Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Robert Busby: Old Town's Magical Mayor

**Update - There will be a candlelight vigil tonight at 6pm (not 7 as previously reported) on Turner Street in Old Town between Grand River and Clinton St. if you have any questions, please email me or check the LSJ for further updates. **

Just one week ago, I stood and marveled at the beauty and growth of Lansing's Old Town with one of my favorite people, Robert Busby. That day, we were laughing about a piece in Lansing's City Pulse that featured Robert's art. As the owner of the magical Creole Gallery, I usually saw Robert about once a week and we always shared a smile, a laugh, and a hug.

Today, I learned that Robert has tragically left us.

Robert was a friend, a mentor, and a legend. His light was so bright that I know that even with his passing, it can never be completely extinguished.

My soul aches, my heart breaks, and I join hundreds and thousands of others who weep for Lansing's gentle spirit who touched so many.

In my deep grief, I'm going to share with you the words that the Old Town Commercial Association has shared
Everyone in Old Town and around Lansing knows Robert as the 'Mayor of Old Town.' His Creole Gallery is known as a venue that features the most incredible artists in and intimate settings that are not available elsewhere.

But Robert is known for a great deal more than his gallery. His love for Old Town truly defies comparison. Many years ago, Robert took an amazing risk. He purchased property and dedicated his passion to making Old Town an arts and entertainment area.

At that time, Old Town had a dangerous and well deserved reputation. Robert’s faith, heart, and incredible tenacity paid off. He made Old Town his home, the site of his business, and made his life about creating the lovely place that Old Town is today. Retailers and residents of Old Town are shocked and devastated. Some have been quoted as saying “These things don’t happen in Old Town, because Robert made this a place that we felt safe. We are a family.”

In life, it is very rare to meet so lovely a man. Our hope is that Robert’s dream continues, and that this city comes to appreciate and love Old Town like he has.

You will be deeply missed, but never forgotten.

Cruise Director Report: This Week in Lansing

Meet Up with Speaker of the House Andy Dillon and Majority Floor Leader Steve Tobocman-

6pm - 7pm
Livingston County Democratic Party Office
10321 E. Grand River Suite 600
Brighton, MI. 48116
We hope you can join us!

Please feel free to email me with any questions.

If you're browsing The Tubes looking for a new place to visit, consider checking out The Albany Project. While it's a New York specific blog, somewhat like Michigan Liberal, I have to give them a mention as I "guest-blogged" there yesterday. Thanks to NYBri, who stopped by this weekend for the Blue Tiger Democrats presentation this weekend at the convention. Check them out and say hello!

There is a truly excellent article about Governor Granholm in last week's Greater Lansing Woman. I really encourage you to check it out, and take a rare look into the personal life of the woman behind Michigan.

There's another new blog on the block, that just popped up since our Blogger's Caucus. A mighty welcome to The Blue Muskrat from Monroe! Billed as

Monroe, as seen from the banks of the River Raisin

Before you start scratching your head, be sure to check out the history behind Monroe's Muskrat. Verrrry interesting. Here I just thought the little feller was cute!

Seems as if Saul Anuzis, Michigan GOP Chairman is just driving folks out left and right. MichLib has an excellent diary about how former Republican State Legislator John Stewart (Plymouth) and wife Beth joined the Democrats this weekend at our convention and switched party membership.

Here's hoping your week is warm and eventful, and I hope to see everyone out at the Meet Up tonight!

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Blue Tiger within All of Us

Many thanks to all the bloggers and bloggers in the works who came out for the Blogger's Caucus 2.0. It was such a success because of them. Check out the full scoop on MichLib.

This convention was a success for me on so many levels. Not just because of a great Blogger's Caucus of over 80 people, or because I got a chance to hear how so many folks are using the blogs to stay informed and get involved, or because I had the chance to meet so many incredible people and hear them say "Oh, you're Liberal Lucy!", but because I found a group within our great state party that exactly embodies the very reason that I live the way I do, I speak out on this and several other blogs every day, and the amount of time and dedication that I give of myself to the causes and people that I do - The Blue Tiger Democrats.

I'm not a Democrat because I was raised to do so. In fact I'm the only person in my entire family that claims a party membership. I'm not a Democrat because it's trendy, or someone said I should join. I'm a Democrat because I believe in giving back to my community, to my state and to the world, and that is who the Democrats are - the Party of the People.

I attended a session, along with about 50 others during the convention about the Michigan Blue Tiger Democrats, and I found myself continually nodding my head in agreement with what they had to say. A guy sitting next to me summed it up best, "What that guy (Blue Tigers founder Bill Samuels) just said in 5 minutes was the exact reason I've been coming to state conventions half my life."

Here are the Principles of the Blue Tiger Democrats:
  • A Party isn't a Party if it's built top-down or supported primarily by large individual and corporate donors.
  • A Party isn't strong if it only debates the major issues or refines a concise message that can be communicated in a thirty-second commercial.
  • A Party is only as strong as its number of involved and dedicated members who believe in individual responsibility and demonstrate it by working in their communities.
  • A Party must not just debate the issues of the day, but demonstrate its values by individual actions.
  • A Party is strong if it is connected to its community through day-to-day work solving problems that exist in that community. People working outside the government, outside the bureaucracy, connect the Party to the voters.
  • For Politicians to be Respected, we must free them from the humiliating and enormously time-consuming task of fundraising.
  • Civic Engagement is a two-way street: it not only benefits individuals in the community, but it ensures that the Party is in touch with communities across America.
I wasn't surprised when I heard Blue Tiger's founder, Bill Samuels say that bringing this project to Michigan, from New York, was Governor Granholm's idea. A huge thanks to MDP Chairman, Mark Brewer who has this to say about Blue Tiger
I am proud that Michigan is the nation's first official Blue Tiger state.


Our goal is to regain respect for the Democratic Party and for the political process. The Michigan Democratic Party is committed to making civic engagement an integral part of our state organization. By giving Democrats things to do between elections and providing meaningful services we, as Democrats, can show citizens that parties want to engage them more than just on election day.

The best part about Michigan's Blue Tiger program is that its so much more than talk. Back to Brewer-
Our first project was an educational program designed to help urban residents of our state manage the surging cost of their utilities.

The project formed local organizations to educate community members about options and solutions for energy efficiency to cut the cost of utilities. It began in ten of the poorest areas of Detroit and Macomb County.

This project is just the first of many we will launch with Blue Tiger to improve the lives of our people through serious, committed civic engagement. These projects will enable us to put our principles into practice and expand our foundation. In addition, we will develop new generations of political leaders and community activists who are committed to helping our citizens, and experienced in how to do it. In this way, our civic engagement projects will bare fruit for years to come.

Our leadership is committed to keeping Michigan a Blue State and we believe that Civic Engagement is integral to this mission.

That is exactly what it is about. It's not about television ads, or stump speeches or even who can have the coolest website and raise the most money.

It's about giving back, it's about really rolling up our sleeves and making our state and our party great again. It's not about you or me, Governor Granholm or Mark Brewer.

It's about how we serve each other and the effective mechanism for change that we become. That is what being a Democrat is about, and that is what being a Michiganian is about.

It's about what's best for MI, not just for me.

Friday, February 23, 2007

On the Friday Front

TGIF! I've got some happy news to report!

If you haven't seen it on Michigan Liberal yet, Senate Democratic Leader Mark Schauer has started to blog! His first post, aptly titled Where is the Republican Budget Plan lays it out. Many thanks to him for reaching out and representing all of Michigan's interests.

Tomorrow is the Blogger's Caucus at the State Convention. If you see a blogger limping around, that will be me. I've got to have minor surgery today on my foot, and it will leave me limping for a while. Funny enough, I had surgery the day before the last convention in August, so I'm afraid people might start to think I do this often. :-) Not true!

Yet another new liberal blog on the block - PhiKapBlog hailing from the mean streets of...Livonia. :-) The author is a frequent poster/commenter over at Michigan Liberal, so stop by, say hello and add him to your blogroll!

Huge props to Rich at Honest Errors for a post so good, it's making it into the Blogger's Guide that's going out tomorrow to folks at the Convention. Reaching Readers Beyond Other Bloggers and Those-In-The-Know is a really excellent piece of info for the answer we're all searching for...how do we gain new readership and continue to grow our base.

Here's to a happy and safe weekend!!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Meet Your Ineffective Senate Republican Leadership

When kids whine, it's annoying.

When adults do it, it's ten times worse.

When elected officials do it because they aren't doing their jobs, it's like nails on the chalkboard.

Check out what your Senate Republican Leadership is whining about now over on Michigan Liberal.

Take Action Today in Lansing

There's lots of things in Michigan and Lansing that we all need to fight for, but as a country, we need to stand up to those who aren't looking out for our troops best interests.

I hope you'll consider taking a half-hour out of your lunch break today to do something to protect our troops from their own worst enemy, our President.

Consider joining me at noon at Mike Rogers' office to personally deliver letters from tens of thousands of Michigan's residents calling for a stop to the troop escalation in Iraq. From MoveOn -

On Thursday, MoveOn members are gathering outside hundreds of congressional offices to keep the pressure on Congress to block the escalation. We'll be holding signs and listening to compelling speakers, and we've invited the media.

We want to make sure we have a good-sized group from your district.

Can you join us at a "Congress Decides" letter delivery on Thursday around lunchtime in Lansing?

Where:Mike Rogers office on Michigan (between Holmes and Ferguson) Lansing
When: Thursday, Feb 22 2007, 12:00 PM
RSVP: MoveOn

A majority of those in Congress oppose the president's plan to escalate the war. Now we have to make sure they stop him. In a few weeks Congress will have to decide how far they're willing to go to block the escalation.

They're home for recess and this is our best opportunity to influence what they do when they return to Washington. They need to know that we're not going to rest until they start bringing our troops home.

The more of us who participate on Thursday, the louder our message will be. If we keep the pressure on now, we can make sure Congress does the right thing by blocking the escalation and taking steps to bring our troops home.

Can you join us on Thursday to tell Congress, You're the decider, you must stop the escalation?

Rep. Jack Murtha—who's been leading the fight to stop the escalation—recently told MoveOn members, "The time to act is now...We can get this done. We can bring our troops home."

Here in the 8th District we have an even bigger motivating factor, Mike Rogers' refusal to do what's right for the troops. As we've seen time and time again over at Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, Mike's not in the game of representing anyone else's interests besides his own extreme views.

We might not be able to bring them home tomorrow, but as our closest allies start to pull out there's no reason we should be putting any more troops at risk.

Our troops are the people that voluntarily risk everything to ensure our country stays great. Don't they deserve us fighting for them?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

And They're Off!

It's February 2007, and everyone wants to talk to me...

At least, everyone who's running for president. While I certainly feel special, I'm not sure if all this talk is a boost for the election or a bullet to the foot.

Truth be told, I'm a little worried for our candidates. Check any blog, semi-political website, and now even some magazines, and Bill, Obama, Hillary, Mitt, John and that other John all want to have a conversation with you. Gee, I'm sure we all feel special, but I can't help but wonder. The confetti is barely swept up and the ballots have just been shredded, and already the gate's opened back up and they're off again. Anyone else feel like we barely had time to catch our breath?

For those of us reading this site, we're not your average American group of people. While we enjoy politics and all the mysterious inner-workings of it, most others develop a rash just thinking about it.

We are not representative of the majority of this state or this country. Try as hard as we might, but most Americans don't do politics. Voter registration and turnout is worse than pulling teeth because most Americans have to be shamed into voting.

Here in Michigan we've already seen the nasty backlash that over-advertising and promotion have on election results. Amway Guy was way up in the polls in June and July, but come August his numbers started to drop. The constant bombardment of his TV, web, and print ads were more than even the most die-hard Republican could handle. Dick wanted you to have a conversation with him when you read the morning paper, checked the weather on TV, and received a text message on your cell phone. That flush of $30 million down the toilet was music to the Democrats ears. Simply put, that can't be us next year.

I have no doubt that there is a fine line to walk between voter outreach and over-advertising. I need to ask though, because as someone who both enjoys politics and is excited for what November of next year will bring, I'm already beginning to feel a little overwhelmed. Just imagine how most of America is starting to feel.

If you could give our candidates a couple words of wisdom, what would you advise? After all, we're the people they really want to talk too...

What's Ahead in Lansing

This next week is looking to be a promising one here in Lansing.

Here's some suggestions for investing some quality time in the area...

The Michigan Brewers Guild is hosting the 2nd Annual Winter Beer Festival in Old Town. You can be sure that the spirits will be merry and the tap will be flowing. Even if you can't make it, you can still snag a copy of Michigan Breweries still hot off the presses by some friends of mine in Canton. I've given the book to several friends and family members as gifts, and its always been a hit.

Also on the same day (sadly!) is the Michigan Democratic Party's State Convention at Cobo. Hope you'll stop by the Bloggers Caucus 2.0 at 10 a.m. and join us.

Next Tuesday you can join us in Brighton as we meet with Speaker Dillion and Floor Leader Steve Tobocman, check out MichLib for more details.

If you're looking for something a little closer to home, consider dropping by Old Town for the Grand River Connection's 4th Tuesday Night Out. The GRC is a very cool group of young professionals (under 40-50ish) that get together to network and mingle at hot spots all over town. It's a good time, and you're bound to not only have a lot of fun, but also meet tons of new friends. Too bad for me that it's on the same night as one of the Meet Ups.

No matter where you are or what you're doing, here's to a lovely week ahead!

Lucy's Latest Favorite Reads

Happy Tuesday! For those of you in the government, at the post office or in a bank, hope you enjoyed your three day weekend, as the rest of us enjoyed our two day weekend. :-)

I've made some subtle and not-so subtle changes to LLP this past weekend, and I've got a lot more new stuff in the works. Of course, until this blog starts to bring serious bucks, I've got a *real* job to maintain too, so all in due time.

First up, and directly to your right, you can now subscribe to LLP by email. Seriously, every time I put up a new post up, you get an email courtesy of Feedburner. Yay! Help yourself!

Over in the links category I wanted to point out a couple new adds to the LLP links list. Consider adding them to your list on Bloglines or other feed reader, they get the Liberal Lucy Stamp of Approval!
  • For an extra dose of snarkiness, be sure to check out Mike Ramsey's Web-Log. Mike's the political cartoonist for the State News, and has been doing a great job for a couple years. Now he can get even better without worrying about an editor to toning down the snarkiness.
  • Upside Down Bananas is another new blog from hailing from West Michigan. I could try to describe it for you, but I thought I'd just let Emily, the UDB's author do it for me...
As a blog, Upside Down Bananas is intended to be an outlet for a variety of interests and thoughts, both personal and professional. It’s not intended to play host to expert opinion at all — consider it the noodlings of a young professional obsessed with researching, exploring, engaging and analyzing the intersection of marketing, technology, strategic communications, organization development and community development.
Emily's most recent post about Nonprofit Leadership in 2020 is really interesting, and you should definitely check it out.
  • If leading is your thing, check out Reading for Leading. Updated every Monday, this blog is an excellent resource for those of us who are interested in the concept of servant-leadership, which is what I strive to practice each day. A great leader doesn't just lead, but leads through serving others. Reading for Leading really provides some excellent tips on serving and leading through some real life glimpses into one man's life. Of course, this man is just not any man, he's Dan Mulhern, Michigan's very own First Gentleman.
Here's wishing all of you a happy and productive Tuesday!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Cruise Director Report: This Week in Lansing

Last Week's Report
Last week's Drinking Liberally was a huge success. Thanks to the 30 or so people who showed up. Two new bloggers showed up, and their blogs are now on the blogroll to the right. A howdy to Rich from Honest Errors and Shez from Multi Media Netroots. Of course, there's a blog in town that we should all be checking out that isn't so much new, as important to read. The Lansing State Journal has their Capitol Journal blog that's updated daily. Go over and read all about it.
The March event will be held on 15th at 7pm. Feel free to sign up for the list-serv to receive updates and other progressive Lansing news.

This Wednesday
Senate Minority Leader Mark Schauer is hosting a Meet Up just for bloggers and Net Roots activists from 7pm - 8:30pm this Wednesday. If you're a blogger or online activist, and interested in going, you must RSVP to me. Many thanks to Sen. Schauer for hosting us.

This Saturday
Check out Bloggers Caucus 2.0 at the Michigan Democratic Party State Convention at Cobo Arena. While I'm still left scratching my head as to why we're meeting in Detroit for the 2nd time in a row (what's wrong with our beautiful Lansing center?), I hope to see lots of new and familiar faces there. You don't have to be a blogger to attend. It's open to anyone who wants to learn more about political blogging general. I'm even throwing together a beginning document about blogging and how to get started that will be available at the Caucus.

It's going to be a good week indeed. Stay tuned for some important cycling updates. :-)

This is Liberal Lucy, wishing you good morning and good luck!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Why Republican Gay Discrimination Costs Us

Earlier this month, Michigan continued to take several steps back into the Dark Ages with the Appellate Court ruling that prohibits public universities and state and local governments from providing health insurance to the partners of gay employees. The Court based the ruling on the asinine 2004 vote on the so-called Gay Marriage Amendment Ban, aka the first failed Proposal 2.

Congratulations, Michigan. You join 26 other states in officially discriminating against the very people who pay your taxes, start and own businesses, and traditionally have the most disposable income of any major demographic.

When I talk to my GLBT friends, I find myself unable to convince them why they shouldn't leave Michigan. As a person with a chronic illness and someone who's *technically* classified as disabled, would I want to stay here if suddenly the government ruled I was a second-class citizen because of something that I have absolutely no control over? Of course not.

Honestly, for a party that's supposedly about helping businesses and decreasing the size of government, the Republicans are clearly headed in the wrong direction.

According to Fortune magazine, about 175 Fortune 500 brands advertise specifically to gay and lesbian audiences.
For the first time, more than half of Fortune 500 companies - 263, to be precise - offered health benefits for domestic partners, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Ten years ago only 28 did.
Along with health benefits for their families, many workers also get bereavement leave when their same-sex partner dies, adoption assistance or paid leave if they have children and relocation assistance for their partners if they are transferred. Put another way, gay marriage - an idea that has been banned by all but one of 27 states that have voted on it - has become a fact of life inside many big companies. "Corporate America is far ahead of America generally when it comes to the question of equality for GLBT people," says Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign.

Consider this - Raytheon, a defense contractor that makes Tomahawk Missiles (think Gulf War I) is rated as one of the Best Places to Work by the Human Rights Campaign, because they are reaching out to the GLBT community. Why the outreach? (Also from Fortune)
... it belongs to gay chambers of commerce in communities where it has big plants. Why? you may ask. Not because gay people buy missiles or radar - at least as far as we know. No, it's because the competition to hire and retain engineers and other skilled workers is so brutal that Raytheon doesn't want to overlook anyone.

To attract openly gay workers, who worry about discrimination, a company like Raytheon needs to hang out a big welcome sign. "Over the next ten years we're going to need anywhere from 30,000 to 40,000 new employees," explains Heyward Bell, Raytheon's chief diversity officer. "We can't afford to turn our back on anyone in the talent pool."

Isn't it interesting that Michigan is in that very same situation, except we are the shareholders. The financial futures of ourselves, our children and our grandchildren depend on how well we advertise and promote our state to the rest of the global community.

It seems to me that Michigan can't afford to turn our backs on anyone, and yet thanks to certain narrow-minded individuals, that's all we seem to be doing. While the Governor, Dillon, Schauer and others are attempting to hang out the biggest welcome sign of them all, the Republicans are tearing it down faster than we can cry "Stop, thief!"

If the Republicans want to convince Michigan's voters that they really deserve to be in charge in '08, they should remember the words to one of the first songs we all learn as kids...

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world...

...not just the white straight ones.

For a Good Time, Call the Capital Area Young Dems!

Who said Democrats don't know how to have a good time???

Last night the Capital Area Young Democrats gathered at Metro Bowl for bowling, food and fun.

While no official count was ever taken (at least by me), it appears that our group topped off at 30 or so.

The Michigan Young Dems Membership Director Mr. Michael McGuinness joined us, as well as Young Dems from all over the Mid-Michigan area. Hopefully all of these very same folks will join us this Thursday @ the Nuthouse at 7pm for Drinking Liberally!

I do have some sad news to report. Liberal Lucy will not be gracing the ranks for the PBA Bowling Elite anytime soon. My combined score of two games was less the number of members in the State House. I'm blaming it on my puny 8lbs pink ball. Anything heavier than that my arthritic hands can't handle.

Stay tuned to LLP for continuing Capital Area Young Dems updates. Hope to see you at one soon!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Govenor Granholm Live on Daily Kos - 4 p.m. Today!

From Daily Kos-
On Monday at 4pm, Governor Granholm will be posting a diary and responding to questions and comments. She will be focusing on her economic plan and the investments that she layed out in her State of the State address as well as her 2008 budget proposals to solve the state's fiscal crisis.

For a number of reasons, Michigan is facing a very important set of choices in the coming weeks, and it is vital for everyone to understand what is at stake. Here is some background and detail on the Governor's budget proposals and her State of the State address. I know that the Governor is eager to read thoughts on what she has presented and how we can move forward.

Many thanks to Clint from the Governor's office for setting this up. Hope you can be there, it will be an important discussion and I'm anxious to see what the Governor has to say!

See you there!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Meet Your Future Republican Leader (As soon as he gets out of jail)

First there was Tom Delay...

and then there was Mark Foley...

now we'd like you to meet Michael A. Flory, one more fine Republican making his way through America's criminal courts.

That's right. This fine, not-so-upstanding young man is currently the chairman of the Michigan Federation of Young Republicans, and graces the lovely streets of East Lansing, at least when he's not in court facing charges of rape, kidnapping, aggravated burglary, gross sexual imposition and witness intimidation.

Yowsers! Quite the laundry list, eh? The story just broke this morning in the LSJ.

So what's so special about Mr. Flory? Well for starters, it appears he might have been snoozing during his criminal law classes at the Wayne State Law School. He's actually a practicing attorney! The MFYR touts Flory
Mike Flory is truly one of the rising stars of GOP politics in America.

My, my, if only all the Republican stars were as bright as Mr. Foley Flory.

*UPDATE* It seems as if Mr. Flory has stepped down to "clear his good name". In his place, Alicia Ping has stepped up as Acting Chairman. Let's hope she can stay out of the defendant's seat.... We'll continue to follow the Flory story as it develops....

Why NetRoots Meet Ups are so Successful

Last night was our Netroots meet up with Lansing-are lawmakers, and by all accounts it was a success. Many thanks to the 20-30 folks who came out for the event and left us with standing room only. Even more thanks to State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, Rep. Barb Byrum, Rep. Joan Bauer and Rep. Mark Meadows for joining us.

For most, it was their first meet-up of that type. We had a richly diverse group, from state employees to stay-at-home parents, to young professionals, to some local union members.

Everyone came with the same goal, to explore how we as a community come together to make our state work better for all of us. The most widely-talked about topic was the state budget and what it means for us, the citizen. Our guests helped us better understand what's going on at the state process, and we helped them understand what's important to us.

We also discussed how we can work better with our government to achieve some of the common goals that we have and how we continue to fight against the Republican propaganda machine.
When we started speaking about the blogs and the online community, it seemed apparent that our elected officials understood the importance of this tool, and the power that it has to reach across traditional communication lines. We talked about the need for everyone to step up their own personal advocacy, whether it be on or offline, to push for different measures that are necessary to keep our state great.

This meet-up was a success, and I hope that these types of meet ups will quickly be further embraced by our progressive legislative counter-parts. This is just another way that we continue to invest in our people, in our economy, in our future, and mostly importantly, this is how we continue to keep Michigan great!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Cruise Director Report: This Week in Lansing

Sooner or later I knew that I was going to have to start something like this, so here goes.


Meet up with Lansing-area Legislators
Join Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, Rep. Barb Byrum, Rep. Mark Meadows, and Rep. Joan Bauer as they meet with members of the net-roots community, which includes YOU!
We'll be at the Lake Lansing Beaners in East Lansing (corner of Lk. Lansing and Abbott) from 6:30 to 8:30. Bring yourself, a couple bucks for a yummy hot beverage, a laptop (if you wish, not necessary though) and a smile. See you there!

Next Thursday (2/15)
Join us at the Nuthouse Sports Grill (corner of Michigan and Cedar in downtown Lansing) for the revival of Lansing's Drinking Liberally. Starting at 7pm, we'll be raising a pint in the name of democracy. Come join us for some interesting talk and grass-roots activism.
See you there!

Meet Up with House Leadership Date Change

As first reported over at Michigan Liberal, the Net-Roots meet up with Speaker of the House Andy Dillon and Majority Floor Leader Steve Tobocman has been rescheduled.

Please note the new date and time-

Tuesday, February 27th

6pm - 7pm

Livingston County Democratic Party Office

10321 E. Grand River Suite 600

Brighton, MI. 48116

Apologies for any inconvenience.

All other meet up times are still in tact, and feel free to email me with any questions.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

How the Republicans Knocked My Socks Off and Other Dazzling Displays of Talent

Dear Michigan Republicans:

I wanted to take a moment out of my night to thank you for bringing out your All-Stars for tonight's State of the State address. I didn't really expect such an amazing performance but you really surprised me. I figured that without Sikkema's screaming diatribes at the podium, it'd be oatmeal and stale toast from here on out. Tonight I stand fully admitting how wrong I was.

Among my favorite moments from tonight's performance -

Bishop the Mad Scribbler - Man, that guy can take down notes like nobody's business. I think I might give him a call next time I head out to a live-blog. Every time the camera caught him (did he know it was being broadcast?) he was writin' like it was his job.
While we're on him, how's he feeling? He was clapping awfully slow, and it looked really painful. Maybe his jacket was too tight?
Helpful suggestions for improved performance:
  • Hire aide
  • Use Communications staff
  • Hit record on VCR/DVD player

The Peanut Gallery - Let me tell you, your guys and gals should be up for an Oscar or two. They didn't crack a single smile during some of the most uplifting and cost-cutting measures the Governor could throw your way. Stalwarts, absolute rocks free of any emotion. When the rest of the Chamber (and state) was on their feet, pumping their fists up and down and applauding, your team was holding tight, stiff in their seats, nary a smile to be found. I can only imagine what kind of training and years of angry thoughts that has to take. Hope that after you're back in the barracks later tonight you'll be sure to give them a gruff "Nice work team!" Solemnness like that deserves to be rewarded.

Helpful Suggestions for Improved Performance:
None, you definitely wrote the book on this one.

Boy George - I could have sworn Tom George (M.D.) just got done milking Bessie and came in for a quick peanut butter and banana sandwich before running down to the Five and Dime for the latest Archie and Veronica comic. I was expecting your response to be the traditional fight fire with fire ala the Old Testament, but you guys really turned the other cheek and skipped right to the New Testament on this one, eh? Hmm, interesting concept you've started here, fight fire with...milk toast? Silly me, I always thought someone like Tom had a personality and speaking voice for children's books on tape, but I see now that clearly he was the B.E.S.T. choice for your response piece. You are so right, with this fiscal crisis of ours started by your boys Ken and Craig, the B.E.S.T plan really is to put up another recycling plant.
Helpful Suggestions for Improved Performance:
  • Consider skipping the See Spot Run series and move straight to recording Beatrix Potter, Tom's voice would make a killer Peter Rabbit.
  • Ditch the jacket and tie for a fuzzy yellow sweater. Nothing says recycling plants like a yellow sweater.
  • Keep up with the original acronyms. B.E.S.T. is a great start. Amazing what a medical degree does for the creative process huh?
Thanks again for making it such a memorable night. I look forward to the next dazzling display by your All-Star Team.

All the best,

Liberal Lucy

State of the State: Git 'Er Done!

Once upon a time there were the Republicans, occaisionally refered to as the Grand Old Party, Repugs, and the Cult of the Shrub. Governor Granholm just likes to call them The Naysayers.

In telling Saul & Co. where to stick it, Governor Jennifer Granholm managed to deliver a passionate and eloquent summary of what's broken and gave an outline of how we're going to fix it.

With her recent triumph over Mr. Soap and Hope himself, the Governor added a whole new level of steel to her spine and drew a new line in the sand. There will be stem cell research, there will have to be some sort of tax adjustment and that no one will slash school funding.

P.S. The Governor's cut taxes 93 times. The Naysayers? Well all they really did was create a lil ol' 1.9 billion dollar hole.

For the full blow-by-blow, be sure to check out Capital Viewpoint. Feel free to leave your snarks, your spitballs or your swarmy praise below.

Lansing Area Legislators Meet with Members of the Net-Roots Community - This Thursday!

I'm very pleased to announce that all four of Lansing's state lawmakers are meeting with bloggers and those active within the Net Roots community this Thursday.

State Senator Gretchen Whitmer had this to say in her press release on the event
Bloggers have become an emerging force within the internet political community, I am very excited to participate in this type of forum and to encourage net-roots activism.
State Senator Gretchen Whitmer (D-East Lansing) will be joined by State Representatives Barb Byrum (D-Onondaga), Joan Bauer (D-Lansing) and Mark Meadows (D-East Lansing) as they discuss how online activists can help legislators promote local and state-wide initiatives.

Thursday February 8th
6:30pm - 8:30pm
3499 E. Lake Lansing Rd.
East Lansing, MI 48823

**This event is not just for bloggers, but for anyone who's interested in politically engaging online and working with area legislators to achieve common goals.

For other state-wide meet-ups with legislators, stay tuned to LLP and Michigan Liberal for all the details!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Gloves Start to Come Off

Last week a trip to the Northern Lower Peninsula awakened the inner tree-hugger in me. It's not just about enjoying hearing birds chirp and watching the grass grow green. It's about realizing that our state's got to get our priorities straight if we're going to dig ourselves out of the mess that began with Engler & Co. nearly 12 years ago, and has snowballed with the downfall of the The Big Three.

The Republicans are screaming for Governor Granholm's head, and dancing the "Democrats Raise Taxes" jig, all the while failing to provide any type of real solution. How convenient for them. Lose the election, retreat to their corner to lick their wounds and play the ol' blame game.

God forbid that DeRoche, Bishop and Saul actually get real results. Giving credit where it's deserved, kudos to Anuzis for actually admitting that even his own party people are sick of his stuff.
I received several emails in response to my commentary yesterday. Most were supportive and/or in agreement. However, a Republican Mayor from west Michigan wrote me concerned that “my rhetoric” was not helpful to “fixing what needs to be fixed” and that I was more interested in “political posturing” than dealing with the situation.

I'm sorry, but did someone just miss a bit of a wake-up call?

So, whilst our over-paid Senate Republican leaders attempt to lead the state off the nearest cliff without bothering to listen to the 10 million of us who sign their paychecks, this tax-payer would like to focus a little more on what we can really do to get our state back on track. Our Democratic leaders have a fight on their hands, and we need to support them. But that's not where our civic responsibility ends. There's plenty we can do on our own to help our state get back on track. There's also a lot that we need to do to make sure it stays on track.

So while many will wrap themselves in a flag and claim that their hooting and hollering is helping the state and the nation, this liberal is going to try something new - being proactive. Let's roll up the sleeves, get serious, and go to work. It's our state, and we need to fight for it.

Stay tuned...

Friday, February 02, 2007

Strengthening Michigan's Progressive/Liberal Community

All the meet-ups that are going on throughout the state both this month and last are a good sign of our growth and development. It gives this liberal hope that our elected officials understand how important it is for our entire community to connect with each other.

All the responsibility for this state-wide connectivity does not and should not rest solely on our leaders shoulders. After all, one could argue that they are only doing what we, the constituents ask of them.

Cordelia Lear always reminds us of Alice Paul's famous saying - Democracy begins at home. It's so easy for us to shrug off the responsibility of our civic duty and pass that proverbial buck, but that wouldn't constitute what we all like to believe that we are, good citizens.

With the Information Age well upon us, and the Internet quickly becoming the place where we literally do almost everything, it does seem fitting that we get back to basics. Start with where you live and who and what you know.

I recently started up the Lansing chapter of Drinking Liberally. Our chapter here brings the state-wide count to three, joining Ann Arbor and Oakland County.

But what about the rest of the state?

Drinking Liberally is a great organization, a great way to meet other local liberals/progressives, and an organization with a very simple mantra
Bars are democratic spaces - you talk to strangers, you share booths, you feel the bond of common ground. Bring democratic discourse to your local democratic space - build democracy one drink at a time.
A group like Drinking Liberally could easily make it's way into any city/town/village here in Michigan. From Muskegon to Clare to Homer to Trenton and Bessemer, there's no such place as a bad spot for a group like Drinking Liberally. There's no membership requirement, fee, or application process. Just a couple like-minded people getting together together to talk about politics.

Some of the best ideas have been scribbled down on cocktail napkins, and formulated on a bar stool. Sharing ideas and promoting democracy doesn't have to be done just in the voting booth.

While we start lay the ground work for '08, what can you do? Drinking Liberally may not be for everyone, but it certainly is a different and interesting way of connecting with liberals and progressives in your area that might not normally be reached. Consider starting a chapter in your area, or joining another local progressive group.

Democracy starts at home, and whether its the kitchen table or the booth at the local pub, it's up to you. Promoting and sharing democracy is a civic responsibility that we all must lay claim too. After all, it's our state, we need to make it work for us.