President Biden Announces Re-election Run: Let's Finish The Job
HCDP News for April 25th
In this Email
APRIL 25 2023
NEW: President Biden Announces Re-election Run: Let's Finish The Job
NEW: Guns Are Out of Control
NEW: Vote on May 2nd
NEW: President Carter Still in Hospice
Spring Fling 2023
NEW: More Good Things Happening in Lansing
NEW: Next General Meeting on May 3
NEW: Campaign & Community Events
May Monthly Meeting
Our next General Meeting will be Wednesday, May 3 at 7 PM. You do not need to be a member to attend our monthly meetings, and we would welcome your attendance.
IN PERSON: The meeting will be held in-person at the Super 8 Motel in Houghton.
REMOTE ATTENDANCE: Zoom links are shared below in the Upcoming Events section.
President Biden officially launched his re-election bid this morning with this launch video.
The latest incidents that flashed across our video screens last week highlight just how out of control gun violence has gotten in America.
A teenager, Ralph Yarl, shot in the head for ringing the wrong doorbell.
A young women, Kaylin Gillis, shot and killed when the car she was riding in turned into the wrong driveway.
Two high school cheerleaders shot, and one critically injured, after one of the girls tried to enter an occupied car that she mistook for her own.
A six year old girl, Kinsley White, injured by gunfire when her family's basketball rolled into a neighbor's yard.
And these are only the latest incidents of people being killed or injured by gunfire simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Just think back to Ahmaud Arbury in 2020, or even further back to Treyvon Martin in 2012 - whose names you remember because both were shot and killed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
What does it mean when innocent people are injured and killed by people carrying guns because they happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? It means that too many people are living in fear and are striking out, with easily obtained guns providing lethal force, at the smallest perceived affront.
In writing this newsletter we try to focus on the positive - pointing out the good that the Democratic Party and Democratic politicians can and do accomplish for us and our communities. But it can be hard to stay positive when the negative news seems overwhelming. When school children and innocents in the wrong place are being gunned down. When lawmakers are being expelled from state legislatures simply for trying as hard as they can to get their fellows to take gun violence and the threat to public safety seriously. When it can seem like nowhere is really safe from the threat of gun violence.
As readers of this newsletter know, one political party consistently campaigns on fear, and works very hard to negate and remove even the most common sense limits on firearms of all kinds. That's the Republican Party - the party whose former Copper Country Chair assisted the Houghton County Board of Commissioners in writing the resolution adopted last week in opposition to the common sense gun control legislation being passed in Lansing by a state legislature led by OUR party.
Gun violence is now the leading cause of death among children and teens. It's not without good reason that 64% of all Americans consider gun violence a very important issue today. Seventy five percent of Americans tell pollsters that mass shootings are something we could prevent if we wanted to. Don't we want to? Well, yes, we do. It's just that some of our politicians don't.
Americans want change on guns. Thank God we live in Michigan, where Democrats in the state Congress are making legislative change happen. But we need even bigger change - change at a national level. President Biden is doing what he can through executive order. And last year, when both houses of Congress were under Democratic control, the legislature managed to pass the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, hailed as landmark legislation and the first major gun reform at the federal level in 30 years.
Arizona Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly (husband of former Rep. Gabby Giffords, herself a victim of gun violence in 2011) said on Face the Nation two weeks ago: "We have some of the most permissive gun laws in the world and we have some of the highest levels of gun violence. We passed this bipartisan, Safer Communities Act. It is a step in the right direction, but it's only one step and there is more we can do."
We have to leave behind the time when all that our national lawmakers have to offer us on gun violence and public safety are thoughts and prayers. As President Biden himself has stated, a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines would be a good start. We must work to make our voices heard to the Democratic leaders who can effect positive change.
Polls open at 7 AM on Tuesday May 2nd, one week 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.
The news that President Carter had decided to enter home hospice came in the middle of February, with the statement from the Carter Center that the former president had "decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care instead of additional medical intervention."
That news was followed by reports that his family was drawing near to offer their support and comfort. Since then little news has been offered as to the former President's condition.
Now experts are clarifying that spending months in hospice care, while not always the case, is not uncommon.
While we don't have the details of the former President's condition, and no one can know the timing of events, we do want to remind you to please continue to hold President Carter and his family in your thoughts. Visit the Carter Center's "Messages of Peace & Comfort" board to see well wishes others have left, and to leave your own.
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].
What's happened in Lansing in the past week:
All three of the gun safety laws put forward by the Michigan legislature have now passed, with the red flag law awaiting the Governor's signature. Gov. Whitmer has already signed the background checks and gun storage safety bills.
State legislators are considering further gun safety laws according to a report from Michigan Bridge.
Governor Whitmer expanded the state of emergency to six UP counties in reaction to severe flooding.
Lawmakers approved a $175M bill for an EV battery plant in Mecosta County in lower eastern Michigan. Over $2 billion dollars is being invested in the plant by battery maker Gotion. The plant is expected to employee some 2300 people with average salaries of over $50,000.
Michigan legislators continue to review existing laws that no longer make sense to retain. Nine state Senate Republicans voted to keep a law on the books barring unmarried couples from living together, prompting Democratic state Senator McMorrow to ask "What year are they living in?" Sen. Ed McBroom was one of the nine "No" votes. The repeal passed the Senate by 29 to 9. Michigan is one of only two states with such a law on the books.
Our next General Meeting will be Wednesday, May 3 at 7 PM. As usual, the meeting will be both in-person at the Super 8 Motel in Houghton and remotely by Zoom.
You do not need to be a member to attend our monthly meetings, and we would welcome your attendance.
Here is the Zoom meeting info:
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 863 9497 1643
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Today is National Library Worker's Day, as promoted by the American Library Association (ALA) - a part of their National Library Week celebration. Please take time today, or this week, to thank the librarians in your life. Given the Republican-led efforts to ban books and even close libraries, our librarians are more important to our communities than ever. If you would like, you can formally submit the name of your favorite "star" librarian by using this form provided by the ALA's Allied Professional Association.
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.
Monday marks the start of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, as established by Congress in 1992. For more information about AAPI Heritage Month and ways to celebrate, check out this article from the good news folks at Good Good Good.
The Hancock City Council has voted to return to once a month meetings going forward, on the third Wednesday of each month.
Last week we missed noting that Friday, April 21st had been declared by Governor Whitmer as Infant, Toddler, and Preschool Professionals Day in honor of the early learning professionals who spend their days caring for and educating our youngest Michiganders.
We also failed to acknowledge that Earth Day was Saturday, April 22nd. We hope you all appropriately commemorated the day without our reminder.
Please let us know in the future if we've forgotten an important day, or better yet, let us know in advance if there's a commemoration or event we should recognize that's of particular importance to you! Just send an email to [email protected].