My Governor Poisoned a City #FlintWaterCrisis

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Politically Activated

By now, you must have heard about the poisoning of the water supply with lead in Flint, Michigan. The Emergency Manager of Flint – appointed by, and reporting directly to, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder – decided in 2014 to switch the water supply for Flint from Lake Huron via Detroit to the Flint River to save money for the cash-strapped city. Most of the water pipes leading to residents’ homes are very old and soldered together with lead. The water from Detroit was treated to avoid allowing this lead to leach into the water. When the switch was made to Flint River water, the extra measures need to prevent lead from leaching into the water supply were not implemented. This resulted in almost the entire population of Flint – mostly poor and majority African-American – to drink, cook, and bathe with lead tainted water.

Gov. Snyder was aware of this as…

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An Open Letter to the City Council of Holland, Michigan

On Friday, June 26, The Supreme Court of the United States affirmed what the majority of Americans support and believe: that the freedom to marry who you love is the right of every American, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. This is a giant step forward in ensuring that we are all created equal and we all deserve the same rights.

However, the ruling does nothing to protect those in the LGBT community from getting fired from their jobs or being denied housing because of who they love or marry. When making a lifelong commitment with our partner, we can share the joy and happiness of our marriage with our friends and family, but at the same time we also face the possibility of losing our jobs or being evicted from the place we call home.

That’s just not right.

On June 15, 2011 the Holland City Council, in a 5-4 decision, voted not to add “sexual orientation and gender identity” to the city’s human relations and fair housing ordinances and the equal employment opportunity policy. This came even after a year-long Human Relations Commission study that recommended the change to the ordinance.

In the four years since that vote, many hearts and minds have changed. The overwhelming support and success of Holland Area Pride 2015 showed that Holland, Michigan is an open, welcoming, and diverse community. The time has come to take the next step and join the more than 30 municipalities in Michigan that already treat their LGBT residents as equals.
holland city hallNow is the time to show our city, our state, and the country that Holland, Michigan is open, caring, and welcoming to everyone in our community, no matter who they are or who they love.

Holland City Council, it’s time for a vote.

President Obama’s State of the Union

Tonight, President Barack Hussein Obama will deliver his sixth State of the Union address. For the first time, he will be addressing a Congress that is controlled by Republicans in both chambers.

President Obama has a lot to be proud of: 58 straight months of job growth, unemployment at 5.6 percent, economic growth at an 11-year high, and millions insured under The Affordable Care Act – the greatest accomplishment of his presidency.

Tonight, the President will share his vision for America’s future, and for his final two years as President. He has already given us a preview in announcements, speeches and online presentations over the last few weeks and months.  Foremost is his Executive Action on immigration. The President understands the need to move on Immigration Reform, and that if Congress is unwilling to pass a comprehensive Immigration Reform bill, he must act alone to do what he can for the millions of immigrants now living our country. Another exciting development is the normalization of diplomatic relations with Cuba. No President in the last 50 years has dared to challenge the status quo when it comes to Cuba. The embargo against Cuba was originally put in place to force the Castro regime out of power, and return democracy to the island. When 50 plus years of isolation didn’t work, President Obama decided to try something different. Most Republicans are vehemently opposed to this action, so the President must be doing something right!

Another bold proposal is to provide two FREE years of community college to students. This really has the conservatives riled up, because a more educated electorate tends to vote for Democrats.

Also on the agenda is a tax reform proposal that would help the middle class with tax cuts, while eliminating tax loopholes for the very wealthiest,  and changing the tax rules for trust funds, among other changes to the tax code.

Even with a Republican majority in Congress, there is a lot the President can do, and will do. I STAND WITH OUR PRESIDENT.

Barack Obama has his work cut out for him in the last two years of his Presidency, but if the three months since the mid-term elections are any indication, President Obama is anything BUT a Lame Duck.