Friday, June 12, 2009

Save Hurley Hospital!!!

On August 4th, please vote to approve the Hurley Hospital mileage request, and take a stand to protect your access to emergency healthcare and expert medical services. With rising unemployment, high rates of foreclosure, and decreasing healthcare benefits, Hurley has been financially crippled. As a result, Hurley has engaged in budget cuts from their executives all the way down to their staff. However, these cuts are not enough, and Hurley’s continued viability is questionable. All Hurley is asking from the community is that we pay on average an additional $1-$2 per week to protect one of our local hospitals. Why should we support Hurley?

1) Hurley is one of the largest employers in Flint. Genesee County has already lost enough jobs. We cannot afford to lose another key employer.

2) Hurley specializes in pediatric medicine and neo-natal care. These two specialties are sorely lacking at Genesys and McLaren.

3) Hurley fulfills a vital role in reducing strain on the other Genesee County hospitals. Without Hurley, the other hospitals would be badly cramped, thus, reducing their services as well. Therefore, this is not just a Flint issue, but a mid-Michigan issue as well.

4) Hurley provides medical care to two-thirds of Genesee County’s uninsured. Where will these people go without Hurley? As the proportion of Michiganders with health care coverage declines, institutes like Hurley become more important in creating a much-needed option. This good will should be rewarded to prevent illness in the region, restore efficiency of Michigan workers who fall ill, and lower mortality amongst at-risk citizens like infants and seniors.

5) Hurley is part of the effort to revitalize Flint and Genesee County. Hurley is part of Flint’s core downtown redevelopment effort. Facilities at Hurley provide important training opportunities for students specializing in nursing who attend one of Flint’s fine secondary education institutions. Also, a plan is currently underway to bring a medical school to Flint, which would require a strong Hurley to meet the needs of students attending the program. This plan brings additional tax revenue into the city, which may eventually fund this mileage by itself.

While it may be easy for some in Genesee County to dismiss Flint, this is a short-sighted and narcissistic view. This view dismisses Flint’s standing as the central city of Genesee County. Those who subscribe to this ignorance risk watching their own medical care decline because the decline of Hurley will send shock waves throughout the mid-Michigan medical infrastructure. In addition, those who believe that their property values are safe from a declining Flint fail to realize the converse – their property values could rise with a revitalized Flint. All citizens of Genesee County will prosper together from a new, stronger Flint. Therefore, on August 4th, please remember to vote for the future of Flint – please remember to vote for your own economic and medical stability.

- Keith

Monday, April 27, 2009

GCYD Endorses Lt. Governor John Cherry for Governor

The Genesee County Young Democrats are honored to make an early endorsement in the 2010 Michigan gubernatorial race. It is our privilege to endorse Lt. Governor John D. Cherry, Jr., a citizen of Genesee County and an incredibly talented public servant!

Lt. Governor Cherry has worked to make college affordable to all Michigan residents through his efforts as Chairman of the Commission on Higher Education & Economic Growth . Also, he has advocated against a culture of corporate irresponsibility and Washington political stunts aimed at the destruction of the American automakers, while passionately supporting the right of employees to organize. In addition, the Lt. Governor has been a zealous advocate for the preservation of Michigan natural resources. Finally, Cherry brings a long career of experience and expertize in Lansing that will continue to serve this State well. For these reasons, the GCYD is proud to join a whole lot of democrats who have endorsed Lt. Governor Cherry, including our own Genesee County Democratic Party.

Congratulations for earning our endorsement as well as the respect and admiration of Genesee County.

GCYD Endorses Flint Mayoral Candidates

The Genesee County Young Democrats are proud to announce our endorsements of Brenda Clack and Dayne Walling in the Flint mayoral primary. Flint has been devoid of responsible leadership at the highest offices of municipal governance for a long time. Flint’s leadership has failed to act with the professional dedication, intelligence, and talent necessary for Flint to take advantage of many opportunities and attempt recovery. Luckily, Flint has been able to depend upon the entrepreneurial zeal and civic dedication of private citizens and county officials. Yet, municipal officials have only hampered this private action and inhibited the ability of good people to make grand contributions. These failures and unprofessional conduct must end today. Therefore, “change” is not only a trendy political slogan, but a necessary means to the inevitable rebirth of the great city of Flint.

These two candidates offer unique qualities that have the potential to pull Flint into the future. Brenda Clack offers experience and professionalism, which are qualities that have sorely been lacking in City Hall. Mrs. Clack has a strong history in Flint politics. She has demonstrated her credibility as a citizen of Flint and as a Democrat. Dayne Walling offers an exciting vision with change at its core. In addition, Mr. Walling has demonstrated his own brand of professionalism and experience focusing on urban planning and redevelopment. Both candidates have the potential to be amazing in City Hall. Both bring the possibility of a transformation in municipal government that is necessary in order to support the incredible amounts of redevelopment in downtown Flint.

For the foregoing reasons, the GCYD is happy to congratulate both candidates in earning our endorsement.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Kickoff Fundraiser a Success!!!

Thank you everybody for making the Changing the Community by Changing Lives Scholarship Fund kickoff at Luigi's Pizzeria a success!!! The GCYD, in conjunction with the Blue Tiger Democrats, almost tripled the funds raised thus far. Thanks to all of our speakers, guests, and volunteers who stopped by on Saturday for believing in the youth of Genesee County and playing a role in reinvigorating the community. The GCYD would also like to express our gratitude to those who have sponsored the scholarship fund. Here's a list of our sponsors so far:

Founding Sponsors:
Senator Deborah Cherry
Representative Rick Hammel
former-Representative Ted Hammon

Gold Sponsors: $200
Ms. Ethel Bailey
Lt. Governor John Cherry
Mrs. Pam Farris
Mr. Keith Flynn
Congressman Dale Kildee

Silver Sponsors: $100
Mr. John Daniel Cherry
Mrs. Catherine Frederick
Ms. Janice Hoffman
Mr. Paul Hoffman
Mr. Kyle McCree
Chairman Jack Minore, Genesee County Democratic Party
Mrs. Patsy Lou Williamson

Bronze Sponsors: $50
Mrs. Jocelyn Benson
Ms. Lauren Wolfe

If you would like to join our effort and contribute, send checks to the following address:

Michigan Blue Tiger Democrats

4116 Orme Cir.

Clio, MI 48420

(Please make checks out to "Michigan Blue Tiger Democrats"

and memo "Scholarship Fund")

If you have any further questions, call Keith Flynn at 810-625-0741.

Once again, thank you.

Here are some pictures:

Monday, March 23, 2009

Changing the Community by Changing Lives Scholarship Fund

“We have an obligation and a responsibility to be investing in our students and our schools. We must make sure that people who have the grades, the desire and the will, but not the money, can still get the best education possible.”

~ President Barack Obama

The Genesee County Young Democrats (GCYD) are working with Blue Tiger Democrats, the charitable wing of the Michigan Democratic Party, to fund the Changing the Community by Changing Lives Scholarship Fund (CCCL), an endowed scholarship to provide disadvantaged, but talented high school seniors in Genesee County the opportunity to start college.

We Michiganders know how to live through difficult times. We have seen them before and we will see them again. However, how can we ever repair our community if talented students are unable to get the education that they have been working towards for twelve years?

Our children are told from kindergarten till they graduate that if they work hard enough they will get ahead. This is simply not always the case.

Over 20,000 Genesee County students are enrolled in the free lunch program. If these students do not have lunch money, how can we expect them to have money for college tuition? By the time they pay back all their student loans, now with higher interest rates, they are too poor to be anywhere but behind. That’s unfair and it jeopardizes the American Dream.

One in six Genesee County students dropped out of school in 2007. Rather than risk the financial burden of a college education, many students opt out in order to supplement their family income with their own earnings. At a time of economic crisis, this threat to the national resource of knowledge is only increasing, and something must be done now.

Help the GCYD raise funds to support local scholars make it to college by joining us for our kickoff event at Luigi’s Pizzeria on Saturday, March 28th from 1pm-4pm. General attendance is $25 at the door for pizza and salad bar. $6.75 covers costs for the event; the rest goes toward the scholarship fund. Additional donations are welcome. Contributions are non-deductible.

Luigi’s Pizzeria

2132 Davison Rd.

Flint, MI

If you need directions or have any questions call (810) 625-0741.

The GCYD would like to thank the following sponsors for all of their support thus far:

Founding Sponsors:

Senator Deborah Cherry

Representative Rick Hammel

former-Representative Ted Hammon

Gold Sponsors:

Lt. Governor John Cherry

Mrs. Pam Farris

Mr. Keith Flynn

Congressman Dale Kildee

Silver Sponsors:

Chairman Jack Minore, Genesee County Democratic Party

Mrs. Catherine Frederick.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Joy Comes in the Morning

Recently, I had the opportunity to hear from one of the bright progressive minds in Michigan, Prof. Jocelyn Benson of WSU, during a forum on Election Reform. I won't get into to many details of the discussion, but something has stuck with me since that meeting. In spite of all of the bad news and dreary projections for the future of our state:


I sometimes feel like we should have periodic public service announcements that Michigan is still open for business. Michigan's entrepreneurs are still developing the technologies that will drive the world in the twenty-first century. Bright minds like Prof. Benson and countless others are drawing up ways for us to rethink and reform the way we do our business as a state.

Although times are tough, and will probably get tougher before we turn the proverbial corner, we will survive and indeed thrive. All of us have work to do, causes to champion, and change to advocate for. If we all pitch in and use our collective brilliance we will overcome our individual challenges.

Scripture tells us that the sorrow may last for the night but joy comes in the morning.

-Kyle McCree

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Big Three, or the Big Two?

Have some MI pride: if the auto industry collapses, Detroit will die. While liberal Californian commentators argue that Detroit must die,” I am sure they wouldn't be so direct if I wrote a column that San Francisco must die. I am tired of taking the brunt of the nation's recessions, while being criticized or ignored for it. Michigan's long-sitting Congressmen are openly attacked by Nancy Pelosi and her "Coasters." These Coasters then attack our hard working Michigan employees as being greedy and lazy. Even Mitt Romney, son of Michigan Governor Romney, dismissed Michigan and blamed those who were responsible for building the arsenal of democracy. Congressmen, try telling the seventy year old retiree who now has carpal tunnel syndrome from working in the shop that she was just too lazy and greedy to expect her retirement. Our industries are allowed to fail without condolences, but with massive applause.

Now, I will be the first person to admit that these CEOs were stupid for taking separate private planes to the same city and the same meeting. Yet, our Congressmen reminded me of angry children who just wanted to get back at the kid on the playground who has all the toys. Our Senators seemed content to sit back and watch it all happen; after all, they won’t be near Ground Zero here in the Midwest when things get chaotic. They will be content down south, to the east, and to the west ruminating about how great their states are doing, while ignoring this national security issue. It is about time that Michigan tell the rest of the Nation that enough is enough, we won’t be the Nation’s crutch like usual.

Cramer may be a little eccentric in the clip above, but boy does he summarize the importance of this bailout and hit the nail on the head. The financial sector is only half the problem here. The problem is systemic and has been slowly gathering momentum since the late 1970’s. American wages have been either stagnate or declining since, while every other cost has been rising. This problem should not be revelation for most rational human beings, but the majority of economists have been ignoring this problem in favor of promoting the trickle-down theory. This is what happens when intellectuals sell out.

Since the end of WWII, the capitalist economy has been based around consumerism, which requires a strong middle class with the resources to spend, spend, and spend. Yet, as mentioned above, wealth has concentrated and the middle class has shrunk. So who picks up the tab necessary to keep this economy circulating? For the last three decades, we have been acting on a binge, spoiled by credit to keep the bubble from exploding. However, our national economic policy has continued this slow pace toward chaos through deregulation, unfair trade agreements, and the destruction of safety net programs designed to stabilize the country after the Great Depression. Let’s not be partisan, this was the general direction even under democratic leadership.

While I am not saying we should move backwards, I also realize the days of trickle-down are over. The concept is antithetical to consumerism. We want as many people as possible to have disposable cash, decent jobs, and low costs. This sounds like a difficult objective, and it is to the point of being practically impossible. But there is some clarity: the assumption that a small group of concentrated wealth will share that wealth in a capitalist economy has been forever tarnished.

The last thing this country needs is 3 million more unemployed, millions of failed pensions plans for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation to pick up, the failure of support industries, the fail of small businesses, and the huge numbers of uninsured that will all result from the collapse of the American auto industry. The market will handle it you say? No, they won’t because no one has disposable cash on hand to start up new companies that are more efficient than the current companies. Bankruptcy? I think everyone is misunderstanding bankruptcy. GM will not cease to exist. However, it might as well. Who will buy cars from a bankrupt company that will not honor its past service and parts guarantees?

Bankruptcy mostly impacts employees. GM can void its union agreements. All those pension benefits are still guaranteed by the United States government through the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Yet, there is no way they will be able to live up to those pension agreements. Health care? Gone too. Many will lose jobs working at insurance companies. What about the wages we need to maintain a consumer economy? Definitely gone. Oh, and heavy layoffs is the last thing our economy needs to jump start after the financial crisis. Bankruptcy also voids other contracts forcing the burden on small suppliers. If they tank, the Big Three tank.

Next, stop bad-mouthing the UAW. They cut the salaries of their new-hires by half. They picked up millions of pensions and health insurance costs. They have been cooperating with layoff after layoff. Everyone deserves the right to be compensated for their work. Last time I checked, that's the goal of capitalism. Just because the rest of middle class American has collapsed does not mean the last bastion of the middle class should collapse as well. Again, how does that help our consumer based economy??? I'm not saying we should remove all blame from the shoulders of the UAW, but there are deeper problems at work here that are diminishing GM sales.

GM is a company that has lobbied against the future. They have done everything to prevent the natural progression of history and technology. It was only a matter of time until the rest of the world moved on without them. That being said, this is not a company that is unsalvageable. This is a company that needs a new direction that Congress should prepare to give it one like they did during WWII.

Unfortunately, we won't be getting a bailout for middle class working American under this Congress full of Coasters with their economic blinders on. Hopefully, Obama can wrestle these ego-centric and narrow minded senators into making the right choice.