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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 10:34 AM
Original message
Summary of Conyers Town Hall 12-15-06
Edited on Sat Dec-16-06 10:50 AM by SharonRB
As promised, here is a summary of what John Conyers spoke about last night at the town hall I attended at the University of Detroit. This was an evening class that was opened up to the public, so there were a lot of students and a lot of constituents in his district, plus some out of his district (which I am). The room was filled beyond capacity, with many standing at the back.

Rep. Conyers opened with a bit of levity -- he asked those holding up impeachment signs to please put them down for now. He's fully aware of where impeachment begins. Please forgive the lack of detail on some of this. I took some notes, but most of this is just jotting down the basic points he talked about.

These town hall meetings are going to be held around the country. It sounded like he will be traveling all over to do these, and this was just the first. They're calling them "A New American Agenda," where they will be finding out from people across the country what they want from the new legislature. What a concept! Actually try to concentrate on those things the citizens want instead of their own personal agendas.

There are some immediate legislative issues they are going to deal with, as well as other long-range things, such as what do we want to become as a country.

One of the first and simplest things they want to do is get representation for the people of the District.

He then talked about a new book by Philip Sands that deals with international law issues and how our country does not follow may of them. He wants to work on these issues and bring the U.S. more in line with other countries on these issues -- the environment (Kyoto, I assume), the Geneva conventions and things like that.

He and Dennis Kucinich are going to reintroduce legislation to establish the Department of Peace. He admires Kucinich and called him to congratulate him on announcing his candidacy. He also met with Obama last week and thinks he's the first African American who actually has a chance to win should he decide to run.

We need to get out of Iraq as soon as possible, using diplomacy and in an intelligent manner. He does not agree with the Biden plan. He thinks we need a UN peacekeeping force in place.

We need to work on a single-payer, universal health care bill and reform the new bankruptcy law. They are getting calls from bankruptcy judges asking them to review the law -- it's not working.

We need to do something about Darfur.

We need to reform the criminal justice system. He specifically mentioned mandatory minimum sentences. There are too many people going to jail who should not be incarcerated.

We need to create a whole new paradigm -- we need to change what the U.S. means to the world.

Go back to the civil rights movement: jobs, justice, peace.

Corporations declaring bankruptcy should need to show their global assets, executive compensation, etc., not just U.S. assets. He and Evan Bayh will be introducing legislation.

On impeachment: It is not practical right now. It will never succeed, as they don't have the votes. They would just tie up the legislative process for 4-6 months if they got bogged down in impeachment and they wouldn't get anything done. Then, of course, people would say they didn't get anything done and throw them out.

On the other hand, they will be issuing subpoenas to get answers on things they haven't been able to get answers on before -- the DSM, etc. If, after investigations, they start getting bipartisan support for impeachment, then who knows. Maybe enough pressure could be exerted from both sides that we'd have another Nixon situation and Bush would step down. (He did not specifically say this, but this was the jist of it.)

They're going to challenge the Patriot Act, wireless wiretapping. They will rewrite laws, hold hearings and correct defects.

Other issues brought up from audience questions:
Voting reform
Negotiate with Syria and Iran
Must lead on global warming

This will be a PEOPLE'S AGENDA.

I know I rambled, but I hope this helps give you a sense of where he stands. He is not buckling!


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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 10:44 AM
Response to Original message
1. Thanks kindly, Sharon, for informing us about what went on in Conyers'
"New American Agenda" (has a nice ring!)! He/they sure sound like they're going to be busy. I wish we had a whole lot more reps like Conyers!
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Yeah, me, too
There's so much to do in such a short time, I just hope they can do it.

Of course, someone brought up the point that * will probably just veto everything. I think the Repubs will need to vote with us or overturn vetos to protect themselves for '08. If they go along with too many vetos they'll all get thrown out on their butts. They're going to start distancing themselves from *.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. I don't think the rethugs will have gotten over their anger at firing
Rummy after the election; I wouldn't be surprised if there aren't those that turn on this admin. We're already seeing it; Sen. Gordon Smith isn't a happy camper, nor is Warner. It will be interesting.
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. I'm going to stock up on popcorn
I think we'll need a lot of it over the next two years.

:popcorn:
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 11:37 AM
Response to Original message
5. Love that man! Anxiously awaiting a signed copy of his book!
Thank for posting!
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. You're welcome!
I'm so proud he's from my state, even if not my district.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. ......to establish the Department of Peace.
He and Dennis Kucinich are going to reintroduce legislation to establish the Department of Peace. He admires Kucinich and called him to congratulate him on announcing his candidacy. He also met with Obama last week and thinks he's the first African American who actually has a chance to win should he decide to run.
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The Count Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
6. "Go back to the civil rights movement: jobs, justice, peace." I'm with that,
Just put peace first.
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. He felt that they come naturally in that order
Jobs lead to justice and justice leads to peace. But they're all important.
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The Count Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 09:23 PM
Response to Reply #7
31. The unemployed can get a job. The wronged can get justice. But the dead stays dead.
Edited on Sat Dec-16-06 09:24 PM by The Count
Peace is paramount because loss of life is irreversible.
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Patsy Stone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
9. Thanks for that, Sharon.
What a nice way to wake up on a Saturday. I'm hopeful this will all come to pass, and that the 110th will get America back on the right track.

:hi:
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. G'morning to you, Pats
Edited on Sat Dec-16-06 11:59 AM by SharonRB
You just got up? You lazy thing, you. I'm debating whether to go for a walk or not. It's a beautiful day here for December 16 and the first day of Chanukah. I really should pull myself away from the computer and get dressed and go outside.

:hi:

I, too, am hopeful. I can't wait until January to get here to get started!
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Patsy Stone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Nah
I've been up for a while, but I didn't dig into DU right away. :)

Hi! Happy Chanukah. I have one more gift to buy and a few more cards to send, and not much else in the way of plans for the weekend. It's kinda overcast and crappy here, so I'm not feeling too guilty about not getting outside. Maybe I'll take a shower soon.
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. I'm going for a walk
Then I'll shower and get dressed for the day. We're going to an "Inconvenient Truth" movie party tonight -- even though I've already seen it twice.

Not much else on tap for the weekend, other than a victory party with Sandy Levin for our district tomorrow afternoon.
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #11
19. You got up and did other things before DU?
Hmmm, that's an interesting idea.......... Nah.
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. tavalon!
How are you? I saw you on a thread the other day, and it was the first time I've seen you in ages. We must be hanging out in different places lately. I generally stay away from GD -- it's too easy to get into trouble here. I do occasionally tread in carefully, though.

Hope you're doing well. Are you going to the march next month? I'd love to, but right now I just don't know if I want to go in the cold weather, and finances are a little tight. I could wind up changing my mind, though.

:hi:
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. I was thinking seriously about it
but then my car died so now I have to get a "new" car. I'm looking at an Insight or Prius. Either way, big buckaroos, so it's looking less likely. Damn it.
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. Maybe next time!
I'm thinking about an Aura hybrid next time around, but I have a year and a half left on my lease.
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Patsy Stone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #19
43. I had coffee
That's a requirement; and then somebody called before I could log on. :)
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:11 PM
Response to Original message
12. OMG! Somebody actually has control of the rudder!
Thanks for transcribing that and keeping us in mind.


It's exactly as I would have wanted it. I can even get the sentiment of his tone when he ushered the impeachment signs down. As though, if time allows it will be so.

And what a punch to the groin with A New American Agenda. Hahahahahaha! Listening to "the people" rather than the corporations. What a novel concept. Hmm, reminds me of democracy.

I think we're in good hands. And at last, and finally. Phew.

It's as though we can almost afford to get on with our personal lives without having to do their work for them. Thank you Conyers, Kucinich, and all of the rest. Faith is restored. No doubt.

Now all we have to do is wade through republican resistance. Put on your gas masks and boots. Let's get to work.
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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:16 PM
Response to Original message
14. Great report
Conyers is awesome.

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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Thanks!
I knew if I didn't take notes, I'd never remember it all, and I promised the other day that I'd report back.
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
15. Unfortunately, UN peace-keepers have no teeth. They'd be
like a whale in a barrel to the warring factions.
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. I know
Personally, I like Biden's plan, but Conyers felt that the factions aren't currently living in separate areas and it would be a nightmare to separate them into Sunni, Shiite and Kurd districts.
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IndyOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
21. Good job! Thanks Sharon - I am happy to hear that the Dems are
purposively going grassroots. I hope I am understanding that correctly -- that more reps will be doing Feingold-like "Listening Sessions".

:hi:
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. You're welcome, IndyOp
I got the impression that Conyers himself is actually going to go around the country, not just the state, but I assume a lot of the reps will be doing this. He can't possibly do them all himself!
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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 04:28 PM
Response to Original message
23. Thanks Sharon
Didn't notice any rambling. Just noticed he appeared to cover so much that you must have had a hard time keeping up with his thoughts.

I oh so really hope most of his People's Agenda get acted upon.

Thanks for the recap.

:yourock:
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. You're welcome!
It was hard taking notes, but I knew I needed to get as much as possible in writing.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 04:59 PM
Response to Original message
26. Thanks for blogging that for us, Sharon.
Please let us know what Conyer's schedule of future town hall meetings will be.

:dem:
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. I'll do that!
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KatieB Donating Member (431 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 06:05 PM
Response to Original message
29. Nice Job
Thanks for the coverage. Especially about chances of impeachment. His approach makes sense.
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 11:13 PM
Response to Reply #29
35. Thanks, Katie
And welcome to DU!

:hi:
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rosesaylavee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 07:03 PM
Response to Original message
30. Thanks for this!
I look forward to watching him work next year.
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 11:13 PM
Response to Reply #30
36. Thanks!
As do I! I wish I had more time to watch C-Span.
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rosesaylavee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #36
42. Me too.
In fact, I will be ordering cable for the first time in 12 years just to be able watch events unfold this spring. Never thought I would be excited about watching CSPAN live. What a difference 7 years of political insanity can do to one.
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 09:48 PM
Response to Original message
32. Thank you for these notes!
Looking forward to January!
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #32
38. You're welcome. DRD
It can't get here soon enough for me.
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 09:56 PM
Response to Original message
33. What a great man. - n/t
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
34. The Bankruptcy Law is not working???
Imagine that!

Thanks for the post, SharonRB, and I'm glad to hear Conyers is on top of this.

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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #34
37. You're welcome hissyspit
Yeah, imagine that -- a lousy law isn't working. What a shocker that one is.
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gristy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 12:05 AM
Response to Original message
39. Thanks for posting - great photo too
I have now restored my avator to Conyers, which I had been using until I changed it to "I voted" after the election.
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #39
44. You're welcome, gristy
Edited on Sun Dec-17-06 05:51 PM by SharonRB
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Mich Otter Donating Member (887 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 02:46 AM
Response to Original message
40. I was there also...
Thanks Sharon for the excellent job of reporting back what Congressman John Conyers spoke about. There is nothing I can add that you have not said.
There is one point in your report that might not be clear, when the Congressman talked of "One of the first and simplest things they want to do is get representation for the people of the District" I understood the reference was to the District of Columbia, which does not have a Congressional vote.
(An opinion from me, the Democrats have been promising to get the right to have a full voting Congessional representative for D.C. for many years, at least twenty, (if my memory is working), and the Democrats have failed to deliver on this on-going promise. The failure to deliver on this promise has turned some against the Democrats.)
(Another opinion from me, I understand that what the plan is regarding Impeachment; the Democrats are going to make every effort to find as much of the truth about what Bush and the Republicans have been up to as they can. There are not enough votes in the Senate to get an Impeachment through there, unless; the facts are brought out, and the American public puts so much demand on the Republicans to support an Impeachment that the Republicans are convinced they need to wise up or they will get voted out.)
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 06:19 AM
Response to Reply #40
41. Once the facts are brought out
people will hear and see the corruption and abuse of our Constitution. Americans definitely will demand Impeachment, and the Republicans will have to go thru with the proceedings, or like you say, they will get voted out.

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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #40
45. I think you're right about DC
They've been promising this for ages. I hope they can get it through, finally. The residents of DC deserve to have their own representation just like the rest of us.

As far as your opinion on impeachment. I think it pretty much jives with what Conyers said. Lets let the facts lead where they may. I can't wait to get started.
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