Progress Michigan http://www.progressmichigan.org Uncompromised progressive politics for Michigan. Thu, 30 Jul 2015 22:35:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.7 Remembering Ken http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/07/remembering-ken/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/07/remembering-ken/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 22:35:53 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=38519 Hugh Madden, Communications Director Michigan lost a great man last week. Ken Brock was a giant in progressive political circles, a well-respected man across the political spectrum, and an accomplished Democratic operative. I didn’t know Ken well, but we worked on the same issues and often crossed paths in late Octobers on various campaign trails. […]

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Hugh Madden, Communications Director

Michigan lost a great man last week. Ken Brock was a giant in progressive political circles, a well-respected man across the political spectrum, and an accomplished Democratic operative. I didn’t know Ken well, but we worked on the same issues and often crossed paths in late Octobers on various campaign trails.

There has been much said about Ken’s reaction to the anti-Obamacare protestors who surrounded Congressman Schauer’s office in the summer of 2009. I was there many days helping those on the Congressman’s side– caregivers, persons with disabilities, young people – have their voices heard. In that very partisan and sometimes nasty environment, Ken made sure that both sides were listened to and that every person was treated as a person – something that doesn’t happen often in political debate today.

In 2012, I watched as Ken fired up volunteers supporting Proposal 2 the night before an election that didn’t go the way we wanted. Ken was a smart operative who most likely knew the outcome wouldn’t be the one the working men and women in the room were hoping for. Nevertheless, Ken kept fighting until the very end. I imagine Ken’s demeanor was a reflection of his professionalism, but I also got the sense that Ken knew that the fight is never really over. Ken wasn’t trying to will the ballot proposal to victory – rather he was reminding us in that room that no issue is ever settled.

Ken Brock was much more than a political operative. The first thing I thought when I heard news of his passing was an immense sadness that Ken’s daughter Emma would not see his proud face after one of her performances. Ken’s family was what he bragged about – not his political accomplishments. I think those political accomplishments were just a means to make sure that he left the world a little better for his family and friends. The outpouring since his death proves that the world and Michigan is much better because of Ken Brock.

Laura LeBlanc, Development Coordinator

My experience with Ken Brock consisted of my time on the Schauer for Governor campaign. I may not have worked directly with Ken, but his office was next to the one I used when not working directly with Mark.

I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with Ken, but the little time I did spend with him still sticks with me. When I joined the campaign, I had little to no experience. There were so many things I didn’t understand and I had so many questions and Ken was always the person who could answer any question I had. He was a political strategist like I had never seen and I always admired how his brain worked and often wished that one day I might gain just a bit of his insight.

Whenever he talked, I turned into a sponge trying to absorb every word he said. Ken was always positive, happy and funny – very funny. And being so positive, in Michigan’s current state, is sometimes rather difficult. He had such a beautiful outlook on life. I remember being in our Lansing office, and anytime I had a question about anything happening in the world of politics, or even my life in general, I would pop my head into his office. Even in the thrust of a competitive campaign, he always had time to listen and answer my questions.

In addition to being a brilliant political strategist, he was a husband and father. When he talked about his daughter, Emma, and his wife, Sue, he did it with such a smile on his face. He always had new stories about them and talked about them in a way that makes you hope your spouse and parents talk about you the same way. From the stories he told, I knew his wife was extremely intelligent, hard working, loving and he enjoyed every second with her. His daughter was always in a new theatre production and performing and I just knew he would travel across this world to see a show if she were in it. She was his world.

I recognize that I didn’t know Ken for years, and I wouldn’t even say that I knew him that well. But I was heartbroken when I received the news of his passing. I was heartbroken because he had the most beautiful soul out of anyone I have ever met and was so incredibly intelligent and worked so diligently to do whatever he could to help others. He dedicated his life to service and did whatever he could to further Michigan and to help make it a better place for everyone. I’ve never known anyone like him.

With Ken’s passing, Michigan lost one of its greatest champions and the two women that he loved with everything, Sue and Emma, lost their husband and father. I learned so much from Ken in the short time I spent working with him. I learned things that I will hold onto throughout my career and even life lessons like how powerful a positive attitude can be. I am thankful for the time I did get with him, but am heartbroken that I cannot learn from him anymore. He will surely be missed.

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Stand With [Insert Name of Woman You Care About Here] http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/07/stand-with-insert-name-of-woman-you-care-about-here/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/07/stand-with-insert-name-of-woman-you-care-about-here/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 18:19:18 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=38510 Your mother’s, sister’s, aunt’s, coworkers’, neighbors’, and friends’ ability to make their own reproductive decisions are under attack – again. An anti-choice group called the Center for Medical Progress has released a series of secretly recorded videos seeking to attack Planned Parenthood and eliminate the organization’s national funding. A third graphic video was just released […]

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Your mother’s, sister’s, aunt’s, coworkers’, neighbors’, and friends’ ability to make their own reproductive decisions are under attack – again.

An anti-choice group called the Center for Medical Progress has released a series of secretly recorded videos seeking to attack Planned Parenthood and eliminate the organization’s national funding. A third graphic video was just released today. The videos have been heavily edited and the narrative they attempt to spin amounts to downright lies and misinformation. According to the Washington Post:

“The group behind the sting edited a three-hour meeting down to eight minutes of detailed medical description, then blasted it across the country proclaiming that they have evidence that Planned Parenthood is harvesting baby parts for profit. Um, no — not even remotely. . . . The truth is, this video is nothing more than another one of those graphic abortion protest posters of mutilated fetuses waved at people and passing children on the street. Totally out of context and totally horrible.”

This bizarre attempt at a smear campaign by the Center for Medical Progress isn’t really about fetal tissue donation; it’s not even really about Planned Parenthood. This is about the Center for Medical Progress wanting to make sure that your mother, your sister, your aunt, your friends, your coworkers, and your neighbors are not in control of their reproductive rights by taking away our access to safe, affordable reproductive health care services. Planned Parenthood provides services like lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, abortion services, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Roughly one in five women relies on Planned Parenthood for health care in her lifetime. For many uninsured and under-insured people, Planned Parenthood is the only source they have for preventative health services. Don’t let the Center for Medical Progress’s misleading videos distract you from their real goal – to further limit our access to crucial health care services.

Access to health care should not depend on who you are or where you live. Every woman should have the opportunity and resources to make decisions about our bodies, sexuality, and reproduction for our families and us. Stand with Planned Parenthood and, more importantly, stand with the millions of women whose lives and futures depend on access to comprehensive reproductive health care.

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Progress Michigan Stands with Planned Parenthood, Against Extremist Lies http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/07/progress-michigan-stands-with-planned-parenthood-against-extremist-lies/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/07/progress-michigan-stands-with-planned-parenthood-against-extremist-lies/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 15:29:51 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=38506 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE News from Progress Michigan July 28, 2015 Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org Progress Michigan Stands with Planned Parenthood, Against Extremist Lies Speaks out against attacks on health care provider LANSING — Anti-choice activists have reached a new low with the release of another secretly recorded video that seeks to attack Planned Parenthood and go […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Progress Michigan

July 28, 2015

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574sam@progressmichigan.org

Progress Michigan Stands with Planned Parenthood, Against Extremist Lies

Speaks out against attacks on health care provider

LANSING — Anti-choice activists have reached a new low with the release of another secretly recorded video that seeks to attack Planned Parenthood and go after the organization’s national funding. The videos being released have been heavily edited and the narrative they attempt to spin amounts to outright lies.

“Even for anti-choice extremists, this latest campaign against Planned Parenthood is a new low steeped in lies and deception,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “These extremists’ only goal is to prevent women across this state and country from having access to safe, affordable reproductive health care services. In their zeal against a woman’s ability to make her own reproductive decisions, they’re calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides critical health screenings and contraceptive and abortion services to millions of women and men. Progress Michigan is proud to stand with Planned Parenthood against these deceitful and misleading attacks.”

Approximately 1 in 5 women have relied on a Planned Parenthood health center for care in their lifetimes.

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There’s a Sheriff Arpaio in Your Backyard, too. http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/07/theres-a-sheriff-arpaio-in-your-backyard-too/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/07/theres-a-sheriff-arpaio-in-your-backyard-too/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 19:42:44 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=38496 I was in Phoenix, Arizona last week for Netroots Nation. Netroots is one of the biggest progressive conferences in the country. Every year, thousands of activists come together to make new connections and build relationships with others to make progress on the issues we care about most. We also stand together in solidarity when the […]

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I was in Phoenix, Arizona last week for Netroots Nation. Netroots is one of the biggest progressive conferences in the country. Every year, thousands of activists come together to make new connections and build relationships with others to make progress on the issues we care about most.

We also stand together in solidarity when the community that we’re in is being oppressed and marginalized. Last year, thousands rallied in Detroit calling for a stop to the inhumane water shutoffs that were (and still are) affecting thousands of people and families across the city. That action put a national spotlight on the issue and was part of what prompted United Nations officials to call for elected leaders in Detroit to restore water service.

This year, we took to the streets of Phoenix to stand up to Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has a long history of abusing power and, according to a Department of Justice report, is the worst purveyor of racial profiling investigators have ever seen. He created Tent City, the most inhumane jail in the country that Arpaio himself has called a “concentration camp,” and relentlessly persecutes the migrant community in Maricopa County, home to Phoenix and the metro area.

Hundreds of people from across the country marched calling for Arpaio’s immediate resignation, an end to the collaboration between U.S. Immigrations Customs and Enforcement (ICE) and local police departments that has led to rampant racial profiling and abuses, to treat inmates in jails with dignity, and to restore justice to the people of Maricopa County.

This fight for human rights did not begin last week at Netroots. Current and former undocumented people, those in mixed-status families, people of color, and groups like Puente Arizona, the Colibrí Center for Human Rights, and No Más Muertes have been fighting for years to put a stop to cruel attacks on migrant and marginalized communities. Projects like #AZDispatch are exposing some of the most unjust practices in our current immigration system and elevating the stories and voices of those fighting back against those practices.

For some of us in Michigan, the immense humanitarian crisis that is happening within the boundaries of the United States might not be our immediate reality (although racial profiling and deportations are affecting people and families across the country including in Michigan), but that does not mean that we can turn a blind eye to what is happening in places like Maricopa County. Pay attention to what is going on and get involved with groups in our state like Michigan United who are taking action as injustices against migrant communities continue. The latest involves conservatives trying to dismantle sanctuary cities, like San Francisco, that act as a safe space for migrants.

An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Even if you’re not directly impacted, it’s on us to stand together as allies and work together to end racism and oppression.

Photo: A colleague and I outside of Joe Arpaio’s Headquarters in Phoenix during the march.

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A Racial Reality Check for Progressives http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/07/a-racial-reality-check-for-progressives/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/07/a-racial-reality-check-for-progressives/#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2015 20:50:58 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=38493 By Denzel McCampbell Over the weekend, Netroots Nation, a conference that hosts thousands of progressives, hosted a Presidential Town Hall featuring two presidential candidates. During the beginning of the town hall, the discussion with candidate and former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley was paused when activists and supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement stood up […]

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By Denzel McCampbell

Over the weekend, Netroots Nation, a conference that hosts thousands of progressives, hosted a Presidential Town Hall featuring two presidential candidates.

During the beginning of the town hall, the discussion with candidate and former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley was paused when activists and supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement stood up and gathered around the stage. There were passionate chants of “What side are you on, my people?” and “Say her name,” highlighting the violence of law enforcement against black women.

As the action went along, an activist was allowed to come on stage and present a series of questions to O’Malley addressing the problems with systematic racism in America and the violence against black people. They also posed the question to Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont senator and presidential candidate. The candidates failed horribly at addressing the questions and concerns.

O’Malley seemed uncomfortable and was slow to even comprehend what was asked, ending the exchange with “all lives matter” and “white lives matter,” statements that have been routinely called out as being insensitive and borderline racist to the #BlackLivesMatter movement (he has since apologized and presented a preview to his plan to tackle the issue). Sanders, while having the advantage of being backstage when this started, came out and gave his stump speech, completely ignoring what was going on and clearly appearing agitated, never really addressing the issue at hand. Sanders has also began to right his course on these issues.

My feelings in a nutshell about not only the response from the candidates on stage, but also from “progressives” in the audience: I’m disappointed.

It’s amazing how slowly candidates on the left (Hilary Clinton included) have been to take on and present a plan on race issues in the country. I was equally upset at the number of progressives that were vocally upset that #BlackLivesMatter took action during the town hall.

Time and time again I hear various people in the progressive movement talk about how the Rising American Electorate (RAE), which includes young people and people of color, will lead us to victory in regards to the electoral map. I hear words and see posts calling out people on the right about their inaction when it comes to race issues in America. I see many progressives speaking about providing space for black folks and the issues involving systemic racism in this nation.

Yet, some of what I saw on Saturday and the fallout that has occurred afterwards has been the complete opposite. How do we expect black people to vote for “progressives” when some in the movement see the action on Saturday as offensive, ignorant, and disrespectful? How do we expect black folks to be a part of the progressive coalition when people in the room during the town hall were telling the #BlackLivesMatter people to “shut up and sit down”? Some of the things I saw and heard were things I’d expect to see at a conservative gathering and from candidates on the right.

How can I, as a black male that identifies with the progressive movement, go back to the black community and say, “Hey, let’s rally around those people and candidates?” How can I do that when a candidate is unwilling to say, “Hey Denzel, I have a plan to prevent you from becoming another statistic in this racist system”? How can I tell that to a community that feels like they are going it alone?

Now I will say, I saw many people in support of the action. I am also appreciative that Netroots Nation gave space for that action to happen. But, here’s a key takeaway: there should have never been a need for an action like this in the first place.

Black folks are tired. We are tired of people coming to us saying that we should vote for them, yet we cannot get a candidate to flat-out say, “There are some racist things occurring in the country and we need to do X, Y, & Z to stop it.” It shouldn’t take a direct action to achieve that. This issue should be front and center for progressive supporters and candidates alike because, frankly, the #BlackLivesMatter movement has been front and center in American political discourse for over a year.

As progressives, we say that we are inclusive, we say that we fight for all minority, oppressed, and marginalized communities. We say that we provide space for conversation for all groups. We say that we are ever evolving to become better than we were before.

It’s time to actually do those things. It’s time to have a conversation on why people are hurting, on why people feel that they are being silenced by the very progressives that claim to have their back. It’s time to take what happened on Saturday as a lesson, take action, and repair the wounds. It’s time to truly become a supportive coalition. When that happens, we will WIN on all fronts.

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Progress Michigan Statement on Decision to End Aramark Contract http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/07/progress-michigan-statement-on-decision-to-end-aramark-contract/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/07/progress-michigan-statement-on-decision-to-end-aramark-contract/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2015 15:36:53 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=38484 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE News from Progress Michigan  July 13, 2015  Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@proressmichigan.org Progress Michigan Statement on Decision to end Aramark Contract  LANSING — Progress Michigan released the following statement in response to Aramark’s contract being cancelled by mutual agreement. “Today’s announcement is great news for people who value accountability. Progress Michigan is […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from Progress Michigan 

July 13, 2015 

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@proressmichigan.org

Progress Michigan Statement on Decision to end Aramark Contract 

LANSING — Progress Michigan released the following statement in response to Aramark’s contract being cancelled by mutual agreement.

“Today’s announcement is great news for people who value accountability. Progress Michigan is pleased that Gov. Rick Snyder has finally answered our repeated calls to cancel the Aramark contract,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “While Aramark’s performance failed at every turn, the Snyder administration also failed to properly monitor and hold Aramark accountable. The Governor should no longer experiment with prison privatization, instead he should work to bring back the workers who did a quality job on behalf of Michigan taxpayers. We cannot afford another out-of-state corporation abusing public trust and misusing hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.”

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ALEC State Chair Dishonest in WNEM Interview About ALEC Bills http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/07/alec-state-chair-dishonest-in-wnem-interview-about-alec-bills/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/07/alec-state-chair-dishonest-in-wnem-interview-about-alec-bills/#comments Fri, 10 Jul 2015 16:56:21 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=38480 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE News from Progress Michigan July 10, 2015 Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org ALEC State Chair Dishonest in WNEM Interview About ALEC Bills Sen. Green’s ALEC-model legislation moved from committee just days before interview aired LANSING — During an interview with WNEM, the Co-Chair of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) Michigan chapter, Senator Mike Green, […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from Progress Michigan

July 10, 2015

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574sam@progressmichigan.org

ALEC State Chair Dishonest in WNEM Interview About ALEC Bills

Sen. Green’s ALEC-model legislation moved from committee just days before interview aired

LANSING — During an interview with WNEM, the Co-Chair of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) Michigan chapter, Senator Mike Green, said he couldn’t recall ever introducing model legislation from the corporate bill mill. Progress Michigan is happy to remind Sen. Green of the origins of the legislation he has introduced.

Green has introduced at least two pieces of related ALEC model legislation over the past few years – including one that was moved out of committee just last week.

“It sounds like Sen. Green has ALEC-induced amnesia,” said Sam Inglot, communications specialist with Progress Michigan. “He seems to have conveniently forgotten that he has continually pushed for ALEC model legislation over the years. It would appear that Sen. Green is so influenced by ALEC’s corporate lobbyists that he doesn’t remember which bills are theirs and which are his own.”

Sen. Green introduced an ALEC model federal balanced budget amendment bill in April and that bill just moved out of committee on July 1.The bill is nearly identical to a bill featured on ALEC’s website.

Green was at it again for ALEC in 2013, when he introduced another model resolution that also pushed for a balanced federal budget. That resolution was also nearly identical to ALEC legislation published on their website.

“Sen. Green’s constituents should be very concerned about the influence this corporate bill mill has over their elected representative when a state senator cannot remember the origins of the legislation he introduces,” Inglot continued. “The only goal of ALEC is to move power and resources into the hands of corporations at the expense of workers, families and communities.”

It should be noted that economists have said Green’s balanced budget bill would have “profound collateral damage” if passed.

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Progress is America’s Promise http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/07/progress-is-americas-promise/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/07/progress-is-americas-promise/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 20:20:32 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=38474 Last Friday was a historic day for America. With the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision, marriage equality became the law of land. For some, this ruling was the culmination of a decades-long fight for equal rights. For others, it was bittersweet as the decision came too late for them to enjoy the freedom that has just […]

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Last Friday was a historic day for America. With the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision, marriage equality became the law of land. For some, this ruling was the culmination of a decades-long fight for equal rights. For others, it was bittersweet as the decision came too late for them to enjoy the freedom that has just been realized. For America, it was a reminder, despite being wrong on the issue for so long, that progress is still possible.

Two hundred thirty-nine years ago today, the Declaration of Independence announced our intention to govern ourselves. Our founders boldly declared to the world the radical idea that, “All men are created equal” and that our nation would lead the world in that cause.

Our nation clearly has not always lived up to that idea. Men who owned slaves signed the Declaration of Independence and it took a bloody Civil War to end slavery. The battle for civil rights since then has included many low moments in our nation’s history, from the rise of the KKK in the South to resist reconstruction, to Bull Connor and the fight against the civil rights movement. It continues to this day with the brutal murders in Charleston and the all-too-common burning of black churches.

But our nation has shown the promise of progress when people stood up to defend our ideals. Numerous heroes fought slavery on both the battlefield and in the political arena by standing up and declaring slavery to be wrong. Heroes like Thaddeus Stevens led the charge to pass the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments – declaring our nation’s intention to not just recognize equality at creation but to strive towards equality in all aspects of life. Martin Luther King, Jr., and other leaders of the Civil Rights movement challenged us to live up to those ideals in a time of comfort for many in the post-World War II boom. Even today, heroes like Bree Newsome continue to bravely defend our nation’s ideals. Progress is America’s promise.

Other movements have proven that progress is possible and have taught us that it takes Americans who are willing to stand up to make it happen. Women didn’t earn the right to vote until 1920 – a full 144 years after the Declaration. But the fight for equal rights for women didn’t stop there. Roe v. Wade took another 50 years after women’s suffrage to give women a right to control their own reproductive decisions. Today, the fight for women’s equality takes place in the fight for equal pay and the battle to stop efforts to overturn rights already realized. Progress is America’s promise – but we know that it is not always honored.

Workers’ rights have not always been realized in our nation. The passage of the Wagner Act to allow working people the freedom to organize was signed on July 5, 1935 – 159 years and a day after Jefferson’s words of equality rang out. The passage of the bill didn’t guarantee worker freedom; it only gave heroes like Walter Reuther, Albert Shanker and workers across the nation a fighting chance. Progress is America’s promise, but too often we’ve allowed that progress to be rolled back by groups that believe equality looks nice in the National Archives on parchment paper but not so nice in the real world and on enforceable contracts. It’s going to take more heroes to realize and restore worker rights. But that’s fine – progress is America’s promise.

There have always been two Americas. There were Tories in the time of American revolutionaries, Jefferson Davis in the time of Lincoln, George Wallace and Orville Faubus in the time of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rosa Parks. But we don’t have monuments to those who didn’t fight for freedom next to the Washington Monument. We celebrate Lincoln’s birthday and Dr. King’s birthday, not those of Jefferson Davis or George Wallace.

Today, there are still those who fight against freedom, whether it’s those like Todd Courser who can’t accept that God truly created us all equal, or racists who still rally around a battle flag more than 150 years after its defeat, or Phyllis Schlafly and her allies fighting against progress for women, or groups like the Mackinac Center and other corporate front groups fighting against the freedom to organize. The good news is that just like those on the wrong side of history, today’s opponents of freedom, equality and our American ideals will be relegated to the same status as their predecessors – but only if we do our part.

Progress is America’s promise, but we’ll only move forward if new American heroes – often reluctant heroes – stand up and rise up and turn that promise into our reality. Heroes like Bree Newsome, like April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, like the countless fast food workers fighting for living wages and union representation and everyday heroes like you and me. Progress is America’s promise, but progress takes time and cannot be achieved by one person acting alone.

Although I wish it had happened earlier, I’m not sad that it took 239 years from the Declaration of Independence for our nation to get marriage equality right. The beauty of our nation is that we can change, we can do better, our job is to continue the fight together to make “All men are created equal” not just an ideal but also a reality.

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Utilities: 2, Michiganders: 0 http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/07/utilities-2-michiganders-0/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/07/utilities-2-michiganders-0/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 19:03:03 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=38469 It’s been a banner week for Michigan utility companies. First, with the help of our Attorney General, Bill Schuette, utilities got a free pass to continue polluting our air and water from the Supreme Court. In a 5-to-4 decision, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote: “It is not rational, never mind ‘appropriate,’ to impose billions of dollars […]

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It’s been a banner week for Michigan utility companies.

First, with the help of our Attorney General, Bill Schuette, utilities got a free pass to continue polluting our air and water from the Supreme Court. In a 5-to-4 decision, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote: “It is not rational, never mind ‘appropriate,’ to impose billions of dollars in economic costs in return for a few dollars in health or environmental benefits.” Translated: Human lives are not worth the amount of money that utility companies could easily afford to pay to clean up their pollution. Wouldn’t want those poor corporate CEOs to miss out on their bonus checks this year.

Then, Senator Mike Nofs announced his energy plan for Michigan, another massive giveaway to utility corporations. His plan would essentially let utilities off the hook for taking steps to stop polluting and protect our air, water, and health. It would completely dismantle the progress that Michiganders have made in building a sustainable clean energy economy.

We’ve worked together for years and years to create protections that keep Michigan pure, but now they’re being taken apart by destructive industries that are out to write their own rules and have no qualms about sacrificing our health and our environment for short-term profit.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We can work together to leave our parks, our rivers, and our Great Lakes better than we found them. We need to remind our elected leaders that we put them in office and we will hold them accountable for their decisions. Call Senator Mike Nofs at 517-373-2426 and A.G. Bill Schuette at 517-373-1110 and tell them to do what we elected them to and put people over corporate polluters.

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AFT Michigan: Database & Communications Technician http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/07/aft-michigan-database-communications-technician/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2015/07/aft-michigan-database-communications-technician/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 14:54:33 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=38466 Based in Detroit, MI AFT Michigan is seeking an experienced and energized Database & Communications Technician to join our dynamic statewide union of educators. Integrating the use of data is crucial to our union’s future success, and the technician will coordinate multiple relational databases and communications tools used by AFT Michigan and our locals, including […]

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Based in Detroit, MI

AFT Michigan is seeking an experienced and energized Database & Communications Technician to join our dynamic statewide union of educators. Integrating the use of data is crucial to our union’s future success, and the technician will coordinate multiple relational databases and communications tools used by AFT Michigan and our locals, including training and supporting staff and leaders. This position is based in Detroit but involves occasional travel across the state.

Major Areas of Responsibility

  • Proactively maintain accurate lists across the organization
    • Develop, coordinate and maintain systems and plans for the use of multiple relational databases to enter/load data, match data, and create various reports and statistics
    • Work closely with field and operations staff, planning and providing support and training as needed on data collection, entry/importing, extraction, and production of reports
    • Provide solutions and recommend changes to processes to ensure accuracy and increase efficiency in close collaboration with leaders and staff across the organization
    • Design and maintain systems to perform data quality control and ensure data integrity
  • Increase our capacity to communicate with members and allies
    • Manage and train others on electronic communications tools (e.g. Action Network, facebook, twitter)
    • Help manage AFT Michigan website and support locals using AFT’s StateWeb platform
    • Support staff and leaders using graphic design software (e.g. Publisher, InDesign)
    • Editing and layout of newsletters, blog posts, emails, etc.
  • Perform secretarial and office duties as needed to support the organization. The technician will be responsible for independently managing multiple projects simultaneously and may be assigned to act as team lead on certain projects
    • Maintain operation of office computer network
    • Maintain positive morale in the workplace
    • Assist with preparation and administration of conferences and workshops
    • Other duties and special projects as assigned

Experience and Skills

  • 2-3 years database work experience required; VAN (Voter Activation Network)/LAN experience preferred.
  • Strong analytic, problem solving, and project planning skills, with the ability to exercise independent judgment and discern priorities required.
  • Union and/or political organizing background, including production and use of data and lists that support organizing goals, is strongly preferred.
  • Some experience in Access and SQL writing queries, views, stored procedures, security permissions, and creating tables preferred.
  • Advanced skills and experience in Microsoft, Google Apps, and other applications.
  • Excellent communications skills, both verbal and written.
  • Willingness and ability to take direction and function well within a team structure, as well as to coordinate (and at times lead) the work of others on complex projects and campaigns.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and respectfully in diverse communities.
  • Willingness and ability to work long and varying hours.
  • Willingness to learn new skills and keep current on the tools needed to support our members.

Competitive salary and excellent benefits commensurate with the contract between the AFT Michigan and OPEIU Local 42. AFT Michigan is an affirmative action employer. Women, people of color, members of the LGBT community and other underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

Submit cover letter and resume online by July 10, 2015 by clicking on the following link –
https://organizers.applicantstack.com/x/detail/a2gb5riiuivf/aaak

As part of your application, be prepared to address how you would approach the challenge of supporting leaders and staff with varying levels of computer skills.

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