At a Glance ...


Voters Not Politicians hosting town hall events

Voters Not Politicians, the nonpartisan, grassroots group that led the drive to end partisan gerrymandering in Michigan, is hosting a series of town halls to discuss government and election issues in the state.

The first town hall was held Thursday, Dec. 5 at the Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church in Southfield. 

Following overwhelming support for redistricting reform from Michigan voters in 2018, Voters Not Politicians gathered feedback from people across the state through surveys and town halls to learn more about what issues the organization can address next to make government more transparent, ethical, and accountable.

At the town halls, leaders of the organization will talk about the problems voters identified and how they could be addressed – through the Legislature or at the ballot box.

For additional information, call 517.225.1812 or send an e-mail to

Lawsuit: Police fined man for tree removal, then alerted ICE

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — A Salvadoran national is suing Maryland Department of Natural Resources police, alleging officers notified federal immigration officials of his whereabouts when they fined him for improperly removing a tree.

The Washington Post reports 31-year-old José Ricardo Villalta Canales has been in immigration detention for more than three months.

Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs attorneys say he was helping a relative cut down a dead tree in August when he was approached by officers.

The lawsuit filed last week says officers fined him and detained him for hours after making a routine check for warrants.

Villalta Canales has no prior criminal record and immigration officials had only filed an administrative warrant for deportation.

Maryland agencies are only supposed to act on judicial or criminal warrants.

Christmas parades with Confederate floats cancelled

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (AP) — A second North Carolina town has canceled its Christmas parade over concerns about possible protests of a float celebrating the Confederacy.

Leaders in Wake Forest had said last week that the town’s parade would go on and include the Sons & Daughters of the Confederacy despite a planned demonstration. That decision changed once police learned that the number of expected protesters had grown from 10 to 200 people, Police Chief Jeff Leonard said in a statement released Wednesday.

The entire parade has now been canceled for safety reasons. This would have been the 72nd year of the parade, news outlets reported.
“We aren’t happy telling kids they can’t attend or participate in this year’s parade — but it’s better than trying to explain to a parent whose child was injured despite so many warning signs,” the chief said.

Wake Forest Mayor Vivian Jones released a video message saying she’s “angry, disappointed and heartbroken” that the event has been canceled. She says it’s not the most popular decision, but it’s the safest decision.

The town of Garner also canceled its Christmas parade this year over fears that a float sponsored by the Sons of Confederate Veterans would be “targeted for disruption.”


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