Dear Michigan Democratic Party Members,

Since 2005, the State of Michigan has recognized Juneteenth as a holiday. Now in 2020, there are more people paying attention to this day than ever before. People are educating themselves on the genesis of the day, wanting to understand, wanting to celebrate the meaning of the day in Black history and culture. People of all colors and faith are finding some hope in a pivotal moment in Black history.

Juneteenth marks the date, June 19,1865, that Union General Gordon Granger read the federal orders in Galveston, Texas that all previously enslaved people in Texas were free.  The Emancipation Proclamation had freed the slaves over 2 years earlier, yet this was news to the estimated 250,000 enslaved people in Texas.

It is hard to imagine now, how it would have taken over two years for this news to reach the enslaved people in Texas.  Systemic racism in all of its insidious forms is, in many ways, as present now as it was then.  It will be education and communication that combat this awful practice and bring change.  Our voices must be heard.           

Over the last few weeks, the tragic events around the country have brought a lot of introspection and analysis from every perspective.  The recurring message heard time and again, in so many ways, is that hate is not welcome here, and we aren’t going to tolerate policies or conduct rooted in hate anymore.  I endorse that message fully, and want to state right here that Black Lives Matter.

What has inspired me to be more vocal, to move away from playing it safe, is watching our young leaders — fearless, motivated, inspired — who are ready to pick up this banner and lead.  I am ready to have their backs, to support their efforts and watch them grow into the public servants and community leaders our country so desperately needs.  

Juneteenth has always been about celebrating Black American’s freedom and achievements, while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all cultures. This feels particularly poignent during this moment in history.  There is an entire generation making the decision to take control and have a voice in their own lives.  And that gives me hope.  That the invisible barriers that were there for my generation, that allowed us to go this far, but no further, are being pushed out, maybe even eliminated.  And as the mother of three kids who all look like me, there is nothing I want more.  

As the Chair of the MDP I will do all I can to support the Black Lives Matter movement because it is the right thing to do.  But if we can find any solace at all in the events of the last few weeks, it is that these souls we have lost in tragedy are inspiring an entire generation and that generation is stepping up to the challenge.  Let us all applaud them, encourage them and support them.     

Stay Safe & Stay Healthy-

Lavora Barnes
Michigan Democratic Party




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Zach Larson – Candidate for the 103rd state House of Representatives – Support Him


My name is Zach Larson. I am running as a Democrat for the 103rd District State Representative.

Some of you may know me as the previous Crawford County Chair of the Democratic Party, a  friendly face at the Crawford County library or your Election Inspector at Grayling Township precinct 305. 

I am reaching out to let you know that I am running and would be honored to have you as a supporter. 

I have lived in Crawford County all of my life. I know the district well. Kalkaska, Roscommon, Ogemaw, Crawford and Missaukee counties all deserve equal representation in Lansing. Yes, we may live in rural Michigan, but we have so much to offer- beautiful state and federal parks, all of our lakes and rivers, our forests, our towns. I will be that legislator that actually represents their constituents and NOT give in to lobbying groups or organizations that don’t benefit our district. 

If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions please feel free to contact me. If you need representation I would like to know what I can do to help and support your interests in Lansing. 

I am currently getting my campaign set up for the 2020 election cycle. I am in need of volunteers, supporters and committee members. If you are interested in volunteering I would greatly appreciate it. If you know of anyone that would be interested please share my information with them. 

I hope to hear from you soon! 

Stay safe and well!


Zach Larson

Candidate for 103rd State Representative 



Americans Are Failing The Marshmallow Test

Paul Krugman

June 9, 2020

Visitors have their temperatures checked as they arrive at Universal Studios theme park on the first day of reopening after the coronavirus shutdown, on June 5, 2020, in Orlando, Fla.Gregg Newton/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Author Headshot

By Paul Krugman

Opinion Columnist

The marshmallow test is a famous psychological experiment that tests children’s willingness to delay gratification. Children are offered a marshmallow, but told that they can have a second marshmallow if they’re willing to wait 15 minutes before eating the first one. Claims that children with the willpower to hold out do much better in life haven’t held up well, but the experiment is still a useful metaphor for many choices in life, both by individuals and by larger groups.

One way to think about the Covid-19 pandemic is that it poses a kind of marshmallow test for society.

At this point, there have been enough international success stories in dealing with the coronavirus to leave us with a clear sense of what beating the pandemic takes. First, you have to impose strict social distancing long enough to reduce the number of infected people to a small fraction of the population. Then you have to implement a regime of testing, tracing and isolating: quickly identifying any new outbreak, finding everyone exposed, and quarantining them until the danger is past.

This strategy is workable. South Korea has done it. New Zealand has done it.

But you have to be strict and you have to be patient, staying the course until the pandemic is over, not giving in to the temptation to return to normal life while the virus is still widespread. So it is, as I said, a kind of marshmallow test.

And America is failing that test.

New U.S. cases and deaths have declinedsince early April, but that’s almost entirely because the greater New York area, after a horrific outbreak, has achieved huge progress. In many parts of the country — including our most populous states, California, Texas, and Florida — the disease is still spreading. Overall, new cases are plateauing and may be starting to rise. Yet state governments are moving to reopen anyway.Continue reading the main story


This is a very different story from what’s happening in other advanced countries, even hard-hit nations like Italy and Spain, where new cases have fallen dramatically. It now looks likely that by late summer we’ll be the only major wealthy nation where large numbers of people are still dying from Covid-19.

Why are we failing the test? It’s easy to blame Donald Trump, a man-child who would surely gobble down that first marshmallow, then try to steal marshmallows from other kids. But America’s impatience, its unwillingness to do what it takes to deal with a threat that can’t be beaten with threats of violence, runs much deeper than one man.

It doesn’t help that Republicans are ideologically opposed to government safety-net programs, which are what make the economic consequences of social distancing tolerable; as I explain in today’s column, they seem determined to let crucial emergency relief expire far too soon. Nor does it help that even low-cost measures to limit the spread of Covid-19, above all wearing face masks (which mainly protect other people), have been caught up in our culture wars.

America in 2020, it seems, is too disunited, with too many people in the grip of ideology and partisanship, to deal effectively with a pandemic. We have the knowledge, we have the resources, but we don’t have the will.Continue reading the main story


Citizens March Justice for All

In Grayling for a Peace and Justice rally

Today at the courthouse in Grayling many members of our community marched and took a knee in a show of support for racial justice, tolerance, free speech, and equal rights before the law. What a great group of people participating in a well planned peaceful show of community support for the values that all Americans should support in our democracy

Our Fantastic Secretary of State

Check out this article from Detroit Free Press:

Michigan SOS: I’m coming to Michigan communities where people don’t vote