January 24, 2018

Join Bill McKibben and others: Fossil Free Fast

FFF Video

Let’s come together on Wednesday, January 31 and usher in the fast and just transition to 100% renewable energy for all.

We hope to see you at a watch party!

Bill Latka
Communications, Michigan Climate Action Network and TC350

January 23, 2018

Take Action to Protect the Dreamers

From national Indivisible (thanks to Linda Pepper)


Take action now.

Dear Indivisibles,

In September, Trump and the GOP launched an attack on some of the most vulnerable Americans: Dreamers, kids who rely on the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and victims of natural disasters.

Trump rescinded an Obama-era executive action to provide deportation relief to Dreamers who went through an extensive (and expensive) application process. Congress let CHIP funding expire. And the House and Senate dragged their feet to provide disaster relief to Puerto Rico.

Democrats voted not once, not twice, but four times since then in favor of short-term spending bills to keep the government open despite Republicans’ unwillingness to address these issues. Last Friday, Democrats held strong by withholding their support for another short-term funding bill until Republicans came to fix the messes that they created.

After two days of government shutdown, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and Trump offered an ultimatum to Senate Democrats: vote against the Dreamers or we keep the government shut down. Indivisible joined 17 other national progressive and immigrant rights organizations to tell Senate Democrats: we’ve got your backs, so hold the line!

But this afternoon, Senator Schumer led the Senate Democrats to surrender. The House voted and passed their version just a few hours later. For his caucus’ vote, Schumer got absolutely zero protections for Dreamers. Instead, McConnell made a pinky-swear promise (no one’s ever broken one of those, have they?) to Democrats that if they just voted for what he wanted, then he’d try to take up the Dream Act in the next few weeks.

Why Democrats made this deal is baffling to us. Americans overwhelmingly blamed Republicans for not being able to keep open the government that they fully control. 70% of Americans support deportation relief for Dreamers. And this weekend, nearly two million people were in the streets for the second Women’s March showing the resistance’s power, and opposition to Trump’s agenda, hasn’t dwindled.

We’re not sure where this deal will land or whether McConnell or Trump will hold up their end of the bargain (we’re not holding our breath). But until we know more, here’s what you can do to take action:

 1. Make a call

Visit to read our latest analysis. Find out if your members of Congress (MoCs) are Dream Heroes or Dream Killers. Use ourDream Hero call script if to thank your Senators voted to protect Dreamers. And use our Dream Killer call script if your Senator voted to fund the government without protecting Dreamers. Make your call using our toll-free line at 1-855-980-2355. You’ll be prompted for your zip code and immediately connected to one of your Senators. Call back again and you’ll be connected to your other Senator!

2. Show up

Visit your member of Congress’ (MoCs) offices this week. They need to not only hear from you, but they need to see you too! They need to know how you feel about this “deal.” Read up on our organizing toolkit to plan an action at your Senators’ offices. Then, be sure to register your event so others in your area can join!

Let’s be clear: Mitch McConnell has no intention to live up to these promises, or any other promises he may make. His main prerogative is to score political points and embarrass his foes in the process. And, today (and on September 6, December 8, and December 22), Schumer and some Senate Democrats fell for it. That means, on February 8, we’ll be right back in same position needing to pass another spending bill without having secured relief for Dreamers.

Let Democrats know you’re going to keep fighting, and you expect them to fight too. Make a call and show up. We’re going to continue this fight until Dreamers have protection and all elected officials who side with Trump’s bigoted agenda are voted out of office.

In solidarity,
The Indivisible Team


Minutes of Jan 21 general meeting

January 21, 2018 Meeting Notes (thanks to Berta Meserve)

Indivisible Traverse City meets every 1st & 3rd Sunday 10-11:30 at Workshop Brewing Co.  These minutes will be posted on our Facebook page and the Indivisible Traverse City website.

See the 2018 calendar on the web page

The meeting was called to order at 10am by co-chair, Linda Pepper. Agenda was approved by Margaret Monsour and minutes from the January 7 meeting were approved by Lynn Van Ness

Linda Pepper reported on “good news”:

Bart Stupek has written a new book entitled For All Americans

Jack Lessenberry’s article in the Sunday, Jan. 21 edition of Record Eagle on taxes is a must read.

Dan O’Neil will run against Larry Inman.

We were reminded that voting for new officers is scheduled in March. On March 4 those interested in a position can declare their candidacy and voting will occur the following meeting on Mar 18th.
Treasurer, Allen McCullough reported a balance of $235.00 in account.

Maggie Singer reported on recent Outreach activities that included a joint meeting with Indivisible Grand Traverse. Both groups agreed to collaborate, when possible, on programs and speakers.  They offered their meeting place at the Unitarian Universalist Church as a possible venue to accommodate a large group for invited speakers.  They also extended an invitation to our group to hear the scheduled speaker discuss “Money in Politics” on Tuesday, Feb 13 at noon.

The next Outreach meeting with other area Indivisibles is scheduled for Feb 1st, 11am at Flap Jack Shack.

Voters Not Politicians/Voters rights

Marcia Curran gave a brief report on the Voters Not Politicians (VNP) meeting held last Sunday at Boone’s Long Lake Inn. . This was a celebration because volunteers gathered over 415,000 signatures for the ballot initiative to create an independent commission and end gerrymandering in Michigan. The Regional Director, Chaz Dila spoke about the next phase, Get Out the Vote, which will begin in March and go through to elections in November.

Repeal and Replace Bergman

Lynne Van Ness and Gretchen Iorio attended the boot camp for Matt Morgan and reported that about 75 people attended in support of his campaign.

Environment: Line 5

Brenda Rusch mentioned that work continues and she and other Indivisible members are calling prominent elected officials such as Attorney General Schuette, Senator Gary Peters and others to put pressure on them to act. Berta Meserve brought up the idea of endorsing Oil and Water Don’t Mix’s Plan to Decommission Line 5. Individuals who would like to support their plan were encouraged to do so by going to;  We do not currently have an endorsement policy.

Sinclair Broadcasting

Ted Iorio led a discussion regarding so-called “fake news”, Terrorist Report and right leaning broadcasting on local Traverse City TV stations now owned by Sinclair Broadcasting. It was decided there would be a discussion on an Action Protocol for dealing with Sinclair at our next meeting Sunday Feb 4th. We plan to invite other Indivisible groups to join this discussion.

Candidate screening document developed by Indivisible Traverse City in June, 2017 was circulated

last week.

Paul Singer delayed his scheduled presentation and reminded the group that supporting or endorsing a candidate could occur after the primary. The Indivisible publication, A Practical Guide for Endorsing in Primaries and Beyond was posted to members on email last week.  The group will continue to discuss the options to support local issues and candidates.
Dan O’Neil, who will be running against Larry Inman, introduced himself and his wife. His focus will be; among many others: making lives better, education, struggles of working families, clean air/water, transparency in government, redistricting, decreasing the influence of money in politics. They are looking for any volunteers to help with the campaign, or donations.

Marcia encouraged members to read a recent article by Jack Lessenberry in the Jan21 edition of Record Eagle that illustrates how our public funds are misspent. The predictions are that our revenues will continue to decrease and that Michigan will have a massive budget shortfall.

1. Trump anniversary/shut down- follow and continue to make calls.
2. SB 574 which passed in both the House and Senate.  It supposedly supports teachers but actually uses tax payer dollars to support charter schools.-Both Wayne Schmidt and Larry Inman voted for SB5743. Continue to follow Rogan’s List     

3. Contact senators who voted FOR the tax bill; Heitkamp, Manchin, Donnelly, Jones, McCaskill

4. Meet Wayne Schmidt at meeting on Jan. 26 at 8am at Grand Traverse Pie Co.(location near Division St. on W Front)

Linda Pepper suggested that members consider attending public meetings of elected officials to monitor their meetings and hold them accountable for their actions. GT County Commissioners, School Boards are some of the suggested public meetings.

Next meeting February 4    (


Upcoming events in Michigan

Upcoming events here and around Michigan:

Dan O’Neal (a TC Trial Attorney), running for GT State Representative for our 104th district, Campaign Strategy meeting, Sat Feb 3, 2-4pm at his home on 9th Street for precinct delegates and volunteer workers. RSVP Lorraine Brickman ( by Jan 25 for details & to reserve a spot.

Jack Bergman holding a “civic engagement” event, Thursday, Jan 25, 6pm at Sault Ste. Marie’s Kewadin Casino, 2186 Shuck Road, MI 49783.

Wayne Schmidt is holding an open discussion, Friday, Jan 26, 8:00am at GT Pie Company (W.Front).

Leelanau County Board of Commissioners Committee to discuss the proposed Septic Ordinance, Tuesday, Jan 30, 9am at the Leelanau Government Center.

The People’s Governor Forum featuring 2018 Governor Candidates, Saturday, Mar 3, noon-3pm at the Woodward Historic Little Rock Baptist Church (9000 Woodward), sponsored by Michigan United and 40 other organizations.  For info and to reserve a free ticket go to eventbrite People’s Governor Forum.

January 17, 2018

Notes from Indivisible GT 1/16/18 meeting

Courtesy of Jeff Kessler:

Notes from Indivisible GT 1/16/18 meeting

Upcoming Events

1. Mobilize for Morgan Boot Camp: 1/20, 9:00-11:00, TADL (Woodmere St.)

3. Women’s March TC: 1/20, 1:00 at the Chamber of Commerce Bldg. ACTION: make posters with a positive, unifying message.

4. DACA support rally: 1/17, Gary Peters’ office, 818 Red Dr. Suite 40., T.C. No time given.

5. Indivisible T.C. meetings: first and third Sundays of each month, 10:00am, Workshop Brewery. 6. Pure Michigan Governor’s Conf: 3/27-3/29, Amway Hotel, Grand Rapids.

7. President of Leelanau League of Women Voters will speak to us 2/13 on $$ in politics, and the roll LWV plans to play.


1. Jeff reported he has booked a $$ in Politics speaker for 2/13, (President of the Leelanau League of Women Voters) and has a line on a 2nd speaker soon after.

2. John reported that he has made progress on collaborating with other groups in the area. We will meet this Thursday at 11:00 with Indivisible T.C. leadership.

A Housekeeping Note. It is important for us to remember that we are sharing our meeting space with other groups at U.U. We want to lead when it comes to consideration and thoughtfulness. A

gesture we can make in the future is to park in the outer lots, allowing the Bridge group to have spaces closer to the door.


Group Reports

1st District Seat. John reminded that this Saturday is the bootcamp training session put on by Angie Morgan. You can still sign up on the Matt Morgan website. After the workshop, attendees will be able to head out to the Women’s March. The Women’s March will commence at the Chamber of Commerce building. Look for the Indivisible banner. We hope to gather at 12:30. Michael reported that the Morgan team has raised enough $$ to fund the infrastructure of the campaign through the election. The new campaign manager (formerly of the Peters’ campaign) begins today. Michael added that the philosophy of the campaign has become “This is who I am and this is what I stand for”. ACTION: Michael invites anyone who would like to become part of a writing team in support of the Morgan campaign to contact him.

Redistricting. From Hal, Donna and Rick. There was a celebration of the accomplishments of the initial petition drive over the weekend. “It looks like it is going to happen!” (applause). The really hard work is yet to come. Before the next phase commences, the VNP folks are waiting for the official announcement

of approval. Massive amounts of $$ will be needed (millions) for the election, and many, many more volunteers (canvasing and educating). “Take a breath for a month or so, and then be prepared to dive in. VOLUNTEER! DONATE! Meanwhile, Hal put on an presentation this past week to a ”well-educated” crowd. He was pleased with the interest level.

A note on Lon Johnson’s plans. Nobody is certain what, if anything, he will do. One report has him looking at a district seat in Macomb county.

Hal wondered what is being done about the national opioid crisis locally. There was a short discussion that showed how little we know, and that an expert speaker would be helpful. ACTION: Jeff will seek out a speaker with the help of Maura Brennan.


Requesting your involvement. On behalf of the steering committee, Susan asked for volunteers to form an “Events Engineering Committee”, a group of people

who are excellent at scanning the news for upcoming events of all pertinent subjects, and then sharing them with the group. Events can be small or large in scope. They can be events that we should attend for education/training, or

events where we should have a presence with our campaign and/or candidate/issue information: festivals, parades, community events. You just might become the “Calendar Hawks”.

Open Mic’

Lori Brickman introduced Dan O’Neil, a candidate for the 104th District (Incumbent is Larry Inman). She described him as a completely impressive, progressive and concerned candidate. These are points from his presentation and answers to questions:

-Dan grew up in Traverse City and is now an attorney. He and his wife have been focused on climate and human rights issues. –His legal experience has been in criminal defense,

employment discrimination and insurance-related areas. “Supporting the little guy vs. the big guy”. –Has been involved in state campaigns in the past, including $$ in politics. –Propelled to run by seeing so many opportunities to make lives better. “I have ideas. –I’m bothered by: education issues, Line 5, the state’s lowest-in-the-country transparency rating, and hard-working people who are still in poverty”. –“We are all in this together”. Get people to work together to make all lives better. –“We are capable of getting the government we want if we are willing to work for it. -I am not anti-business unlike the democrats’ reputation.” – Sees no problem with legal, regulated, taxed marijuana use. “Other states are doing this while we continue to put people in jail.” –Ashamed at the high % of mentally ill in our prisons. – Need to change Lansing’s attitude about education. Time to ask teachers in our communities for answers and stop the war on teachers. Strive to be #1 in education vs. current #47. –Graduate of CMU. –Need to make college affordable again. –“There is value in standing up and saying, ‘I have a new idea to make our state better. –I know it is an uphill battle to win this seat, but I (we) are willing to work, and the key will be to make it a grassroots campaign.” -An addition by his wife, Maura Brennan, “We are connected to this community, and what we hear is that people are outraged.”

The meeting was adjourned at 1:10 by Susan.

Respectfully submitted, Jeff Kessler

January 12, 2018

Upcoming events from IndivisibleGT

These events were listed in the Indivisible Grand Traverse minutes of their meeting on Jan 9, 2018, submitted by Susan Kessler:

Upcoming Events

1. Redistricting Celebration and Planning: 1/14, 1:00-3:30, Boone’s Long Lake Inn 2. Mobilize for Morgan Boot Camp: 1/20, 9:00-11:00, TADL (Woodmere St.)

3. Women’s March TC: 1/20, 1:00 at the Chamber of Commerce Bldg. ACTION: make posters with a positive, unifying message.

4. DACA support rally: 1/17, Gary Peter’s office, 818 Red Dr. Suite 40., T.C. No time given.

5. Indivisible Traverse City regular meeting: Sundays, 10:00, Workshop Brewery. 6. Pure Michigan Governor’s Conf: 3/27-3/29, Amway Hotel, Grand Rapids.

January 9, 2018

Updated minutes of January 7 general membership

Thanks to Berta and Margaret for these revised minutes:

January 7, 2018 MEETING NOTES

INDIVISIBLE TRAVERSE CITY Meets 10-11:30am every 1st and 3rd Sunday at Workshop Brewery

See 2018 calendar schedule on Indivisible Web page @

Officers of the interim Steering Committee were introduced:

Co-Chairs, Margaret Monsour and Linda Pepper

Secretary, Berta Meserve,

Treasurer, Allen Mc Cullough.

Additional Steering Committee members include:

Working Groups Liaison, Bill Gittlen,

Outreach Officer, Maggie Singer.

Media Officer ( vacant)
1. The Steering Committee members will remain through March. Current steering Committee officers and new individuals who want to be considered for any of these offices should declare their candidacy at the March 4th meeting.  New leadership will assume their roles at the April 8, 2018 meeting.
2. Founding members of Indivisible Traverse City, Lynne Van Ness and Gretchen Iorio were acknowledged for their tremendous contributions and thanked for their leadership.
3. There is a $10.00 membership fee starting January 2018. Please bring CASH only.
4. The membership voted to accept the Indivisible Traverse City Bylaws. (Find them on Face Book)
5. Ken reported on the Line 5 Petition group. Their next meeting is Jan 30th and several people suggested that local media reps .David Castleman and Peter Payette of IPR should be contacted to cover the meeting.
6. Voters Not Politicians is meeting at Boon’s Long Lake Inn on Sunday Jan. 14th, 1-3:30pm to plan next phase of campaign to end gerrymandering.
7. Move On is making a rubber stamp available to get attention with the slogan “Stamp $$$ out of Politics”. Stamp can be directly stamped on paper money. “Go to  to order one.
8. Maggie suggested that we actively make contact with other groups such as Grand Traverse Indivisible (meets every Tues @ Unitarian Church @ noon): Dems (meets 1st Thurs of every month @ Great Lakes Hagerty Center @ 6pm); League of Women Voters; Oil and Water etc. Everyone is encouraged to attend meetings of these other groups share information about their activities and our own initiatives to build rapport and ACTIONS among all of the groups.
8. Discussion among the membership and agreement that the co-chairs and secretary and treasurer  will manage and oversee the content of our Web Page. At present it is Bill Gittlen and Harold Lasser.
9. Ted encouraged the group to work together on ACTIONS. He will bring back info for the group at our next Sunday the 21st meeting on the 7&4/Sinclair News, fake news and how we can take action.
10. Discussed the Women March, in Lansing on Jan. 21st and in Traverse City on the 20th 1-3pm with a march downtown. Lynne gave kudos to the women in Indivisible who planned the march in TC!
11. Discussed a procedure to endorse upcoming candidates for elections. There were a few in the group who helped write questions for candidates. They agreed to share their notes and help to develop a written procedure to endorse candidates.  The motion was “tabled” regarding endorsement of Matt Morgan 1st district Congress. A motion will be “discussed” at a meeting in the future to allow others not present today to weigh in on this suggestion. A vote will be taken when the procedure to endorse candidates is written.
12. There was consensus among the Indivisible members present that it is better to have ALL members work on these three important priorities:
1. Remove Line 5

2. Defeat Jack Bergman

3. Support Voters Not Politicians (VNP) efforts to end Gerrymandering

ACTIONS: Voters Not Politicians meeting is Jan 14th at Boons Long Lake Inn 1-3:30
Women’s March in TC 1-3pm Jan 20th starting @ Chamber o Commerce

Respectfully submitted,

Berta Meserve, Secretary

January 7, 2018

January actions and beyond

Courtesy of Victoria Gutowski of both Indivisible TC and Leelanau, here’s a list of upcoming actions in January and beyond as well as some encouragement from both her and Sam:


 2017 was a difficult year, but thanks to all you Leelanau Indivisibles working toward making a better future, we made a big difference.  Our steadfast work has paid off and our moral compass has not failed us.  We will need you more than ever in 2018.  In 2018, we need to evolve from a reactive group to a more proactive group.
 So let’s get fired up together, January 13, 10:30 a.m. Leland Library for our first Indivisible meeting of the year. Reply to me or Sam if you can make it.
Matt Morgan, candidate for Michigan’s First Congressional District, will be addressing us and talking about his candidacy and his vision for a better future.  His wife, Angie, a New York Times best selling author and fireball in her own right, will be introducing him.  
(And mark your calendar now for our February 10th meeting when Dwight Brady, also a candidate for the 1st District seat, will be our guest speaker.)
Also, there will be a Women’s March on January 20 starting 11 p.m at the Chamber of Commerce Grandview Parkway and Cass, going down Front Street and ending finally at Grandview Parkway and Union by the Visitors Bureau office.  More details can be found on Leelanau Indivisible.
Here are some of the priorities to consider for 2018:
  • The Resistance will be focusing on the “March to the Ballot Box”, getting people registered to vote and energized to vote.  
  • We need to prioritize ending GOP control of the House of Representatives. (And I can hardly wait to get a bottle of champagne to toast ‘Good Riddance’ to Jack Bergman’s election loss.)
  • Support down ballot candidates, like our very own Kathy Wiejaczka, who has announced her candidacy to run against Curt VanderWall. Yay!
  • Block the GOP agenda at every turn and work to strengthen our broad movements capacity.
We can be successful if everyone steps up.  
There is a way for everyone to be involved in 2018: Sending text messages, talking to family and friends, sending post cards, making phone calls, going door to door to talk to voters, helping with voter registrations, participating in marches, sharing things on social media.  The list on how you can be involved is what you make it.
Your voice is the real power in this movement.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself and recharge your own batteries.  Here is a quote Sam found: 
So on the morning of the winter solstice at the end of an ugly, difficult year, a line from a song that I’ve probably quoted before runs through my morning mind: “Maybe light itself is born in the longest night of the year.” I like the “maybe.” Hope, I’m learning, is not optimism that “everything will be fine.” Hope might be simply letting go of certainty, the belief that we know what the future holds. We don’t. Hope is living with uncertainty and then doing what might help to make tomorrow better than today even though there are no guarantees. Thanks to all of you who “roll with the punches” and get up and go on.”


January 3, 2018

Meeting about Leelanau County Proposed Septic Ordinance:

From Victori Gutowski of Leelanau and TC Indivisible:

We need your help at this meeting:

Happy New Year and an FYI…..


Leelanau County Board of Commissioners Committee of the Whole Session – to discuss the proposed SEPTIC ORDINANCE will be held on January 30, 2018, at 9:00 a.m.

at the Government Center. 

The agenda and presenter recommendations from the Commissioners were: ◦ Chairman Bunek; Jim Houdek. ◦ Commissioner Lautner; a representative from the Mackinac Center. Possibly Michael LaFaive.◦ Commissioner Soutas-Little; Dr. Joan Rose from Michigan State University.◦ Commissioner Wessell; updates from Barry/Eaton County or Benzie County.◦ Commissioner Ansorge; Benzie/Leelanau Health Department officials.◦ Commissioner Wessell; representatives from the Watershed Center, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, and Leelanau Clean Water.  

County Administrator Chet Janik will contact and secure attendance from the recommended presenters.

The League of Women Voters Leelanau County will speak, as needed, at the public comment at the end of the meeting, after all is heard.

Thank you and please spread the word,

What to Watch for from Congress in January

Click on the link below from National Indivisible for what to watch for in January.
It is from Rogan’s list via Linda Pepper, co-chair of Indivisible TC