Progressive protestors push back against Lame Duck

Liz Brauer of Ann Arbor attended the Fight for Our Families rally on Dec. 12, 2018 | Ken Coleman

Scores of citizens from across the state rallied this chilly afternoon on the state Capitol grounds in Lansing to raise their voices against a host of GOP-sponsored legislation.

“We’re tired of them pulling the corporate agenda and doing what their donors want them to do and not doing what the people of Michigan want instead,” said Sam Inglot of Progress Michigan, a lead organizer for the “Fight for Our Families Rally.”

Sam Inglot

Inglot recently wrote an op-ed in the Lansing State Journal advocating for an end to the Legislature’s year-end Lame Duck session. State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown Twp.) today sent out a press release calling for the passage of House Joint Resolution I that would abolish the session. This resolution was introduced in 2017 by state Rep. Gary Howell (R-Lapeer) and has bipartisan co-sponsors, although Camilleri isn’t one of them. The measure is sitting in the House Government Operations Committee.

Today’s demonstration was spearheaded by several other organizations, including We the People – Michigan, For Our Future, Planned Parenthood and Good Jobs Now.

Some of the bills protestors pushed back against were those that usurp power from Gov.-Elect Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General-elect Dana Nessel and Secretary of State-elect Jocelyn Benson, who are all Democrats.

Fight for Our Families rally on at the Capitol on Dec. 12, 2018 | Ken Coleman

Nayyirah Shariff, a Flint resident who was one of several rally speakers, described Lame Duck as “broken.”

“We’re here to send a strong message that we will not be trampled on by the people in power,” she told the spirited crowd.

Mark Schrupp, a Detroit resident who attended the rally, called action in Lame Duck a “power grab.”

“It’s just shameful that they wouldn’t trust the people to decide what they want,” he said.  

Tracy Pease testified last week against bills gutting minimum wage and paid sick leave proposals, which are now on GOP Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk. Today she called on the term-limited governor to veto the flurry of bills.

Rick Snyder

“Do not let this be the last thing that you do,” Pease said. “You have an empty legacy to begin with. This is circumventing democracy.”

Snyder told a group of reporters in an exit interview on Tuesday that he’s keeping an open mind on bills that land on his desk.

“I can tell you, though, with respect to the legislation coming to me, people should not just expect that I’m going to sign things or just veto things,” Snyder said. “I take each piece of legislation seriously. And I will look at it and if I believe that it’s in the best public policy interest of our state, I will sign it. If it’s not, I won’t.”

Ken Coleman
Ken Coleman reports on Southeast Michigan, education, civil rights and voting rights. He is a former Michigan Chronicle senior editor and served as the American Black Journal segment host on Detroit Public Television. He has written and published four books on black life in Detroit, including Soul on Air: Blacks Who Helped to Define Radio in Detroit and Forever Young: A Coleman Reader. His work has been cited by the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, History Channel and CNN. Additionally, he was an essayist for the award-winning book, Detroit 1967: Origins, Impacts, Legacies. Ken has served as a spokesperson for the Michigan Democratic Party, Detroit Public Schools, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence. Previously to joining the Advance, he worked for the Detroit Federation of Teachers as a communications specialist. He is a Historical Society of Michigan trustee and a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit advisory board member.

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