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Lt. Gov. Brian Calley Holds Town Hall

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley held a town hall in the Garfield Township Hall on Nov. 21st, at 6 p.m. Mr. Calley has entered the race for Michigan Governor' for 2018. About 30 people were there with about 7 students from a Government class and three members of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. The members of the Grand Traverse Band were there to question Mr.Calley about Line 5 under the Straits of Mackinac. The first question was about Education and how our local schools receive less money per student. Mr. Calley explained that this was because of the compromises from Proposal A from 1993-1994. Proposal A changed how funding was allocated from property taxes and sale

Progpot - The November Edition

A warm group of fellow progressives joined together at Little Fleet for the November Progressive Potluck. Becky Rogan spoke to us about the work of Conflict Resolution Services and gave us a few hints on using their methods in our own progressive work. Right to left: Chris Cracchiolo GTDem Chairman, Betsy Coffia, ProgPot organizer, Becky Rogan Speaker for November. Becky's talk emphasized that before we can be persuasive we need to create an environment where folks want to hear us. To be heard we must first listen. Her points included: People have a strong need to be heard. People have a need to have their validity accepted. People are open to listening to and accepting new ideas only a

Stop the Tax Scam Rally a Success in TC

Yesterday, a hundred or so Tax Scam Rally goers were greeted with waves, honks and cheers (and a few birds) while carrying signs to educate the public regarding the effects that the so-called Tax Reform Bill being rammed through the US Senate, will have on everyday, hard working Americans, many of whom stand to have their taxes raised and lose their health care benefits, and eventually experience reductions in their Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security benefits. Republicans in Congress appear poised to "sweeten the pot" for their wealthy donors by giving them even more tax breaks than are included in the bill now according to an article in New York Times this morning:https://www.nytimes.

Letters to the Editor Can Help Democrats Win in 2018

With #45 in the White House and Louisiana Jack serving as his acolyte, the 2018 election is our first and best opportunity to save our democracy as we know it. As I read all of the various posts on social media I started to realize that Facebook, twitter, etc. contain excellent points, summaries and facts...but we end up preaching to the choir and not the general voter in our District. Below is a listing of area newspapers and their circulation numbers. As you can see Letters to the Editor in local newspapers can reach thousands of potential voters that we don't have access to via social media (Facebook) or even email. Newspapers # Readers Alpena News 9,243

What Should We Do Now About Our Country?

The recent destruction of civility in our country began with the primary season of the 2016 election. I believe everyone was shocked watching the mudslinging and nasty comments as our politicians stepped on and over each other on their way to the top. Some citizens actually thrilled at the game of it! Unfortunately, once the winner climbed to the top of the mountain to proclaim victory, that crude behavior did not change. On a chilly day last January, I stood along the Parkway with my protest banner in hand, as part of the many Women’s Marchs around the world. I have never been a political person, so I wouldn’t have normally taken part in something like that; but I wanted to join a movement

Letter from Tom McClure, Nov. 8, 2017

I am sharing a letter I received from Tom McClure, who along with Jake Rothenburg, headed up the Democratic Presidential Campaign for Hillary Clinton in Traverse City and surrounding counties in the Fall of 2016. He now works for a Bloomberg Group, Everytown for Gun Safety centered in New York City. This is his recounting of his experience of going down to Virginia to knock on doors to help get out the vote in the recent election there for governor, and why doing this important work matters and makes a difference as we plan going forward into 2018: Hello! This is your friendly (former) neighborhood organizer reaching out to say hello, one year later. On November 8th, 2016 I woke up feeling

We Deserve More

If the health of our democracy is measured in by how elected officials treat their constituents, we should all be deeply troubled by the town hall held in Traverse City Central High School this week. As a candidate for Michigan’s 1st congressional district, I won't attempt to characterize the event itself. Those who were there have strong opinions already. Instead, I want to focus on what I believe is the only path forward from here: electing leaders who truly want to serve all people. We deserve a committed, respectful dialogue. We need representatives who do more than just pander to their political party or bend to special interests. We need bridge builders. This means cultivating relation

Northern Michigan Indivisible Summit in Mt. Pleasant Brings Democrats and Indivisibles Together

The Northern Michigan Indivisible Summit was held Sunday, Nov. 5th at the Mt. Pleasant Veterans Memorial Library Annex, where Hugh Madden, Communications Director for Progress Michigan gave the keynote speech to a representative audience comprised of northern Michigan Indivisible groups and Democratic candidates running for office from all over the state. In his speech titled “Finding Your Voice,” Hugh gave some tips for public speaking. He said, “how you speak is important. You need to talk about issues or else the opposition will do it from their perspective.” He remembered Hank Stram, one of the greatest NFL coaches in history, who said to his teams, “You can do this! You have to do t

Michael Moore Addresses Crowd at State Theatre in Traverse City, Michigan

Michael Moore held forth for more than three hours Saturday evening in front of a packed house at the State Theater at an event celebrating the 10th anniversary of the State. He began, however, by sharing his thoughts on the state of the country, and on how to wrest control of the government from Donald Trump. Michael said he wants to see the Democratic Party run someone who generates excitement, and not someone from the establishment, like Joe Biden, love him though one might. He also wants Democrats to have the courage of their convictions, and not try to win votes by moving to the right. All that does, he opined, is make Democrats look wishing washy. He noted that at the presidential leve

Ten Steps to Better Advocacy with Rep. Jon Hoadley

GT Dems and interested citizens gathered Friday evening, Nov. 3rd, 2017, at Ruby Tuesdays in Traverse City, Michigan, to hear Rep. Jon Hoadley (D) from 60th Michigan District representing Kalamazoo, Michigan. Jon explained that after ten months of enduring the current Republican administration, he felt a need to begin educating Michiganders in the art of advocacy and effective engagement of our Michigan legislators. To begin he advised everyone to read the “Indivisible Guide,” that we are not living in “typical times” and need to start thinking about ways we can do things “outside the box.” He reminded the audience that legislators, once they get to Lansing, live inside a bubble with a fas

Women's Convention Kick-Off Event

Beginning with an introduction by our very own Phoebe Hopps, the Women’s Convention began with the people who lived on this land first: Indigenous women. Prayers were offered by Standing Rock Elder, Faith Spotted Eagle, with a song sung memorializing the disappeared Indigenous women of Canada. Tamika Mallory of the Justice League of New York City and co-founder of the Women’s March, spoke of the Women’s Movement as inclusive of all races and genders. Tarana Burke, founder of the #Me Too Movement stated that she did not begin the movement, but that it was based on the backs of women like Rosa Parks, Anita Hill and Gloria Steinem. She encouraged us to fight the system that allows sexual ab

"Equal Means Equal" Film Review

Over 200 women, and a handful of men, came together at Milliken Auditorium on the NMC Campus in early October, 2017, for a free showing of "Equal Means Equal"--the definitive documentary film on the status of women in America. The Leelanau League of Women Voters and sponsoring organizations (see below) had tables in the lobby outside of the auditorium that were buzzing with conversations about getting educated about women's issues, and getting informed on how to help with these specific causes. Each group represented their organization's efforts to deal with an essential aspect of some of women's basic human needs like reproductive access, infant care, safety from harm, legal rights, voting

GT Dems Host Truman Dinner

The Truman Dinner has always been a time for Grand Traverse Democrats to gather and share the good news about our party, raise money for future projects and take stock of our impact on the community. This year’s gathering lived up to expectations beginning with Vice Chair TJ Andrew’s overview of 2017 events. Progressive Pot Lucks, Road Clean-up and the Tiger Project with TCAPS addressed community needs. GT Dems may have broken a record for the number of candidate events showcasing individuals running for State representative, secretary of state, attorney general and many local offices. The evening’s speakers began with Dan O’Neil, Chair of the Candidate Recruitment Committee. Dan reviewed

Report on Bergman Town Hall

On Monday evening, Oct 30th, Rep. Jack Bergman held a Town Hall in the Traverse City Central High School Auditorium to a packed house. In answering questions, Rep. Bergman gave almost no specifics. He said he was a data guy, however that was not reflected in his answers. The speakers often had more facts and data in their questions then we heard in his answers. There were 41 questions from 37 people. The Cherry Queen, who sat by his side, began by asking three questions that I presume he had prepared answers. The audience was allowed one question apiece, limited to one minute. There were nine questions on the ACA/Health Coverage. Six questions were asked on Climate Change and the Environm

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