Remember that the night is darkest just before the dawn. Although the dawn I speak of is three years away (one year, 7 months to mid-term elections and the Michigan governor’s race) we must remain hopeful. We have to celebrate the enormous outpouring of opposition to the science-denying, fear-mongering that has occupied Washington. That means holding Republicans responsible for not speaking out against gutting the EPA, creating a fear of immigrants that has no basis in reality, and threatening access to health care for 20 million Americans.
It was comforting to see that at least twelve Republicans in the Michigan legislature refused to go along with an insane plan to cut the state income tax without anything to replace the budget hole, but those that refuse to speak out against the Washington gang, or fail to attend public meetings with their constituents, have to be held accountable.
Some 5500 “Indivisible” groups have formed nationally as well as in Michigan, including the Thumb. Locally the Saginaw/Midland/Bay City Mid-Michigan Progressive Democrats (MMPD) have grown with each general meeting. Various local Women’s Alliances have been outspoken in their opposition and in working with women to increase their involvement as candidates. The Bay County Democratic Party meeting in March, an off-election year, is lucky to have a dozen attendees – there were 80 last Tuesday, most were women due to the formation of the Bay County Democratic Women’s Alliance.
I joined others as a Mid-Michigan Progressive Democrat member this past March 6th at the Bay City Commission meeting to urge they adopt a “welcoming city” resolution respecting the role that immigrants and refugees have made in making Bay City and country, dare I say, great. No, that’s not an environmental issue, but we share common ground with women, the LGBT community, minorities, immigrants, and labor, and they are with us in this fight.
So how bad is it? The White House is proposing to slash a quarter of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s budget, targeting climate-change initiatives and those programs designed to prevent air and water pollution like lead contamination. Under the proposal, grants to states for lead cleanup would be cut 30 percent to $9.8 million. Grants to help Native American tribes combat pollution would be cut 30 percent, and an EPA climate protection program on cutting emissions for greenhouse gases like methane that contribute to global warming would be cut 70 percent. Most disturbing is the cut in funding to the Great Lakes by 97%, from $300 million to $10 million. Even Republicans in Michigan’s delegation are pushing back, and mayors from both Canada and the U.S. have made their opposition pubic.
With Washington drama nearly daily, and resistance multiplying, keeping up on all the meetings and actions is increasingly difficult. As we approach April, I’ve tried to build a RESISTANCE CALENDAR but I’ll apologize in advance if I’ve missed a group).
We need to push back on the environmental front, too. I filed Lone Tree’s comments and opposition to Nestle’s extraordinary water withdrawals in Osceola County, only to find the deadline extended to April 21st. So if you didn’t send an email to the MDEQ you still can and if you want to attend the MDEQ’s public hearing, they are actually finally going to have one: April 12 at Ferris State University (SEE: RESISTANCE CALENDAR).
Many of you may or may not be aware that we are moving toward the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment in the United States, and, at least one group of women marched in Bay City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in suffragette dress. When I cover this period in my U.S. history class, it amazes me what those women went through, particularly those like Alice Paul whose non-violent resistance included hunger strikes and being force-fed – to acquire the right to vote. Just one example of dark times and courageous people that created light.
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, you might feel better if you adopted the advice recently provided by Michael Moore and do a quick DAILY CALL to Congress, 202-225-3121, and your representative or senator. Let them know how you feel.
RESISTANCE CALENDAR FOR APRIL
SAGINAW, MIDLAND & BAY CHAPTERS OF
MID-MICHIGAN PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS
Thursday, April 6, 6:30 p.m. Room N-7 (Off the Commons) at Delta College
Contact: Patrick Race, (989) 893-7623
MDEQ HEARING ON NESTLE ICE MOUNTAIN REQUEST TO BOOST PUMPING FROM EVART WELL TO 400 GALLONS-PER-MINUTE
Wednesday, April 12, Ferris State University, University Center, 805 Campus Drive, Big Rapids.
The meeting will begin with an “information session” from 4 to 6:00 p.m. with the public hearing from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
MIDLAND SATELLITE MARCH FOR SCIENCE
Saturday, April 22, starting at 3:00 p.m. with a rally at the Carpenter Elementary School gymnasium followed by a march through downtown Midland, across the Tridge, ending at the shelter at Chippewassee Park. This will be one of more than 300 satellite marches around the world, in conjunction with the main march in Washington, D.C.
NATIVE AMERICAN THEMED CONCERT AT HAITHCO PARK
Gary Hornfeld will be putting on a concert at Haithco Park Pavilion on Saturday, May 6th. The free concert will begin at 1:00 P.M. and Gary reports that “it will start with a brief history of Earth Day, a brief reading of the traditional, but shortened “Chief Seattle Speech” and an honoring of my brothers, Vietnam veterans and any others.” Gary will be sharing his new “Donald” tune called “I’m So Smart” with original lyrics commenting on the occupier of the White House. He notes that the group will be doing sing-a-longs and he will be performing the Spirit Arrow Ceremony conferring power to veterans, kids and other adults who want to become Mother Earth Warriors and Mother Earth Helpers. They will receive their own medicine wheel. An additional microphone will be available for various speakers.
Gary asks that people bring pens/pencils/crayons and a writing pad to draw how to save Mother Earth. Also, bring a lawn chair, a sandwich and a drink; no alcohol, no smoking. It will probably last an hour and a half.
MID-MICHIGAN WASTE AUTHORITY ANNUAL EARTH DAY CELEBRATION
Saturday, April 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Children’s Zoo in Celebration Square, Saginaw. Like last year, the festivities will be held on the zoo’s opening day, so they are again anticipating a great turnout.
PEOPLE’S CLIMATE MARCH
Saturday, April 29, 2017, Washington, D.C.
350 PICTURE EVENT AND CLIMATE RALLY
Saturday, April 29, Bay City’s Veterans Memorial Park at Noon (SEE AD in this Edition of ‘The Review).