Strawberries and Independence
HCDP News for July 11th, 2023
In this Email
July 11 2023
Strawberries and Independence
New: Call for Volunteers - Summer Service Project
Stand Up for Reproductive Freedom
Dem State Rep Seeks to Codify Marriage Equality in Michigan Law
Updated: More Good Things Happening in Lansing
Updated: Save the Date - Upcoming HCDP Events
Updated: Community Events
Well, we’ve all got another 4th of July under our belts, and many of us have had to loosen up those belts a bit thanks to eating all that strawberry shortcake in Chassell! I guess that means summer is in full swing here in Houghton County.
Thanks to everyone who turned out to walk with us in the South Range 4th of July and Strawberry Festival parades this past week.
We are looking for volunteers to join an HCDP Dems team working with a local nonprofit startup on a house painting mission. Bill Binroth explained the effort to us at last week’s monthly meeting.
The local group, which Bill is a part of, 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.
Breakfast and lunch, along with t-shirts and supplies will be furnished both days.
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 actually begins TODAY. So, once again, we are asking for your help.
An Ohio Democrat holds a Vote No sign during a 4th of July parade (Photo source: Trumbull County Dems)
Last month State Rep Jason Morgan introduced a package of 52 bills to strike Michigan laws banning same sex marriage and to remove gendered marital references from state law. The package of bills is co-sponsored by 49 of his fellow Democratic representatives.
According to Morgan the Supreme Court’s overturning of the Roe v Wade decision was an impetus for this legislation, as it indicated that other basic civil rights could also be at risk.
While the Democrats have the legislative majority to pass the bills that strike gendered language from state law, the package includes Joint Resolution F, a proposal to change the state’s constitution to repeal Michigan’s 2004 ban on same-sex marriages and replace it with language codifying the protections of Obergefell. The resolution will need a two thirds majority in both houses to pass, which may be difficult to achieve, leaving same sex marriages in Michigan vulnerable should the Supreme Court overturn Obergefell.
Attorney General Dana Nessel was quoted last June as saying the Obergefell decision was in “dire jeopardy” in the wake of overturning of Roe. As a private attorney before becoming AG, Nessel argued a marriage equality case that ultimately became part of the Obergefell decision.
Nothing to report this week - The state legislature was on break last week.
The legislature has now moved into their summer schedule. Both houses meet only for a one week session in July, and a one week session in August. Regular sessions start again after Labor Day.
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
The Houghton County Board of Commissioners July meeting will NOT be held today. It is postponed until next Tuesday, July 18th at 4 PM.
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.