At this point the kids have all eaten the Halloween candy (and be honest - you had a few yourself!). We’ve all set our clocks back this weekend, and the early evening darkness of winter is back. Thanksgiving plans are well underway, and Christmas season is creeping up on us. All of these are signs that 2023 is starting to ease itself into the history books.
So, it’s not to early to think about finding good candidates to run for office next year. Local offices from school boards, city council seats, to county commissioners will be on the ballot next November. Deadlines to file for many of these offices are in April - only five months away.
One of the most important positions for which we must find a Democratic candidate is the 110th State House seat. We do not currently have a Democrat running for this seat.
At our meeting last week Valorie Troesch of our Candidate Recruitment Committee discussed the need to identify and recruit good candidates for local offices. The Committee will do all the work in approaching potential candidates - no one else will be asked to do that.
What the Committee is looking for is good candidates to recruit. The most important thing newsletter readers can do is make suggestions - because you know people that we don’t necessarily know.
So, if you or someone you know would make a good candidate, and may be interested in running for an elected office here in Houghton County, please let us know. Email us with your suggestions to [email protected] or leave us a text or message at 906-523-1233. Thank you!
Last week we held the first potluck before our monthly meeting and we think it was a great success, with lots of dishes - both homemade and store bought - and lots of great conversation. The potluck was a welcome opportunity to get to know our fellow Houghton County Dems better. We’re looking forward to next month’s potluck already!
The monthly meeting itself went fairly quickly this month. There was much interest in the Open Comments portion of the agenda, with updates from Glenn Anderson on issues before the County and from Craig Waddell on issues before the Houghton City Council.
Topics covered by Glenn ranged from PFAS litigation; the county’s pursuit of a new airport terminal which may require $3 to $5 million in county matching funds; the recent reconstruction of the elevator at the County Court House; and the plan for a Justice Center and eventually jail at the church site the county purchased on Sharon Avenue.
There was lively discussion around the actions other Michigan counties have taken in partnership with organizations like RIP Medical Debt to buy up and cancel medical debt for members of their communities.
Craig talked to us about the recent PFAS settlement with local water providers which the City of Houghton qualifies for; the recent rezoning discussion around the Chamber of Commerce site; participation by Council members at the Michigan Municipal League convention in Traverse City.
There was lively conversation (again) around affordable housing and workforce accessible housing in our area after Craig broached the topic of “missing middle housing”.
This past week has been filled with terrible news out of Gaza. The bombing and invasion of that territory by Israel has led to the deaths of many innocent civilians, with the Gaza Health Ministry saying on Sunday that more than 9,700 have been killed, including over 4,000 children.
All of this has fueled rising frustration and anger worldwide, cancelling out in the minds of many the terrorist acts of Hamas that led to Israel’s actions. This weekend massive protests all over the world demanded a cease fire. Tens of thousands protested in Washington DC on Saturday.
President Biden came out strongly in support of Israel’s right to defend itself in his speech after the Hamas attack on innocent Israelis. But on his trip to Israel three weeks ago he also cautioned the government there not to be consumed with rage and make the same mistakes the US made in the wake of the 9/11 attack.
The Israeli government has determined it’s goal to be the end of Hamas as a terrorist organization. It’s calculation is that to meet that goal requires the current bombing and invasion of Gaza because Hamas has embedded itself purposely amongst innocent Gazans, using them as a form of human shield. This approach, along with inflicting heavy casualties, has placed them in the position of allegedly committing war crimes.
This weekend Secretary of State Blinken visited both Israeli and Palestinian leaders, as well as leaders of neighboring Arab states. He pressed for a humanitarian pause in the bombing (though not a cease fire) but was rebuffed by Israeli leadership. The Netanyahu government does not seem to want to heed President Biden’s advice.
The current Israel Hamas war arises from a tangled history in which, to quote former President Obama, “nobody’s hands are clean.” As Israel’s strongest international ally the US has itself become subject to the anger and frustration mentioned before, and so has our President.
Here in the US, some worry that the anger and frustration is fueling division among progressives and weakening support for President Biden. National polls in the last few weeks have been mixed on that note, some showing no impact, others showing a decline in the President’s approval rating. If there is an impact it will likely be felt more here in Michigan, given the large Arab-American population in our state.
President Biden deserves our support on this difficult issue. He has spoken out strongly against terrorism and acted in support of our ally while also advocating for compassion in a way that is a defining trait of this President.
That is why our Meme of the Week comes from the Connecticut Democratic Party. Joe Biden is a good President, and the country is better off with him at the helm. The Democratic Party is strong, and we have kept winning important elections across the country over the last three cycles. The alternative is Trump, MAGA, insurrectionists, and Dobbs supporters. We cannot allow the current situation to shake our focus as we head into 2024.
“One year from today, we re-elect President Joe Biden.”
If you’re on Facebook, why not click on the image above and give the Conneticut Dems a little ❤️. If you’re not already following us on Facebook you can find us there at houghtondems.
Today is Election Day. While we don’t have any offices or issues to decide in Houghton County today, there are important elections taking place elsewhere, including for control of the Virginia state legislature and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Learn more about what’s at stake across the country in this article from US News.
The Houghton City Council meets at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The Meeting Agenda can be found in the Searchable Document Center of the Council's website.
Friday is the 248th Birthday of the Marine Corps, first founded as the Continental Marines in 1775 during the Revolutionary War. The United States Marine Corps has served in nearly every conflict in United States history. You are likely familiar with - through personal experience or from the movies - the cadence calls that drill sargents use when training Marine recruits. There are even cadence calling contests. Well, here’s a video of a particularly catchy cadence call from three years back - the very first Marine Corps Birthday Cadence.
Saturday is Veterans Day, honoring all who have served in our country’s armed forces. As Maya Angelou exclaimed, “How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” Thank you veterans!