Welcome to the Ramblings and Rumblings blog for Lansing Online News – my place forÂ highlighting some of the good work being done by community activists and organizers in Lansing as well as some occasional ‘grumbling’ about the state of affairs in our fair city/country/world.
This week’s ramblings…
* I attended a great conference at MSU this past weekend, hosted by the Xicano Development Center. The Conference on Direct Action and Democracy had some great presenters, information and, even though it was a beautiful football Saturday, was really well attended. Most enjoyable for me was the Stenciling Workshop conducted by Dylan Miner, Tyler Fleming, and NorthStar Center’s Sarah Dowd. I’ve stenciled before but you can always learn new techniques and I wasn’t disappointed as on Saturday I learned how to do mud stenciling.
* This Wednesday, November 11th, is a special Veteran’s Day fundraiser for Volunteers of America. For the fifth consecutive year, Lansing Community College People for Positive Social Change has partnered with local artists and the community to support the Volunteers of America (VOA) homeless services in Lansing. The event takes place at 6:00 pm at Lansing Community College Dart Auditorium, 500 N. Capitol Avenue. On tap for the evening is the introduction of a short film (‘With God and Country’) produced by VOA Michigan; musical guests Frog and the Beeftones and Mighty Medicine; a ‘Funky Fad Fashion Show’ featuring local heroes such as Kathie Dunbar, Ann Francis, Chris Swope, Tom Rico, and Joan Jackson-Johnson, among others. The VOA will also be accepting donations of non-perishable food, backpacks, blankets, coats, hats, gloves, scarves and sweaters at the show. Admission is $5.00, and children get in free.
* I was thrilled to see some great positives for the State of Michigan this past Election Night. One was a huge victory for human rights as Kalamazooâ€™s Ordinance 1856, the anti-discrimination ballot initiative, won by a landslide garnering 62% of the vote. Another was the election of Charles Pugh to the Detroit City Council. Pugh was the leading at-large vote-getter to earn the distinction distinction of becoming the first openly gay council president in the cityâ€™s history.
This week’s grumblings…
* City of Lansing Finance Director Jerry Ambrose will submit a plan for handling a $3 million budget shortfall. Tough news for an already struggling city and local economy. I’m interested to see what this plan entails.
* Yippee – a health care bill passed the House of Representatives, but at what cost? Once again, through the StupakÂ (MI – Dem.) Amendment, politicians made up of mostly white upper class men, have taken it upon themselves to decide how a woman and her physician choose to make decisions regarding reproductive health. We continue to have leaders in our legislature, both at the State and National level, who think they know what is best for America and her people.Â Instead of listening to constituents, they listen to the rustle of money exchanging hands. Money continues to buy votes and buy elections with the assistance of a healthy dose of fear-mongering, God, and corporate greed thrown in for good measure.
Now don’t get me wrong and label me as a baby-killer. I don’t advocate for women to get abortions or do I think it’s necessarily right. However, I’m not a physician and I don’t even play one on TV. It’s not for me to say whether a woman should or should not get an abortion and the bottom line is they are the ones who have to live with their decision. The danger here is legislating against something that is already legal. It’s a dangerous precedent and will take us no closer to ensuring a fair and just health care system for all.