Do you have an opinion? Your letters 8-12
Sunday, July 5, 2009

Another Pride – Another June…

June; the iconic month for marriage.  The month that has been self designated for the LGBT community to step up and celebrate who we are.  We are parents, and partners and taxpayers and queer.  And each year for what seems like a really long time, we have gathered to march down Michigan Avenue to the Capitol.  And really, who doesn’t love a parade? And who could do it better?  The sight of dykes on bikes and drag queens in 6 inch stilettos never ceases to bring a tear to my eye.
So for a really long time I have joined my sisters and brothers and the people who acknowledge loving us, and marched to the Capitol.  I wear the button I wear every Pride “ First Class Queer, Second Class Citizen”. It just didn’t seem as festive to me this year.  I’m getting old and tired.  I couldn’t just stand and listen to one more advocate tell me to contact my congress member or one more politician giving us nod. Especially, if they shunned us in the previous election.  I’m tired of crumbs.  I’m tired of demanding my rights as citizen of the earth from people who don’t know spit about how I live my life.
Granted the crumbs are getting bigger.  A straight friend sent me a copy of the proclamation from the current president and of course, that’s a first.  Ok, thanks for the bigger crumb. All the while backpedaling. I think I’m ready to opt of out of the whole thing.
I want a rebate.  I can take of my self and my family just fine without government sanction.  I don’t want to pay for something I’m not getting any longer.  So I want some back. I don’t have to get married. I couldn’t get married twenty-three years ago when the UU Clergy performed the “commitment ceremony” (should have been committed, but that’s another story).  Still can’t get married? I’ve moved on.  I’ll take the cash please.
I see that the tide is turning in other states and of course it’s hand-to-hand combat to change the system.  I’m feeling battle fatigue. I should probably use another metaphor –what lesbians and gays in the military have endured to serve this country is a travesty. They get the biggest rebate, more of reparation.
For those willing to keep fighting the good fight – thank you and god bless. I will donate some of my tax savings to the cause.  For those of us who choose to opt out, and I’m thinking I’m not the only one, we could come up with a simple process to make it work.  We take all the benefits that straight people have, we compare them to benefits that gay people have. We determine the amount of citizen LGBT people actually are in the United States.  We pay only our percentage.  It doesn’t have to be deep, we don’t need Guenther or even Barney Frank, bless his heart too. I’m not looking to be stimulated by the government. It can be a check-off, like being blind or a (straight) widow, right at the top of 1040.  It would have to work for EZ filers too, of course.
I’ll bring my tired old self to Pride next year and all the years after that. I’m just too proud to beg for any more crumbs.

Tari Muniz
Lansing, MI

Labor agreements good for workers

Corporate special interest groups are spreading misinformation about Ingham County’s important proposal that would strengthen the local economy and require accountability for all projects funded by county taxpayers.

The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, Associated Builders and Contractors and other powerful groups that represent CEOs say the county’s project labor agreement proposal would mean only unionized contractors would be allowed to bid on public projects.

That’s just not true. Ingham County taxpayers deserve the facts about this important proposal — not more outrageous lies from big business organizations. Here are the facts about project labor agreements:

— Project labor agreements protect taxpayers by ensuring that county projects are completed properly and on time.

— Project labor agreements ensure we have a skilled workforce made up of local residents, who spend their wages locally, pay local taxes and help support our local and state economies.

— Safety is a top priority on a job site and a workforce that gets the job done on time and saves money.

— Project labor agreements ensure that tax dollars are not frittered away to contractors who undercut local businesses by hiring unskilled, illegal or out-of-state labor.

Rather than argue the facts about project labor agreements, the Chamber, Associated Builders and Contractors and other powerful special interest groups are resorting to mistruths, deflections and even outright lies. Project labor agreements protect local taxpayers from predatory contractors and ensure local workers get the first crack at new, good-paying jobs — regardless if they’re in a union.

The Ingham County Commission should adopt this critical proposal and make sure local investments are protected from predatory contractors.

Andrew Mosser
President Mid-Michigan Construction Alliance


We ran it (the story about Vivian Bodiford)  in our MIOSHA Weekly newsletter, instead of the DELEG newsletter.  We ran a short intro and then linked live to the actual article, which I think looked better.  Below is the article as it appeared in the MIOSHA Weekly.  Thanks again!
Vivian Bodiford Shares Her Story
May 21, 2009, marked the first anniversary of the death of Vivian Bodiford’s son, James “Jay” Edward Jones III.  A year after her son's tragic death, Vivian shared her thoughts on James’ life with Rina Risper, President & Publisher of The New Citizens Press (TNCP) newspaper.  TNCP carried Vivian’s story in their May 24th edition. 

You can follow this link to read the article:
Judith Simons Shane
Communications Director
MIOSHA Program

Publisher’s Note:  We are always pleased when our stories are reprinted.


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