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INTRODUCING: Our latest Eclectablogger, Sommer Foster

On Monday, I announced that we are bringing on a new writer at Eclectablog. Today, I am pleased to make the official announcement that Sommer Foster will be a regular (and paid) contributor to Eclectablog. I’ve been asking Sommer to come on board for over a year now and the stars have finally aligned in such a way that she’s able to do it.

I first met Sommer at a Canton Democratic Club meeting and have gotten to know and respect her over the years through her work with Equality Michigan and as a Michigan activist. As a straight ally, Sommer has been a fierce advocate for the LGBTQ community and has unquestionably left her mark on Michigan.…

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INTERVIEW - Gretchen Driskell campaigning hard in Michigan's 7th District to beat "Caucus of No" member Tim Walberg

INTERVIEW – Gretchen Driskell campaigning hard in Michigan’s 7th District to beat “Caucus of No” member Tim Walberg

In 2012, Gretchen Driskell did what few thought possible and what fewer Michigan Democrats were able to do: she beat a locally-popular Republican incumbent, Mark Ouimet, to take back a state House seat, beating him by by six points in the Republican-leaning 52nd District. Two years later, she was such a strong candidate that the Republicans put up a weak candidate that Driskell beat by over 12 points.

This past February, Driskell announced her candidacy for Michigan’s 7th Congressional District. The seat is currently held by Tim Walberg, an ultra-right conservative and former preacher who claims he “was a tea partier before there was a tea party.” Walberg was ousted from the seat by Mark Schauer in 2008 but took it back again in 2010 and has held it ever since.…

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UPDATED: Flint Mayor Dayne Walling talks about Flint's water crisis, Emergency Managers, and the State government

UPDATED: Flint Mayor Dayne Walling talks about Flint’s water crisis, Emergency Managers, and the State government

As the water crisis has unfolded in Flint over the past few months, there has been an enormous amount of finger pointing and blame shifting going around. Just this week, Darnell Earley wrote an op-ed piece for The Detroit News absolving himself of any of that blame, despite the fact that he or one of his predecessors was in charge when the decision to switch the City of Flint from Lake Huron water via the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) to the Flint River. In fact, the decision to move to Flint River water despite an offer by the DWSD to remain on their system was made by Earley himself.…

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INTERVIEW: State Rep. Brandon Dillon, candidate for Michigan Democratic Party Chair

State House Rep. Brandon Dillon first came onto my radar when I watched this video of a floor speech he gave shortly after Republicans made Michigan a Right to Work state where he described Michigan as “where democracy goes to die”:

Since then, he’s been a rising star in the House, joining with former Rep. Ellen Cogen-Lipton and others to take a leadership role on the issue of education and being an outspoken critic of his Republican colleagues and their overreach & hypocrisy.

Last month, after Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lon Johnson made the surprise announcement that he was stepping down to run for Congress in the 1st Congressional District, Dillon threw his hat into the ring.…

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Winning Marriage-2-3

INTERVIEW: How Freedom to Marry won hearts and minds on marriage equality — and what’s next

Marc Solomon, national campaign director of Freedom to Marry, talks about the road to marriage equality.

With a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality expected in just a few short weeks — and a historic victory for marriage equality in Ireland last week — anticipation, and hope, are high among those who support the right of same-sex couples to marry. I had the pleasure of interviewing Marc Solomon, Freedom to Marry‘s national campaign director and author of Winning Marriage: The Inside Story of How Same-Sex Couples Took on the Politicians and Pundits — and Won. Here are the highlights of our conversation.…

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INTERVIEW: Progress Michigan’s Lonnie Scott on their upcoming fundraiser comedy show with The Daily Show’s Al Madrigal

“We wanted to bring everyone in the progressive community together to talk about issues that they are concerned about and working on every day and to have some fun doing it.”

As I wrote about last week, our friends at Progress Michigan are having fundraiser in Ann Arbor on June 3rd that features comedian Al Madrigal from The Daily Show along with others. I sat down with Progress Michigan Executive Director Lonnie Scott to discuss the show, why it is necessary, and what people can expect.

Information on purchasing tickets can be found at the end of the interview.
Tell us a little bit about Progress Michigan.

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INTERVIEW: Meet Jayne Rowse & April DeBoer, two Michigan women at the center of this week's SCOTUS marriage equality case

INTERVIEW: Meet Jayne Rowse & April DeBoer, two Michigan women at the center of this week’s SCOTUS marriage equality case

With the U.S. Supreme Court hearing testimony tomorrow on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans in places like Michigan, I thought it would be a good time to repost my interview with April DeBoer and Jayne Rowze. Although much has happened since our interview a bit over a year ago – like the addition of a fourth child to their family – it’s worth hearing directly from Jayne and April why this case is so critical to couples like them. They talk about the terrifying experience that made them realize that their second-class citizenship status was a threat to the children they are raising together.…

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INTERVIEW: Hitting the ground running - Congresswoman Debbie Dingell talks about her first 100 days in Congress

INTERVIEW: Hitting the ground running – Congresswoman Debbie Dingell talks about her first 100 days in Congress

As a member of the 7th Congressional District, “represented” by Tim Walberg, I consider the 12th District my adopted district and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell as my actual Representative. That’s because, on just about any topic or issue you could name, Debbie Dingell DOES represent my views. She’s as solid a progressive as you could ever hope to meet.

From the moment Debbie Dingell announced her candidacy for her husband’s seat, she made it very clear that her last name meant nothing and that she was going to prove to voters that she is a hard worker who would earn their vote.…

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Introducing our newest Eclectablogger: Judy Matlock

Introducing our newest Eclectablogger: Judy Matlock

As I so frequently say during our fundraisers, it’s your contributions that not only allow me to pay the regular contributors here at Eclectablog a small token for their creative output, but also make it possible for me to bring on new writers. Last week, in a bit of a “soft launch”, we published the first piece by our newest Eclectablogger Judy Matlock.

I first met Judy in the comments section of Eclectablog. While we have many terrific commenters on this site, Judy’s comments stood out from the others. They showed a level of “insight with an edge” that got my attention.…

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INTERVIEW: Nic Clark talks about the amazing work of Clean Water Action and next week’s awards ceremony & fundraiser

As I went to compose this post, I didn’t have to create a new “Clean Water Action” tag because I have written about Clean Water Action and their incredible work many times in the past and have quoted their state Director Nic Clark on numerous occasions. That’s because I have a special place in my activist’s heart for CWA.

Immediately following the 2008 presidential election, after spending the previous year knocking doors and making calls and organizing others, I found myself unable to quit. So I joined up with the Ann Arbor CWA operation and what I found there was nothing short of amazing.…

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INTERVIEW (with photos) with one of Michigan's rare married same-sex couples on their one-year anniversary

INTERVIEW (with photos) with one of Michigan’s rare married same-sex couples on their one-year anniversary

One year ago today, Anne and I spent an extraordinary day at the County Clerk’s offices in Washtenaw and Oakland counties, watching as some of the 300+ same-sex couples were legally married for the first time in our state’s history. You can revisit that day with us in the post (HERE) that we put up featuring many of Anne’s outstanding photographs.

We even got to see Judith Levy, the first openly-gay federal judge in the 6th Circuit Court perform the first ceremony of the day in Washtenaw County:

1st same-sex marriage in Washtenaw Cty being officiated by the 1st openly gay 6th Circuit federal judge Judith Levy

— Chris Savage (@Eclectablog) March 22, 2014

As a follow-up to that day, Anne did an interview with Connie Greer and Diane VanDorn, two women from our hometown of Dexter who Anne had shadowed the day they were married to document their experience.…

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