Dear Fellow Democrats and Progressives:
As I am just finishing the first 7 months of my two-year term as Chair of the Grand Traverse County Democratic Party, I have some thoughts I would like to share with you.
The first is how pleased I am with the quality of our membership. The expertise in campaign management, computer systems, communications, policy and local political history is outstanding. We have already seen these abilities utilized this year with our successful Winter Rally, the (social) “Dems Drop-In” at Harrington’s, participation in Up North Pride Week, the Mackinaw Pipeline protest in late May, and excellent membership renewals in an off election year. We are building the base which will serve us well in 2016.
Although we are building strength within our local Democratic Party, the state of political affairs in Michigan is very sad indeed. During the last year the Governor and Republican-dominated Legislature have -- with the "Right to Work (for less)" legislation -- crippled the ability of our citizens to collectively bargain for their wages and working conditions.
There are ongoing efforts to eliminate the earned income tax credit that is needed by low wage workers. The excuse for the elimination of the earned tax credit is that "we can no longer afford it." This is an insulting assertion considering that this Republican administration enthusiastically spent huge amounts of projected state revenue in 2012 on a corporate tax reduction for well-to-do corporations and individuals. If business taxes were restored to the 2011 levels, there would not be a budget shortage.
In addition to the reverse "Robin Hood" approach of taking from the poor to give to the rich, this Republican administration butchered a ballot proposal which would have provided the best way to increase the minimum wage for our poorest working citizens.
Although the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is working, Republicans continue with their senseless efforts to repeal it, which would force millions of Americans to lose their health care coverage or face greatly increased costs.
While the 1% profit from this Republican domination of government, the rest of us have to endure deteriorating roads and a local county board that could best be described as chaotic.
There is a lot at stake in this next election. It cannot be won in the last 2 months of the 2016 election cycle. Remember that all politics are local.
I urge all of you who have been with us to prepare for the fight in 2016. We need your membership, talent, enthusiasm, work and donations for the best outcome in 2016. We are the best hope for the working and middle class.
Here are some ways you can be involved:
Check our website and our Facebook page for updates on volunteer and educational opportunities.
Suggest someone you know who would be a good candidate
Run for Precinct Delegate in your precinct
Attend our Executive Board meetings, we usually meet the first Thursday of the month at the MEA office at 1745 Barlow, Traverse City
Come to one of our social events and get to know us!
Grand Traverse Democrats