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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 13, 2019

SAULT STE. MARIE - The Chippewa County Democratic Party hosted their annual dinner and auction on Sunday, May 11, 2019, from the Walker Cisler Center on the historic campus of Lake Superior State University in the County Seat of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

Dignitaries from across the county and the state spoke on issues and concerns facing citizens locally in the county.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer sent in a very special video thanking the party for their generous contributions to the successes of the Democratic Party in the 2018 campaign.

Allison Youngs, Chair of the Chippewa County Democratic Party, said, "We are working hard in Chippewa County to build on the successes we had in 2018. We are looking to increase the number of elected democrats in all townships in Chippewa County in 2020."

Aaron Payment, Chairperson of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians spoke on the tribe's environmental concerns, especially pertaining to treaty rights with the Straits of Mackinac and his push to remove the Enbridge Line 5 oil pipeline from the Straits. Chairperson Payment also brought a special guest, Billy Mills.

Billy Mills, Lakota Sioux runner and 1964 Olympic 10,000 Meter Run Gold Medalist, spoke on courage and inspiration. He mentioned the adversity he felt during his gold medal run. He said that with all the odds against him, he had to put it all on the line in order to break the tape and win his gold medal.

T.J. Stephens, Vice Chair of the Policy and Resolution committee of the new Anishinaabek Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party, and a Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians member spoke on the new caucus. He said, "This newly formed caucus was created as a way to empower Native voices and make a difference for the next seven generations." Stephens continued, "We will educate, empower, advocate, and promote issues important to Native Americans as such we will support tribal sovereignty, treaty rights, and equal opportunity amongst the Federally Recognized Tribes in Michigan." To join the Anishinaabek Caucus, email anishinaabekcaucus@gmail.com and follow Michigan Anishinaabek Caucus on Facebook.

Stephens also noted that priority issues are decommissioning Line 5, bringing awareness to the abnormally high rate of missing and murdered indigenous women, changing school curriculums to include the history and understanding of Michigan's native heritage, and to improve the low rate of high school graduates and the high rate of incarceration of native people.

Katelyn Rader, UP Regional Director for US Senator Gary Peters, spoke on Senator Peter's being named the fourth most effective senator in the minority party. Also included were updates on the progress of a new Soo Lock, including $20.7 million for the Carbide Dock along the St. Mary's River, which will continue to support shipping in the Great Lakes through the locks.

Rader also discussed Senator Peters' recent field summit on the cost of climate change and what his authorization for a Center of Expertise could mean for fresh water oil spill research and clean-up.

Jay Gage, Regional Manager for US Senator Debbie Stabenow, spoke on Senator Stabenow's successes in appropriating funds for the Soo Locks.

Other notable speakers included Dr. Phil Belfy and Joanne Galloway, former Candidates for the 107th Michigan House District.

Nearly 70 people from across Chippewa County attended the event.

The next regular membership meeting is Thursday, June 6, 6 p.m. at Applebee's Grill + Bar at 4478 I-75 Business Spur, Sault Ste. Marie, MI.

To join the party, set up recurring donations, or volunteer, visit chippewadems.com. Also follow the party at facebook.com/CCDPofMichigan or on Twitter at @MIChippewaDems.

Our mission is to support party candidates, elected officials, precinct delegates, committees, and party members with the goal of increasing participation in the election process, expanding opportunities to understand and discuss political issues, improving visibility of the Democratic Party, and promoting public recognition of our values.

Press release photos:

Native Americans were well represented at the Chippewa County Democratic Party’s Annual Dinner and Auction on Satuday, May 11, 2019 at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie. Pictured left to right: Allison Youngs, Chair of the Chippewa County Democratic Party; Aaron Payment, Chairperson of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians; Billy Mills, Lakota Sioux and 1964 Olympic Gold Medalist; and TJ Stephens, representing the new Anishinaabek Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party.

Dignitaries from across Michigan and Indian Country gathered for the Chippewa County Democratic Party Annual Dinner and Auction to talk about issues citizens in Chippewa County are facing on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie. Pictured left to right: Jay Gage, Regional Manager for US Senator Debbie Stabenow; Aaron Payment, Chair for the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians; Billy Mills, Lakota Sioux and 1964 Olympic Gold Medalist; Allison Youngs, Chair of the Chippewa County Democratic Party; and Katelyn Rader, UP Regional Director for US Senator Gary Peters.

Other photos:
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Media Contact:
Allison Youngs, Chair
Chippewa County Democratic Party
Phone: 906-440-6124
allie906@chippewadems.com
http://www.chippewadems.com

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