By: Mahima Mahadevan
Public Policy Chair, APIAVote-MI
Partisan politics, corporate interests, jargony language, boys’ club mentality – these are some reasons why I’ve kept a distance with the people that get elected to Lansing and the legislation that comes out of Lansing. To be quite honest, I was satisfied with thinking of our state government as a black box. By doing this, I gave myself permission to stay out of Lansing and hurl complaints and criticisms from afar knowing that I couldn’t (but in my reality, wouldn’t)
do anything about it.
So what changed? The initial shift happened when I attended APIAVote-MI’s Legislative Day
on February 28th. It was my first time being inside legislators’ offices, meeting their staff and at times the legislators themselves, and having conversations with them guided by my interests. Before that day, I had not known that legislators had an open door policy that often resulted in a high level staff member taking a few minutes to talk to people like us that walked in unannounced. The second shift happened when I realized how important it was for our representatives to make direct contact with us and vice versa. As is natural to all of us, we are more likely to consider a viewpoint or an issue when we connect a name with a face. Now, when legislators see the name APIAVote-MI, hopefully they are more likely to pause and consider what we’re asking of them since they have met us. In a similar manner, when I see the name of a legislator, I feel more empowered and willing to do something since I feel I actually know this person, even if from a brief encounter. It will still take time for me to be more actively engaged, but at the very least, I don’t feel that Lansing and I are separated by an imaginary wall. Instead, I am starting to punch through this wall instead of staying put and being quiet on the other side.
I feel the best way to get past whatever wall you’ve created around Lansing is to do what I did and take a chance to step inside. Consider joining APIAVote-MI at our upcoming Lobby Day
in Lansing on Tuesday, May 14th. No experience is needed (all of us were first timers at the February 28th lobby day!). We will provide the training and materials for our legislator visits. Please RSVP
to receive more details. We will also join the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission (MAPAAC) at the Capitol on Tuesday, May 14th for their annual celebration of APIA Heritage month with distinguished APAs, legislators and special guests. Details found here
. Finally, the best way to break down walls is to be introduced to the legislative process at a young age so as not to build the walls in the first place. For this reason, APIAVote-MI is holding a free Youth Civic Engagement Leadership Training
this Saturday, May 11th from 10-3pm. Please RSVP
to attend. And as always, consider becoming a member
. It is through our membership support that we are able to build our presence in Lansing and make our legislators accountable to our concerns.
On Wednesday, May 1, 2013, Theresa Tran, President of APIAVote-MI gave a speech at a May Day Rally in Detroit, asking workers to remember the needs of Asian Americans in the discussion around Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Below is the transcript of the full prepared speech.
My name is Theresa Tran and I’m standing here today on behalf of Asian & Pacific Islander American Vote- Michigan in solidarity with our workers to support humane and swift comprehensive immigration reform.
Today is also the first day of Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month, and I want to mark this day by sharing a piece of my heritage with you. I am the daughter of immigrants.
My father had the good fortune of being sponsored by his sister just before the fall of Saigon almost 40 years ago. Because of this sponsorship, he was on the second-to-last flight out of Vietnam before it was captured by the communist regime and all travel in and out of the country was shut down. If it wasn't for his sister’s sponsorship my dad and I would not be here today.
My mother came to the United States as a refugee from Vietnam. She along with her younger brother endured months of dangerous travel by boat, boat raids by pirates, and a stay in an Indonesian refugee camp before her sister in the U.S. was able to find her and sponsor her to come to here. It was because of sibling sponsorship that my mom and I are here today. My aunt was also responsible for sponsoring my grandparents and remaining aunts and uncles in Vietnam over the years. After waiting over a decade, my mom was finally reunified with her family.
Family is central to the Asian as well as the American identity. Senate bill 744 needs to prioritize the family-based system, and we need to work together to ask Senators to preserve and improve family reunification in the proposed bill’s provisions. We’re calling on our community and allies to urge our senators to include siblings and married adult children over 31, and LGBTQ bi-national couples into family reunification visa categories to be inclusive of all of our families. The bill should also be amended to put back the diversity lottery, and Bangladesh back into the country category.
Today on International Workers’ Day, we are gravely concerned about a federally mandated E-Verify. This will push our most vulnerable workers into the underground
economy, falling prey to more unscrupulous employers, labor abuses and wage theft issues. The U.S. Congressional Budget Office has estimated a loss of more than $17.3 billion in federal tax revenue alone
over ten years.
We also want a bill that supports our working communities. Millions of legal employees could be considered ineligible to work if E-Verify was mandated nationally; this is according to our government’s own audit.
Upwards of 770,000 workers are projected to be fired after faulty “final non-confirmations (FNCs)” are given. The system has high error rates that kick out citizens and legal residents, with an error rate 20 times higher for foreign-born than U.S.-born workers. As ⅔ of APIAs are foreign-born, the highest of any demographic, with a sizeable portion Limited English Proficient, this will likely disproportionately affect APIAs. Other concerns on this issue include the potential of E-Verify becoming a de facto National ID card
and used to check statuses in the street, at the airport, or getting housing. Privacy and identity theft risks, unfair and costly burdens on small businesses, and forcing employers to act as immigration agents are additional concerns.
Mandatory national E-Verify could cost small businesses $2.7 billion in the first year, and more than $6.1 billion for all businesses. Businesses could potentially shift these costs onto workers by paying them less. That’s why we’re calling for reform that treats all workers with the dignity and humanity we deserve.
Finally, we want to urge Governor Snyder and our State Representatives to support the New American Opportunity & Fairness Act, a state immigration reform package introduced last week by Reps. Tlaib, Singh, Irwin, Zemke, and Dillon, that allows MI DREAMers to get ID cards, driver’s licenses, and in-state tuition. This act will help implement the Governor’s current Welcoming Michigan initiative, and show that our state is serious about welcoming immigrants here.
We’re calling on you as allies to the Asian & Pacific Islander American community and supporters of our shared American family values to call, email, and meet with your State Representatives and Senators to demand humane and swift comprehensive immigration reform that reunites all families, includes the Diversity Lottery adding Bangladesh back into the country category, and eliminates federally mandated use of E-verify.
As my parents have always told me, “Nothing is more important than family.” We cannot wait a decade more for our families to be reunited. Preserve our families!
By Kelvin Vuong
We just wrapped up a national debrief and retreat with APIAVote National partners. All of the many organizations that came together from throughout the US (see the list below) really highlighted the power of the AAPI voice and the need to ensure the we all have a voice at the table. Though we come from all different backgrounds, we share a common identity as integral parts of American society.
From organizations just starting with electoral engagement last year to those continuing on for the umpteenth year, there was much to learn from all of our partners and allies. Innovative uses of social media and traditional grassroots organizing increased the community's presence throughout the US. Some key learnings that we at APIAVote-Michigan will be and have been grappling with and were lifted up at the retreat are:
1) Elections are a cycle, but there really is no start or end. Though we really gear up our efforts during election years, we need to think about how we engage and maintain relationships with our communities
throughout the year. At APIAVote-Michigan we're working to expand our program. Later this month on April 16, we'll be sharing the results of our Needs Assessment Project. RSVP now
APIAVote-Michigan plans on continuing our voter engagement efforts in targeted Southeast Michigan municipal elections in 2013 to continue the momentum heading into the 2014 midterm elections.
2) Our community has great leaders and leadership potential, and we need to foster this and develop potentials for leadership. If we aren't going to be fostering our young people and engaging them to participate civically in society, who will? At APIAVote-Michigan, we hold annual youth leadership trainings to do just that. Know someone who would be great, tell them now or sign up here
3) We need to not be afraid to ask for resources. Electoral work is critical to ensuring that we have a voice, and it's not free to do this work. We need support from our communities. Whether it be time, money, or in-kind donations, we need your support. So how about it? Can you donate $25 and become a member of APIAVote Michigan right now
As a new member of the APIAVote-Michigan Board of Directors, I'm in awe of the work that we have done and am excited about the work we continue to do and will do in the years to come. I hope you will join
us on this journey!
List of Partner Organizations at the Retreat:
Georgia - Asian American Legal Advocacy Center
Virginia - NaFFAA
, South Asian Legal Defense and Education Fund, Hai
Hua Community Center
, Voices of Vietnamese Americans
Hawaii - No Vote No Grumble
California - Empowering Pacific Islander Communities
Florida - Asian American Federation of Florida
North Carolina - National Association of Asian American Professionals
-Research Triangle Park
Texas - Boat People SOS
, OCA-Greater Houston
New York - MinKwon Center
Ohio - Asian Services In Action
Oregon - Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon
Washington - Asian Pacific Americans for Civic Engagement
Minnesota - Minnesota Collaborative
National - ECAASU
By: Linda Chang
International Women’s Day, known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace, is held annually on March 8th, to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations.
This is a day that no matter the age, ethnic background, religious preference, and educational level, all women around the world can take a giant step together and create meaningful and sustainable change for women and girls.
When I try to imagine the future, I am optimistic because I see women demanding information and opportunities in the face of social norms that say they're not permitted to do so. The role of women as community builders, the contributions of women to society in different fields, and the challenges that they encounter, have made women realize their full potential, and has encouraged them to fulfill this potential.
Women are a diverse group; the roles they play as well as their characteristics, such as, age, social status, urban or rural orientation, and educational attainment. Although women may have many interests in common, the fabric of their lives and the choices available to them may vary widely. As a result, I want to send out my appreciation to all Asian Pacific American women.
I appreciate them being so brave. I appreciate them for being so strong. I appreciate them for just being so passionate and awesome. And I really appreciate those who dare to stand up and break the silence—whether she is the girl who stands out and voices the demand for control of her reproductive health, or the woman advocating and promoting Asian Pacific American justice, or those who are becoming strong and fighting for their own fates. APA women are no longer insubstantial, we have become advocates and activists, political figures, business owners, educators, workers, volunteers, students, and much more, and they are changing the unfair social rules.
I want to say thank you to all Asian Pacific American women for being so brave! Thank you for a passion of selfless devotion and a positive energy of making change. I appreciate your power that inspires and helps all of us stand up for equality, for justice, for change, and for the future!
By Sophia Shen Meet our newest member, Sophia Shen! After spending a day with APIAVote-Michigan volunteers and board members dropping off our needs assessment report at our February 28th Legislative Day in Lansing, Sophia felt inspired to become a member right on the spot. Here’s why:
The reason I decided to join APIAVote-Michigan is that I feel strongly about the challenges the Asian community is facing. For example, I feel strongly about the cultural and leadership style. I would like to encourage potential members to participate in civic services and raise your voice in the society. For many first generation immigrants we have insurmountable fear: we fear we will not be accepted by the main stream society, we fear our languages and communication skills are not good enough, we fear our culture is not welcomed or accepted by other cultures. We fear we are not COMPETENT enough! Now it is your time to stand up and improve your communication skills, improve your leadership skills, and increase cultural awareness to the American society.
As a new member of APIAVote-Michigan, I was invited to participate in delivering reports about Asian Pacific Islander Americans regarding education, employment, civic issues on February 28, 2013 during the legislative day. It was my great pleasure to be part of the community and raise our voice in the legislative sector. We reached out to 45+ legislators at the Capitol in Lansing, Michigan and discussed the challenges and opportunities facing the community as a whole. It was a great and fun experience.
President, Theresa, and other organization members and officials coordinated the event very well. The executive team provided proper reading materials in advice, role play/training on the spot, and carpooling. The team worked together and utilized our negotiation, time management, and leadership skills. The Senators, House of Representatives, Chiefs of Staff and Legislative Aids welcomed our comments and concerns and were very delighted that we reached out to them and raised our voice. They were excited at the idea that we will be meeting with them again for a Lobby Day on May 14th, 2013.
I strongly encourage you join the organization and become a member of APIAVote-Michigan to raise your voice in the American Society, and make a difference in our lives and our children’s lives. You can make a difference in the community, and come join us on May 14th, 2013 to express your voice at the capital. JOIN NOW
to become a member. Sophia Shen helps Chinese students to study in the best high schools and universities in the U.S. to experience the real American culture and learn the most innovative and advanced technology in the world so that they become world citizens and better leaders! She also helps American students to speak Chinese, study or travel in China and experience how the 2000 year history has impacted and awakened the country. Sophia loves what she does and is happy that her work will help so many millions improve their lives.
By Theresa Q. Tran
At APIAVote-Michigan, we are excited about venturing on to a new chapter in our organization’s life. Since the birth of APIAVote-Michigan just over five years ago, we have built a sound foundation under the extraordinary leadership of Stephanie Gray Chang. As we move into this next chapter of APIAVote-Michigan, I’m incredibly thankful and energized everyday by the amazing 12 individuals who are joining me on the Board of Directors
. They, and most importantly YOU will be integral to growing the work of APIAVote-Michigan. We are at a unique time in our organization and community’s development. With our growing numbers and contributions to the State, it is a time to chart a clear course and determine a future that truly stands for the voice of the APIA community in Michigan, because our voice counts.
I’m excited to announce that at the end of this month, after tireless dedication from our Needs Assessment Project Coordinator, Prasanna Vengadam, and committed volunteers and board members, we will be releasing our final Southeast Michigan Needs Assessment
report, complete with survey and focus group results. We’ll be calling on you to help us engage our legislative leaders for our APIAVote-Michigan Legislative Day in Lansing on Thursday, February 28th
. I’m hoping that you can join me for my very first legislative day, no experience necessary! Don’t worry – we’ve got incredible board members with experience who will provide training. This will be a great opportunity to learn about the results of our Needs Assessment Project, connect with other community members, and speak directly to legislative leaders about what matters to our community. But that’s not all…
We’ve got ambitious plans for the next two years, and want you there with us:
- April 2013 – Report out from our national partner, AALDEF on exit polling efforts in Michigan
- May 14th, 2013 –Lansing Lobby Day in conjunction with MAPAAC’s APIA Heritage Month Celebration
- July, 2013 - 3rd Annual Dinner, details coming soon
- Completion of our West Michigan Needs Assessment Project
- Developing our Comprehensive Immigration Reform Agenda with our local and national partners
- Partnering with community organizations to implement racial equity initiatives
- Growing our Youth Leadership Corps
- Civic Engagement, Advocacy and Leadership Trainings
…along with all of our ongoing electoral efforts with voter registration, education and engagement! Please help us continue to build on the great foundation
the APIAVote-Michigan has established and help usher us into the next chapter of our work by becoming a member today.
Your contributions help to sustain the work and grow our base of volunteers to truly strengthen the voice of our Asian Pacific Islander American community in Michigan. Thank you in advance for your continued support!
Finally, I want to take this opportunity to thank Stephanie Gray Chang for her service and dedication to this organization over the last 5+ years. APIAVote-Michigan is truly indebted to her – she has made this organization what it is today. I don’t know any woman who works as hard as she does and with the selflessness, grace and humility that she exudes. I am honored to have her as a friend and mentor.
By: Stephanie Gray Chang
As my term as APIAVote-Michigan president winds down, I wanted to spend some time reflecting on my past five years with the organization. Who knew back in 2007 how far we would come?? I am proud to have been part of the leadership of this wonderful organization and am excited to see the continued growth and success of the organization under incoming president Theresa Tran and vice president Willie Dechavez. A bit of history
In 2006, many respected community leaders guided me as I convened an ad hoc coalition of Asian American groups and individuals to educate Asian American voters in Michigan about affirmative action and mobilize voters in opposition to Proposal 2 through educational forums, town halls, and phone banks. That fall, Dr. Sook Wilkinson
convened a group of Asian Americans to host voter registration and awareness events and create a public service announcement about the importance of voting.
After the November election, the group came together to debrief our efforts, and we decided to continue on to register, educate and mobilize Asian American voters in Michigan. Denise Yee Grim
served as the first chair of APIAVote-Michigan in 2007.
Instead of writing a full-blown recap of the past five years (that would be too long!), I will share three things of which I am proud and three things for which I am hopeful. I am proud of…
: I am proud of the commitment that our organization has shown to nonpartisan grassroots community engagement. We saw a gap, and we continue to seek to fill it. Through our voter engagement work in the 2008, 2010, and 2012 election cycles and Census 2010 campaign, we have directly engaged tens of thousands of Asian American community members.
: First we started a youth leadership corps. Then we started two community needs assessment projects
for the Asian American community – one in Southeast Michigan and one in West Michigan. We started an Asian American immigration story documentation project. I am proud of the groundbreaking work that APIAVote-Michigan has done over the past few years and know that this spirit of innovation and creativity will continue!
3. Intergenerational pan-Asian American organizing:
Our Board and our contractual staff have been an intergenerational, pan-Asian American mix of South Asian Americans, Southeast Asian Americans and East Asian Americans. This diversity of experience and perspective is one of our most tremendous assets for our work. I hope to see (in the Asian American community)…
1. Moving the grassroots to action
: Let’s build on our grassroots efforts. APIAVote-Michigan has been a voice at the state and county level in redistricting
, immigrants’ rights
, and voting rights
. I hope that the Asian American community continues to grow in our capability and willingness to advocate for ourselves on issues that matter to our families. We can’t let our growth stop with just population numbers – it is critical that we empower all of our community members to participate in elections and then to engage policymakers on issues. [I also hope to see more Asian American candidates for office from all political parties!]
2. Lifting up the underrepresented
: I believe that we need to do much more work to lift up those that are not as fortunate or economically privileged in our community. I have been proud to be part of an organization committed to underrepresented voices and ethnic groups in the Asian American community. There is more to be done to ensure that those in our increasingly diverse community who don’t quite fit the Model Minority Myth are empowered to address issues in their communities.
: Since our beginning, APIAVote-Michigan has been a part of coalitions and partnerships with Asian American ethnic groups and non-Asian American groups. Only by working collaboratively can we learn lessons from others and build stronger, more impactful efforts to make change in our communities.Gratitude
Many thanks are owed to the initial informal coalitions that came together with a shared vision of a more empowered Asian American electorate in Michigan. In addition, none of the work that APIAVote-Michigan has accomplished in its five years would be possible without the hard work, perseverance, and commitment of:
· the many volunteers who have registered voters, called voters, stood in the cold on Election Day surveying voters, or participated in other volunteer activities;
· the financial support of various foundations and coalitions* who have been generous with their grants and subgrants, along with several corporate sponsors and many individual donors;
· the current and previous Board of Directors who have led the organization to where it stands today;
· the Advisory Board, led by Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood; and
· the contractual staff and interns that we have been so lucky to find (and put to work!).**
As you celebrate the close of 2012 and beginning of 2013, please consider making a tax-deductible donation of $25, $50, or $100 to APIAVote-Michigan.
Thank you for a life-changing five years.
* Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan (Knight donor advised fund), W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Ford Foundation, Michigan Voice, Michigan Nonprofit Association, APIAVote National and Asian American Justice Center.
** Past contractual staff and interns: Napapond Fay, Arthur Wang, Denny Chan, Gurtej Singh, Samira Ahmed, Barbara Stachowski, Wendy Yuan, Nancy Yan, Sally Kim, Mahima Mahadevan, Prasanna Vengadam, Mohammad Ashraf, Nasima Ahmed, Gao Nu Yang, Monika Kothari, Steve Su, Nasreen Islam, John Geahan, Mitchell Diep, Mehreen Ahmed, Vivian Le, Lian Le, Niño Laput, Rebeka Islam, Nicole Ni, and Xee Yang.
By: Stephanie Gray Chang
The election is coming up fast and Asian American oters can be part of the “margin of victory.” Sometimes I hear from people that they think their vote won’t make a difference. I’m here to tell you that every vote counts and that it is critical that Asian American voters lift up our voices on November 6 by going to the ballot box.
Did you know that Asian Americans, out of all racial groups, grew at a faster pace than any other group in Michigan? (34.9%) We need to make sure to match our growing numbers with a growing political voice. My parents came to the U.S. for better opportunities – for themselves and for their children.
Part of the American Dream is educational and financial success, but the most important right of all American citizens is the right to vote.
As one example of how Asian American voters decided an election, does anyone remember the 2006 election in Virginia between Jim Webb and George Allen? George Allen, at a campaign event, called an Indian American man a “macaca” – a racial slur, basically calling him a monkey. The Asian American voters in Virginia saw this was unacceptable, and turned out to vote for his opponent. The strong Asian American vote for Webb led to his victory. There was a 35% margin of victory for Webb for Asian American voters, and this made up a larger number of people than the total margin of victory.
In May 2012, APIAVote National partnered with another group and Lake Research Partners to conduct a national poll of Asian American voters. “An overwhelming majority of Asian Americans surveyed – nearly five out of six – said they will vote this November and half of them are more enthusiastic than ever to vote, a trend that has continued from the last few presidential elections.” This is great news – and you can be a part of this history. I’d like to make sure everyone is familiar with some of the voting laws in Michigan. Voting in person:
Remember to bring your photo identification if you have one. The poll worker will ask you to present your photo identification. However, if you do not have it with you, they cannot legally turn you away from voting.
You have a right to vote without being intimidated. If you encounter any problems on Election Day, call 866-OUR-VOTE.
If you are a registered voter, you can request an absentee ballot if you are 60 years or older, unable to vote without assistance at the polls, expecting to be out of town on election day, working the polls as an election inspector in a precinct outside your own precinct. Visit this link
to download the absentee ballot request form. You must turn this in by 2pm on the Saturday before Election Day. Then you will receive your absentee voter ballot, and you have until 8 p.m. to fill it out and return it to the clerk’s office.
If you have an opinion about our immigration system, look up the candidates’ stances on immigration issues and get out and vote! If you have an opinion on access to health care, find out how the candidates stand, and vote on November 6! If you care about the future of our economy, find out what the candidates’ economic platforms are and let you know how you feel by voting on November 6!
As the Michigan Secretary of State says on her website, “[v]oting is one of the most cherished and fundamental rights in our country.” If you don’t vote, you will be missing out on one of the most important things you can do as a U.S. citizen.
Support Proposal 2, Collective Bargaining
By: Ying Gee
Today, Asian Americans comprise one of the fastest growing populations in the United States. Many of today’s young APA professionals are forging careers that are quite different from their parent’s generation, especially in the new technology and entrepreneurial areas. Young APAs entering the workforce will experience greater job opportunities in the mainstream than for previous generations. Yet, APAs in this country continue to face three paradoxes: (1) society believes that Asian Americans have not experienced historic and ongoing discrimination, when the facts prove otherwise; (2) Americans perceive Asian Americans as the model minority, which is an overgeneralization; and (3) society assumes that Asian Americans are well-represented in all facets of all professionals, although they are not.
As a result, even when Asian Americans gain access to particular professional areas, invisible barriers creating “glass walls” continues to preclude APAs from gaining entrance to certain career paths within those professions. Discrimination hinders both upward and lateral mobility. Although in the aggregate, Asian Americans have higher educational levels, they do not receive the same income as those with comparable educational levels. Also, Asian Pacific Americans who are unemployed remain out of work for longer periods than other Americans, and face greater language barriers to employment.
Research shows that workers with college degrees make on average 5% more under collective bargaining agreements. Workers of color also disproportionally benefit from such agreements. The difference in wages between union workers and non-union workers, by race, are 22% more for Hispanics, 18% more for African Americans, 17% more for Asian Americans and 12% more for Caucasians. Collective bargaining contracts contain provisions that benefit communities and help to grow the middle class. Bargaining for provisions that speed response times for police and firefighters, result in more effective discipline and more enrichment classes in the schools, and include better staffing ratios for nurses help local communities.
That is why young APAs entering the workplace today need to take the lead to preserve their workplace freedoms and to retain the right to negotiate for their well-being. Supporting Proposal 2, Collective Bargaining in the upcoming election will help young APAs to achieve the American Dream by allowing them to have a voice in the workplace. The right to bargain collectively is fundamental human rights. Eliminating these rights would weaken workers’ ability to provide for their families, address issues of dangerous workplaces, discrimination, such as the glass ceiling, living wages, benefits, and dignity on the job. Collective bargaining helped created our middle class and they level the playing field for workers and employers. So exercise your rights by voting on November 6, 2012 and remember to vote YES on proposal 2.
Educators Agree: Vote NO on Proposal 2 to Protect Students, Stand-Up for Local Schools
By: Kathy Hayes, Executive Director, Michigan Association of School Boards
William Mayes, Executive Director, Michigan Association of School Administrators
Michigan voters face a big test this November 6th when we have our say on a half dozen different ballot proposals. While we tend to pay more attention to Presidential politics, these ballot proposals can be every bit as important in determining the direction of our state.
That’s why nearly 3,000 local Michigan school boards, principals and superintendents have come together with job providers of all sizes to stand up for our kids, stand up for our local schools, stand up for Michigan’s economic recovery and to urge parents and residents to vote NO on Proposal 2.
Let’s be clear—nowhere will Proposal 2’s negative impact be felt more severely than in our public schools.
According to the opinion of many legal experts and policy analysts, if Proposal 2 is approved, it will likely repeal laws that help your local public school keep good teachers in the classroom and overturn desperately needed and common sense health care reforms for public employees. According to the teachers union itself, Proposal 2 would also erase the law that fines teachers for striking illegally, the only law on the books deterring Michigan from sliding back into the days of teacher strikes.
Educators, just like parents and job providers, want our students to receive the best education from the best teachers, but Proposal 2 would eliminate teacher evaluation systems and force us back into a seniority system that makes time on the job more important than performance with our students. It would also negate the law that allows public schools to determine which teachers teach which subjects.
Proposal 2 would cost school districts $400 million in potential health care savings alone. Should it pass, districts will be forced to eliminate educational programs and cut staff just to balance the books. That is the last thing parents want and the last thing our children need.
So do your homework. Stand up for our Michigan schools and stand up for Michigan kids by voting NO on Proposal 2. If we don’t get this answer right we won’t simply be failing a test—we will be failing our children.
**A message from AIR (Alliance for Immigrants Rights & Reform Michigan)**
ICE and Border Patrol are out of control in Southeast Michigan. Illegal searches of people's homes, abusing pregnant women in detention, and surrounding elementary schools.
We have the power to stand up and demand an end to the abuse. We just have to use it.
This summer, AIR will be launching a major organizing drive across Metro-Detroit to end the abuse of immigrant communities.
It will be a Summer Without Fear.
A massive popular education campaign will make sure that everyone knows their rights, and what to do when immigration comes to the door.
A massive organizing campaign will build civil rights teams across the state to document and protest civil rights abuses.
We will be so organized, it will impossible for ICE or Border Patrol to abuse the community.
It all starts with a training June 4th where we'll learn how to tell our stories, organize the community, and build the power we need to get the justice we deserve.
The training will take place from 9:30 AM to 7:30 PM, on June 4th, at ACCESS in Dearborn - 2651 Saulino Court.Register for the June 4 Summer Without Fear training here.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org