Category Archives: GOTV

Progressive coalition announces candidate forum for 13th Congressional District

Hopefuls to appear June 9th at New Providence Baptist Church in Detroit

The congressional seat held by Rep. John Conyers, Jr. is open for the first time in over 50 years and his successor will be at the candidate forum hosted by Michigan United, SEIU Local 1, SEIU Healthcare, Nation Outside, Detroit Action Commonwealth, ABISA, The Women’s March of Michigan and the Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit and Vicinity later this month. Candidates who have agreed to appear so far include state senators Ian Conyers & Coleman Young Jr., former state representative Rashida Tlaib, Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones and Westland Mayor Bill Wild.

Participants will be faced with issues that constituents deal with every day in the 13th district including environmental protection with the Marathon refinery near Melvindale, Immigration reform and aggressive enforcement in Hamtramck and Southwest Detroit, Criminal Justice Reform and the impact it has on the job prospects of residents in Highland Park and protecting and expanding access to healthcare which affects everyone everywhere.

The People’s Candidate Forum for the 13th congressional district will be held at 2PM June 9th, 2018 in Detroit’s New Providence Baptist Church, 18211 Plymouth Rd., Detroit, Michigan 48228. Admission to the event is free but seating is limited so guests should register in advance to reserve a seat.

Act now to protect the vote!

Tell Gov. Snyder to veto suppression laws

As we learned in grade school, our democracy works best when everyone has a voice. Somehow, many of our lawmakers never learned this lesson.

During their lame duck session, our state legislature has rushed through house bills 6066, 6067 & 6068, known to many as the Voter Suppression Legislation of 2016. Supposedly these bills would prevent in-person voting fraud, despite the fact that out of a billion votes cast  since the turn of the century, there have only been 31 cases of voter fraud NATIONWIDE. On the other hand, one study found that 11% of Americans don’t have identification that would allow them to vote under the proposed legislation. And those most at risk of disenfranchisement are the most vulnerable: the poor, seniors, new voters, people of color and people with disabilities.

If lawmakers really cared about voting, they would make it easier, not harder, by allowing automatic voter registration and early voting. If they were really concerned about restoring confidence in the system, they would replace outdated balloting technology. But instead, the outgoing session is trying to rig the system for partisan political gain.

Click here to tell Gov. Snyder to veto these bills

There’s still time to stop voter suppression. Governor Snyder can do the right thing and veto these anti-democratic bills. But this won’t happen without a powerful public outcry. CLICK HERE to sign the petition to stop these voter suppression bills.  When you do, you will send an email directly to the Governor that you can personalize to tell him why protecting the right to vote is so important to you.

And just like voting, petitions work best when everyone has a chance to voice their opinion. Please forward this email to all of your friends in Michigan. Time is short, but if just two of your friends forward it on to their friends, we can build the momentum needed to protect the right for everyone in the state to vote.

 Drive home the message with a phone call

Join our virtual phone bank on Facebook. Can you call once? Mark yourself as interested. Can you call three times? Mark yourself as attending. Are you awesome and want to call six or more times? Post on the page about how awesome you are.

CLICK HERE to RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook. Let’s keep up the pressure, keep the Governor’s phones ringing and his inbox filled until we know that everyone’s right to vote has been protected.

Help Get Out The Vote in Detroit and Grand Rapids

Click HERE to sign up TODAY!

Michigan United is organizing an army of volunteers to go door to door to make sure everyone in SW Detroit and Grand Rapids gets out to vote on Election Day, Tuesday November 8th.  

We are a non-partisan organization, so we’re not out here to argue with anyone about politics, just ask them:

  • Do you plan to vote on Tuesday?
  • Do you know where your polling location is?
  • Do you need a ride?

Then say “Thank you very much” and it’s on to the next one.

In a world of Facebook ‘likes’ and email spam, nothing is more effective at getting someone to take action than looking them in the eye and asking “Are you going to vote?” And nothing gives you a better opportunity to do just that than spending a pleasant autumn day going door to door.

If you honestly believe in the power of the people to affect their destiny, if you believe in democracy, you MUST take part in the process. CLICK HERE to sign up today to canvass with Michigan United.

Thank you.

Civil Rights Groups Organize Attorneys to Protect Immigrant, Latino Voters in Southwest Detroit

Lack of federal protection under Voting Rights Act a serious concern

Immigrants rights groups have grown increasingly concerned with the tenor of this year’s political debate. Many fear that immigrant and Latino voters could be intimidated at the polls on Election Day by aggressive vote challenging. To ensure that every citizen is able to exercise their right to vote, Michigan United has organized 20 attorneys and law students to monitor for civil rights abuses at polling places on Election Day. In the event of problems, Michigan United will be in close contact with the City Clerk and the Department of Justice.

“Every citizen needs to be able to vote without intimidation or fear,” said attorney Lawrence Garcia of the Detroit-based Garcia Law Group , “This is especially important for immigrant, Latino, and minority communities which have historically faced barriers at the ballot box. I’m proud that the legal community is coming together to stand up for civil rights on Election Day.”

Civil rights groups are especially concerned this year, since this will be the first presidential election since 1965 without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act. Congress failed to renew many aspects of the VRA in 2013, including key provisions that allowed the Department of Justice to deploy poll monitors in communities with a history of civil rights violations, including Detroit. DOJ monitors were present at several polling places in Southwest Detroit during the 2012 election.

Those who would like to volunteer with the effort can still call the Michigan United office at 877.507.7774.

MICHIGAN UNITED’S NEW RACE CANVASS

We’re launching a new voter contact strategy to engage white voters about race. This August program will compliment our voter engagement strategies in communities of color. 

THE PROBLEM

This year, the level of racist rhetoric in the election has put race and racism on many voters’ minds.  Moderate white voters are being wooed by a dangerous narrative that places the blame for social, economic, and political problems on people of color.  With structural racism intentionally hidden from white people, many simply do not see or understand its continued power and therefore embrace the idea that people of color need to “get over” race.

Additionally, white people generally avoid talking about race, and many moderate white voters have strong negative emotional reactions to talking about race.  When fellow white folks engage them one-to-one, however, we have seen white moderates open up about their experiences and beliefs regarding race and racism.

OUR SOLUTION

It is past time to develop effective tactics to hold productive conversations, white voter to white voter, about what structural racism is and how to identify it and its effects.

We are calling on all Metro Detroit’s white activists, leaders, organizers, and progressives to join this project to begin organizing Detroit’s suburbs in support of racial justice and to identify ‘what works’ when talking with white voters about race.

Extensive support for canvassers will be provided through thorough training and ample debriefs to process tense or painful conversations.

METHOD

We will have deep conversations at the doors of moderate white voters in the Downriver area.  We create space for the contact to share formative memories that shaped their beliefs on race and racism, and share our own story of a time when we did not believe racism was an important issue and the awakening moment when we began to see structural racism. The conversations are non-judgmental and move folks towards our worldview through the power of stories.

Please register here to participate. Contact: Rebecca@miunited.org