ABOUT MICHIGAN DEMOCRATS FOR LIFE
(from our by-laws)
The purpose of Michigan Democrats for Life (MDFL) is to promote a consistent life ethic in the public square. MDFL will identify objectives and positions and employ strategies in furtherance of this purpose.
A 'consistent life ethic' addresses issues of human life and dignity in a consistent way from conception to natural death, regardless of stage or state of life. It encompasses such things as:
bringing children and families out of poverty;
protecting the lives and dignity of both mothers and their unborn children;
empowering women to choose alternatives to abortion;
ensuring healthcare for all;
opposing all forms of oppression and systemic racism;
treating refugees, immigrants, and other vulnerable populations with dignity and respect;
prioritizing the protection of life and health in environmental policies and other governmental policies; and
opposing capital punishment, euthanasia and other policies that disrespect human life and dignity.
To achieve our purpose of promoting a ‘consistent life ethic’ in the public square, Michigan Democrats for Life will pursue the following objectives:
1) Bring about greater understanding and acceptance of a consistent life ethic in the Democratic Party by:
a) Encouraging the leaders, policymakers, candidates, and members of the Michigan Democratic Party to expand their positions and messaging on reproductive policy to encompass a broad range of policies that support having and raising children.
Comment: For Democrats who recognize that every person's lifetime begins at conception, an obvious way to support having children is not to destroy them before they are born. But even pro-choice Democrats can point out ways they support bearing and raising future generations. Health care for children and expectant mothers makes a huge impact on the ability to have and raise a child. The same can be said about employment policies such as paying a living wage and providing sick leave, maternity leave, and personal leave. Policies such as earned income credits or a universal child allowance can address childcare costs and other expenses of raising children. Policies supported by Democrats (and typically opposed by Republican policymakers) reduce abortion as well as poverty.
b) Encouraging the leaders, policymakers, candidates, and members of the Michigan Democratic Party to support reasonable pro-consumer regulation of the healthcare industry, including abortion providers, consistent with traditional Democratic values.
Comment: Democrats are traditionally the party that supports consumer rights and safety. Both parties should apply the same principles to regulation of the abortion industry and other industries.
c) Identifying and supporting Democratic candidates for public office in Michigan who favor policies that reflect a consistent life ethic.
Comment: To earn an endorsement from MDFL, a Democratic or non-partisan candidate must be 'pro-life for the whole life.'
d) Promoting the ideals of the Democratic Party while encouraging the Party to live up to its stated ideal of inclusion, specifically with respect whole-life Democrats.
Comment: To be competitive in every district, the Democratic Party must welcome the support and participation of the pro-life half of Michigan's population.
2) Bring about greater understanding and acceptance of a consistent life ethic in the pro-life movement by:
a) Increasing the visibility of whole-life Democrats and whole-life concepts within the pro-life movement.
Comment: The same principles that lead pro-life voters to value the lives and dignity of unborn children should lead them to insist upon candidates who value human lives and dignity in other stages and states of life. Pro-life voters should be uncomfortable in today's Republican Party. We want them to know that there is a better alternative: They can be uncomfortable in the Democratic Party instead.
b) Encouraging Michigan voters who embrace pro-life values to consider the strengths and weaknesses of both Democratic and Republican candidates with respect to life issues.
Pro-life voters sometimes fail to realize that Democrats have strengths and Republicans have weaknesses with respect to life issues. Although Republican candidates usually produce better rhetoric regarding unborn life than many Democrats, it is Democrats who have supported the health and economic policies that actually save the lives of unborn children. It is also Democrats who usually do a better job safeguarding the lives and dignity of vulnerable populations after birth. Meanwhile, Republican policymakers generally underperform even with respect to protecting unborn life. Instead of doing everything they can to protect life when they control every branch of Michigan government, they tend to do just the bare minimum to keep pro-life voters in their coalition. For example, during eight years in total control of Michigan government, the Republican leadership never even let legislation to end dismemberment abortion come out of committee. Neither party has done a fully satisfactory job on life issues. Voters should consider the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate and each party, and then base their choices on what the candidates and parties do as well as what they say.
OUR OFFICERS AND BOARD
Kenneth Darga (Lansing)
Barbara Kelley (Adrian)
Robert Anderson (Marquette)
John Quinn (Detroit)
Other Board Members:
Valentyna Anderson (Marquette)
Nick Ciaramitaro (Roseville)
Michael Quinn (Kalamazoo)
Monica Sparks (Kentwood)
Bart Stupak (Menominee)
Kathryn White (Marquette)
(from our by-laws)
Formation of Board of Directors and Qualifications. Official decision-making of DFL MI is conducted by its Board of Directors. The Board consists of at least 5 members, not to exceed 15, and new members can be added by action of the Board. Members of DFL MI and prospective members of DFL MI are welcome to participate in Board meetings and to serve as a volunteer for DFL MI.
To be eligible to be a member of DFL MI, a person must be at least 16 years of age and be in agreement with DFL MI’s statement of purpose. To be eligible to serve on the Board of Directors, a person must be at least 16 years of age, be a member of the Michigan Democratic Party, and be in agreement with DFL MI’s statement of purpose and its Bylaws.
Election and Duties of Officers. The Officers include President, Vice-President(s), Treasurer and Secretary. All officers must also be members of the Board. To be eligible to serve as an Officer, a person must have first been elected as a member of the Board.
The Chair shall preside at all Board meetings, and have such other duties as are usual to the office of a nonprofit Chair. The Vice-Chair shall assist the Chair in the discharge of his/her duties, and shall temporarily assume the duties and responsibilities of the Chair in his/her absence.
The Secretary shall keep an accurate record and minutes of the proceedings of the meetings of the Board. He/she shall keep and preserve all the books, documents, correspondence, records, minutes, effects, and any other property of this organization, and when a new secretary is elected the past secretary shall forthwith deliver to the newly elected secretary all the aforesaid items kept and preserved during his/her tenure of office. In the absence of the Chair, he/she shall see that proper notification of meetings is given to Board Members.
The Treasurer shall be responsible for the financial receipts and disbursements of this organization subject to the approval of the Board. The Treasurer shall make financial reports to the Board. When a new Treasurer is elected, the past Treasurer shall forthwith deliver to the new Treasurer the funds and all the books and records kept during his/her tenure in office.
Committees. The Chair shall appoint Committees as needed.