Michigan People’s Campaign organizes, American people win!

Senate bill to repeal Affordable Care Act defeated by relentless opposition in states  

Senate bill to repeal Affordable Care Act defeated by relentless opposition in states

 

Late Monday, after two conservative senators announced their opposition to the GOP bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) announced “Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace Obamacare will not be successful.”

Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) both said they couldn’t support the Republican health care bill unveiled last week.

Sen. Moran was returning from the July 4th recess and a Town Hall he held on July 6 in Palco, a small town in western Kansas with fewer than 300 residents - yet more than 100 Kansans were there to meet him. They had a vehement message: “Don’t take away our health care!”

Since the election of Donald Trump, Michigan has seen dozens of protests, demonstrations and town halls, like the one in Kansas, to halt the effort to take away healthcare from more than 22 million Americans. The actions, many organized by the Michigan People’s Campaign, have been a chance for ordinary people to tell their stories and have their voices heard. And with each assault on the ACA, the public gatherings gained momentum as more and more people saw others with their same concerns in the streets. People who may have thought that their single voices didn’t matter began to see their elected officials were starting to listen to their combined voices.

Rep. Dave Trott (R-MI)  had not met with his constituents since he was first elected. After organizing and staging several protests at Trott’s office in Troy starting in January, Michigan People’s Campaign held a protest and rally at Shain Park in Downtown Birmingham, on February 28th. The next day Trott announced a Town Hall to be held on March 17th.

Cheri Happy brings Rep. Trott invitation to town hall meeting on a silver platter. Photo courtesy Michigan People’s Campaign

Cheri Happy brings Rep. Trott invitation to town hall meeting on a silver platter. Photo courtesy Michigan People’s Campaign

Cherie Happy, a resident in Trott’s district, decided she needed to do something because she knew that if the ‘Affordable Care Act’ was replaced, health insurance companies would get the green light to deny health care coverage. “First they will deny people needing health care coverage the most. Those with pre-existing conditions are the most expensive to cover and health insurance companies are all about profits.” Happy said. “ This Republican congress is all about succumbing to the big money lobbyists.”

At her first protest at Trott’s office in Troy, Happy told of her daughter’s fight with cancer when she was only 23.”This was clearly the most horrible time in my life. I never talk about it because it is too painful. But I knew I had to use everything I could to preserve my daughter’s access to affordable health care.” Happy said. “I was one of the people who put a face on the people who would be hurt the most by repeal of the Affordable Care act.”

Joyce Peralta of Royal Oak was also very active in the Michigan defense of the ACA. “When I began to gather with others, I quickly recognized that together we could use our individual talents to make our voices heard in a stronger way than alone.” Peralta said. “We are more committed than ever-- we need to win this fight for affordable health care for for ourselves, for our children, and for our grandchildren.”

The Senate’s efforts to repeal and replace the ACA have been dealt several major blows, but Republicans are attempting to revive the plan. President Trump has said he will let “Obamacare collapse” and then Democrats will be forced to negotiate a new healthcare plan. If this new plan keeps all the campaign promises he made (no cuts to medicaid/medicare, lower premiums, universal coverage), there is already a model for that: Medicare for all. Defenders of the ACA would be happy to discuss that.

Rep. David Trott makes wrong CHOICE on consumer protection

Photo courtesy Karen Houghton

Photo courtesy Karen Houghton

Constituents rally to protect their families financial future

Constituents of Michigan’s 11th district held a rally Thursday in Shain Park to protest the so-called CHOICE Act and its Wall Street-backed attack on consumer protections. The bill, co-sponsored by their representative, Dave Trott, represents a major step in dismantling the post-recession protections of the Dodd-Frank, Wall Street Reform and the Consumer Protection Acts. Having passed the House Financial Services Committee on a party line vote, the CHOICE Act is expected to be voted on by the full House this week.

Standing in front of a backdrop of the White House rose garden at the rally, a stand in for Rep. Trott, dressed as the “Foreclosure King” and flanked by Wall Street thieves, was confronted by constituents to make it clear that he would be held accountable for his vote. People who would be affected by the reforms described what they’d been through and what it would mean to them.

Sam Johnson once suffered a minor financial setback that led him to borrow against his earnings through a payday lender. “I thought that it would be just for a short time, but I quickly got stuck in the debt trap. I had to re-borrow what I had just earned with most of it going to fees and interest.” Sam compared his experience to dealing with loan sharks. The CHOICE Act would significantly weaken the CFPB and strip their authority to regulate abusive payday loans like the ones Johnson took out. Every year, 12 million Americans get trapped in a cycle of debt and desperation.

In a recent op-ed, Rep. Trott has portrayed the CHOICE Act (H.R. 10) as the universal cure to all things holding America back. However, he fails to mention that the bill’s sponsor, Jeb Hensarling, has received over $7 million in political donations from companies regulated by the CFPB. These same companies also donated nearly a quarter million dollars to Rep. Trott even though he’s already earned the title of “Foreclosure King” by making millions in the wake of a housing crisis created by lax regulation.

“I had perfect credit, always paid all of my bills, and was working with my lender to restructure my loan after my business failed in 2010.” said Daron Power, a homeowner who fought and won a seven-year battle with Trott & Trott to save his home. “While they told me that they would work with me, they stopped accepting my full payments and commenced foreclosure proceedings. I eventually had to file bankruptcy. It ruined our lives. Dave Trott led the charge”.

Steven Morris emphasized that gutting of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau exposes all consumers to the lender abuses that preceded the Great Recession. Morris, a Professor of Finance at The University of Michigan Ross School of Business said, “Left unregulated, the financial community will prey on those who want to believe that their best interests will be protected.”

Flint needs jobs, infrastructure. Trump budget offers more of the same.

Photo Courtesy ISOmedia

Photo Courtesy ISOmedia

Trump's campaign promises to help city fall flat when it’s time to go to work.

Community leaders and stakeholders gathered in front of the Flint water treatment plant Thursday to respond to President Trump’s anti-people, anti-planet budget which would seek to privatize such services while providing tax breaks to his cronies. In contrast, the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is laying out principles for a federal infrastructure plan that would invest in people by creating good, living wage jobs repairing and replacing deteriorating infrastructure, that empowers communities to build a just economy that finally works for all Americans, not just the wealthy few.  

 Such a budget would benefit clients of Flint’s MADE Institute, which offers job training and certification. “In his visit to Flint, Mr. Trump mentioned how he would help fix Flint's failing infrastructure but his proposed budget reflects differently.” said Timothy Abdul-Matin, the MADE’s outreach director. “More jobs for Flint would mean an increase in tax base revenue, a stronger economy that will help working class citizens gain more stability, less impoverished children and re-establishing trust and pride within this community. No more starving the Sheppard while feeding the wolves!”

 “The richest citizens who hold the majority of our resources have identified ways to accumulate wealth by placing tolls on our access to basic needs like education, health and even drinking water.” said Dr. Laura Sullivan of Kettering University.  Indeed, the Trump budget would Give taxpayer dollars to corporations to build privately owned toll-roads and sell off our airports, public parks, water and energy utilities while loosening safety regulations.

 The CPC resolution lays out principles that must be true of ANY jobs plan that passes into law -- including prioritizing public investment over corporate giveaways, no selling off public roads and bridges to investors and foreign companies, racial and gender equity in hiring, environmental and worker protections, investment in 21st century jobs like wind and solar and high-speed Internet, and requiring the wealthy to pay their fair share.

Constituents rally in Birmingham to repeal & replace Rep. Dave Trott

Photo courtesy Daymon J. Hartley

Photo courtesy Daymon J. Hartley

Health care defense gathering mingles with annual art fair.

Activists in Michigan’s 11th congressional district spent much of the winter protesting Representative David Trott to prevent a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In response to Rep. Trott voting for the Republican alternative, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) over their objections, The Michigan People’s Campaign and affiliated Indivisible groups held their ‘Repeal and replace Dave Trott’ Healthcare Rally Saturday afternoon in Booth park, deepening their resolve to provide quality care to all Americans. Participants were treated to music from Chris McKenna, who’s parody of “American Pie” includes the refrain “The day health care was fried.” Author Nancy Jones also read from her upcoming spoof on the popular “Goodnight, Moon”, a book titled ‘Goodbye Earth: A Children's Book for Grownups Who Persist.’

Also on stage were people who benefited directly from the ACA such as Stefanie Mezigian. She broke her back when forced to decide between a burning building and an open window. Without the ACA, Mezigian said she would have to choose between treatment and bankruptcy. “No one, young or old, should go bankrupt because they need medical care. The AHCA would do just that.”

Another of Trott’s constituents, Dr. Paul von Oeyen who works in High Risk Obstetrics at Beaumont Hospital feared for the 24 million who would lose coverage under the AHCA, including the 800 thousand in Michigan. “It really bothered me last week to see Dave Trott, along with 216 of his Congressional colleagues, celebrating at the White House after voting to take away over $800 billion in funding for health care coverage.” Dr. von Oeyen fears that many thousands will likely die prematurely in the next few years, with millions more suffering preventable complications, many leading to permanent disability.

Afterwards, organizers went among the crowds drawn to the Birmingham Art Fair nearby to tell other constituents what their representative had just done. Dressed in medical gowns and capes with their message of health care for all, they  walked through the crowds while canvassers talked with fairgoers and invited them to get involved in efforts to resist the racist and incompetent Trump agenda.

Hundreds from across Michigan rally in front of Rep. Fred Upton’s St. Joseph office

West Michigan Representative feels heat for reversal on health care vote

Outraged by house passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), hundreds of Michigan residents flooded into the town of St. Joseph to show their displeasure with Rep. Fred Upton for his vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and radically restructure Medicaid. After a brief rally downtown, the crowd marched to his district office where  constituents of  Michigan’s 6th district delivered pink slips for the  Representative to his staff.

Upton, after initially opposing the bill, reversed his position and crafted an amendment that helped secure votes for passage of the AHCA, despite significant opposition from experts, advocates, constituents, and health groups like the the AARP, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Hospital Association and the March of Dimes.  

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After putting their congressman on notice, residents like Danee Kaplin told how this proposal would affect their families. “The Upton amendment is just a band-aid on a bullet wound.” Kaplin said outside his office. “Millions of people like me and my kids would would be priced out of health care because of his vote.” Kaplin, a nurse practitioner and her children would all be considered to have pre-existing conditions under the bill. “If he’s not worried about my family, he should start to worry about his job.”

Under the Republican bill, Upton’s constituents would pay $1,519 more per year on average In out-of-pocket costs for coverage in Michigan’s health insurance marketplace, while the wealthiest 1% of people in Michigan would receive an average tax break of $13,270 a year under the bill. People over 50 and people with pre-existing conditions could be charged even more.

But even if the AHCA did cover pre-existing conditions, it still suffers from all the problems that sent the first version of “Trumpcare” down in flames last month. 24 million people are expected to lose their health insurance, Medicaid and Medicare will suffer drastic cuts and billions of dollars in tax cuts will go to the wealthiest 1% of Americans.

Domonique “Diamond” Ray will not likely be one of those to benefit from the tax cuts. She and her five children depend on Medicaid. “Upton says the AHCA will offer greater access to healthcare, but I don’t see it. Without the Medicaid expansion under the ACA, the only way me or my kids could see a doctor would be in the emergency room.”

Republicans Keep Trying to Take Away Americans’ Health Care

Protesters to descend on Rep. Trott’s Office

Despite having been rejected by people in town hall meetings across the country, Republicans trying again to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The latest plan still takes away healthcare from 24 million people while giving $600 billion in tax breaks to the wealthiest. But changes in the new bill are so bad, congress has exempted themselves from it. Just like the last plan, it raises costs and cuts coverage and now it also guts protections for people with preexisting conditions. At 12:00 Tuesday, members of the Michigan People’s Campaign and the many area Indivisible groups will return Rep. David Trott’s Troy district office to demand that he vote no on this new healthcare plan that would hurt thousands of his constituents. WHAT: Rally & Protest. “ Republicans!! Don’t Take Away America’s Health Care!” WHO: The Michigan People’s Campaign Michigan Indivisible, 11th district Fighting #9 WHEN: 12:000PM Tuesday May 2, 2017 WHERE: 625 East Big Beaver Road, Suite 204, Troy, MI 48083

Despite having been rejected by people in town hall meetings across the country, Republicans trying again to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The latest plan still takes away healthcare from 24 million people while giving $600 billion in tax breaks to the wealthiest. But changes in the new bill are so bad, congress has exempted themselves from it. Just like the last plan, it raises costs and cuts coverage and now it also guts protections for people with preexisting conditions.

At 12:00 Tuesday, members of the Michigan People’s Campaign and the many area Indivisible groups will return Rep. David Trott’s Troy district office to demand that he vote no on this new healthcare plan that would hurt thousands of his constituents.

WHAT:
Rally & Protest. “ Republicans!! Don’t Take Away America’s Health Care!”

WHO:
The Michigan People’s Campaign
Michigan Indivisible, 11th district
Fighting #9

WHEN:
12:000PM Tuesday May 2, 2017

WHERE:
625 East Big Beaver Road, Suite 204, Troy, MI 48083

Report: ACA Repeal of Gives $600 billion To the Wealthy While Cutting Everyone Else’s Health Care

600 thousand Michiganders will lose coverage while the richest 1% will get a tax cut of over $13,000

600 thousand Michiganders will lose coverage while the richest 1% will get a tax cut of over $13,000

Health care advocates, doctors and people who depend on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for their health care gathered outside the Troy office of Rep. David Trott (R-MI 11) to urge him to reject his party’s efforts to take away their healthcare. The rally was a joint effort by D15, SEIU and the Michigan people’s campaign.  At it, they  released a joint report from Americans for Tax Fairness and Health Care for America Now (HCAN). The report, Republican Health Care Repeal Plan: Tax Cuts for the Rich, Health Care Cuts for Everyone Else, details how the Republican plan to repeal the ACA would give billions in tax breaks to wealthy households, insurance companies and drug manufacturers, paid for by cutting the health care of low- and moderate-income families.

The ACA funded expansion of coverage and increased affordability of health care through taxes paid by the richest 2%, and the insurance, prescription drug and medical device companies who benefit from the law. The Republican plan to repeal the ACA rescinds these taxes, forcing cuts in health care and increasing costs for consumers.

Recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis revealed that up to 24 million people would lose coverage nationally as a result of repeal including over 600 thousand in Michigan.

Among those who would retain coverage, out-of-pocket costs including premiums, deductibles and copays would dramatically increase. In Michigan, out-of-pocket costs will increase by an average of  $832 for individuals who buy ACA coverage.

Older people would pay even more because the repeal bill allows insurers to charge older enrollees five times more than younger consumers while lowering the tax credits they receive to purchase insurance in the ACA marketplace. For a 60 year old in Michigan making $22,000 a year, net premiums will rise by $4,895.

At the same time that millions will lose coverage or face higher costs, the Republican repeal bill gives $600 billion in tax breaks to the richest households, insurance companies, and prescription drug companies. In Michigan, the top 1% of taxpayers will receive an average tax cut of $13,270.

These tax breaks are particularly egregious given that the eight largest insurance companies have increased profits by over one third over the last five years, from $19.1 billion to $25.3 billion.  

Prescription drug companies have also increased the costs of medicine by double digits. An AARP analysis showed that 268 brand name drugs increased by over 15% in just one year, between 2014 and 2015, while the cost of the commonly used drugs among older Americans for chronic conditions more than tripled between 2006 and 2015.

Although President Trump and Speaker Ryan have so far failed to get enough support to pass the repeal bill in Congress, news reports indicate that negotiations continue and the GOP expects to move forward with legislation this spring. Changes already made to the bill include watering down the essential health benefits, ten categories of coverage that are currently required in insurance policies but which insurers could opt-out of covering under the repeal bill. These services including prenatal and maternity care as well as mental health benefits and preventive services.

President Trump has said that passing the Republican ACA repeal plan, including the $600 billion in tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations, would be a helpful step in implementing his larger tax reform agenda later this year.

Mr. Weberman goes to Washington

Constituents Accept Rep. Trott’s offer to meet with him in Washington DC to discuss health care

Ed Weberman credits the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with saving the life of his son, Alex who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma right after graduating college. Weberman had been trying for months to meet with Rep. David Trott (R-MI11) to tell him his story, but Trott’s staffers gave him the runaround and no meeting. Moments after he stood up at a town hall meeting in Novi last Saturday, Rep. Trott broke out his phone and scheduled a meeting with him in Washington DC. That meeting is happening today.

On Saturday, when Weberman asked Rep. Trott if he thought health care was a human right, Rep. Trott said “Of course yes. The answer is yes.” But the Republican plan repeal the ACA would leave 24 million people without coverage according to a report from the Congressional Budget Office. “I need to know how Rep. Trott feels about leaving so many people like my son without health care if he really thinks they have a right to it.” Weberman said.

After Weberman sat down, Amber Barbieri stood up with a picture of her son, Julius. She wanted to tell Rep. Trott how the ACA has made treating his type 1 diabetes possible. He offered to meet with her and Weberman at the same time, but that would not be possible on such short notice.

Instead, another constituent, Marilyn Nosenchuck whose Nephew, Jamie receives subsidized insurance through the ACA, will taker her place. “There are a lot of stories like mine and Amber’s in the 11th district. And a lot of them were shut out of the town hall last Saturday” Nosenchuck said. Indeed, about a thousand people showed up to the convention center in Novi, but the room that was reserved only held about 450 of them. “Rep Trott needs to hear them if he’s going to vote on the ACA repeal. I’m hoping he will hold another town hall soon so we can all talk to him like this.“

By one estimate, the 11th district would be the hardest hit under the proposed GOP reform with  over 76,000 people losing coverage without subsidies or medicaid expansion.

Blue Cross Blue Shield hears calls to oppose ACA repeal

Protesters storm Detroit office of insurance giant to demand meeting

Dozens of protesters went to the Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Detroit headquarters Tuesday to demand a meeting with their CEO, Daniel Loepp. Michigan People’s Campaign (MPC) has been fighting to protect those who would lose health insurance coverage if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed. MPC wants Loepp to publicly oppose the Republican plan that would give tax breaks to people like him while taking away coverage for as many as 24 million Americans. But as they approached the entrance to the building, guards hurried to lock the front doors and keep us outside.

As employees leaving the for the day were rerouted to the rear exit, protesters braved the cold and held a rally in the front. They chanted “Trumpcare is wealth care!” and carried signs with messages like “No billionaire left behind.”

For anyone who forgot what health insurance was like before the ACA, Joyce Peralta who is a leader with MPC reminded them of what happened when her husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2001. After 2 years of covering their medical bills, UnitedHealthcare kicked them off their plan. “We were victims of profits over people.” Peralta said. “They were glad to take our thousand dollars a month until we started costing them money.”

Besides being one of the nation’s largest health insurance corporations, BCBS has influence over the Republicans behind the proposed health care reform. Their corporate PAC has made campaign contributions to representatives Dave Trott, Fred Upton and House Speaker Paul Ryan. Loepp stands to reap millions in tax breaks under the plan and MPC hopes he will weigh that against the 24 millions expected to lose coverage and follow the lead of AARP, the American Nurses Association, the American College of Physicians and the American Medical Association to oppose ACA repeal.

Representatives give constituents cold shoulder for Valentine’s Day

Courtesy Lightworker Photo

Courtesy Lightworker Photo

Two by two, constituents of the 11th district spent Valentine’s Day going to Congressman Dave Trott’s district office in Troy to deliver colorful cards with a heart on the front and a touching message inside asking for a town hall meeting with the reclusive Republican. The holiday effort organized by Michigan People’s Campaign (MPC) sought a February 23rd in person meeting with Rep. Trott when he returns to the district next week.

Lindsay Helfman (Left) and Daughter Rosa (below) deliver Valentine's day cards for Rep, Trott. Photo courtesy Lightworker Photo

Lindsay Helfman (Left) and Daughter Rosa (below) deliver Valentine's day cards for Rep, Trott.
Photo courtesy Lightworker Photo

Lindsay Helfman brought her daughter, Rosa to personally deliver their hand made Valentines and a request for a meeting with Rep. Trott.  She credits the ACA for allowing her to take Rosa to regular wellness visits. “We can go in and see our doctor. Things we could not have been able to afford and definitely not under any of the proposed plans we’ve seen from the republican side where vaccines are covered but wellness visits aren’t. They are essential for parents.” Helfman said. “I just want Representative Trott to know mothers have long memories when it comes to our kids.”

This Valentine’s day action was the most recent request in a weeks long campaign to get an in-person meeting with Representative Trott, but it was only one of many to take place at Congressional district offices across the state. MPC has sought to give constituents the opportunity to share their health care stories with their representatives and ask if they plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a move which would put nearly a million Michigan residents at risk of losing their care.

Photo courtesy Eli Rubin, Michigan People’s Campaign

Photo courtesy Eli Rubin, Michigan People’s Campaign

MPC also organized similar protests and office visits in Kalamazoo outside Rep.Fred Upton’s office, Grand Rapids outside Rep. Justin Amash’s office and in Brighton outside Rep. Mike Bishiop’s office.

Rep. Walberg’s staff saw about 40 constituents storm their office in Jackson chanting “I’m from the 7th district”. The receptionist’s desk was covered with oversized Valentines and bags of candy as

they fielded requests from each of the constituents for a meeting during the upcoming Congressional recess.


Valentine’s day coincidentally fell on a Tuesday this year, allowing the actions to be part of the larger “Tuesday Turnout” campaign MPC is running in conjunction with fellow social justice organizations nationwide. With outreach support from groups like Indivisible and MoveOn.org, MPC will stage actions challenging the destructive policies of President Donald Trump starting with the repeal of the ACA. As long as our representatives refuse to explain their support for Trump’s indefensible positions, they can expect to see the crowds in their districts grow larger and louder every week.

#ChickenTrott - Rep.Trott chickens out of healthcare meeting with constituents

Constituents ruffle feathers with chicken-themed protest

Finally refused a meeting with Rep. Dave Trott after weeks of trying, constituents of Michigan’s 11th congressional district, organized by the Michigan People’s Campaign (MPC), gathered  in front of his district office along Big Beaver Rd. Tuesday evening to draw attention to his neglect of their concerns. Some wore chickens on their heads, most carried signs with the hashtag #ChickenTrott, while one rallied the crowd in a bright yellow chicken costume.

“We want to make sure everyone can see that in the rush to repeal ‘Obamacare’, Republicans like Rep. Trott forgot to come up with a substitute that will provide the coverage we need.” said Julia Galliker, an MPC member and 11th district constituent. “If Rep. Trott has a bill that covers our kids like the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and doesn’t leave us out in the cold when our lives change, we’ve never seen it. But then again, we haven’t seen him either.”

The protest highlighted a growing trend among elected officials avoiding the people back home either by not having public meetings or literally running away from previously scheduled events once they go badly. And even though protesters cheerfully flapped their arms to the sounds of “The Chicken Dance”, the motivation for their demonstration was very serious: their friends and neighbors whose lives would be in peril if not for the ACA.

People like Ed Weberman, whose son Alex is now in remission of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma because he received the needed care while still on his father’s insurance. “I’m out here for all the Alexes that will need the protection of the ACA.” said Weberman. “I don’t know why Rep. Trott won’t meet with us about such an important issue as our children’s lives.”

#TuesdayTurnout Actions Across Michigan Challenge Representatives to Reject Repeal of Affordable Care Act

US Rep. Fred Upton had a visit from about 50 constituents While Rep. David Trott heard from 100 more worried about a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The group in Kalamazoo marched down East Michigan avenue and into the district office where they demanded Rep. Upton make a public statement opposing the repeal of the ACA.

The groups involved included Progressive Kalamazoo, Michigan People’s Campaign and MoveOn.Org. Dubbed #TuesdayTurnout, the planned series of events is aimed at resisting all of the dangerous policies proposed in the first hundred days of the incoming administration. President Trump promised, and has taken steps to repeal the ACA, despite having no plan to protect the millions of people covered by it, including nearly a million in Michigan.

One of them was Lindsey Palar, an Academic Adviser at Western Michigan University. Paul, her partner of eight years, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes four years ago. Palar says access to affordable and portable insurance makes their dream possible, to one day open a restaurant centered around youth development and community access. "Keeping the Affordable Care Act would allow would-be entrepreneurs like Paul and me to pursue what we are meant to do together, to invest in our community.”

Meanwhile in Troy, about a hundred protesters filled the halls of the office building where Trott’s district office is located to demand a meeting with regressive representative so they could ask him to protect their health care and not repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Over a month ago, Julia Galliker and dozens of other 11th district constituents were told to call scheduler, Marla Rondo to make an appointment with Rep. David Trott (R-MI11), but despite regular calls and emails, there was no response.

This time, Galliker brought with her other people who have benefitted from the ACA like fellow constituent Patti Weber, whose son Dominic needed open heart surgery at birth and will need cardiac care throughout his life.  Weber credits the ACA for providing affordable insurance when her ex-husband lost his job, creating a gap in their coverage. “When we go to the U of M hospital, I think of all the other families that couldn’t be there because of their pre-existing conditions.”

Karen Houghton’s son, Michael was born with hydrocephalus. The only way that he could stay on his parent’s insurance is if he was deemed disabled and dependent upon them, But at the age of 32, Michael was able to move out and, with the help of the ACA he is able to afford rent and his own insurance plan. “We miss him.” Houghton says. “But even more so, we will miss the benefits of the ACA should it be repealed."

Since Trott’s staff refused to meet with his constituents, the protesters called his DC office to inform them of the standoff back home and ask again to speak to the scheduler. Staff put them on hold for over half an hour, checking back occasionally to hear the crowd chanting “Our health Trumps your wealth!”.

Ultimately, Trott’s district staff conceded to meet with a Michigan People’s Campaign representative. They agreed to schedule a meeting at a later date with a limited number of constituent but not with the congressman himself. The spokesperson for the ACA group agreed to the meeting but said they would continue push to meet with Rep. Trott.

The action that brought all of these people into Rep. Trott’s office was organized by Michigan People’s Campaign. Dubbed #TuesdayTurnout, this was the first in a series of events aimed at resisting all of the dangerous policies proposed in the first hundred days of the incoming Trump administration. Trump promised, and has taken steps to repeal the ACA despite having no plan to cover the 20 million people covered by it, including nearly a million in Michigan.

 

Vote Against Hate

Voter Registration Drive Delivers Thousands of new Pro-Immigrant Voters to the Department of Elections

On the last day residents can sign up to vote, Michigan People’s Campaign (MPC) turned in 2000 new voter registration forms to the Detroit Department of Elections. Their campaign was part of a nationwide effort to find new voters this year, especially new Americans.

“When immigrants vote, America wins!” said MPC organizer Adonis Flores. “We have the power to fight against the hate and racism that has taken root in this country. If you’re a citizen, vote. If you’re not a citizen, volunteer to mobilize your neighbors. If you have your Green Card, naturalize. This election, we are literally voting to defend our families.”

Jessica Kasper is a US citizen, whose husband was deported in 2008. She spent the summer registering voters and organizing in the Latino community, “Our broken immigration system tears families like mine apart,” said Hernandez, “We need to send a message—when you attack immigrant families, you are attacking voters. We are powerful and we’re standing up for ourselves.”

Darrin Camilleri declared People’s Champion in Michigan’s 23rd District

Candidate for State House good for children, elders and their caregivers

Michigan People’s Campaign announced Friday its support for Darrin Camilleri, candidate for the state house seat in the 23rd District, by awarding him the People’s Champion award for his positions on childcare, eldercare and the rights of their caregivers.

“Darrin Camilleri believes that all people should be treated with dignity and respect.” Said Amanda Dasgupta, a community organizer in the district with Michigan People’s Campaign. “He says we need more options for in-home care for family members with disabilities to provide a better standard of living.”

Michigan People’s Campaign reached out to both Camilleri and his opponent, Bob Howey, and while they found Camilleri to be very supportive, they deemed Howey to be silent in these kitchen table conversations people have everyday downriver.

“Darrin Camilleri believes increasing funding for long term care would help more families become self sufficient.” said long time Romulus resident, Gaye Ray, a stroke victim who can no longer drive and needs help getting  access to treatment. “He knows that in-home care provides better standards of living for seniors. He wants to see those options available for more people.”

Recently, Michigan lost out on over $20 million in federal matching funds for childcare assistance because of the inaction of our legislature, part of a decade long trend. Camilleri won the People’s Champion award for childcare because of his support for future investment in our children “...so parents can go to school, go to work and find good paying jobs.”  Said MPC community organizer, Frances Barber. “He understands parents having access to affordable, quality childcare is part of the solution.”

Standing up to Donald Trump is Appropriate & Necessary

 

There is a difference between heckling and questioning. One is rude; the other is responsible.

During Donald Trump’s speech to the Detroit Economic Club (DEC), one man stood and shouted that Trump had little hands. Towards the end of the Republican Presidential candidate’s speech, another man was invited to leave because his cell phone played the sound effect of a baby crying. That was heckling. But besides these two interruptions, 13 women rose and shouted “Mr. Trump! I have a question!” That was their civic responsibility.

Donald Trump is the first  presidential candidate to come directly from the private sector since the advent of electric lighting. It is only right that we should Question his economic policy. Since the DEC didn’t do it, we did.

We are Michigan People’s Campaign. We fight for a sustainable economy that benefits everyone, not just billionaires like Mr. Trump. Our members are working people, like the one’s who stood up to the GOP’s standard bearer. These are women who willingly risked arrest to ask one question, not mindless puppets as the DEC might have you believe. We made the deliberate decision to elevate the voices of our women because they would be the ones most seriously and directly impacted by the troubling policies of a Trump administration. We understand that the challenges women face affect all working families.

To look at Jacqui, you’d never guess she could lift 55,000 lbs of steel, but she does this every day as a crane operator. If Donald Trump had been President in 2008, he says he would have let our auto industry go bankrupt and sent her job to a state with lower wages. Then, once she’s sufficiently desperate to provide for her family, bring it back at an even lower wage.

“Is that what you call winning?” She asked Trump. He did not answer. Perhaps he could not hear the question over the booing of the audience. They would do well to remember that when Trump talks about renegotiating a deal, this is what’s he’s talking about.

Emily once worked at a domestic violence shelter, so she knows all too well of the victimization of women. Like countless, overqualified, Michigan workers, she is currently a manager in the foodservice industry. But unlike Trump, she understands the awesome responsibility that managers have to protect their employees.

“You think a woman who’s been sexually harassed should just look for a new job?” Emily asked. “Is that how you intend to solve problems? By running away from them?” Perhaps this is a rhetorical question when posed to a man who’s had as many divorces as bankruptcies.

 

To be sure, decorum demands that we only speak when appropriate and shout when necessary. It is entirely appropriate that we question Donald Trump’s economic policies, when they so clearly disadvantage Michigan’s working families. However, when the DEC invites him to Detroit but provides no forum for questions, it then becomes necessary to shout.

This is not rude;  It is the responsible thing to do.

 

Women who Confronted Trump in Detroit Call on Clinton for Meeting

Michigan People’s Campaign members to discuss child care, elder care, jobs

As Donald Trump leaves his latest campaign stop, the 14 women of the Michigan People’s Campaign (MPC) who challenged him in Detroit now have questions for his opponent, Hillary Clinton.

 

“We’re furious, but not surprised, that Donald Trump refused to listen to the concerns of women in Michigan.” said MPC member Jacqui Maxwell. “We’re hoping Secretary Clinton will at least be open to a conversation.”

 

Trump was continually interrupted during his Detroit appearance by women demanding answers to his outrageous comments about sexual harassment and closing Michigan auto plants.

 

Clinton will be in Michigan to deliver a policy speech later this week. MPC members would like to discuss pressing issues in the state, including jobs and investment in neglected urban areas, a stronger safety net for elders in need of long-term care, and affordable child care for all.


“The challenges that women face affect the whole family.” said MPC member LaShaya Darrisaw. “Clearly, Hillary Clinton understands these challenges far better than Donald Trump.  It’s still important that she meet with women voters here in Michigan to hear our stories and discuss our agenda. We’ll be working to make sure she keeps her promises if she wins.”

Michigan women disrupt Donald Trump in Detroit

Protesters challenge Presidential candidate’s stance on sexual harassment, auto jobs

Donald Trump’s campaign stop in Detroit was immediately derailed when more than a dozen women stood up and challenged Trump’s claim that he would bring back manufacturing jobs.

“You want to close Michigan plants and outsource our jobs! ” Shouted Grosse Pointe Woods auto worker Jacquie Maxwell as she stood on her chair. “How are we supposed to raise our families without good jobs? Is that what you call winning?”

In an August 2015 interview in the Detroit News, Trump proposed his surprising plan to help the auto industry: close plants in Michigan and Ohio, and move plants to low-wage states. This slash-and-burn approach would cause whole communities who depend on auto jobs to collapse.

The Trump family has also drawn criticism for their comments on sexual harassment. Daughter Ivanka Trump said she would not “allow herself to be sexually harassed” while her brother, Eric said women bring the harassment upon themselves. This point of view seems to run in the family with candidate Donald Trump offering the suggestion that women who are harassed simply find another job. None of this sat well with protesters at the rally.”

“Why are you blaming the victims of sexual harassment?”said Detroit food server Sarah Messer. “Why shouldn’t women be safe at our work? It’s not our fault!”

In fact, Donald Trump has himself been accused of sexual harassment multiple times for years, according to the New York Times article, “Crossing the Line: How Donald Trump Behaved with Women in Private.”