0415 KCDP NL 17x11 .pdf
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are not U.S.
put union bug
MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
for Senior Issues mtg., 1:30 p.m., 918 Jasper
Friday, 4/10: Art Hop
5-8 p.m., downtown Kalamazoo
Tuesday, 5/19: 60th District Service Office
Spring Brunch, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Monday, 4/13: Anita Hill, Responding to
Gendered Violence in Society, Law and on
College Campuses, 7 p.m. Chenery Auditorium,
714 S. Westnedge
Thursday, 5/21: KCDP Third Thursday
5:30 p.m., Theo & Stacy’s, 5225 Portage
Thursday, 4/16: KCDP Third Thursday
5:30 p.m., Theo & Stacy’s, 5225 Portage
Monday, 4/20: Kalamazoo County Advocates for
Senior Issues mtg., 1:30 p.m., 918 Jasper
Tuesday, 4/21: League of Women Voters
Annual Meeting & Dinner lwvka.org
5/29-30: KIA Garage Sale
Friday, 6/5: Art Hop
5-8 p.m., downtown Kalamazoo
6/5-6: KIA Fair, (beer garden Fri 4-10)
Saturday, 6/6: Doo-Dah Parade, 11 am
4/30: Dining Out for Life caresswmi.org
Thursday, 6/18: KCDP Third Thursday
5:30 p.m., Theo & Stacy’s, 5225 Portage
Friday, 5/1: 60th District Service Office
Block Party, 4-8 p.m., 300 N. Burdick
Wednesday, 7/16: 6th District Picnic, Allegan
West County Park
Friday, 5/1 Art Hop
5-8 p.m., downtown Kalamazoo
Tuesday, 5/5: Election Day: Vote Yes on Prop 1
and for Special Education millage
Saturday, 5/9: Jefferson-Jackson Dinner
Cobo Hall, Detroit (michigandems.com)
Monday, 5/18: Kalamazoo County Advocates
Applications will be accepted
through 5 p.m. Friday, 4/10, and
may be made online. Full details:
kalcounty.com, or call Tina
Becker at 383-8849.
Animal Services Enforcement and
Building Authority, 383-8967
Central County Transportation
Community Action Tripartite
Advisory Board 373-5012
Jury Board, 383-8849
Kalamazoo County Transportation
Land Bank, 383-8134
Solid Waste Management Planning, 384-8115
KCDP endorses Proposition 1 in May 5 election
Letter from the Chair
At the KCDP meeting on March 19, the
executive committee endorsed Proposition
1 after a detailed presentation by Rep. Jon
Hoadley, who detailed the consequences of
not voting in favor, and expressing that going forward with the $.01 sales tax increase
was the lesser of two evils.
The following language will appear on
the May 5, 2015 special election ballot.
A proposal to amend the State Constitution to increase the sales/use tax from 6%
to 7% to replace and supplement reduced
revenue to the School Aid Fund and local
units of government caused by the elimination of the sales/use tax on gasoline and
diesel fuel for vehicles operating on public
roads, and to give effect to laws that provide additional money for roads and other
transportation purposes by increasing the
gas tax and vehicle registration fees.
The proposed constitutional amendment
As winter comes to
a close, I can report
some exciting political
weekend, the Michigan Democratic Party
elected officers at the
state convention in
Detroit. After rousing speeches from Senators Stabenow and
Peters, Chair Lon Johnson was reelected to a
second term in an uncontested race.
Following the November election, Johnson visited the KCDP to tell us what a great
job we did. Despite turnout being down
across the state – with dismal results most
everywhere – we increased turnout here by
3%, and won control of our County Board,
which did not go unnoticed.
During the 6th Congressional District
Democratic Party meeting, Chair Mark
Miller was reelected to another term, as
were vice-chair Mary Ann Crete, and treasurer: Connor Farrell. Courtney Holsworth
was voted in as recording secretary. See his
With some small support from the KCDP,
our Democratically-controlled Kalamazoo
Township Board of Trustees was able to successfully pass a $10 million bond proposal
to fix the roads in the Township. This is
great news anywhere in Michigan. With the
statewide proposal in May facing an uphill
battle, it’s encouraging to see townships take
action to fix their roads.
We’re gearing up for 2015 City Commission races in Kalamazoo, Portage, and
Parchment. Please canvass your personal
network for good candidates, especially in
Portage and Parchment.
Our biennial Brown Todd Wolpe Dinner
is set for the fall. We are looking for nominations for the BTW award, so be in touch
if you have a nomination idea.
Thank you for all that do. As our MDP
Chair said, we are “light years ahead”
of the rest of the state. Let’s keep excelling.
• Eliminate sales / use taxes on gasoline /
diesel fuel for vehicles on public roads.
• Increase portion of use tax dedicated to
School Aid Fund (SAF).
• Expand use of SAF to community
colleges & career/technical education,
and prohibit use by 4-year colleges &
• Give effect to laws, including those that:
– Increase sales / use tax to 7%, as authorized by constitutional amendment.
– Increase gasoline / diesel fuel tax and
adjust annually for inflation, increase
vehicle registration fees, and dedicate
revenue for roads and other transportation purposes.
– Expand competitive bidding and warranties for road projects.
– Increase earned income tax credit.
Should this proposal be adopted? YES
Kalamazoo Township Votes Yes on Roads
Beginning this summer, residents of
Kalamazoo Township will see phase 1 of
a substantial upgrade to its crumbling township roads. Over $3.5 million in improvements are scheduled to start in May.
Township Supervisor Ronald Reid expressed his appreciation to the voters when,
last month, a $10 million bond sale was
approved by over 60% of the Kalamazoo
“We thank our voters for the support
to fix our township roads. We have a lot
of work to do over the next three years,
and we have already begun, he said. The
balance of the bond proceeds are scheduled
for projects in 2016 and 2017.
Detailed project information is available
Drain Commissioner’s Office Nets State Award
The Michigan Association of County
Drain Commissioners awarded Kalamazoo
drain commissioner Pat Crowley’s office
with its annual innovation and excellence
award on Feb. 12, one of three given annually, and the first-ever received by the local
The $1.1 million drain improvement
project in the city of Galesburg provides a
permanent flood relief solution for residents
living along the Burgess Drive.
A total system replacement undertaken
last summer involved installing 220 feet of
54-inch pipe over four days. Kalamazoo
County spent $430,000 on the project, and
the Michigan Department of Transportation
paid the remaining
60 percent of the
“The award is
a sign that we are
progress not only
in dealing with our
challenging infrastructure, but doing
it in a way that demonstrates that can work
well with our partners on behalf of the
communities and people living in county
drain districts,” Crowley said, crediting
the “meticulous work” of project manager,
deputy drain commissioner Jeff VanBelle.
Why I am a Democrat
60th District Service Office Update
EDITORIAL: State Representative Jon Hoadley
I call myself a Democrat because basic
democratic beliefs run parallel with my
personal moral values. I believe everyone
deserves the right to a good education. I
believe everyone should be able to marry
love. I believe that
the minimum wage
should be a living
wage. I also believe
that people still make
a difference in the
and we can still save
said process from
the corruption of
large-dollar corporate influence.
While working Democrats’ campaigns
in the past couple of years in Kalamazoo
County, I was not even old enough to vote,
but I conducted hundreds of conversations
with voters about whom I believed the
best candidate was. I believe the founding
fathers fought for our right to the political
process, and there is no place I would rather
spend my time than participating in this
process in order to elect as many Democrats as possible.
As a young person, I see the world
changing around me, and this changing
world needs strong liberal ideals to move
forward. What we need as a society is to
support innovation and creativity. Not backward ideals that discourage this innovation
that proves so important for a country.
Our economy improves the most through
technological improvements, and we reach
these improvements through investing in
people: investing in education and giving
everyone a chance.
When I look around the world today, I
cannot count all the reasons I am a Democrat, and I am proud of that.
— Scott Solomon is a student at Portage
Central, involved with the KCDP since
2013. He was the digital organizer for the
KCDP coordinated campaign during cycle.
Please contact Contact Edie Trent for
information on any of the following at
email@example.com or by phone at
an Rep. Hoadley speak to your neighbors or group about the Proposition 1
vote on May 5? Help spread the word
by throwing a house party, or inviting
him to an April meeting of your club or
• I n conjunction with neighbors in the
300 block of N. Burdick, the DSO
invites you to an old fashioned BLOCK
PARTY Friday, May 1, from 4 - 8. Featured Art Hop artists include Loy Norrix
High School Advanced Placement
Studio Art students. Food, music and
fun for the kids. Service-based nonprofits are invited to participate at no cost.
We’d also love any tips on entertainers.
Over the past four years, we’ve heard
plenty of conversations about getting our
fiscal house in order. I share the concern,
though not the ways proposed: cutting pensions and funding while giving tax breaks
to the richest corporations in Michigan.
Now that we’re faced with another looming
legacy cost crisis, those who were eager to
cut, cut, cut are nowhere to be found.
We must reform
corporate tax credits
that are bankrupting
our state. The Michigan
Corp. estimates there
are more than $9.4
billion in outstanding
Rep. Jon Hoadley corporate tax credits
that may be redeemed
by 2032. Because of a lack of communication between departments, the agencies that
issued the credits and the businesses that
claimed them, we don’t know when these
profitable corporations will cash the credits
in, meaning we can’t accurately set a budget
or plan our state’s future.
Businesses would never tolerate the set
of rules they expect the state of Michigan to
Michigan’s citizens have shared the sacrifices over the past few years, losing jobs,
property values, and wage increases. Pensions were taxed, fees raised, and furlough
days called. Crumbling roads created higher
car repair bills, and education cuts created
more crowded classrooms.
Now, we’re asking the businesses that
received massive tax cuts in recent years to
Kalamazoo County Democratic Party
Connor Farrell, Chair
Barb Hammon, First Vice-chair
Kelly Doyle, Second Vice-chair
Grant Taylor, Treasurer
Wendy Flora, Recording
nnual Spring Brunch will be Sunday,
May 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 pm. Look
for formal invites soon to support this
42-year tradition. The event this year
will be at the homes of Katie Eaton and
Zach Bauer & Doug Pierce. Become a
Sponsor for $100, which includes two
tickets. Tickets $30/$50 for couples.
Don’t miss the DSO block party on
Friday, May 1, from 4-8 pm
6th District Report
At the Michigan Democratic Party
Spring Convention on February 14 at Cobo
Hall in Detroit, MDP Chair Lon Johnson
was re-elected with no opposition.
The Sixth District caucus gathered, with
a small group due to a winter storm, but all
counties except St. Joseph were represented. Paul Clements addressed the caucus,
reflecting on his experiences as a candidate,
and prospects moving forward. Although
he has not announced any decision, he is
open to the possibility of another run, and is
evaluating the support that he would need
to make another run successful.
By the same token, having seen in
Paul’s campaign the first modern, professional campaign in the Sixth, at least in the
years I have been involved, I have come to
realize that the Sixth District Committee
must “up our game” in a number of ways,
and become a more robust partner for Paul
or whoever is our next candidate.
We are assembling our committees for
this term, and could use volunteers in Fundraising, Communications and Publicity, and
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
in Political Organizing. Meeting dates for
this year, all 10 am on Saturdays, unless
noted: April 11, phone conference; May 16,
Paw Paw District Library; June 13, phone
conference; Wednesday, July 15, time tbd,
Annual Picnic, Allegan West County Park.
If you wish to be added to the Sixth
District Executive Committee or one of the
above committees, please email Mark at
I hope that you will consider coming to
Sixth District events and volunteer during
campaign season, and commit to working to send Congressman Upton off to a
well-deserved (and overdue) retirement.
State Central Delegates: Mark
LaChey (Allegan), Eric Lester, Melissa
Clapper (Berrien), Mary Ann Crete (Cass),
Mark Miller, Dave Pawloski, Courtney
Holsworth, Meredith Place (Kalamazoo),
Paul Guthrie (St. Joseph), Celinda Gilmore (Van Buren).
State Central Alternates: Joe Ziolkoski, Linda Reynolds (Allegan), Patrick
Feole, Audrey Lester (Berrien), John
Taylor, Grant Taylor, Sara Wick, Aedin
Clements, Melanie Waltz (Kalamazoo),
Mike Saenz (Van Buren).
Additional members elected to the
Executive Committee: Jon Helmrich and
Don Oetman (Allegan), Bette Pierman,
Arlander Washington (Berrien), Mike
Morosz, Burke Webb (Cass), Jon Hoadley,
Mollie Clements, Iris Salters, John Fisher,
Ron Crowell, Nancy Crowell, Paul Clements, Pamela Goodacre, Mark Harris (St.
Joseph), Whitney Wolcott, Pat Winston
— Mark Miller
share in the sacrifice, too, by coming back to
the table and renegotiating overly generous
credits that are hurting our state.
We all recognize the importance of attracting and retaining high-quality businesses
to the state of Michigan. I support many of
the current efforts to use a pay-as-you-go
system. But when the Michigan Business Tax
(MBT) was phased out in favor of the current
Corporate Income Tax (CIT), a major game
of three-card Monte was taking place.
First, we were told to focus on jobs that
would be created or retained by the MEGA
tax credits and battery credits. Good or bad,
under the MBT the credits issued for any one
year represented about 25% percent of the
expected revenue — generous but sustainable. Then the shift to the CIT occurred, and
we were told to focus on the across the board
tax cut to create jobs. However, because of
the switch, the revenue to support the existing credits disappeared with revenue that was
used to fund our police, fire and other vital
services — and the jobs did not come back.
It’s time to renegotiate. I’ve heard multiple
objections to why we can’t change the tax
credits: these are contracts, it’ll hurt our competitiveness and businesses will leave. Let’s
tackle them one by one.
First, these are contracts that have already
been renegotiated. In fact, these contracts
have been renegotiated to become even more
generous to businesses by the tune of $545
million. If they’re willing to negotiate up,
they should be prepared to negotiate down.
Additionally, these contracts are no more
sacred that other contracts that have been
broken, such as union contracts or pension
contracts by emergency managers or as part
of the Detroit bankruptcy package. (Perhaps
KALAMAZOO COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY MEMBERSHIP FORM
we need to appoint an emergency manager to
the MEDC to get the job done?)
Second, some people say this would hurt
our long-term competitiveness; businesses
will leave Michigan if they think we will renegotiate our contracts. This simply isn’t true,
or else we would have seen it already from
the actions taken by emergency managers.
Beyond that, if we’re relying on tax credits
to create jobs, we’ve chosen a battle that
we’ll lose. Business is attracted to areas with
talent and sense of place. By renegotiating to
reduce our long-term tax liabilities, we can
turn those dollars into long-term value by
investing in higher education, our classrooms,
and our communities.
Finally, people use the threat of business
loss as justification for why we should not
even discuss renegotiating corporate tax credits. It is a scary threat, but that’s what a bully
does, not a good corporate citizen. We should
never be intimidated from having a conversation about what’s best for our communities. All we ask is to work together to find a
solution that helps everyone.
Moving forward, any renegotiation should
include two principles: first, we need to
reduce the long-term liability; second, we
need to increase budget predictability. Let’s
work with our corporate partners to give back
at least at the rate students and pensions have
given. Second, let’s give favorable renegotiation terms to corporate partners willing to
provide better budget certainty and request
repayment over a longer period of time. This
will ensure we can have the flexibility in our
budget to plan and make vital investments
while knowing we truly do have good corporate allies invested in the long-term success
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