The following guest post is by Mitchell Robinson and was first posted at his education-focused blog MitchellRobinson.net. He offered it up to me to share with the readers of Eclectablog and I immediately took him up on it having already read his beautiful prose. Robinson is associate professor and chair of music education at Michigan State University. He has held previous collegiate appointments at the University of Connecticut and Eastman School of Music and his essay centers around the importance of art and music in public schools. Its not just an academic discussion. In Lansing Public Schools, for example, they have eliminated the music and arts programs.…
The following guest post was written by Wendy Welch, a good friend and also the wife of our very own LOLGOP. Wendy is the marketing director at the Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV). Titles in the post are given for identification purposes only and do not indicate support for or endorsement of the views presented.
From Lyme disease to the catastrophic destruction of our forests, white-tailed deer are taking the heat for oodles of ills. So beginning this winter, the city of Ann Arbor will be spending tens of thousands of dollars to cull (kill) deer in the city.…
GUEST POST: More voter turnout leads to more progressive policies and 4 other things you need to know about voting
This guest post comes from Sean McElwee — a research associate at Demos and an excellent follow on Twitter. Find out more about Sean, his work and what his research into voting uncovered about Michigan by checking out his first guest post for Eclectablog.
In my latest report, Why Voting Matters, I argue that nonvoters are more progressive than voters, and that higher voter turnout would dramatically change democracy. Though I’ve aimed to make the report relatively short and accessible (16 pages, and no academic language, I promise) I’ve laid out the core points below:
- Turnout Is Heavily Skewed By Race
In 2014, turnout among non-Hispanic whites was 46 percent, compared with 40 percent among Blacks, 27 percent among Asians and 27 percent among Latinos.…
If you haven’t already, check out Sean’s work on Salon, Rolling Stone, his own blog and various other publications. You’ll see that he has a gift for lucidity and a healthy obsession with improving our democracy by increasing voting, dispelling economic myths and decreasing the influence of big money.
This post draws on his research into voter turnout with an focus on the state of Michigan. He identifies where we’re succeeding and what needs to be done to drown out the distorting effects of big money and gerrymandering in our state.…
The following essay was written by my friend Roscoe Woods, president of the American Postal Workers Union, 480-4781 Area Local which represents postal workers in the southeast part of the state. A version of it first appeared in their newsletter The Communicator over the summer.
I particularly love this piece because it tells a personal story of acceptance of an LGBT person in a context where that is not at all a given: the military. Thanks to Roscoe for his thoughtful essay. Enjoy.
I am going out on a limb here – I am going to write a bit about a friend of mine from the 80’s a friend who I met when I served in the Army…
I find my days filled with a fight that is truly, at its core, the defense of labor issues and workers’ rights.…
This story arrived in my email inbox today from the most excellent group Local Harvest. It’s an important story about how our food supply cycles and our food demand cycles can be out of sync to the point where we literally throw away delicious, healthy, nutritious food and import the same food from other countries. In this case, the supply and demand cycles that are out of sync are those for apples.
What’s good about this essay is that it doesn’t just talk about the problem. The author, Rebecca Thistlethwaite from Farm Business Consulting and author of the books Farms With a Future: Creating and Growing a Sustainable Farm Business and The New Livestock Farmer: The Business of Raising & Selling, also points out things each of us can do to help address the issue.…
The following guest post is from my dear friend Wally Welch. In it, he compares and contrasts former President Jimmy Carter (a personal hero of mine who is battling brain cancer) and Donald Trump (not a hero of mine who is battling xenophobia, racism, and sexism.)
Jimmy Carter, 91, in typically cheerful, humble, and matter-of-fact fashion, recently announced he is battling cancer. At the same time, Donald Trump, the newly discovered darling of the GOP, bragged about his wealth, promised a beautiful wall to take the place of Lady Liberty (at no cost to taxpayers), and implied the 14th Amendment to the Constitution is ‘stupid’.…
GUEST POST: Say it ain’t so, Larry! A “comradely” response to Lawrence Lessig’s presidential bid announcement
The following post is from my friend Stuart Dowty of Washtenaw County. Stu is the Chair of the group Reclaim Our American Democracy (ROAD) and is a fierce warrior in the effort to get money out of our political system and to eliminate the corrosive impact of corporate personhood. The post is in response to law professor Lawrence Lessig’s recent announcement that he is running for president as a “referendum candidate”.
Here is Lessig describing his intent with his candidacy:
His campaign website can be found at LessigForPresident.com.
It’s a gimmick.
It’s a distraction.
It’s a waste of time, money, and attention.…
The following is a guest post from Sommer Foster, the Political Director for Equality Michigan and a long time political activist. Like Anne and me, Sommer was at the #BlackLivesMatter protest during the presidential candidates’ townhall meeting last Saturday at the Netroots Nation conference in Phoenix. Anne and I have shared our perspectives as white progressive allies. Sommer brings the perspective of a person of color, someone who lives with the plague of systemic racism and discrimination every day of her life. It’s a powerful perspective, one that should be shared widely.
You can follow Sommer on Twitter at twitter.com/SNFoster.…
“What happened to your family was terrible, but I didn’t do anything to you.” Yes. Yes you did.
The following guest post was written by Tali Wendrow of Oakland County.
I had spent much of my adult life trying (not always successfully) to keep my political views quiet, at least in public fora. Oh sure, I’d let ‘er rip at family gatherings but beyond the Thanksgiving or Rosh Hashanah table, I pretty much kept it them myself. I especially didn’t discuss political matters on Facebook or whatever fledgling social media that was emerging at that time, mostly because I worked in a government job.…
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