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JFON “Beacons for Immigrants” Fundraiser Event

Sunday evening, Oct 22nd, the local satellite clinic of Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON), hosted a fundraiser, “Beacons for Immigrants” at ECCO in downtown Traverse City, MI. JFON is an organization organized in 1996, in response to the increasingly complex immigration regulations stemming from the Immigration Reform and Immigration Act of 1996. September 11th and the Patriot Act have exacerbated the situation, causing backlogs on new and existing applications and an increase in deportation orders. The event was kicked off by Alline Beutler, the Traverse City Clinic Coordinator and remarks by the national Executive Director of JFON, Rob Rutland-Brown from Virginia. Rob began by asking, “wh

Shri Thanedar, Democratic Candidate for MI Governor Speaks at TC Library

Shri Thanedar was born into an impoverished family in India; he knows what it feels like to go to bed hungry. As a young boy he worked to support his family and realized education was his ladder out of poverty. He came to our country in pursuit of the American Dream. He built a successful business from scratch (winning Entrepreneur of the Year) only to lose his business when the economy turned sour. At this same time his wife died, leaving him with two small boys to parent on his own. “How am I going to pay for this?” was a constant companion. He knows what it’s like to struggle. He built another successful business from scratch; and, this time, decided to give back and help others reach t

Report on Planned Parenthood 'Day of Action'

Lansing, Michigan on October 17, 2017. The group gathered at the Lansing Center where all participants received a Planned Parenthood Pink T-shirt with the slogan ' Stand Up Fight Back'. The result was a sea of pink throughout the day. The day had both morning and afternoon breakout sessions, which covered several topics from Reproductive Justice, Sex Ed Laws, Mothering Justice, and Best Practices for Teaching Sex Ed in Michigan. Before lunch, several Democratic leaders joined the group. Together we marched to the Capitol and made our voices known. A few protesters stood along the March route, but no incidents were noted. The morning breakout session: 'Funding Forward: How State and Fede

Jocelyn Benson, Democrat, Announces for Sec. of State

On Thursday afternoon, Oct 19, Jocelyn Benson, announced to a packed audience at the Northpeak Brewing Co., Traverse City, MI, that she is running as the Democratic candidate for Michigan Secretary of State in 2018. She will be returning to Traverse City often, and promised she will work hard as Secretary of State, to see her top priority that no will wait in line for driver’s license renewals, or anything else, at a Secretary of State’s office, for more than 30 minutes. She shared that when her husband had a two day leave from duty in Afghanistan, and wanted to renew his driver’s license, the wait line was more than three hours. Three precious hours he wanted to spend with his family bef

Why Is It, In Politics, The Only Thing That Matters Is If We Win?

When I was coming of age, I was mesmerized by the Camelot attitude of the Kennedy presidency. When he was assassinated, the innocent feeling of security was pulled out from under me. I was never involved in politics, but somehow came to realize that, though you might be an honest individual when you enter politics, to succeed, you couldn’t stay that way. My education led me to believe that the whole premise behind our governmental system is to ensure that all citizens benefit from the works of our founding fathers. It has been very disappointing to realize that most politicians have been bought by business interests – the business of medicine has ruined health care and the NRA, in its effort

A Second Visit for Abdul-el-Sayed, Running in the Gubernatorial Primary

Abdul-el-Sayed, primary candidate for the gubernatorial race visited Traverse City on Sunday Oct 8. Abdul visited us previously on April 17 and you can read about that visit and his background in Sylvia McCullough’s blog here: I will try not to repeat the previous blog and instead invite the reader to check it out for Abdul’s background. Abdul is a very personable, engaging, and well-spoken candidate. He is very well educated as he was a Rhodes Scholar, earning a doctorate from Oxford University and a medical degree from Columbia University. It

Legislative Action Report

Monday September 18, 2017 through Monday October 3rd News from Washington The 2018 Defense Authorization Bill is being considered this week but last week Rand Paul of Kentucky had offered an amendment to “sunset” the 2001 authorization for use of military force in Afghanistan and the 2002 authorization for the same in Iraq. The “sunset” of the authorization would be six months after the adoption of the 2018 Defense Authorization. Senator Stabenow voted to table this amendment and Senator Peters voted against it. Representative Bergman has voted for a bill to define what is a criminal gang and for Fiscal 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Fiscal 2018 Defense Authorization Bill - HR 2810 would author

Kalkaska for Peace at Progressive Potluck

Monday evening Sept. 25th, at The Little Fleet, Betsy Coffia, event organizer and former resident of the village of Kalkaska, introduced Kalkaska for Peace organizers, Elizabeth Dunham and Ben Zack. Betsy: What was your reaction when the President of the Kalkaska Village when he essentially called for the genocide of all Muslims? Elizabeth: Well, I was a student at Michigan State paying a visit to my family in Kalkaska, where I was raised, when the incident happened. My response was “what could we do to make Kalkaska a more supportive community instead of a joke.” We decided on a three-part strategy: Political Engagement – things like this happen when you have low-level political enga

The Business of Medicine is Ruining Healthcare

Years ago, when I first started working as a nurse, I believed everyone in the medical field was dedicated to providing the best healthcare possible. Perhaps I was naïve; but, after witnessing changes over the last half century, I believe that previously appreciated caring has been replaced by a desire to make money off people’s illnesses. Over the years the pharmaceutical companies have convinced our population that they can eat anything they want, fail to exercise, smoke and drink all the alcohol they want – they can get a pill for anything that might result from their bad habits. They have also convinced society that any undesired behavior of spouses, children, even pets, can be corrected

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