Better roads. Cleaner water. Real Democracy.
Check out and share our non-partisan voter guide for a new Michigan.
Introducing A Fresh Michigan
November’s elections in Michigan will in many ways likely come down to one question—do you want to fix our roads?
After eight years of one-party rule of all three branches of our state government, the deterioration of our roads and bridges may be the perfect symbol of what Republicans are willing to do with their power when they alone get it.
Michigan’s GOP was willing to slash corporate taxes, gut the negotiating power of workers, and implement bungled takeovers of struggling schools and cities that resulted in the poisoning of Flint and the further brutalization of Detroit’s already beleaguered public schools. But Republicans just could not get it together to fix our roads, even though it is a top priority for voters. In fact, it’s almost four times more popular than the standard GOP pledge of lower taxes, according to a new Detroit Free Press poll.
Starving the public to pay off the rich and corporations with tax breaks is a passion of the current GOP, and not just in Michigan. But they didn’t invent it—nor did their particular genius make it possible to gut education and investment in our infrastructure. Like the takeover of the United States Supreme Court, it was a project generations in the making.
“It isn’t ‘We didn’t spend the money last year’. This is ‘We didn’t spend the money over the last couple of decades’,” said Bill Anderson of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. SMCG found that only 19 percent of Michigan’s roads are in “good” condition.
Meanwhile, Detroit schools have lead in their water and, of course, we can’t find nearly enough teachers of any kind, much less of the high-quality teachers kids deserve.
The erosion of our public resources mirrors the erosion of our democracy. Michigan suffers from the twin rots of gerrymandering and “dark money” as bad or worse as any state in the nation. Our legislators are so afraid of the voters that just this year they performed a “catch and kill” of two ballot measures—one to raise the minimum wage and the other to grant sick leave—so Michiganders could not give themselves these basic guarantees of decent treatment.
The disconnect between what citizens want and what government does is only possible because the GOP has raged a relentless war on our faith in elections. They’ve been so effective that most citizens give away their power and their vote and allow corporate interests to dictate what our government does and for whom.
And, verily, we tell you—this can all change in November with one ballot. Yours.
Over the next two weeks we’ll be making the case for transforming this state by legalizing marijuana, stopping politicians from picking their voters, expanding ballot access and returning our state Supreme Court to the people.
And we need your help to spread these posts and our A Fresh Michigan voter guide to everyone in the state. If you have $5 to help us spread this guide, please donate on the right column to help us make the case for a new state by, for and of the people of Michigan.
Our posts about these proposals and candidates are here:
Proposal 1: Vote YES on Proposal 1 for #AFreshMichigan
Sam Bagenstos and Megan Kathleen Cavanagh: Take back Michigan’s Supreme Court? Vote Megan Kathleen Cavanagh and Sam Bagenstos for #AFreshMichigan.