The WØRD – “Insurrection”

From the Chair

Three years ago, Donald Trump fueled the flames on one of the darkest days in American history when thousands of rioters stormed the United States Capitol. This treasonous act was intended to undermine our democracy and override free and fair elections, and since then the GOP has never drifted from that goal. Three years later, the fate of our country rests with the 2024 election.

The stakes could not be higher here in Michigan. It’s easy to forget, in light of all the progress we have made over the past few years, that Michigan was ground zero for the tools that built the insurrection. January 6th must serve as an ever-present reminder that under the wrong leadership, the very foundation of our democracy is at risk.

While Michigan Democrats have taken significant steps to protect our democracy and ensure an insurrection like January 6th never happens again, the threat is far from gone. Michigan voters know how high the stakes are this November, and will stand with President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Michigan Democrats up and down the ballot as they fight to protect our democracy and defend every American’s freedoms.

As we observe this anniversary, it is important to remember that after taking control of the state legislature for the first time in 40 years, Michigan Democrats took action in the face of the January 6th insurrection and have done vital work to protect democracy in our state including:

• Expanding our automatic registration system
• Repealing our arcane 1895 ban on hiring transportation to the polls on Election Day
• Establishing 9 days of in-person voting before Election Day
• Setting penalties for intimidating or preventing election officials from performing their duties
• Allowing Michigan clerks to begin processing absentee ballots before Election Day
• Strengthening our state election certification timeline and duties to remove any ambiguities
And we have one more safeguard in place: the best Secretary of State in the nation, Jocelyn Benson. If you missed our discussion with her last month, check out the podcast from our archives.

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority – better known as MSHDA estimates the state is short about 190,000 homes. That lack of supply is pushing up costs and making housing increasingly unaffordable. With this crisis at hand, the state is trying to find innovative ways to meet housing needs. Ann Hovey, the executive director of MSHDA, says “We have people scrounging for housing.”

The problem is multifaceted:
An aging population means the average household size has decreased, according to Hovey. So even though Michigan’s population growth is on a decline, the number of households grew from 3.8 million to 4 million in the past decade, census data shows.
Another contributing factor: vacation homes eating away at supply. Half of the country’s second homes are concentrated in eight states including Michigan, according to the National Association of Home Builders. In six Michigan counties, more than half the housing stock is second homes. That creates a housing crunch for full-time residents.
Democrats in the Legislature are working tirelessly to come up with solutions. One of the leaders in that effort is Traverse City Representative Betsy Coffia. She discusses the challenge and possible solutions with our Walt Sorg.

In the News

‘Democracy Is on the Ballot’: Biden Decries Trump in Campaign Speech – The New York Times

Biden calls Jan. 6 a day ‘we nearly lost America’ – AP News

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