Hundreds of Michigan cities and townships are at risk of losing all or a few of their polling places if a provision within the controversial, Republican-led “Secure MI Vote” petition was enacted, according to a new report from Progress Michigan. One provision would limit clerks from utilizing nonprofit properties (churches, places of worship, etc.) that were previously donated as polling spaces unless clerks bought them out. Churches and places of worship accounted for 20% of Michigan polling places in the 2020 election. 

Parker James writes, “No amount of lead exposure is safe, especially for children. In addition to lead in the water, lead paint in older housing stock and even lead in the ground from paint and gasoline remnants also pose danger. The damaging effects of lead exposure are well documented, and lead contamination in water plays a significant role in overall lead poisonings. Lead poisoning causes harm to brain development and can result in a range of mental and physical health conditions. For these reasons, addressing lead has been and remains a priority for advocates of children and families, including the Michigan League for Public Policy and our Kids Count in Michigan Project.”

Doug rejoins Alek and the podcast this week to interview Podcaster Dan Moyle (I’m Not In An Abusive Relationship, My America, Antiracism in Action). Doug, Alek, and Dan discuss domestic violence and ways victims AND abusers can get help, his experience as a Domestic and Sexual Abuse Services board member, becoming an antiracist, asking “dumb white guy questions” en route to becoming an ally, and having productive political conversations with those who may have opposing views from yours.

WSV’s Charles Thomas writes about importance of beauty, as well as the risk and reward of sharing one’s creative efforts with the world. “Why do they take the risk? Why put yourself in a position to have something you worked on for hundreds of hours become the subject of ridicule? Why risk openness and honesty when we live in a culture that has a strong tendency to mock almost everything? I’m sure there is no single answer to those questions, but I think an important reason that we take those risks is because deep down, all of us want to be a part of something beautiful. In fact, I think that a drive to merge with the beautiful is essential to who we are as human beings.”

The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) Friday approved nine proposed maps — three each for the state House, state Senate and congressional districts — but have opened the door for potentially introducing new maps proposed by individual commissioners down the road. The question now is if that’s allowed by the Michigan Constitution, and if it is, would those maps be held to the 45-day comment period standard?

Watershed Voice’s Nancy Boyd writes, “Let me always partake of the silence of the trees that surround me in this earthly life. Allow them to teach me what chaos never will, to show me how powerful silence can be for the inward life. The seasons of my life will not come around again, they come only once, and each have their lessons to be received.”