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Michigan families show up to ‘Rally Against Lame Duck’

LANSING, Dec. 12, 2018: On a day where temperatures hovered just above freezing, scores of people from across the state gathered in front of the State Capitol to show their discontent for the legislature’s lame duck session and demand a better future.

The rally comes as representatives have pushed legislation gutting the minimum wage increase and earned paid sick time law, attacking labor and reproductive rights, putting our water in danger, and a score of other policies backed by a corporate agenda. Republicans are also pushing legislation that is seen as a power grab since Democrats took control of all executive offices in last month’s elections.

"Right now, we face a serious threat, one that needs to be confronted. Corporate lobbyists are using their wealth and influence to pull the strings of Republican elected officials to do their bidding and the communities we care about are getting screwed in the process,” said Sam Inglot, deputy communications director at Progress Michigan. “We need to show them we won’t be silent. We won’t sit back. And most importantly, — that we’re not going anywhere. We will work every single day to build the Michigan we want to see.” 

Speakers at the rally reminded attendees about the recent history of harmful legislation Republicans have passed during lame duck. Right-to-Work and the current emergency manger law that led to the Flint Water Crisis were among the mentioned.

“We will never forget how in 2012, after the people resoundingly rejected the Republican emergency manager law, Gov. Rick Snyder and his cronies went against the will of the people and jammed another emergency manager law down our throats,” said Nayyirah Shariff, director of Flint Rising. The Flint Water Crisis, which has inflicted so much pain on the home I love, can be directly traced to that betrayal of our democracy and our voices as Michiganders during lame duck. Just like Flint’s pipes, lame duck is broken. It is a piece of our legislative session that routinely sees the will of the people drowned out and watered down to appease the monied interests who bankroll the campaigns of right-wing elected officials.”

The rally comes a day after the legislature passed a bill that would create an authority to push Governor Rick Snyder’s plan to allow Enbridge to build a “utility tunnel” over the Line 5 Pipeline after widespread criticism and warnings about the devastating effects a spill from the aging pipeline will cause for the Great Lakes and the fresh water we all depend on.

“The tribes of Michigan were the original stewards of our waters and lands. We're used to having our rights and our interests disregarded by those in power — a lot like the voters of Michigan are right now after the election in November," said Bryan Newland, chair of the Bay Mills Indian Community, who was unable to attend the rally, but offered his support and advice. “But you can take it from us that there's always another fight and we don't have time to hang our heads in despair about what's happening. We have a responsibility to protect our water and our communities and we won't stop doing that no matter what happens in Lansing.”

Organizers put the rally together to highlight how out of touch representatives are pushing policies that are in direct opposition of what working families and vulnerable communities want. Activists are using the protest today and those that have taken place throughout Lame Duck as an opportunity to build a movement.

“The tides are changing in Michigan. Our communities are tired of being dismissed and treated as if we don’t matter,” said Art Reyes, executive director of We the People - Michigan. “We showed up in record numbers in November, we’re showing up at the Capitol from every corner of this state, and we’re going to keep fighting and standing together because our families deserve a Michigan we can be proud of.”

Attendees and speakers vowed to keep the pressure throughout the rest of the session and beyond. 

“In the Capitol, we are seeing attacks on our access to our government. They are doing the bidding of corporations, but tomorrow is coming!” said Stephanie Moore, chair for the Kalamazoo County Commission. “Our vision is a path toward a good quality of life for every family in Michigan. Tomorrow is coming!”

Multiple organizations were involved in the rally including: Progress Michigan, We the People – Michigan, For Our Future, Planned Parenthood, Good Jobs Now, and others.

 

 
Copyright © 1989 to 2018 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 12/18/18 21:50:49 -0800.

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