As I’m sure you know, the Environmental Protection Agency released draft rules this week calling for a 30% reduction in carbon emissions from power plants by 2030. This, of course, is not going to happen without a fight, as polluters always claim that new or stricter pollution limits will destroy their businesses and the economy. Initial public reaction to the rule is positive, but polluters and their allies will come out swinging. Here’s how supporters of the new rules can be most effective in the fight to come:Read more ›
Author: Emma White
Just like with Obamacare, the key is playing offense The Environmental Protection Agency is going to release rules next week limiting the amount of carbon dioxide pollution that can be released from power plants. Amidst a lot of worry about the impact this will have on Democrats in an off-year election, apparently the optimistic take on this among Washington Democratic […]Read more ›
Marriage equality advances again…but it’s still legal in Michigan to fire someone for being gay (UPDATED)
Why does our state lag behind Kansas and West Virginia?
Yesterday a federal judge overturned Oregon’s gay marriage ban. Today, an announcement is expected in a similar case in Pennsylvania. (UPDATE: Indeed, the PA judge ruled the ban unconstitutional). Equality is spreading, and we should celebrate.
At the same time, however, a vote last night in Saginaw’s city council shows how far we in Michigan still have to come, as the city council decided not to protect the city’s gay and transgender population from discrimination in employment and public accommodations. Advocates have been bringing local non-discrimination ordinances to cities across Michigan because the state still fails to provide protection from employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.Read more ›
Because how could Detroit voters’ views be relevant to what happens to their city?
The Detroit Journalism Cooperative published a poll this week investigating views of the proposed “grand bargain” to pull Detroit out of bankruptcy. The good news is that the study finds strong support for the state pitching in with funding to help preserve workers’ pensions and the DIA. As Kevyn Orr tries to persuade Lansing Republicans to sign off on the deal, it’s good to know that he has voters behind him.
But here’s the thing: the poll only sampled voters who live outside the city of Detroit. 600 interviews, none of them within the city. This was intentional, not an oversight. Mlive offers the rationale that:
“Because the poll is intended to measure Michigan voters’ attitudes toward Detroit, the survey does not include interviews with Detroit voters.”Read more ›
Focus on values and make the other side defend
There has been lots of great Obamacare news over the last few weeks. But public opinion of the law hasn’t improved. The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll has been tracking this issue since 2009, before the bill passed. Their most recent poll, conducted at the end of April, found 36% saying the law is a good idea, consistent with the range in the mid to high 30s that they have seen the whole time (link is PDF).
Other pollsters, asking somewhat different questions, show higher or lower support for the law, but the same consistency over time. Why so little movement?Read more ›
Better transportation choices will be better for all of us.
If you live in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti or Ypsi Township, please join me, and a lot of other people, in voting YES on the transit millage tomorrow….
In Washtenaw County, even the opposition to the millage acknowledges the desire for better public transportation and is calling the “no” campaign “Better Transit Now.” Not that they are very clear on how a “no” vote will lead to better transit, but never mind that – they agree, at least in theory, with the goal, even if they don’t want to pay for it. And it’s hard to argue with the benefits of improving public transit, even for those (like me) who rarely use the bus. Even if you don’t take the bus, making it convenient for other people to leave their cars at home means traffic is better and we have less need to build more parking. Using less gas means less pollution, which is better for our health. And it’s better for our economy, creating jobs and economic development downtown and letting low wage workers get to work. (More details about the specifics of tomorrow’s millage are here.)Read more ›
Tens of thousands have been cut off from the benefits they earned.
A study released this week found that the Michigan legislature’s cuts to unemployment insurance have meant a loss of benefits for 14,000 to 32,000 Michiganders a week. (full disclosure here, one of the study’s authors is a personal friend, and has been a client on other issues).
For those who may have missed it at the time, Governor Snyder and the legislature shorted the period the short-term jobless can collect unemployment from 26 weeks to 20 weeks, along with reducing eligibility and making it easier for employers to contest claims. And this was during a period where the national unemployment rate has remained high, and Michigan’s jobless rate one of the highest in the nation.Read more ›
Terri Lynn Land apparently thinks we didn’t spend enough time talking about her record on equal pay over the last couple of weeks, so she’s airing a snarky ad defending herself.
So let’s talk about it again. For the record, Terri Lynn Land does not support improving our equal pay protections. Gary Peters does. Even though she wants being a woman (and her apparently legitimately decent record as an employer of women) to insulate her from attacks here, the fight about equal pay is a legitimate policy disagreement and one that women (and men) in Michigan are entitled to hear the candidates address.Read more ›
Terri Lynn Land, we need equal pay AND more flexibility
Terri Lynn Land (deservedly) caught a lot of heat last week over her suggestion that women would prefer flexibility over equal pay. And Senator Stabenow slammed Land again in a strong op-ed in the Free Press yesterday, bringing home the tangible impacts of lost wages.
Stabenow and others are right that it is unjustifiable for women to be paid less than men for doing the same work. But there’s a kernel of something worth addressing in Land’s comments, something that points to another ongoing inequality in the U.S. – inequality at home, linked in a vicious cycle to lower pay at work.Read more ›
Peters, Totten: Hit your opponents on Obamacare
If you are watching basketball and the play is constantly at one end of the court, you have a pretty good guess who’s winning, right? (HINT: not the team that’s spending all its time defending). The same thing goes for hockey, soccer, football…and communications.
When Chris interviewed me when I started writing here he asked about the mistakes I see progressive communicators make, and I answered that playing defense instead of offense is one of the biggest ones. I see too many candidates and advocates spend their time defending against attacks, trying to justify to the public why their views aren’t wrong, rather than going on the offense against their opponents and forcing them to explain the ways they are out of touch with American values.
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1. Voices you don’t hear anywhere else
No one else in Michigan is covering the problems with the EAA (the state takeover of Detroit’s schools) in the kind of depth that Chris is. And he is making space for the teachers working under the new authority to share what they are seeing on the ground in a way that absolutely no one else is.
2. A great team of commentators
Just look at how the blog covered the Obamacare roll-out: Amy’s stories of people helped by the ACA; LOLGOP’s highlighting deceitful anti-ACA ads; and Charles Gaba on his own site tracking actual enrollment.
3. Anne’s beautiful photography (and writing)
Like this beautiful piece about a lesbian couple married in Ann Arbor last month.