Members pledge to back up their vote with vigorous campaign effort
Members of Michigan People’s Campaign (MPC), a statewide, grassroots political organization, voted last week to endorse a slate of candidates for the state’s primary election August 4th. After a lively discussion of each of the candidates’ strengths and weaknesses, delegates at the endorsement caucus voted for candidates in local, state and federal races that they felt were the best champions of the issues our group advocates for. But in order to qualify to participate, members had to pledge that they would follow up their vote with action, promising to campaign for them with a minimum of 200 voter contacts each before the November general election.
While it should be no surprise that members of this progressive group decided to back Joe Biden in the Presidential race against Donald Trump, delegates had the option of not endorsing anyone for President and focusing their efforts down-ballot. MPC had already endorsed Bernie Sanders in the run up to the Michigan Democratic primary election. But like Sanders, Biden supports a $15 minimum wage. He also wants to make college tuition-free for students from families who make less than $125,000 per year, doubling the size of Pell grants, and eliminating tuition at community colleges. And while he won’t use the term ‘Medicare for all’, Biden supports creating a public option for health care insurance. “These are all important issues to me,” said Henrietta Ivey who took part in the caucus. “And Biden would be the kind of president we could work with to get many other things done, unlike Trump who would rather rule by decree.”
In the U.S. House races, the MPC caucus endorsed Brenda Lawrence (I) in District 14, Rashida Tlaib (I) in District 13, Debbie Dingell (I) in District 12, Haley Stevens (I) in District 11 and Elissa Slotkin (I) in District 8 and Jon Hoadley in the District 6 race.
In the Michigan House races, they endorsed Donovan McKinney in District 3, Abraham Aiyash in District 4 - Roslyn Ogburn in District 9, Laurie Pohutsky (I) in District 19, Megan McAllister in District 38, Padma Kuppa (I) in District 41, Yousef Rabhi (I) In District 53, Felicia Brabec in District 55, Christine Morse, District 61 and Carly Rose Hammond in District 95.
Pohutsky, Aiyash and Kuppa are enjoying a second MPC endorsement. Our group's campaign efforts helped carry Pohutsky and Kuppa to victory along with Mari Manoogian in 2018. Aiyash led MPC’s Movement Politics Academy, training the incumbent legislators as well as several of the other candidates.
“We can count on Abraham Aiyash to put people over profits, and support legislation that will bring justice and dignity for all,” said MPC delegate Rev. Sharron Buttry. “He has been an outstanding advocate for environmental justice and making sure everyone has affordable healthcare. I believe Abraham Aiyash will carry on the legacy of our beloved Rep. Isaac Robinson who we lost to Covid-19.”
MPC has also endorsed Victoria Burton-Harris in her bid to unseat Kym Worthy as Wayne County Prosecutor. Worthy has been a perennial roadblock to criminal justice reform and police accountability, while Burton-Harris offers movement away from Worthy’s entrenched position. “She’s a breath of fresh air, “ said Kyle Kirk, a formerly inactive voter speaking in favor of Burton-Harris’ endorsement. “I believe that she will restore integrity to the office while keeping our communities safe.”
We at Michigan People’s Campaign strive for a reflective, participatory democracy. The people closest to the problem are always closest to the solutions they need and the more engaged the public is in the democratic process, the more the legislature will resemble the constituencies they represent. This is why we expend so much time and effort preparing our members for public life and why we turn to our members, and not monied interests, to decide who we will endorse and why.
This year, these elections will be decided by who has the most support of the most people, not who has the most money.