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GUEST POST: After Philip Levine: Who Will Speak for Workers Now? And is Anyone Listening?

Today’s guest post was written by my new friend Sally Tyler. Sally lives in Washington, DC. and is a public policy analyst for a national labor union, who spent time in Wisconsin in 2011, and who occasionally reads poetry.

She writes today about Philip Levine, a U.S. Poet Laureate who died last month. Levine is best known for his poems about laborers and the working class. As Sally writes, his loss is a loss to the labor movement as a whole.

Enjoy.
Philip Levine, U.S. Poet Laureate 2011-12, who died in February, said that he began writing poems about the people who worked alongside him on the line at Detroit auto plants in the 1950’s because they were “voiceless.” I think Levine would have probably admitted that workers were always saying something, but that not enough people bothered to listen.…

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GUEST POST: We Need Paid Sick Leave Because Workers Are Humans First

The following post was originally posted at Ramona’s Voices. Note that there is an ask at the end of this post: several groups are looking for stories from workers both who have and don’t have paid sick leave with their jobs. Please check out the links and share your stories.

There’s a fuss going on in Michigan over whether the state should mandate paid sick leave for all workers. It’s the Democrats who are proposing it but the Republicans dominate the government, so at this point it’s not a question of winning the issue, it’s a question of how far their bill gets before it fails.…

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GUEST POST: Chartering of tea party school by Brighton Area Schools would be a huge mistake

I have been writing about the efforts of a tea party-driven group called “American Christian Classical Academies” (ACA) to open a religion-based school in Brighton and their push to have Brighton Area Schools to be their chartering organization. Having purchased the Lindbom Elementary School from BAS for the tidy sum of $1.45 million, ACA, led by extremist Pasquale Battaglia, are pushing hard for BAS to charter their school. Battaglia is on the record saying that he wants to open the school using our tax dollars and then to detach from the public school system:

We will provide an education option tuition free working toward autonomy from the government and the government run public school systems…

But first Battaglia needs to get his hands on some of those sweet, sweet tax dollars to get his project off the ground.…

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GUEST POST: EMU faculty honor University President Susan Martin’s courage & leadership and ask for her help re: the EAA

Dr. Stephen Wellinski has been on the forefront of the battle to end the interlocal agreement between Eastern Michigan University and the Education Achievement Authority (EAA). EMU’s connection to Gov. Snyder’s failed experiment with Detroit students is a stain on an otherwise well-earned reputation as a university that teaches teachers and Dr. Wellinski’s leadership on this issue is an important element in the overall effort to send the EAA to the rubbish bin of history. He has written several guest posts on Eclectablog and today, once again, I turn over the blog to him.

During the most recent meeting of the EMU Board of Regents, faculty and students alike spoke out against the partnership with the EAA.…

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GUEST POST/EVENT: Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents meeting to discuss ending relationship with the EAA, 12/5/2014 (UPDATED)

I have updated the post to give details on the EMU Board of Regents meeting. See the end of the post.

Today’s guest post is from Eastern Michigan University College of Education faculty member professor Stephen Wellinski. Prof. Wellinski has been a leader in demanding that EMU end its partnership with Gov. Snyder’s failed education experiment on Detroit school kids known as the Education Achievement Authority.

Along with a host of other faculty members, students, and activists, Prof. Wellinksi has been tirelessly advocating for his university to stop betraying its legacy as one of Michigan’s top bastions of higher education when it comes to educating the public school teachers of the future.…

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GUEST POST: Michigan Democrats Get More Votes, Lose Anyway

Below I am crossposting a piece written by Walt Sorg and published at his blog The Michigan Curmudgeon. Walt has held senior positions in all three branches of Michigan state government, serving under Speaker Bobby Crim and Governor Jim Blanchard as well as at the State Bar of Michigan. He began his 48-year tenure in or around Michigan government as a young journalist covering George Romney, Senator Phil Hart and state House Speaker Bill Ryan.

Before we get into Walt’s essay, I wanted to emphasize something he wrote that echoes my feelings with regard the blame game that’s happening in the aftermath of Tuesday’s election.…

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GUEST POST: Saving Pure Michigan with your vote

Could this be the end of Pure Michigan?

The following guest post was written by Janis Bobrin, Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner from 1989 to 2012.
The Pure Michigan advertising campaign is so compelling because it touches on a fundamental Michigan value – the sense of place fostered by the state’s majestic waters, lands, fish and wildlife. No one who grows up or lives in Michigan is immune to the lure of these natural resources, and our responsibility to protect and manage them wisely.

All too often in Michigan’s history, however, our elected officials have shirked their duty. In the state’s first 70 years, they gave little thought or caring to what would come after their time.…

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GUEST POST: Ann Arbor super activist Michael Rains explains why he is Getting Out the Vote and how YOU can, too!

I first encountered my dear friend Michael Rains on the streets of Ann Arbor. He had a cart he has dubbed “the Democracy Machine” and there was a crowd of people around him, waiting to sign petitions to recall Governor Snyder and to repeal Michigan’s anti-democratic Emergency Manager law. If there is a crowd of people in Ann Arbor – and often elsewhere in the state – Michael can often be found there with the Democracy Machine, distributing information and gathering petition signatures for causes he believes in.

Today, Michael is sharing with us his reasons for getting out the vote (GOTV) for the November Election and has information on how you can get involved, too.…

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GUEST POST: The stark contrast between Rick Snyder and Mark Schauer on marriage equality

This post was written by my dear friend Amy Hunter. Amy and I have known each other for several years thanks to Facebook and Twitter but only met in person for the first time this past summer at the Netroots Nation conference where we appeared on Lizz Winstead’s “Morning News Dump” together. Amy is President and Chair of the Kalamazoo Alliance for Equality and spokesperson for the Transgender Leadership Project.

Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor Lisa Brown looks on as same-sex couples share their first kiss as married couples after the ceremony she officiated

A Stark Contrast on Equality

By Amy Hunter

The contrast between what is good policy for Michigan and cynical electoral politics could not be starker.…

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GUEST POST: Observations from a Schauer/Snyder debate attendee: “The atmosphere was completely different than on TV”

    Eclectablog reader Mark was in attendance at the one-and-only debate between Republican Governor Rick Snyder and Democratic candidate Mark Schauer on Sunday night. He sent me his observations as someone who was actually in the room and has agreed to allow me to share his comments with you.

    As you will see, the atmosphere inside the debate venue was considerably different than what many of us saw on television. What is clear to me from his report is that Gov. Snyder is afraid. And he should be. Mark Schauer is surging right now. Michigan’s economy remains in the dumps and the policies and governing philosophies of our corporatist Governor are not working.

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