Chair: Jeanne Arbanas
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Oklahoma Needs Us
The members and officers of South County Democratic Club are
You may be reading the news out of Oklahoma today. I’ve seen the pictures and read the firsthand accounts—entire neighborhoods decimated, families desperate to find loved ones and our first responders working through the night to save lives. A mile-wide tornado has brought immeasurable damage to the communities in central Oklahoma.
May 27, 2013
Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed annually in the United States on the last Monday of May. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War. By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars. As a marker it typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.
Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries
For the membership and officers of South County Democratic Club, Memorial Day has special meaning. Over the years, the meaning of Memorial Day has been expanded to mean all men and women who have fallen in the line of duty for their country. We honor not only those who have given their lives in the service of their country in time of war; but also we honor the men and women who serve our country and are in harms way, fire fighters, police, first responders in general and all people who put their lives at risk for our country’s freedom and the safety of its citizens, never knowing if danger is a moment away.
The First Lady and Dr. Biden have met with military families, learned about their successes and challenges, and made it their priority to support them. Joining Forces is a comprehensive national initiative to mobilize all sectors of society to give our service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned.
In this ongoing effort, they’re highlighting issues that are of special importance to the military families they have met with across the country, including the areas of employment, education, and wellness.
Employment. In many cases, military spouses move from one community to another when their spouses are assigned to new duty stations. These transfers can make it very difficult for spouses to continue with their careers or to find similar jobs in new locations.
Education. Military children move frequently due to a parent’s reassignment. These moves can make it difficult to transfer records, secure spaces in courses, stay included in extra-curricular activities, and complete required testing on time.
Wellness. The stress of war, multiple deployments, and frequent moves can affect the wellness of military families. Children and spouses can experience anxiety, changes in relationships with family and friends, isolation or emotional challenges in dealing with deployments, illness or injury, and high mobility.
Joining Forces provides ways for all Americans to step up and show their gratitude to our service members and their families. Through this effort, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden ask Americans to do more for those who have done so much for us. They are highlighting outstanding American citizens, communities, and businesses that are supporting our troops and making commitments to serve our nation’s military families. They are asking Americans to get involved in any way they can.
More information HERE
Above (in our header information) is a link to our ACTBLUE account. Please consider making a holiday gift to our club. A $10, $20, or $50 gift will help us in the 2014 election as we gear up to DEFEAT SYNDER and the cold-hearted Republicans who voted against the working families of Berrien County with their right-to-work-for-less vote. Give!
Posted 12/23/2012 Updated 5/14/2013
Wednesday - June 14, 2013
Social - 6:00 PM
General Meeting - 7:00 PM
305 N. Third Street, Niles MI
Business meeting begins at 7:00 PM. All Democrats, progressives and liberals are invited. Never an admission fee -- free to all concerned citizens of southwestern Michigan. Bring a friend! Kids welcome!
Special request/community service: We will also be collecting canned goods and other non-perishable foods to be donated to area charities with food banks. If you donate 3 items you will receive 1 free raffle ticket.
Bring a Friend (not on our roster) and you both get a free raffle ticket!
Michigan Senate Democrats
Senate Democrats Slam Republicans' Continued Failures to Invest in Michigan
Lansing – The Michigan Senate Democrats today slammed the budgets being passed by their Republican colleagues over the past week for continuing their ongoing trend of favoring corporations at the expense of investing in Michigan's schools, communities and working families.
The members each released the following statements:
“We've seen the damaging results of the Republican priorities over the last two years - they've raised taxes on Michigan families and seniors and devastated our public schools, yet the Republicans are continuing down this same misguided path once again this year,” said Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D-East Lansing). “It's time for Republicans to rethink their bankrupt strategy of putting profits over people and invest in what will actually help get our state and our people back on their feet.”
“This is just the first step in finalizing this year's budget, and I hope that as the budget process moves forward, we are able to work together to balance the fiscal responsibilities of the state with the needs of the people,” said Senate Minority Leader Tupac A. Hunter (D-Detroit). “Now and in the months ahead, any healthy debate on this year's budget must address improving our schools, assisting our working families, supporting our vital local and public service organizations and protecting our seniors.”
“I've heard from countless families that are struggling to cope with the tax increases Republicans forced on them over the past year,” said Senator Virgil Smith (D-Detroit). “The budgets Republicans are passing this year will do nothing to alleviate that. My Democratic colleagues and I are fighting for working families and our schools so that we can all move forward and succeed again. It's time for Republicans to start listening.”
“The Senate Republicans' budget proposal this year was just a continuation of their ill-advised principles from the previous two years that take money away from our public schools and cut vital state services that our children and low income families depend on,” said Senator Vincent Gregory (D-Southfield). “Throughout the budget committee process and during the debate on the floor, I fought to secure additional funding for essential programs, and I will continue to do so as the conversation continues. It's up to my Republican colleagues to start listening and crafting a budget that helps the people, not their corporate interests.”
“Senate Republicans have passed such harmful budgets the past few years that they're hoping this year's budget won't seem so bad, but it unfortunately maintains many of the systemic problems that have become their constant theme-stealing School Aid Fund money for other budget priorities, obstinately turning away federal funding for important programs, and blindly pushing for the privatization of services,” said Senator Glenn S. Anderson (D-Westland). “I've fought these misguided proposals every step of the way, but I guarantee that as long as Republicans are in power, the state budgets are going to hinge on fuzzy math and faulty policies.”
“This budget fails to make the investments that our state needs to build a stronger economy. If we continue to underfund our schools and communities, Michigan won't be able to attract businesses or encourage their growth,” said Senator Steve Bieda (D-Warren). “It's time for us to start making smart investments that will lead to future growth. Unfortunately, the budgets passed by the senate fall short of meeting that goal.”
“This budget continues the trend of the Republican Majority to balance the budget on the backs of Michigan's most vulnerable and disadvantaged residents. We cannot continue to divert money from public education, cut programs designed to help children living in poverty and slash funding that cities use to provide public safety,” said Senator Bert Johnson (D-Detroit). “We need a budget that prioritizes the needs of people and creates opportunity for economic growth, not a budget that seeks to maximize corporate profits at the expense of our citizens.”
“This year's budgets represent a continued disinvestment in our students, our seniors, our middle class and the most vital services in our state,” said Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D-Taylor). “My Senate Democratic colleagues and I have fought these changes at every turn, and will continue to do so on behalf of Michigan's middle class families.”
“Our focus should be providing our children with a good education, making our communities safe and providing a talented workforce that will attract business. This budget doesn't accomplish those things,” said Senator Morris Hood III (D-Detroit). “This budget does not do enough to invest in our schools or cities. It does not meet the obligation we have to the people of Michigan to make our state a better place to live, work and do business.”
“We have to make sure our number one priority is investment whether it be in jobs, our children, healthcare, transportation infrastructure, our environment and our future,” said Senator Coleman A. Young II (D-Detroit). “These budgets have failed to meet that fundamental test. This is not just about appropriations, it is about building a structure for the next generation to excel. Republicans have failed that test and Michigan citizens with this budget.”
“Our state budget is just like your home budget - it reflects our priorities and our goals for the future,” said Senator Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor). “Unfortunately, this budget puts profits before public education, privatization before good-paying jobs, and emergency managers before healthy cities and townships. These are not the values of our citizens, and a budget that ignores the very essence of our state is one that I simply cannot support.”
Picture from Google Images filtered for "free to use, share or modify"
Legislation Improving Access to Women's Health Care Backed by Dem Leader Greimel and Ingham Dems
Package would expand education, health care options for women
LANSING - House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills) and state Representatives Marcia Hovey-Wright (D-Muskegon), Tom Cochran (D-Mason), Andy Schor (D-Lansing) and Sam Singh (D-East Lansing) announced their support for a package of four bills and three resolutions that would improve access to women’s health care, educate women about health care options, support rape survivors and address health care inequities women face.
“We have all heard from women and their families across Michigan that they need better access to women’s health care services,” said Greimel. “This legislative package puts women’s health care issues front and center where they should be. It says that our mothers, wives, sisters, daughters and all the women in our lives deserve the best health care possible and that House Democrats will fight to see that they get it.”
“These bills aim to fix the problems that too many women experience in the health care system.” said Cochran.
The package of legislation includes:
House Resolution 140, naming May 12-18 “National Women’s Health Week” in Michigan (introduced by Rep. Gretchen Driskell)
HR 138, urging the DCH to promote programs that identify and address inequities in the prevention, treatment and research of diseases threatening women (Rep. Winnie Brinks)
HR 139, recommending that the state intensify efforts to reduce the rate of teen pregnancies (Rep. Collene Lamonte)
House Bill 4067, requiring all health facilities and agencies to offer emergency contraception to rape survivors (Rep. Charles Smiley)
HB 4722, which directs the Department of Community Health (DCH) to develop and disseminate information about emergency contraception, including a description, explanation of use, safety efficacy and availability of emergency contraception (Rep. Marcia Hovey-Wright)
HB 4721, requiring age-appropriate, medically accurate and objective sexuality education to be taught in public schools (Rep. Jeff Irwin)
HB 4260, requiring doctors to give information on breast density and give notice to women who have dense breast tissue that they may want to seek further testing (Rep. Winnie Brinks)
“This package of legislation will significantly improve women’s access to health care, and the information that is available to girls and women of all ages,” said Singh. “Health care is a woman’s right and she shouldn’t have to break down barriers to get the care she needs. These bills address a critical need in Michigan and should be quickly approved and signed into law.”
“These proposals go a long way toward addressing women’s health concerns in Michigan,” said Schor. “I continually hear that the Legislature and state need to do more to address women’s health. These common sense proposals show that women’s health is a top priority for Michigan and we are ready to proactively address the problems that need to be faced by women in our own families and all Michigan women.”
Democrats Demand Revenues Go To Schools, Families, Cities
House Republicans have wrong priorities for increased state revenues
LANSING - House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills) and state Representative Rashida H Tlaib (D-Detroit), Democratic vice chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, said today the House Republicans and Gov. Rick Snyder should be using the increased revenues the state will take in this year to increase funding for schools, help Michigan’s middle-class families and help cash-strapped cities provide services such as police and fire protection. The additional revenue figures were announced today at the Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference held in Lansing.
“I think that it’s clear where these additional revenues should go: to tax relief for struggling middle-class families and to our schools that have been trying to educate our kids after having nearly $2 billion of their funding cut over the past two years,” said Greimel. “In order to turn our economy around, we need to reinvest in families and schools that have borne the brunt of Republican tax hikes and education cuts.”
Both the Senate and House Fiscal Agencies announced better-than-expected revenues for the state, with the House Fiscal Agency’s (HFA) estimates slightly lower than those of the Senate Fiscal Agency (SFA). The revenue estimating conference said today that the state can expect $482.6 million more combined General Fund and School Aid Fund revenue in FY 2013 and $219.3 million combined General Fund and School Aid Fund revenue in FY 2014 compared the January estimates.
“Schools are closing early this year and the Education Achievement Authority operating in Detroit is diverting state funds away from school districts because it can’t pay its bills, so I think it’s painfully clear that a portion of this money is desperately needed to save our students,” said Tlaib.
House Democrats’ priorities remain those that were outlined earlier this year: protecting seniors and veterans, giving real tax relief to struggling families and seniors hit hard with the senior retirement tax and increasing funding to severely underfunded schools. Republicans have so far this year turned down Democratic efforts to fund Meals on Wheels for seniors, increase funding to local communities to keep police officers on the streets and firefighters on the job, increase the per-pupil funding for students, increase funding for Great Start early childhood enrollment, protect veterans by funding substance abuse and mental health treatment and failed to strengthen protections against abuse and neglect at the state’s veterans homes. The state’s most vulnerable children also would suffer under the proposed budget which cuts hundreds of necessary workers who would protect children from abuse and neglect.
“Turning Michigan’s economy around depends on keeping our communities and families strong and properly educating our kids so they can be successful,” said Greimel. “This money came from Michigan taxpayers and we should return it to them in the form of sorely needed tax relief and funding for their kids’ schools.”