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25 million Blacks, Latinos missing from voter databases; major news organizations urge Biden and Trump to commit to presidential debates; NM gun-control advocates praise federal rule closing 'gun show loophole; Arkansas group raising awareness during Black Maternal Health Week.

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House Republicans want citizenship proof for federal election voting, under White House pressure Israel shows restraint after Iran's attack and Trump's hush money trial starts.

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Housing advocates fear rural low-income folks who live in aging USDA housing could be forced out, small towns are eligible for grants to enhance civic participation, and North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues.

Poor People’s Campaign Wraps MI DEQ in Crime Scene Tape

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018   

LANSING, Mich. – About 500 protesters marched on the Capitol building and then wrapped crime tape around the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in Lansing on Monday to draw attention to environmental crises - part of a 40-city nationwide protest called the Poor People's Campaign.

Speakers at the rally called attention to the continuing problem of lead-poisoned water in Flint and the proposal to allow a Canadian oil company to put in a new Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac.

Valerie Blakely, an organizer with the Michigan Poor People's campaign, says the event is a national call for more moral public policy that protects citizens and the environment.

"A most important thing is to kind of put the higher-ups and the people who think that they are in charge on notice that we're not taking it anymore," she says. "We need water for our people. We need homes for our people. We need food for people."

The Michigan Safety Net Coalition organized a day of action in Detroit focusing on expanding access to assistance programs such as SNAP and to health-care via Medicaid. First Presbyterian Church in Lansing is holding additional events for the next two Mondays in June.

Blakely says another major issue is a move each spring by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to cut off service to families that fall behind on their bills.

"Water is simply not affordable in Detroit," she adds. "It costs more for water in Detroit than it does in all of the surrounding communities that our water system actually provides water for."

The campaign will not support specific candidates in the upcoming midterm elections but will encourage all candidates to address progressive issues. You can get more information at poorpeoplescampaign.org.


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