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DECEMBER NEWSLETTER

Updated: Mar 30



SWIM AND PARTNERS UPDATES

See SWIM's website here for more news and events!


SWIM BI-MONTHLY MEMBER MEETING

The next bi-monthly member meeting will be January 23 at 7pm.We will kick it off with a topic of interest for everyone--putting an end to secret money in our elections. Register here.

Did you know?  

  • Secret money in our elections means the voters have no idea who funds a candidate or political action group.

  • Secret money is how foreign interests influence our elections. 

  • Secret money is growing exponentially, and mega donors are increasingly using it.  It totaled over $1 Billion of untraceable money in the 2020 election.  

  • Secret money was the biggest class of money in the 2018 Governor’s race in Michigan.

  • Out of state interests frequently use secret money to influence Michigan’s elections. 

  • Secret money is behind many of the outrageous ads that inflame our politics and subsequently cripple the work of our Congress. 

And did you know?   

  • The ShowMItheMoney (SMTM) coalition pulled together 6 state and 4 national groups in April who gathered in Lansing and lobbied 77 legislators (1/2 of the legislature). 

  • SMTM found extensive bi-partisan support to legislation to end secret money in Michigan elections. A group of legislators are meeting with the Secretary of State to develop election finance and messaging transparency legislation.

  • Michiganders for Fair and Transparent Elections (MiFTE), with its SMTM Partner, is leading the charge in securing needed legislation. MiFTE is now engaged in a grass roots campaign to mobilize concerned Michiganders to tell their legislators that the time for action is now.  

Hank Mayers, president of MiFTE, will present about his group’s progress at the January 23, 2024 SWIM meeting. If you wish to contact him in the meanwhile to explore opportunities to engage in their work, you can reach him at hankmayers@riseupmi.org, or 810-207-1688. We will also be hosting Chuck Newman from Distill Social to talk about some new data they have discovered about non-voters!  Join us!



INTRODUCING BLUE VOTER GUIDE

At our last SWIM member meeting, we previewed the amazing product being developed by Blue Voter Guide.  (If you were unable to attend you can view the meeting recording here.) They plan to create guides for all fifty states that will offer information on how candidates are responding to issues and who is endorsing them. This guide directs voters specifically to progressive and democratic candidates. 


If you are interested in helping with this process you can learn more and volunteer on Blue Voter Guide's website.  Take a few minutes to learn more and to support them on social media using this link


This will be a valuable tool for activists, especially those trying to engage younger voters and non-voters!  BVG will be teaming up with WAVE to create unprecedented access to voters and opportunities for voter education across the state in 2024! 



END GUN VIOLENCE MICHIGAN VIRTUAL SUMMIT

Join our partners at End Gun Violence Michigan (EGVMI) for their first day-long summit on Monday January 29. This past year, Michigan passed historic gun violence prevention laws. Join this statewide discussion about how to implement them and truly save lives.  EGVMI has put together a day packed with key note speakers and information, including Speaker Pro Tempore of the MI House Laurie Pohutsky and MI State Senator Stephanie Chang.  You can view the full agenda and register for this event here.  This is a virtual event. Join and learn of the progress we have made and to hear about plans moving forward into 2024. 



UPDATES WITH OUR STATE SENATORS

We had a great meeting with Kevin Hirt and other statewide representatives for Senator Peters Team. Use this list to locate the Senator's representative for your region, get in touch and through this liaison, and let the Senator know what is important for you and your community. If you are a leader or community organizer, invite Peters' staffer to your member meeting and establish a relationship now.  If you missed our informative meeting, you can access the notes here. Some post-meeting follow up items included Senator Peters' staff weighing in on the Continuing Resolution in the House that will allow for a clean supplemental funding resolution that will include Ukraine, Israel, Gaza Humanitarian aid and other needs.  Also the Rules Committee moved forward with a plan to break the military backlog on Tuberville so there is movement on that.Future 2024 meetings with Sen. Peters' staff will take place on the We are also working hard to reschedule our meeting with Senator Stabenow's staff and hope this will be scheduled in January (likely the 18th, waiting for confirmation).  Updates will be sent via email as these events are scheduled and posted on our website events page here.



GOVERNOR WHITMER ANNOUNCES SPECIAL ELECTION DATES IN 2024 FOR VACANT HOUSE SEATS

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has announced the scheduling of special elections to fill two vacant seats in the State House of Representatives. The seats in question, representing the 13th and 25th districts, became vacant following the recent election of their Democratic incumbents as mayors.Governor Whitmer has scheduled the special primary elections for January 30, followed by general elections on April 16.

This decision underscores the urgency to fill the vacant positions and restore full representation for the residents of the 13th and 25th districts.In a written statement, Governor Whitmer emphasized the importance of these elections. “As we look ahead to 2024, these special elections will ensure that Michiganders in the 13th and 25th districts have representation in Lansing working for them as soon as possible,” she stated. Political analysts predict that both seats are likely to remain under Democratic control. This forecast is based on the historical voting patterns and the recent performances of the Democratic candidates in these districts.

The upcoming elections are viewed as crucial for maintaining the delicate balance of power in the Michigan State House and for ensuring continued representation of the constituents in these districts. You can read more here.



SOMETHING FUN FOR THE LONG MICHIGAN WINTER

Indivisible National is sponsoring a book club. They will be reading a book by Anand Giridharadas titled "The Persuaders". Our friends at Ann Arbor Indivisible are going to meet virtually to discuss the book on Jan 17 from 1 to 2 pm.  Here is the mobilize link if you are interested in joining.  This is a great opportunity to join with our peers for a lively and thought provoking discussionTo get the free book click this link here. 





CALLS TO ACTION


SIGN THIS RED WINE AND BLUE PETITION

Recent cases in Ohio and Texas show how women's private health decisions are now criminalized, threatening everyone's rights and well being.


Brittany Watts, a 33 year old Black woman suffering pregnancy complications, was arrested for “mishandling a corpse” after a miscarriage. Katie Cox, a white mother with a nonviable pregnancy, was threatened with prosecution for seeking an abortion to protect her life. Their stories represent government overreach into wrenching personal situations. Women have long handled these matters privately, but new restrictions invade such difficult moments. Leaders targeting women’s autonomy to score political wins forget public service’s purpose - to improve people’s lives! 


Our partners Red Wine & Blue have a link to a petition for you to sign rejecting state intrusion into reproductive privacy. Leaders must acknowledge the complex realities behind these choices rather than dictating intimate healthcare decisions. Women deserve authority over their bodies and compassion during times of crisis. 


Our election voices can reaffirm our rights over restrictions, and understanding over ideology. We also need openness to share stories and foster mutual understanding across divides. Progress lies in mindful discussion, not partisan attacks. There is room for moral views in policy debates, and for respecting how personal circumstances shape beliefs. With compassion and courage, we can craft solutions that empower women’s health and dignity while understanding opposing views.


Sign the petition here.



INDIVISIBLE NATIONAL

  • Planning a January 6 Day of Action? Indivisible has a toolkit for that! Get reimbursement for up to $200, including sign printing. Check out these great graphics for signs!

  • Indivisible National is moving away from Twitter towards other social media, adopting an "X-Last Strategy" and even providing a guide for groups on how to do the same!  Read about it here. If you and your group are already on platforms other than Twitter, you can follow Indivisible National on FacebookMastodonThreads, and Instagram to keep up on the latest from the Progressive Movement.  And they'll follow back! Drop your handles here



SUPPORT THE BILLIONAIRES' TAX: SEND A MESSAGE TO OUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVE USING RESISTBOT!

It’s easy activism: use Resistbot's letter writing assistant! New to Resistbot? Check out noted blogger Jessica Craven's take on it here. Get started here. Send a RESISTBOT message on this topic to Senators Peters and Stabenow using iMessage, WhatsApp, Messenger, or Telegram, text SIGN PDXRGO at 50409.


In November, Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced his “Billionaires Income Tax” to correct the absurdity of billionaires often paying lower tax rates than working people. According to a recent report from the Congressional Budget Office, the richest 1% now holds 31% of U.S. wealth while half of the country has just 2.5% of the wealth.


At the same time, 26 top billionaires paid an average income tax rate of just 4.8% in 6 recent years when all their income is counted. And a number of billionaires—including Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Michael Bloomberg—have gamed the system to pay $0 in federal income taxes in recent years, even when their income from their wealth was skyrocketing.


The “Billionaires Income Tax” would raise $557 billion over 10 years and only apply to taxpayers whose net worth either exceeds $1 billion or whose income exceeds $100 million for three consecutive years. Urge your Senators to become co-sponsors of the “Billionaires Income Tax” to halt runaway wealth inequality.



FIELD TEAM 6 IS STANDING BY TO HELP TRAIN VOLUNTEERS TO RUN IN-PERSON VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVES

Want to save the world?  We do.  How do we do that?  We partner with Field Team 6 and contact unregistered, likely democrats to get them registered to vote in the November 2024 election.  Field Team 6 data currently shows that there are 442,006 likely democrats in the State of Michigan!

Over the next couple of weeks and months, FT6 volunteers will be text banking, phone banking, post carding and emailing these likely democrats in an effort to get them registered to vote.  Sign up here to get involved - other FT6 dates and events are posted on SWIM's website.

Find one and take part in dramatically improving odds for Democrats in 2024!


POSTCARD WRITERS! LET'S FLIP THE HOUSE IN 2024 WITH POSTCARD WRITING!

Activate America is dedicated to mobilizing voters to elect Democrats in the House and Senate through post-carding, phone banking, texting, and canvassing opportunities. Right now, the organization is focusing on flipping 11 House seats in California and New York, all of which President Biden won in the 2020 presidential election. Click here to join Activate America in writing postcards to voters in these districts, and work towards flipping the House back to Democratic control in 2024. 



ACT ON CLIMATE WITH OUR PARTNERS!


DNC CLIMATE COUNCIL

Our friend Michelle Deatrick, founder and chair of the DNC Council on Environment and Climate Crisis, is asking for signers to this petition urging President Biden to declare a Climate Emergency and to use his full executive powers to fight devastating climate change.   Sign up here to get the Climate Council's newsletter! 

 


MICHIGAN CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK!

MiCAN's Community Voices Series is intended to convene diverse participants from the network to amplify local climate work, connect members and groups, and support each other's actions. View past meeting recordings on this page from Grand Rapids and White Lake communities showcasing their climate actions—you are invited to riff from their tried-and-true approach to action!


Know some young social-savvy climate activists?  MiCAN is looking for a participants in their new Climate Influencer Cohort (with generous support from the Midwest Building Decarbonization Coalition).  MiCAN will mentor a set of three diverse storytellers to become messengers creating climate, culture, and decarbonization content.  We are currently searching for our first three participants to start the 12-week paid program in the second week of January – but bear in mind, we will also welcome a second set of influencers come March.  Full eligibility requirements are listed in our formal Climate Influencer Cohort invitation form

 

 

SHOW UP IN YOUR COMMUNITY AND BE HEARD!

Check out Redwine.blue/events or SWIM's website to check for events in your area! Connect with other local progressives in educating voters and supporting good candidates!



RESOURCES TO AMPLIFY YOUR MESSAGING

PARTNER TOOL KITS 


USING THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA TO AMPLIFY GOOD NEWS

Facebook is where it's at right now if you want to have a big impact on spreading political information to your network(s).  Twitter's influence is waning on the liberal voice and full of disinformation, but Threads, on the other hand, is picking up.  WhatsApp is popular with the BIPOC community.  And who knew!  LinkedIn is taking over in the networking space for activism.  Wow!  Needless to say, all of this can be daunting.Many of SWIM's partners have wonderful .gifs you can use for free in your newsletters and social media posts:  

  • Into Action Labs allows you to download and add your own message(s). 

  • MI Right to Read offers this toolkit of graphics.  

  • Demcast Michigan also has rich, sharable content.  

  • Field Team 6 takes the fear out of posting on social media with this fun video explaining simple step-by-step simple instructions to social storming - at whatever level you want to dive into!  FT6 also has a Field Team 6 Current Storm page with prepared posts that can be one-click shared across many platforms.

  • Indivisible's Trainings-to-Go include training materials such as slides, handouts, or discussion questions, as well as facilitation notes/directions for the person leading the space. We’re starting with a pilot batch of 3 Trainings-to-Go: Recruitment 101, Indivisible 101, and Tools for Building Inclusive Groups - and will add more in 2024. These are located in our Support Hub along with lots of other support for your work!  If you have questions or suggestions, please email training@indivisible.org!



NOT SURE HOW TO PHRASE MESSAGING OUR VALUES?  CHECK THIS OUT:

We Make The Future and ASO Communications (Anat Shenkar-Osorio) offer this Guide to Messaging Our Freedoms, providing sample messages for a wide range of issues from our freedom to vote to our freedom to be our true selves. 



 

OTHER NEWS

NEW DOCUMENTARY FROM OUR PARTNERS AT PROGRESS MICHIGAN

Progress Michigan releasing their new, mini documentary series about the farm bill and how it impacts Michiganders from Marquette to Monroe.  

In June and July of this year, Progress Michigan traveled across Michigan to interview independent farmers, advocates for food access, and experts in rural development. They all expressed that everyone deserves a level playing field when it comes to food access, including the hardworking farmers who produce what we eat. 

The farm bill process is already under way, and right now we have the chance to advocate for a fair farm bill and ensure our federal lawmakers take action to level the playing field for independent farmers, ensure access to healthy food for all, and invest in our rural communities. The farm bill gets passed every half decade and includes critical programs that fund and manage food assistance, lending and insurance programs for farmers, rural development, and much more. Everyone who eats has a stake in the farm bill, and we hope that after watching this series, you’ll see why

This farm bill documentary series is focused on four topics: consolidation in our food system, land access, nutrition, and rural development. Each video tells a story about why everyone, regardless of their ZIP code, deserves the ability to access healthy, sustainable, and affordable food from independent farmers. 

Most Michiganders live outside of rural farming communities, but folks living in cities and suburbs are also impacted by programs in the farm bill. When you watch these videos, you’ll see why in 2024, Congress needs to pass a farm bill that prioritizes local power over corporate greed. 

So sit back, relax, and watch these documentaries with a friend! 

 


STAY CURRENT ON SWIM ACTIVITIES AND PARTNERS' EVENTS


Here are some ways to share them with your network:

Visit the Website often!  www.statewideindivisiblemi.com.  New events are being posted regularly; bookmark the page!  The new website is designed to be a central repository of the resources and network partners that we’ve amassed since 2016. We also want you, as members, to be able to add your own announcements about your successes and events. Have news to share? Let us know by using the "Comment" link at the top of the homepage, or click here!


Follow us on Facebook!  The SWIM private group is now open to all interested members. Simply go to the page, answer a few simple questions and you are in. This is a great way to keep current on events and issues in between newsletters. This page will be the sole Facebook page for SWIM going forward as the SWIM public page is being archived in the near future, so join the group today!


Help us build our social media presence and impact by following SWIM on Twitter (X) @SWIMIndivisible and Instagram StateWideIndivisibleMichigan! If you are familiar with social media platforms like Threads, Mastodon, WhatsApp, TikTok, Tribel, Post, etc. please contact SWIM CORE member & resident social media maven Vickie Gutowski at info@statewideindivisiblemi.com to help expand our outreach!



GOT IDEAS, GOOD NEWS OR QUESTIONS???

Send us your thoughts here!



STAY IN CONTACT

Contact Michigan House of Representatives:  https://www.house.mi.gov/AllRepresentatives

Contact Michigan State Senate: https://senate.michigan.gov/FindYOurSenator/


Contact the Govenor:

Phone: 517-335-7858

Mail: PO Box 30013; Lansing, MI 48909


Contact the Attorney General: 

Mail: 525 W. Ottawa St. PO Box 30212; Lansing, MI 48909


Contact Members of Congress:

Phone: 202-224-3121

Using Fax Zero (a free faxing service):


Contact White House or Other Federal Agencies: usa.gov/federal-agencies


 

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