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12 PM - 6 PM*
339 River Street, Manistee
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Comments from the Chair
Recently I saw this question posted on social media: “When you are fighting a culture war who is the enemy?” As I am sure it was intended, this question made me pause and think about what is going on right now in the political world around us. Our political world is so filled with those politicians and TV “talking heads” spreading lies, misinformation, and blame while touting fear and division that it is almost impossible to get any meaningful legislation done in either Lansing or Washington. It is time to stop the madness!
We have too many important “kitchen table” issues and challenges facing young families in Manistee County to be concerned about the slim possibility that an LGBTQ+ person may have some negative influence in your life. We should be willing to accept and celebrate the courage these people have shown living and loving in an open and authentic manner. Legislating against medical and mental health needs of transgender youth and adults is purely a waste of time and is obviously intended to discriminate against people who really need and deserve assistance. Our elected officials and politicians should be more focused on providing a helping hand to raise children in Manistee County out of poverty by supporting Governor Whitmer’s plan to increase the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income families.
Why should we be concerned about Critical Race Theory (CRT), a theoretical subject that has been exclusively taught only in law schools? Our public schools in Manistee County are very fortunate to have extremely professional and dedicated educators who care deeply about the future success of the young people who enter their classrooms. We must keep state tax dollars focused exclusively on funding public education to ensure that every student in Michigan has the best opportunity to succeed regardless of their economic situation. Our teachers deserve more respect and recognition for the work they do every day delivering the skills our young people need to succeed in life. Therefore, we are pleased to see the huge increase in public school funding that has been consistently advocated by Governor Whitmer and recently included in the by-partisan state operating budget agreement. This was accomplished with no additional tax burden to anyone in Manistee County.
Access to safe and responsible use of guns and ammunition for hunting and sport shooting is certainly important to many residents of Manistee County.
Michigan Democratic Initiatives
It’s going to be a
(Comments from the Chair continued)
Stop worrying and stop spreading the lie! No one is advocating taking your sporting guns away. All we want is meaningful, common sense gun safety regulations. Why should it be easier to buy a gun than it is to get a driver’s license? Our politicians need to stop bowing to the big money lobbying power of organizations like the NRA and take action to make it more difficult for evil people to take innocent lives with a weapon that was designed exclusively to kill other human beings.
Senior citizens in Manistee County are much more concerned about how they can continue to maintain their lifestyle on a fixed income provided by pensions, retirement savings, and Social Security than they are about what is happening at our southern border. The fact that so many refugees and asylum seekers leave loved ones and everything they own behind to pursue the opportunity for a better life for themselves and their families should reinforce that the American Dream is alive and well. Instead of worrying about those who try to enter illegally, we should be thanking the professionals in the Customs and Border Patrol who are using state of the art technology instead of flimsy walls to apprehend and detain them in record numbers. Seniors in Manistee County should be telling our representatives in Lansing to support Governor Whitmer’s plan to eliminate the state income tax on pensions. This legislative action will put an average of $1000 per year in the pockets of Manistee County pension holders.
Many Manistee County women are righteously upset with the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn a woman’s right to choose to have a safe and legal abortion. This is the result of a very long-term campaign by the male-dominated Republican party to recruit single-issue voters and give these men in Washington DC the ability to stack the court with justices who have extremely narrow and antiquated interpretations of our Constitution. Right now, the only recourse we as voters have is to elect Michigan State Representatives and Senators who will go to Lansing and work with Governor Whitmer to codify in state law the right of a woman to choose to have a safe and legal abortion. Fortunately, Manistee County voters will have just that opportunity on November 8th by voting for their Democratic candidates on the ballot. THAT is how we can all work together to stop the madness and do the important work of governing for the greater good of everyone!
John Helge is a veteran U.S. Army officer and has recently retired after a 40-year career leading technical sales teams focused on the challenges of industrial water and energy sustainability. He is currently serving as chairperson of the Manistee County Democratic Party. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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