Rally to fix NAFTA in St. Joseph

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We joined protesters in front of Fred Upton's office in St. Joseph to protest the corporate control and the lack of transparency in our government. It is time that we fix NAFTA and all other trade deals so that they protect American workers and our environment. For too long our elected officials have crafted trade deals in secret with the best interests of corporations rather than workers or the planet in mind. Mr. Upton is one of the leading advocates for the dismantling of the protections on which we depend. Help us send this message. Workers and the planet must come before the profits of international corporations. – DTB

Medical Marijuana Licensing in Kalamazoo

Monday night we attended the special work session of the Kalamazoo City Commission to provide input on the issue of medical marijuana. This is real treatment for a number of serious medical conditions plaguing our communities, and it is proving effective as a weapon in the fight against opioid addiction and overdose. The opioid crisis is real, it's serious, and it's something we need to start talking about more openly.

From the article: "'Let's make sure were talking about this as a medical treatment,' said Democratic Congressional candidate David Benac. 'Marijuana can be a way to combat opioid addiction in this community. I'd like to see us earmark some of this money for that cause.'"

You can read the full article here.

June 22, 2017 - Growing the Grassroots: Benac For Congress

David Benac at the St. Joseph County Democratic Party's event, Growing the Grassroots in 2017 and Beyond.

Thursday, we spent a great evening with the St. Joseph County Democrats at their fundraiser devoted to the importance of grassroots organizing.  In recognition of the theme, I took the opportunity to talk about the powerful, grassroots movements of the past and how we can build on those examples.  St. Joseph County is a great example of the potential of the Democratic Party.  Voters in that county chose Senator Sanders overwhelmingly in the 2016 Presidential primary with over 60% of the vote.  We need to recognize that people vote for candidates who are genuine and who offer solutions, not for those who claim to be the most experienced at propping up the existing status quo.

For the full article, go to the following link: http://www.threeriversnews.com/local-news/local-democrats-encourage-growing-grassroots

More local media coverage on the Benac for Congress campaign

Our hard work is paying off.  We are your voice in the Sixth Congressional District, and the local newspapers are taking notice .  We recently earned some coverage in the Herald Palladium and from WKZO. Click through the links to see the full stories.  We will keep traveling the district, listening to your concerns, and doing our best to earn your support.  

June 12, 2017 - Progressives United of South Haven (PUSH)

Thank you to PUSH for giving me an opportunity to attend the meeting and listen to the issues and initiatives of interest to the members.  

David Benac speaking with members of Progressives United of South Haven (PUSH) about his campaign for Michigan's Sixth Congressional District.

David Benac speaking with members of Progressives United of South Haven (PUSH) about his campaign for Michigan's Sixth Congressional District.

PUSH is an example of the best of the organizations that have risen to address the challenges posed by the new presidential administration and the increasingly severe challenges to our communities put forward by the aggressively radical right-wing that is controlling our government and economy. The members are helping fight gerrymandering, working to make their streets safer and more accessible, monitoring and communicating with all levels of government, and even running for local offices.  This group and others throughout the district that are taking similar actions give me hope that we can do this, we can regain control of our government, our economy, and our communities.  We can work together to create better jobs and more sustainable and inclusive communities.

If you are ready to join this movement and help us fight for a world where people come before profits. please join the Benac for Congress team and help us Flip the Michigan Sixth!

We are the Michigan Sixth!

May 22 - Gerrymandering: Let's Slay the Dragon

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," is a variation on one of the best ethical guidelines ever created.  We need much more adherence to that standard in politics. 

The redistricting reform town hall on May 20 in Kalamazoo brought that need into stark focus.  Gerrymandering threatens to undermine the strength of our communities and our entire political system.  When legislators determine the shape of districts, the result is a map that artificially strengthens whichever party is in power.  This artificial redistricting comes at the expense of the voters.  Legislators, political strategists, and lobbyists carefully design these districts to create predetermined voting results, favoring their interests.

The most effective way to combat this problem is to take the redistricting power away from all legislators, Republican and Democrat alike.  We can do this in Michigan.  Please follow two organizations at the forefront of this fight in Michigan: Voters not Politicians and Count MI Vote.  Let's force Lansing and Washington to recognize that the root of all political authority rests on our shoulders, not in the hands of the legislators!

May 18 - Organizing St. Joseph County

Yesterday we visited with the St. Joseph County Democratic Party.  The more we travel around the district and meet people, the more hope I have.  The hard work of the St. Joseph County Party is paying off with a growing membership that is dedicated to creating positive change.

We joined organizers from the Washtenaw County Democratic Party at the meeting to present strategies for a robust precinct delegate program. This is a signal of a great change in the Democratic Party.  If we want to win elections, we need to be a force for good in our communities.  An effective precinct delegate program brings people into the party, creates conduits for nonmembers to share their concerns with party officials, and serves as a flexible apparatus for the party to mobilize support for community concerns as well as elections.

If we can restore the precinct delegate system, we can make the Democratic Party an engine of community vitality.  

May 16, 2017 - There is no stopping a movement

Vicksburg sign

 

 

Last night, we met with a group of community activists in Vicksburg.  The dedicated women and men in that group have been tireless in their efforts to bring awareness to the unethical behavior and bad policies that are standard practice in Lansing and Washington in recent months.  During the course of the evening, we witnessed what is becoming a recurring theme.  Since the general election, the group has been protesting, writing letters, making phone calls, and pursuing every avenue of democratic participation available.  They knew what they were doing was important, but some in their number were beginning to lose hope.  But there is no stopping a movement.  The energy level of the group returned as we talked about the campaign and how this is a movement to return the 6th Congressional District to the people, to our communities, to our friends and families.  As people left, they took with them a renewed sense of purpose, of empowerment, and of mission. 

This is why I am running for Congress.  I will be the voice of the people.  This is about taking collective action, forcing the out-of-touch government in Washington to acknowledge us, and taking back our Congressional seat!

May 12, 2017 - Campaign Update #2

It was a great week. I enjoyed talking with lots of people around the district and learning more about what people are worried about and how I can help. The rally in St. Joseph was particularly exciting. We had a crowd of over 200 people in the park and throughout the community, demanding that we protect the ACA.

If you haven't signed up for emails or joined the volunteer team, please do so soon. We launched the Twitter account today, so you now have another way to follow along as we build this movement. I hope to see you next week.

May 11, 2017 - Rally in Defense of Health Care, St. Joseph, MI

St. Joe Handshake

Michigan’s Sixth Congressional District made a powerful statement on Thursday. Voters from across the district rallied in St. Joseph to declare that the Republican attack on health care will not be tolerated. I consider myself lucky to have been there, shoulder-to-shoulder with the people as we made our voices heard. It was a pleasure to meet some of these people for the first time. 

St. Joe Discussion

I met three generations of one family, all of whom live in St. Joseph, with every member deeply worried about the implications of the attack on health care and elected officials’ refusal to talk with constituents. One of the younger members of the family, a student in high school, stood on a picnic table and delivered a powerful speech about what health care means for his family. Any legislator who is willing to take health care away from that young man, his parents, and his grandparents does not represent me. 

Let’s work together. Only through our combined effort will we be able to secure our right to health care and to strengthen our families and communities.

May 9, 2017 - Plainwell-Otsego Concerned Citizens Group Meeting

Have you heard about the Plainwell-Otsego Concerned Citizens Group?  If not, you should check out what they are doing.  Last night, I had the privilege to talk with the group about how to become more effective grassroots organizers and how to maximize the electoral impact of a small but impassioned group of citizens. It is when I listen to groups like this that I get optimistic about what we are trying to accomplish. 

Fifteen people from the community showed up and shared their stories with me. They have been marching, writing letters, making phone calls, and talking to their neighbors in defense of health care, environmental protections, women’s health, immigrant rights, education, gerrymandering, and many other causes. All of the people at the meeting expressed concern that they were not having the impacts they hoped for, and they told me they were becoming exhausted by the fight. Keep up the good work, your efforts count and are noticed. 

I will do everything I can to get behind this type of grassroots, citizen organizing and action.  This is hard work, but this is how we make elected officials take notice. Please join me, join the campaign, join a grassroots action group, and never give up.  We need to take our government back!