Houghton County Dems at Volunteer Fair

HCDP News for November 28th, 2023

In this Email

HCDP News for November 28 2023

  • Party News

    • Houghton County Dems at Volunteer Fair

    • Clean Energy Legislation and Local Control

    • Special Elections Called

    • The Pause - Our Meme of the Week

  • Statewide News

    • At the Capitol

  • Upcoming Events

    • Community Events

Houghton County Dems at Volunteer Fair

This Thursday, Nov. 30 Michigan Tech's Student Leadership and Involvement will host a Volunteer Fair. The Houghton County Democrats will have a table at the Fair and are happy for the opportunity to talk with Tech students.

If you are affiliated with Michigan Tech and have time on Thursday stop by and say hello. The Fair will be held from 4 PM to 6 PM. Originally scheduled in the Memorial Union Building's Ballroom the location has been updated to the MUB Commons.

Clean Energy Legislation and Local Control

One of the last bills passed by the state legislature before adjourning for the year was the Clean Energy bill. This bill provides a pathway for the entire state to transition from fossil fuels to clean sources of energy by 2040. The bill, as we mentioned last week, has already received positive national press. Governor Whitmer is expected to sign the bill in the near future.

But critics are already stirring up controversy on one part of the bill — it gives the state Public Service Commission final control over the siting of large scale solar and wind projects, overriding local zoning ordinances. This part of the law caused objections by Republican state lawmakers as the bill was being considered, and led to a number of amendments to allow for local input and funding for local governments where these projects are sited.

The author of this portion of the bill is state Senator Sean McCann from Kalamazoo. In a well balanced article on this topic (which you really should read) in the Detroit Free Press, McCann is quoted as saying that it's appropriate to treat the solar and wind energy projects as "critical energy infrastructure" like oil and gas pipelines and electrical transmission cables — projects whose siting isn't left up to local governments.

Last Monday Marquette Township officials called a “town hall” on this topic and invited other local government leaders. Rep. Jenn Hill was invited to speak. You may have seen the coverage on TV6 (see the video here, and text here). As you would expect the local officials present were not happy to have this power taken away from them, and the meeting was described as “tense”. Margaret Brumm, a Democratic candidate set to challenge Hill in next year’s primary, was critical of Hill’s presentation.

As you hear more about this topic, please keep Senator McCann’s rationale in mind and also consider what’s at stake as we all face the growing impacts of climate change.

Governor Whitmer signing earlier legislation. She is expected to sign the Clean Energy bill in the near future.

Special Elections Called

On Wednesday Governor Whitmer called for a special primary election to be held on January 30, 2024, and the general election to be held on April 16, 2024. These elections are to fill two vacant seats in the Michigan House of Representatives.

The vacant seats are in the 13th District, where former Rep. Lori Stone has been elected Mayor of Warren, and in the 25th District where former Rep. Kevin Coleman has been elected Mayor of the city of Westland. Both districts are in the Greater Detroit area.

With the two seats being vacated the House is evenly split at 54 Democrats and 54 Republicans. Under House rules the Democrats still maintain control of the gavel and legislative committees.

The Pause - Our Meme of the Week

There were several social media posts that caught our eye this week. There were posts on topics like the importance of being like Rosalynn Carter, Native American Heritage Day, the separation of church and state, Small Business Saturday, Thanksgiving wishes, amazing nature photos, giving thanks, George Santos, and humor about Thanksgiving leftovers.

But some of the most hopeful posts of the past week highlighted the news around the pause in the Israel - Hamas war, and the freeing of hostages by Hamas.

On Sunday President Biden delivered remarks on the release of the first American hostage, four year old Abigal Edan. In the Q&A after his remarks the President expressed hope for extending the pause and talked of his sense that “all the players in the region” are looking for a way to extend the pause, a way to get to the release of all the hostages, and a way to remove Hamas from control of any portion of Gaza.

The President’s remarks, including the Q&A, were captured live in a video post on Facebook - our Meme of the Week. Click thru on the screenshot below to listen to the President’s remarks.

At the Capitol

  • Last Monday Governor Whitmer signed into law the eight year gun ban for those convicted of crimes of domestic violence. MORE: Detroit Free Press

  • Last Tuesday Governor Whitmer signed the pared back Reproductive Health Act into law. MORE: Michigan Advance

  • After a five year campaign by tribal citizens, Michigan is on the cusp of recognizing our native wild rice (“manoomin” in the Anishinaabe language) as a state symbol - our state native grain. The legislation awaits the Governor’s signature. MORE: MLive

HCDP Monthly Meetings: First Wednesday of each month. Potluck at 6 PM, Meeting at 7 PM. In the conference room at the Houghton Super 8, and by Zoom (starting at 7 PM).


Community Events

There are no local village or city council meetings scheduled this week.