for the Spring election. This year in Houghton County the ballot in most precincts will consist of millage approval requests.
If you'd like to find out where your polling place is, or learn more about pretty much anything else to do with voting here in Michigan, check out the Secretary of State's Voter Information Center at

Zack Burns & Nasser Beydoun Announce Runs for US Senate

Zack Burns, a lawyer based in Ann Arbor, has announced his entry into the race for Democratic nominee to the US Senate seat being vacated by Debbie Stabenow.
Burns, a newcomer, describes himself as "an advocate, a lawyer, a scientist, and a fighter." You can find out more about Zack Burns on his website, and view his campaign kickoff video here.

Zack Burns, an Ann Arbor based lawyer, has announced his run for the US Senate

Following quickly behind Burns' announcement was that of Detroit businessman Nasser Beydoun. The 58 year-old Beydoun is a restaurant owner and the former chairman and executive director of the American Arab Chamber of Commerce.
Beydoun describes himself thus: "I’m a moderate. A civil rights advocate, a human rights advocate." You can find out more about Nasser Beydoun on his website, or by viewing this interview about his announcement that Beydoun did with CBS News Detroit.
Burns and Beydoun join the race along with US Rep. Elise Slotkin, who announced her candidacy on February 27th.

Detroit businessman Nasser Beydoun has also entered the race.

It's that time of year! The planning team has met, and things are getting organized for another Spring Fling. Start thinking Spring, and mark June 10th on your calendar for our annual get together.
We'll have more information on the event as we get closer to June 10th.

We will be running a silent auction as a fundraiser during the Spring Fling, as we've done in past years. If you'd like to donate an item for auction, or have ideas for donations please email Barb Turuc at [email protected].
If you'd like to place an ad in our annual program please contact Steve Blackburn at [email protected].

More Good Things Happening in Lansing

What's happened in Lansing in the past week:

  • Governor Whitmer signed legislation to update sentencing guidelines in line with new universal background checks, part of the package of gun reform bills.

  • The state Senate passed legislation to ensure safe drinking water at schools and childcare centers. The bills garnered bipartisan support, passing the Senate on a 30 - 7 vote.

  • Attorney General Nessel and State Rep. Noah Arbit announced a package of four bills to update Michigan's hate crime laws for the first time since 1988. The bills include an Institutional Desecration Act, which would prohibit the defacement, destruction and vandalism of institutions and communal property. The other bills update sentencing guidelines and make it easier to prosecute individuals who target others for their ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability.

  • Secretary of State Benson was once again recognized for her leadership in protecting Michigan's election integrity and defending American democracy. She was honored with a Legacy Award from the Brennan Center for Justice at their annual Awards Dinner last Tuesday.

  • An update we missed reporting two weeks back: Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein announced on April 18th that he was taking a short term leave for mental health treatment outside the state. Bernstein said "During this time, I will continue working remotely on all active cases. I encourage everyone who struggles to seek the help they need.” We send our good wishes to Justice Bernstein for successful treatment.

Upcoming Events

General Meeting Tomorrow, May 3

Our next General Meeting will be tomorrow, Wednesday, May 3 at 7 PM. As usual, the meeting will be both in-person at the Super 8 Motel in Houghton and remotely by Zoom.

You do not need to be a member to attend our monthly meetings, and we would welcome your attendance.
 Here is the Zoom meeting info:
 Join Zoom Meeting
 Meeting ID: 863 9497 1643
 Passcode: 243151
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Save the Date -
Upcoming HCDP Events

 Here are dates to hold for upcoming HCDP activities:  

  • June 16th: Bridgefest Parade

  • July 4th: Independence Day Parades (Participation TBD, but likely Lake Linden & South Range)

  • July 8th: Strawberry Festival Parade in Chassell

  • August 24th: Pasty Fest Parade in Calumet

  • August 24 thru 27th: Booth at Houghton County Fair

Community Events

Tue 5/2

  • Today is National Teacher Appreciation Day, and part of National Teacher Appreciation Week, by Presidential proclamation. In Michigan May is Teacher Appreciation Month. That's a lot of love for teachers, and they deserve it! Take some time to thank a teacher this week.

Wed 5/3

  • Wednesday is Bike and Roll to School Day in Michigan. Students across Michigan are encouraged to participate in a nationwide celebration of biking, health, and alternative modes of transportation that encourages children to safely bike and roll to school.

Thur 5/4

  • The South Range Village Council meets Thursday at 6:30 PM in the South Range Community Building. For more information contact the Village at [email protected] or (906) 482-8833

Month of May
In May, we celebrate a number of different communities and raise awareness on a number of topics. We mentioned last week that May is  Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. We'll highlight one other month long May celebration and/or commemoration each week during the month.

  • In Michigan, as elsewhere throughout the country, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. In her proclamation Governor Whitmer specifically calls attention to the "the statewide implementation of the national '988', an easy to remember three-digit suicide and crisis hotline" and the continuing availability of resources to all Michiganders through the StayWell program, first implemented in response to Covid. Access these resources at

Is there a community commemoration or event we should recognize that's of particular importance to you? Just send an email to [email protected].