Hill Harper Enters Senate Race

HCDP News for July 18th, 2023

  • Party News

    • New: Hill Harper Enters Senate Race

    • Updated: Still Time to Volunteer - Summer Service Project

    • Updated: Stand Up for Reproductive Freedom

    • New: Governor Whitmer Creates New MiLEAP Department

    • Updated: More Good Things Happening in Lansing

  • Upcoming Events

    • Updated: Save the Date - Upcoming HCDP Events

    • Updated: Community Events

Party News

Hill Harper Enters Senate Race

Last week Hill Harper announced his entry into the race for the US Senate seat being vacated by Debbie Stabenow. You may recognized Harper’s name from his roles in the TV series The Good Doctor and CSI:NY. Hill also is a lawyer, author, and union organizer.

The Michigan Chronicle has good coverage of his kickoff event and the issues he’s running on. You can also click through to his website and view his launch video below -

Harper joins a list of five other candidates for the Democratic nomination. In alphabetical order here are the other candidates, along with their campaign websites:

Actor, author, lawyer and union organizer Hill Harper joins the list of candidates for the Democratic nomination to the US Senate seat being vacated by Debbie Stabenow

Still Time to Volunteer - Summer Service Project

We're still looking for volunteers to join an HCDP Dems team working with a local nonprofit startup on a house painting mission. We’ll need to get a head count to the organizers shortly - we'd love to have a good turnout for this community improvement event!

We’ll be supporting this nonprofit that has partnered with the Village of Laurium to identify low-income senior recipients for this service project. Volunteers will be painting all or part of the exterior of the recipients’ home in two stages. We will be working on one of the homes.

On Saturday July 29th our team will do Painting Prep Day. We will be stripping, sanding, etc. in preparation for actually painting.

On Saturday August 12th our team will return for Paint Day. We’ll be painting at the same home we prepped two weeks before. Volunteers will not be required to climb ladders - any painting required above arms length will be professionally contracted by the nonprofit.

Volunteers will meet at Faith Lutheran in Calumet at 8am each day for breakfast and the briefing. Breakfast and lunch, along with t-shirts and supplies will be furnished both days. If you can only make one day, that's fine.

If you’d like to volunteer with us on this worthwhile project, email William Keith at [email protected] to get your name on the list of volunteers.

Stand Up for Reproductive Freedom

This spring we asked for your help in standing up for reproductive freedom for our friends and family in Wisconsin. We’re asking again, this time for Ohio.

You’ll recall that this spring the issue was the makeup of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Trump ally Daniel Kelly was running against liberal judge Janet Protasiewicz in a race that could have tipped the balance of Wisconsin’s Supreme Court in favor of restricting reproductive freedom. With help from all across the country, including volunteers who phone banked and wrote post cards, the race was won by Protasiewicz.

While that was playing out in Wisconsin, in another of Michigan’s neighboring states, Ohio, there has been a ballot initiative gathering signatures on a proposed amendment to Ohio’s constitution to protect reproductive rights. Republican politicians and lobbyists have reacted to that petition drive by calling a special election to increase the barriers to amending the state’s constitution.

Instead of a simple majority voting in favor of a ballot to amend (as has been the case in Ohio since 1912), the new requirement under the GOP’s proposed ballot Issue 1 would be a super-majority of 60% of voters necessary to amend the constitution.

The GOP backed Issue 1 goes before the voters in a special election slated for August 8th, but early voting began last week. So, once again, we are asking for your help.

You can help your friends and family in Ohio preserve their right to majority rule, and push back the GOP-led effort to undercut the forthcoming ballot initiative to protect reproductive rights.

Take advantage of the opportunities below to call or to send postcards to Ohio voters urging a “No” vote on Issue 1 - the supermajority requirement to amend the state’s constitution.

Postcard Campaign - sign up here to send postcards to Ohio voters: Postcards for Ohio - Protect Reproductive Freedom

Call Voters - sign up here to join a virtual phone bank to call Ohio voters: Get Out the Vote for Ohio Special Election

Remove Transportation Barriers for Ohio Voters - sign up here to join a virtual phone bank calling Ohio voters to spread awareness of the Ride2Vote program, and offer them a free round-trip ride to the polls if they need it: GOTV Phone Banking with Rideshare2Vote

 The success of our county party relies on the participation of people just like you. Join the HCDP today and help us put Democrats on the ballot who’ll make a difference.

“We are Democrats because we believe that good government must rely upon and strengthen the bonds that make us a society: recognizing the richness of our diverse heritage, preserving what we have been given, and leaving to posterity a legacy greater than that which we received.” - HCDP Platform Preamble

Governor Whitmer Creates New MiLEAP Department

On Tuesday of last week Governor Whitmer signed an executive order establishing the Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement and Potential (MiLEAP).

The new department does not replace the existing state Department of Education but does consolidate efforts from various existing departments into one place.

The new department will provide focus for the Governor’s goals to expand pre-kindergarten educational opportunities for all 4-year-olds in Michigan and increase the number of working-age adults with a skill certificate or college degree.

See the Governor’s press release announcing the new department: Gov. Whitmer Establishes Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential

Read the Detroit News’ reporting on the Governor’s Action: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer launching new education-focused state department

A copy of the letter Governor Whitmer sent constitutants regarding the MiLEAP announcement.

More Good Things Happening in Lansing

Both the state House and Senate continued their summer break last week. They will be in session for three days this week before resuming their break.

Governor Whitmer has been active this past week though. Beyond signing the executive order establishing MiLEAP, as covered in the item above, Governor Whitmer took the following actions:

  • On Tuesday the Governor signed eight bills that together ban child marriage in Michigan, and protect sexual assault victims who are married to their abuser. Before these bills were signed Michigan was one of only a handful of states that had NO minimum age for marriage (though parental or a judge’s permission had been required for minors).

  • Also on Tuesday the Governor signed the package of bills around sexual abuse that have been stuck in the legislature since the Larry Nassar scandal in 2018. The bills were finally passed this legislative session under Democratic leadership.

  • On Wednesday the Governor signed legislation ending the asset test for food aid. “No one should be forced to sell their car or empty their savings account to feed themselves and their children,” Whitmer said. “Food benefits must be accessible for Michiganders who need them without illogical tradeoffs.”

The Detroit Free Press notes that two Democratic House reps are running for Mayor in their respective cities this fall. If they both win their mayoral races the House Democrats will (at least temporarily) lose their majority.

Upcoming Events

Save the Date -
Upcoming HCDP Events

Here are dates to hold for upcoming HCDP activities:  

  • July 29th: Service Project: Painting Prep Day

  • August 12th: Service Project: Paint Day

  • August 19th: Pasty Fest Parade in Calumet

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

HCDP Monthly Meetings: First Wednesday of each month at 7 PM, in the conference room at the Houghton Super 8 and by Zoom.


Community Events

Tue 7/18

Tonight will be busy with local government meetings:

  • The Houghton County Board of Commissioners hold their postponed July meeting tonight. The meeting begins at 4 PM. Find more information on the Board's webpage (find information to join the meeting remotely via Microsoft Teams in the Agenda).

  • The Laurium Village Council meets tonight at 6 PM in the Council Chambers of the Town Hall. More info can be found on the Village's website.

  • The Calumet Village Council meets tonight at 6 PM in the Village Council Chambers. More information on the Council, it's committees, and minutes of past meetings can be found on the Council's webpage.

Wed 7/19

  • The Hancock City Council meets at 6 PM in the Hancock City Hall Council Chambers.

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