In this Email
HCDP News for November 14 2023
At the Capitol
Around the State
Let’s Celebrate the Good News from Election Day!
Locally we had no candidates to vote for, nor any referendums to decide on Election Day this year. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t celebrate the good news coming from across the nation on Election Day.
Democrats had a good day last Tuesday, as did the issues that we care about.
In Virginia: Gov. Youngkin promised a statewide ban on abortion after 15 weeks if voters would just put Republicans in charge of the state Senate. Instead voters put Democrats back in charge of the Senate and for good measure flipped the state House to Democratic control.
In Kentucky: the Democratic Governor, Andy Beshear, was re-elected by a wider margin than in his first election in 2019. He defeated GOP state Attorney General Daniel Cameron, the handpicked candidate of Mitch McConnell.
In Ohio: voters approved Issue 1, which added the right to abortion to the state’s constitution. This marked the seventh time (out of seven tries) that the abortion rights side has won in elections since the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Four of those seven times were in Red states like Ohio. Ohioans also approved a ballot initiative legalizing recreational marijuana. Twenty-four states have now done so, including four Red states.
In Pennsylvania: Democratic justices retained the majority on the state Supreme Court, and swept all four statewide judicial elections. Elsewhere in the state, Democrat Cherelle Parker won the mayoral contest in Philadelphia and will become the first woman to lead that city. Across the state in Alleghany County, home to Pittsburgh, Democrat Sara Innamorato won election as the new County Executive.
Across the Nation: The right wing extremist group Moms for Liberty, which supports book banning and anti-LGBTQ policies for public schools, was dealt a serious setback by voters. Most of the 130 candidates the group endorsed in school board elections across the country were defeated this past Tuesday.
This year’s election results add to the string of nationwide election victories for Democrats in 2018, 2020 and 2022. Below is a video from last week of Vice President Harris, where she celebrates some of those successes, while encouraging us all for the task ahead. She says in part, “…from Ohio to Virginia this week, the people… voted for freedom. They voted for liberty. And by extension they voted to uphold our democracy. And so all of that is at stake. We have momentum. The wind is at our back. And so let us continue to do what we know how to do.”
VP Harris speaks on Democrats’ Election Success
Vice President Harris is right. Freedom. Liberty. Democracy. All of those are at stake, despite our successes in 2018, 2020, 2022 and this year.
Rather than learn from their electoral defeats to adapt and move toward the positions being favored by voters, MAGA Republicans have doubled down on the ideas that led them to failure.
They’ve doubled down on their undemocratic notions. They’ve doubled down on bringing their autocratic ideas to America. They’ve doubled down on their anti-abortion stance. They’ve doubled down on transphobia and anti-LGBTQ actions. They’ve doubled down on Christian nationalism. They’ve doubled down on threats to Social Security and Medicare. They’ve doubled down on their cult of personality, and they are following their leader on his campaign of retribution.
Which means we can’t let up. And we won’t. We look forward to the challenge of the 2024 election. We believe that Democrats are the party of good ideas. We believe Democrats have a strong record of success for poor and working people and the middle class, both at the state and national level. We believe Democrats have a strong case to make to voters.
We are ready. We may live in a bright red area, but we are stronger than we think. On to 2024!
Here are some ideas for actions you can take as we head into the 2024 campaign season:
As we mentioned last week, we need good candidates to run for local offices, and 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. If you or someone you know would make a good candidate, and may be interested in running for the 110th, or any 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.
BECOME A MEMBER OF THE HOUGHTON COUNTY DEMOCRATS
Like many rural county parties, our Houghton County party had a decline in membership when the COVID pandemic hit. We have not yet recovered. But we know that our weekly newsletter is regularly read by more than three times as many people as are currently members. If you, dear reader, are not a member please consider joining us.
If you used to be a member, please rejoin us! If you’ve never been a member we’d love to have you join us!
You can become a member of the HCDP by joining the Michigan Democratic Party. Or you can become an HCDP member directly. See the details on those two memberships at the bottom of this newsletter, along with links to join. And please, join us today!
ACTION IN SUPPORT OF REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM
Organizations in at least four states are working to follow in the path set by Michigan, California and Ohio to affirmatively protect reproductive freedoms through amendment to their state constitutions. Find out more, and alert friends and relatives about opportunities for action in these states / organizations:
Autonomy and Alito - Our Meme(s) of the Week
There were two social media posts this past week that really captured the mood of the voters as expressed in the nation’s elections last Tuesday. Both circulated widely on social media, and since we can’t make up our minds which one we like more, we’re choosing both as our Meme(s) of the Week.
The first is from the Twitter account of Sara Tabatabaie, Executive Director of the organization Vote Pro-Choice. It drives home what motivated many voters to take to the polls last Tuesday.
“It’s the autonomy, stupid”
The second is from the Threads account of Hillary Clinton, and speaks to the power that committed voters bring to the polls.
“It turns out Samuel Alito was right about one thing, when the hard-right Supreme Court majority overturned Roe: ‘Women are not without electoral or political power.’ “
Threads is the new-ish alternative to Twitter from Meta. If you’re on Threads, why not click on the image of Secretary Clinton’s post and give her account a little ❤️.
Lawmakers finalized landmark legislation on Thursday making Michigan the 14th state to legislate the move from fossil fuels to clean energy. The bills call for clean energy to power the state by 2040. The definition of “clean energy” in the bill has been criticized by some, and Republicans have raised concerns about centralizing decision making at the state level for locating future clean energy plants. Nevertheless the legislation is a significant advance in the fight to lower carbon emissions. MORE: Michigan Advance and Inside Climate News
The “slimmed down” Reproductive Health Act is now on its way to the Governor’s desk for signature. Bills finalized last week join the set of bills under the Act passed earlier by the legislature. The Act will not do away with the 24 hour waiting period for abortions nor allow Medicaid reimbursement for abortions, but does remove many politically motivated and medically unnecessary abortion restrictions in state law. MORE: The Gander
It’s official - the legislature has ended the year early as expected. The legislative year will formally end today, though neither the House nor the Senate has had sessions scheduled since last Thursday. It’s worth noting that even though the legislature is ending the year early the two chambers were in session longer, and had more voting days, this year as compared to last year. Two things have fed into the decision to end early. First, the legislature must adjourn no later than November 28th to allow time for the law moving next year’s presidential primary up to February 27th to take effect. Second, two Democratic House members won mayoral races on Tuesday meaning they will be leaving the state House evenly split at 54 Democrats and 54 Republicans, making legislation difficult to pass. The two departing legislators will be replaced in a special election with the date to be set by the Governor. MORE: WOOD-TV
Michigan Right to Life, along with other anti-abortion organizations and three Republican lawmakers filed a suit last week in Federal court asking that Michigan’s abortion rights constitutional amendment be overturned. Asked about the new lawsuit Wednesday morning, state Sen. Mallory McMorrow, Democrat of Royal Oak, jokingly responded, "good luck." MORE: Detroit News
Arguments began last week in the Michigan Court of Claims on the 14th Amendment case against Donald Trump. The plaintiffs ask the court to rule that the former President is not eligible to be on Michigan’s 2024 ballots under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment due to his actions on January 6. In a similar case last week the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that that state’s laws do not bar a political party from nominating ineligible candidates for office in it’s primary, but left the door open for a rehearing of the matter for the general election. MORE: CNN
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).
NEXT MEETING: DECEMBER 6TH
This month's regular meeting of the Houghton County Board of Commissioners is this afternoon at 4 PM in the Conference Room on the fifth floor of the Houghton County Courthouse. Find more information on the Board's webpage.
The Hancock City Council meets at 6 PM in the Hancock City Hall Council Chambers.