Houghton County Board Passes Resolution in Reaction to New Michigan Gun Laws

HCDP News for April 18th, 20223

In this Email

APRIL 18 2023

  • Party News

    • NEW:  Houghton County Board Passes Resolution in Reaction to New Michigan Gun Laws

    • NEW: Vote on May 2nd

    • NEW: Two Democratic Candidates for the 1st Congressional District

    • Spring Fling 2023

    • NEW: Impressive Win in the Wisconsin Supreme Court Case

    • NEW: Good Things Happening in Lansing - A Word from Governor Whitmer

  • Upcoming Events

    • NEW: Campaign & Community Events

  • We encountered technical difficulty with our Zoom call for the April monthly meeting. We apologize that we were unable to connect and share the meeting with all of you who hoped to attend remotely.

  • We also apologize for not having a newsletter last week - our Communications Chair hoped to put out the weekly email even while on Spring Break, but poor internet connections meant it didn't happen.

Party News

Houghton County Board Passes Resolution in Reaction to New Michigan Gun Laws

By a vote of 4 to 1 the Houghton County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution at their monthly meeting last Tuesday that was in essence the Republican reaction to the new Michigan gun laws. Commissioner Gretchen Janssen was the lone dissenting vote, and we thank her for her vote.
The resolution, which can be viewed here, lists several types of gun legislation, including the background checks and gun storage safety laws just passed and the red flag law still being considered by the State Senate. It then goes on to claim that these laws are in conflict with the second amendment and therefore unconstitutional. The resolution calls on the Board to not pass such legislation themselves, and to call on our state representatives to also not do so. It further requests the staff of the Board to disseminate the text of the resolution to a wide range of elected officials throughout the state, and to our state's elected Federal Representatives and Senators.
The resolution also calls for adequate funding to "make mental health services available in all our communities."
In her dissent Commissioner Janssen spoke of the need to balance the "domestic tranquility and general welfare" of people with limited firearm legislation by "regulating gun ownership with red flag, universal background checks and safe-storage bills."
Houghton City Council Member Craig Waddell was among the attendees speaking against the measure, noting his support for common sense gun control, and stating that 2nd Amendment rights are not unlimited.
Commissioner Anderson, who voted for the measure, is quoted by the Daily Mining Gazette as counting the voices of those who came to speak on the issue and finding an even split. He focused his comments on the mental health provision of the resolution.
The resolution as passed was drafted with the help of former Copper Country Republican Chair Dan Holcomb. It is materially different than the "Second Amendment Sanctuary" resolution attempted in 2020, which declared that no county resources could be used to infringe or restrict 2nd amendment rights. The words "sanctuary county" do not appear in the resolution.
Both Commissioner Britz and County Sheriff Saaranen are quoted in the DMG article as saying the resolution does not change County law and is essentially a free speech issue for the County Commission to voice its opinion. It's important to note that Sheriff Saaranen describes himself as a "constitutnional Sheriff" raising many questions that are well explored in the recent article in the Copper Beacon.
It is a disappointment that, as a representative body for the County, the opinion the Commission chose to voice does not reflect the voice of many in our communities, including that of the HCDP. We support the common sense gun laws being enacted in Lansing.

Vote On May 2nd

Polls open at 7 AM on Tuesday May 2nd, two weeks from today, 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 check that you are registered to vote, or get information on absentee voting, or find out where your polling place is, or find out more about pretty much anything else to do with voting here in Michigan, check out the Secretary of State's Voter Information Center at Michigan.gov/Vote.

Two Democratic Candidates for the 1st Congressional District

The 2024 race for the Democratic nominee for the 1st US Congressional District has now attracted two Democratic candidates. Both Dr. Bob Lorinser, the 2022 Democratic candidate, and newcomer Callie Barr have now entered the race. You can find Callie Barr's campaign launch video on Facebook.
On the Senate side for 2024, US Representative Debbie Dingell confirmed last week that she will not seek the Senate seat left open by the announced retirement of Senator Debbie Stabenow. That leaves Rep. Elissa Slotkin as the only Democratic candidate to announce so far.
Senator Gary Peters is next up for re-election in 2026.

Newcomer Callie Barr has entered the race for the 1st Congressional District

Spring Fling '23

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].

Impressive Win in the Wisconsin Supreme Court Race

By now I'm sure you've heard that the liberal candidate Janet Protasiewicz beat out conservative Daniel Kelly for the open seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, tipping the balance of power on the state's highest court to a liberal majority for the first time in 15 years. Protasiewicz won by an impressive margin of 11 percentage points. Her victory will help protect reproductive and voting rights in Wisconsin.
Many pundits have credited the Democratic get out the vote effort as key in the election, which benefited from engaged and energized young Wisconsinites, many of whom canvassed throughout the state. Thanks again to all of you here in Houghton County who also participated by phone banking or sending post cards.

Good Things Happening in Lansing - A Word from Governor Whitmer

This week we're dedicating this space to the words of Governor Whitmer. In case you didn't receive her email to constituents on April 10th, which highlighted the accomplishments of the Democrats in Lansing over the first 100 days of her second term - she wrote:

 Dear Friend,

Today marks the 100th day of my second term! With a productive majority in Lansing, we have gotten a lot done this year that will make a real difference in people’s lives.

I want to highlight some of the work we have done together to lower costs, create good-paying jobs, bring supply chains home, and make Michigan a state where everyone can envision their future. In 100 days, we have:

  • Rolled back the retirement tax saving 500,000 families over $1,000 a year.

  • Quintupled the Working Families Tax Credit, delivering average combined refunds of nearly $3,200 to 700,000 families. This credit directly benefits half the kids in Michigan, helping families pay bills and put food on the table.

  • Secured record investments for our community, with a $800 million investment from GM and $3.5 billion that will create 2,500 good-paying jobs at the new Ford facility in Marshall.

  • Repealed the dangerous 1931 abortion ban.

  • Expanded the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, reaffirming legal protections for sexual orientation and expanding coverage to include gender identity and expression.

  • Made record investments in affordable housing and community revitalization projects.

  • Restored worker’s rights by ensuring that workers can bargain together for fair wages and benefits.

Click the above image to hear a special message from Governor Whitmer.

We’re moving fast and getting a lot done. In the next 100 days, we will work together to produce a balanced budget that delivers on many more kitchen-table issues from education and public safety to infrastructure and health. Let’s keep our foot on the accelerator!


Gretchen Whitmer

Upcoming Events

Campaign & Community Events

Tue 4/18

  • 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 6:30 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.

  • Today is Tax Day. Taxes are due this year by April 18 since April 15 falls on a Saturday and Emancipation Day, a holiday observed in Washington, D.C., is April 17.

  • Today is the Jewish commemoration of Yom HaShoah. Known as “Holocaust Remembrance Day” in English, Yom HaShoah commemorates the lives of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust between 1933 and 1945. Jewish communities organize solemn services, prayers and vigils on this date.

Wed 4/19

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

Sat 4/22

  • Saturday is the Islamic celebration of Eid-al-Fitr, or the Festival of Breaking the Fast, ending the holy month of Ramadan.

On March 28th, as we left Women’s History Month, Elle magazine recognized Governor Whitmer as one of their Elle Women of Impact 2023. Their story on Governor Whitmer can be found here, and a version of the article will appear in the April edition of their magazine.HCDP News