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HollandHistoricalDistrict

GUEST POST: Republicans set to dissolve all historical districts in Michigan

The following guest post was written by Nancy Kotting who writes at Watapama blog. From her About page:

Nancy Kotting is a fourth generation Detroiter, former partner at Detroit MetroTimes/Alternative Media Inc., architectural historian, trainer/instructor of classical horsemanship for over 35 years and a Catholic convert. She has been published in both the U.S. and the U.K. and is a featured blogger for the Huffington Post. Watapama is an exploration of anomalies at the intersection of popular culture, politics, faith and art.

The topic that Kotting writes about is one near and dear to my heart. As Anne and I have traveled around the state of Michigan to document some of our formerly robust urban centers as they implode from the collapse of their manufacturing base and the subsequent disinvestment by the state that has taken them to a financial precipice and pushed them off, time and time again we’ve seen the gorgeous architecture and beautiful buildings and homes disintegrating, stripped of anything of value, with some burned out or collapsed into forgotten piles of rubble.…

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FlintWaterCrisis46

GUEST POST: “No Words” – A heartbreaking report from the trenches in the #FlintWaterCrisis

Yesterday I posted an excerpt from and a link to the essay “No Words” in my #FlintWaterCrisis news round-up. The piece by Ann Arbor social worker Beverly Davidson, LMSW, was extremely well-received so I asked her for permission to repost it here at Eclectablog, which she gave me permission to do. Davidson’s writing is clear and thoughtful and tells a side of the story that’s not getting told. Visit her blog “Voices from the Infant, Toddler and Family Field” for more of her excellent work.

I usually end my introductions to guest posts with “Enjoy”. But there’s nothing to enjoy here except, of course, Davidson’s emotional writing.…

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GUEST POST: The #FlintWaterCrisis didn't just happen

GUEST POST: The #FlintWaterCrisis didn’t just happen


Today’s guest post is by Laura Packard, a partner at PowerThru Consulting, a growing national progressive digital consulting shop.

Enjoy.
The Flint water crisis didn’t just happen. It’s been a story decades in the making.

Cities in America have been on the downswing for many years — deliberate policy on the federal and state level has favored suburbs, and also the preferences of the Boomer generation was to go in that direction too. So, people and money has slowly (or quickly in some cases) filtered out of the cities into suburbia. Also the shift of manufacturing out of America has hit the Midwest very hard (aka the “Rust Belt”).…

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GUEST POST: Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) State of the Union mystery (by Ed Schultz)

GUEST POST: Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) State of the Union mystery (by Ed Schultz)

The following guest post was written by Ed Schultz, the former host of “The Ed Show” on MSNBC and current host of “The Ed Schultz Show”.
If implemented, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could undermine many of President Barack Obama’s landmark achievements and thus his legacy on jobs and economic recovery, health care access, financial reform – and close to Michigan’s heart – the U.S. auto industry rescue and more. The great mystery is why Obama called for congressional passage of the TPP in his final State of the Union address?

The TPP text was finally released in November after seven years of secretive talks.…

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GUEST POST: "I stopped calling myself an LGBT ally. I became an accomplice."

GUEST POST: “I stopped calling myself an LGBT ally. I became an accomplice.”

The guest post was written by Sommer Foster, the Political Director for Equality Michigan and a long time political activist. You can follow her on Twitter at @SNFoster.
I used to be a self-proclaimed ally. I had a gay best friend. I had gay and lesbian family members. I voted against the gay marriage ban. I pushed back against homophobic comments written on social media. I had an HRC Equal Sign sticker on my computer. I was progressive. I was enlightened. And I rightly believed that LGBTQ people deserve the same rights as everyone else. I was proud to claim my ally-ship as my identity.…

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midterm

GUEST POST: To reduce economic inequality, we must reduce democratic inequality

This guest post comes from Sean McElwee — a research associate at Demos and an excellent follow on Twitter. Find out more about Sean and his work by checking out his most recent post for Eclectablog. Also be sure to follow Brian Schaffner on Twitter @b_schaffner.

In my latest Salon column, I explore a new working paper by political scientists Stephen Ansolabehere and Brian Schaffner, the most comprehensive examination of voters and nonvoters that has ever been performed. As I note in the piece, studies of non-voters have been difficult because of small samples and because people often misrepresent whether they voted.…

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GUEST POST: A Ticking Time Bomb/Pipeline  (Dire Straits)

GUEST POST: A Ticking Time Bomb/Pipeline (Dire Straits)

The following guest post was written by Denny Green of Clean Water Action – Michigan.

Enjoy.

Anytime you hear that something or someone’s days are numbered, you get the idea that it’s a matter of grave significance — certainly something to be regarded with the utmost concern and action.

Well, it’s been more than 140 days since Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette used this very language to describe the declining state of the 62-year-old pipelines—though they were only supposed to last 50 years—that run right through the pristine Straits of Mackinac. (Maybe the pipeline’s days were numbered in Roman numerals .…

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GUEST POST by Paul Clements, candidate for MI-06: The Cost of Congressman Upton’s Climate Science Denial

GUEST POST by Paul Clements, candidate for MI-06: The Cost of Congressman Upton’s Climate Science Denial

The following is a guest post by Paul Clements, the Democratic candidate for Michigan’s 6th Congressional District seat now held by Big Oil puppet Fred Upton. Clements ran for this seat in 2014. Though he was ultimately unsuccessful, he received a huge boost from the Mayday PAC which spent $1.5 million to support his candidacy. I interviewed him then (HERE).

Enjoy.

The Cost of Congressman Upton’s Climate Science Denial

Once upon a time Congressman Upton said we need to consider all the options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But in 2011, when he became chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, he also became the House’s leading opponent of federal action to restrain global warming.…

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GUEST POST - Hey, Great Lakes Education Project: Got Integrity?

GUEST POST – Hey, Great Lakes Education Project: Got Integrity?

The following essay was written by Mitchell Robinson and was originally published on his most-excellent blog at MitchellRobinson.net. Robinson is associate professor and chair of music education, and coordinator of the music student teaching program at Michigan State University. His essay is reposted here with permission.
The Great Lakes Education Project is a Michigan advocacy organization dedicated to advancing the charter school agenda in the state. GLEP’s official mission statement says the following: “Because a zip code shouldn’t determine the education outcomes for children, GLEP believes we must expand choice, improve quality and increase accountability. We support Governor Snyder’s ‘any time, any place, any way, at any pace’ approach to education.” But it’s worth noting that Michigan leads the nation in “for-profit” charter schools, with nearly 80% of the state’s charters being of the “for-profit” variety, making GLEP not so much an educational organization as a PR firm for charter school authorizers.…

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GUEST POST: Was Michigan charter school board complicit in theft of tax dollars by its founder Steve Ingersoll?

GUEST POST: Was Michigan charter school board complicit in theft of tax dollars by its founder Steve Ingersoll?

Steve Ingersoll has become the face of charter school operators scamming Michigan taxpayers by siphoning tax dollars intended for education into their own personal bank accounts. Ingersoll founded and operated the Bay City Academy in Bay City and the Grand Traverse Academy in Grand Traverse County. Last spring he was convicted on three counts of criminal tax fraud connected to his management of the Bay City Academy.

The Grand Traverse Academy severed its relationship with Ingersoll shortly before his indictment in 2014. However, they had known about financial irregularities in Ingersoll’s operation of their charter school as early as a year before but continued to keep him on board and, as recently as January of this year, defended him as a “philanthropist” who helped them “stay out of deficit”:

The Grand Traverse Academy board continues to support Ingersoll even though its business dealing with Ingersoll left the school in deficit.…
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GUEST POST: Congressional Republicans begin to move toward sanity on climate change with The Gibson Resolution

GUEST POST: Congressional Republicans begin to move toward sanity on climate change with The Gibson Resolution

In mid-September, just prior to the U.S. visit of Pope Francis, a group of 11 U.S. members of Congress introduced a House Resolution that has become known as “The Gibson Resolution“, named after Rep. Chris Gibson of New York who was the driving force behind it. The resolution, H.R. 424, calls upon Congress to begin taking action on global climate change, a sharp departure from the climate change denialism that is so prevalent among Republicans. The key part of H.R. 424 is this:

Resolved, That the House of Representatives commits to working constructively, using our tradition of American ingenuity, innovation, and exceptionalism, to create and support economically viable, and broadly supported private and public solutions to study and address the causes and effects of measured changes to our global and regional climates, including mitigation efforts and efforts to balance human activities that have been found to have an impact.…
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