Gary C. Peters

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Gary Peters


Gary C. Peters (born in Pontiac, Oakland County, MI, December 1, 1958) is a Democratic member of the United States Senate, representing Michigan. From 1995 - 2002 he was a State Senator representing the 14th District of Michigan, preceeding Gilda Jacobs.

Early Life & Career

B.A., Alma College, Alma, Mich., 1980; M.B.A., University of Detroit, Detroit, Mich., 1985; J.D. Wayne State University, Detroit, Mich., 1989; M.A., Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich., 2007; United States Navy Reserve, 1993-2000, 2001-2005; investment banker; professor, Oakland University, Rochester, Mich.; professor, Wayne State University, Detroit, Mich.[1]

Public Service

Member, Rochester Hills (Mich.) city council, 1991-1992; member, Michigan state senate, 1995-2002; unsuccessful candidate for Michigan state attorney general in 2002; elected as a Democrat to the One Hundred Eleventh and to the succeeding Congress (January 3, 2009-present).[1]

Planned Parenthood

Peters received $7000 in lobbying funds from Planned Parenthood in 2008.

Supported by Council for a Livable World

The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Gary Peters in his successful 2008 House of Representatives run as candidate for Michigan.[2] He has also been previously supported by the Council.[3]

Council for a Livable World 2020

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The Council for a Livable World endorsed Gary C. Peters in his 2020 bid for the US senate from Michigan.

Gary Peters won his Michigan Senate seat in 2014 in a challenging election year for Democrats. Two years later, President Trump narrowly carried the state. Before then, Peters first ran for the House of Representatives in 2008, defeating a Republican incumbent and surviving later Republicans to target his House seat.
Republicans have settled on John James, a businessman and Iraq war veteran who came surprisingly close to winning the other Michigan Senate seat in 2018, as their nominee for 2020.
Peters was born in Pontiac, Michigan. He graduated from Rochester High School in Minnesota, earned a BA in Political Science from Alma College in Michigan, an MBA in Finance from the University of Detroit Mercy, a JD from Wayne State University Law School and an MA in Philosophy from Michigan State University. Peters earned his MA, JD and MBA in night classes while working full time.
He has a strong national security record. On Afghanistan, he stated, “In the 17 years since September 11th, the American taxpayer has been asked to bankroll hundreds of billions of dollars of spending on combat, relief, and reconstruction in Afghanistan. What do I tell the people of Flint, Michigan who ask me, ‘Why are my taxes paying for clean water in Kabul when I don’t have clean water in my own home?’

2014 CLW endorsement for Senate

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Gary Peters was endorsed by Council for a Livable World, during his 2014 US Senate race.

Peters has generally been a supporter of progressive national security policies. This year, he voted for the McGovern (D-MA) amendment to end the U.S. military role in the Afghanistan war as soon as possible, for the Quigley (D-IL) amendment to cut funds for the B61 nuclear bomb program, for the Nadler (D-NY) amendment to eliminate funding for East Coast missile defense and for the Mulvaney (R-SC) amendment to reduce the Pentagon budget by $3.5 billion.
He also voted against counterproductive Republican amendments to limit missile defense, prevent nuclear arms cooperation with Russia , and cut funding for nuclear non-proliferation programs.
Council for a Livable World believes that Gary Peters will be a worthy replacement for Carl Levin and a solid addition to progressive ranks in the U.S. Senate.[4]

DSA connections

Rebuffed DSA support

In 2008, the Peters campaign turned down offers of Democratic Socialists of America help. According to the newsletter of the Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America, January 2009;[5]

Having been rebuffed in our offers of assistance to progressive Congressional candidates Gary Peters (9th district) and Mark Schauer (7th district)—both of whom were afraid of being red-baited--Detroit DSA focused instead on local and state races.

Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America chair David Green says that the candidates themselves were happy to have Detroit DSA’s involvement, but that “handlers” from the Democratic National Committee refused the support, for fear that the candidates would be red-baited or branded as socialists. [6]

Ongoing DSA links

Gary Peters.JPG

The Agenda for the May 2 2009 Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America General Membership Meeting included item;[7]

  • Report on Meeting with Gary Peters’ Staff

The Agenda for the July 11 2009 Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America General Membership Meeting included item;[8]

2009 Spirit of Millie Jeffrey Award Dinner

Jim Kruer & Gary C. Peters

The Spirit of Millie Jeffrey Award Dinner is the Democratic Socialists of America-initiated The Justice Caucus's annual award and fundraising dinner in honor of the life of progressive activist, Millie Jeffrey. Congressman Peters was the keynote speaker at the June 7, 2009 dinner.[9]

DSA sponsored rally

Over 300 people attended the Call to Action Rally at the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 876 Hall in Madison Heights on February 18th 2010. The rally was organized to press members of the Michigan Congressional delegation , particularly in the Senate, to pass key components of the progressive agenda including health care reform, cap and trade energy legislation, immigration reform, and the Employee Free Choice Act. Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America co-sponsored the rally along with 31 other organizations including Health Care for America Now, the UAW, the Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union ), UFCW, UNITE-HERE Local 24, AFSCME Council 25, Reform Immigration for America, Repower America (the organization founded by former Vice-President Al Gore to promote investment in renewable energy), Gray Panthers of Metro Detroit, Michigan Universal Health Care Access Network, the Arabic Community Coalition for Economic and Social Security, Southeast Michigan Jobs with Justice, MoveOn, and MOSES.

Congressmen Sander Levin and John Conyers, Jr. addressed the audience. In addition, aides to Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin and Representatives Dale Kildee, Gary Peters, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, and John Dingell attended the rally.

DSA member Al Fishman spoke to the audience about how the disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had undermined Obama’s domestic agenda in a manner analogous to the way in which the Vietnam War undermined President Johnson’s Great Society programs. DSA Executive Board member Dave Ivers spoke about the imperative for a national jobs program, shared a personal anecdote about how the health care crisis had affected his family, and stressed the importance of Congress passing the Employee Free Choice Act to make it easier for workers to organize unions. Other speakers included Chris Michalakis, Legislative Director of UFCW Local 876, who spoke about the importance of comprehensive immigration reform. Luke Canfora of Repower America described the huge potential benefits of investment in renewable energy (decreased reliance on foreign oil, reduced emissions of greenhouse gases, and job creation). Marcia Boehm and Altheia Henry discussed the urgent need for health care reform. John Freeman, Michigan Director of Health Care for America Now, moderated the event.[10]

PDA contact

In 2013 Progressive Democrats of America assigned activists to deliver their material to almost every US Congressman and several Senators. David Green, head of Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America was assigned as contact for Rep. Peters.[11]

VoteVets.org

In 2008 VoteVets.org contributed $12,500 to Peters' House run.[12]

In 2012, the largest progressive group of veterans in America, VoteVets.org PAC, with over 220,000 supporters, congratulated Rep. Gary Peters on his primary election victory. The group also vowed to strongly support him in the general election. VoteVets.org PAC has endorsed Peters, since his initial run for Congress.

“There’s plenty of reasons to keep Gary Peters in Washington. First and foremost, as a veteran, he’s been a true friend of the veterans’ and military families’ community,” said Jon Soltz, Iraq War Veteran and Chairman of VoteVets.org. “But Rep. Peters has done a lot more. Representing the heart of the American Auto Industry in Michigan, he helped ensure that countless jobs were saved by supporting policies that kept the auto industry from collapse. He’s fought against Congressional pay-raises, and even proposed legislation that would cut-off the pay of Members of Congress if there ever is a government shutdown because budget talks break down. Rep. Peters also fought to close tax loopholes, and make sure the richest in the country pay their fair share, to help America out of its economic crisis.”

“Gary Peters has brought to Congress the very best of military values – a no-nonsense approach to problem solving, and a sense of responsibility towards others. He absolutely should be re-elected,” Soltz concluded.

Rep. Peters was first elected to Congress in 2008. He served America as a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve, including service in the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Southern Watch. After 9/11, he again volunteered to serve our country in the U.S. Navy Reserve.[13]

VoteVets also backed Peters' successful 2014 US Senate race. [14]

J Sreet endorsement

In 2008 Peters was one of several successful newcomers endorsed by JStreet PAC. He received $42, 311.[15]

21st Century Democrats support

21st Century Democrats is a Political Action Committee that has stood for Progressive causes for over 20 years. Founded in 1986 by Institute for Policy Studies affiliate, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, Democratic Socialists of America affiliates, former Texas Agriculture Secretary Jim Hightower, and former Illinois Congressman Lane Evans. Its three main goals are to help elect progressive candidates, train young people about grassroots organizing, and lastly, to continue to support our elected officials after Election Day "through our comprehensive progressive network".

Long time Board chair was Democratic Socialists of America member Jim Scheibel, a former Mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The mission of 21st Century Democrats is to build a "farm team" of progressive populists who will be the future leaders of the Democratic Party.

In each election cycle, we endorse a diverse array of candidates who exemplify our values and show unusual promise to advance our progressive goals. We invest in some of the most competitive races as well as in some of the most challenging – those in which the candidates are outstanding but the traditional Democratic supporters are most reticent. We back candidates in primaries as well as general election races, and we focus the bulk of our resources on electing challengers and protecting vulnerable incumbents.[16]

Peters was one of 71 key progressives endorsed by 21st Century Democrats in the 2008 election cycle, second round. [17]

Student meeting

To the 500 students attending the "Michigan Moving Forward" rally at the University of Michigan's Rackham Auditorium, September 2010, Representative John Dingell put the question directly. "Republicans talk about taking the country back and I want to ask, back to what? Bush? Hoover? 1900? Louis XIII?"

With the audience cheering loudly Dingell answered, "This country is going to keep moving forward whether the Republicans like it or not."

The main purpose of the Wednesday night rally, featuring former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, was to highlight the critical importance of re-electing Michigan's two first term Democrats, 9th District Congressman Gary C. Peters and 7th District Congressman Mark Schauer.

Those "long knives" are being carried by the Tea Party and Peters' opponent in the race, Republican Andrew Raczkowski. Raczkowski has questioned the President's birth certificate and has the support of right-wing extremist Phyllis Schlafly.

Peters reminded people that at a July Raczkowski fundraiser Schlafly said, "Unmarried women supported President Obama because when you kick your husband out, you've got to have big brother government to be your provider."

Raczkowski is no friend of the environment. Peters noted that as a State Senator, Raczkowski had voted to allow oil drilling in the Great Lakes. With a recent oil pipeline leak taking place near Lake Michigan still fresh in people's minds, the difference between the two candidates is stark.

As applause rang out, Peters listed some of the accomplishments of both the Obama administration and his own efforts including Wall Street reform, saving General Motors and Chrysler, health care reform and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

After the rally Garrett Arwa, Michigan State Field Director of Organizing for America said, "We know these races are going to be close. Those students in the room, every single one that votes, every one that knocks on the door, gets their friends to vote, literally could make the difference."[18]

Occupy supporter

Peters allied himself with the Occupy Wall Street movement, making an appearance at Occupy Detroit on November 6, 2011. Speaking to reporters, he stated: "It's speculation on Wall Street that we're still paying the price for here, particularly in Detroit that almost brought the auto industry to a collapse because of what we saw on Wall Street. So we put in restrictions, or put in regulations necessary to reign that in, and right now in Washington I’m facing a Republican majority that wants to undo that."[19]

Anti-Fracking legislation endorser

On March 14, 2013, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) have introduced the Bringing Reductions to Energy’s Airborne Toxic Health Effect (BREATHE) Act, and the Focused Reduction of Effluence and Stormwater runoff through Hydraulic Environmental Regulation (FRESHER) Act, in order to ensure that the hydraulic fracking industry follows the same rules that other industries do in preserving our natural resources. This legislation is focused on ensuring the safety and the health of the communities where the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, process is already taking place.

The BREATHE Act would ensure that we close the oil and gas industry’s loophole to the Clean Air Act’s aggregation provision, in addition to adding hydrogen sulfide—a chemical associated with nausea, vomiting, headaches, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat—to the Clean Air Act’s federal list of hazardous air pollutants.

The BREATHE Act has the following original co-sponsors including: Reps. Rush Holt, Jr., Raul Grijalva, John Sarbanes, James Moran, Michael Quigley, Earl Blumenauer, Gerry Connolly, Zoe Lofgren, Michael Honda, Paul Tonko, Barbara Lee, David Price, Carolyn Maloney, Michael Capuano, Mark Pocan, Jim McDermott, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Alcee Hastings, Keith Ellison, Niki Tsongas, William Keating, Adam Smith, Jim Langevin, Chellie Pingree, Judy Chu, Louise Slaughter, Jerrold Nadler, Grace Meng, Jan Schakowsky, Nita Lowey, Jared Huffman, Gary Peters and Alan Lowenthal.

The following organizations have endorsed this legislation and are actively working to garner support within Congress and throughout the country: Physicians for Social Responsibility, Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthjustice, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, Sierra Club, Earthworks, Breast Cancer Action, Clean Water Action, Environment America, Greenpeace, Nature Abounds, Oil Change International, Citizens for a Healthy Community, Citizens for Huerfano County, Clean Water Action Colorado, Erie Rising, Grassroots Energy Activist Network, Holy Terror Farm, San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council, SOS Foundation, Western Colorado Congress of Mesa County, Western Slope Conservation Center and Wilderness Workshop.[20]

Peace Action support

In the 2014 mid terms, six of the eight pro-peace candidates in battlegrounds that Peace Action prioritized won election: Senators Jeff Merkley (OR), Al Franken (MN), Gary Peters (MI), Jeanne Shaheen (NH) and House members Mike Honda (CA) and Rick Nolan (MN). [The two who lost Bruce Braley (IA) and Carol Shea-Porter (NH).][21]

Representative Peters has voted for a faster withdrawal from Afghanistan, to force Congress to authorize any expanded Iraq war, and to cut funds for the B61 nuclear warhead. The Koch Brothers and Peters' multimillionaire opponent are pouring millions into negative ads attacking Peters. Electing Peters is critical for nuclear disarmament and decreasing Pentagon spending.[22]
You may have heard that control of the Senate is up for grabs. Peace Action is non-partisan. For example, earlier this year we endorsed Walter Jones (R-NC) because of his tireless work to bring the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan and to cut the Pentagon budget. That said, it is clear that a Republican controlled Senate would not have passed the New START Treaty a few years ago and would not be good for Peace Action issues.
It is for that reason that we are supporting candidates in several close Senate races like Gary Peters in Michigan, Bruce Braley in Iowa and Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire.[23]

ARA endorsement, 2014

The Alliance for Retired Americans Political Action Fund endorsed Gary C. Peters in 2014, also 2012.[24]

Muslim connections

Michigan Pakistan American Caucus

Over 3600 people attended the Michigan Democratic Party's convention at the Cobo Center in Detroit on Saturday February 23rd, 2017.

As in the past, the Pakistan American Caucus, Michigan Democratic Party participated at the event. Many community members were in attendance.

The Pakistani Caucus welcomed many elected officials and some candidates for various positions during the event. Some of the many prominent guests who addressed the caucus included US Congressman Gary Peters, State Rep. Rashida Tlaib, State Rep. Sam Singh, Mrs. Juliana Smoot, and many more.[25]

Pakistani Democratic Caucus event

Gary Peters with Pakistan American Caucus, Michigan Democratic Party
Gary Peters with Faiz M. Khan

The Pakistan American Caucus, Michigan Democratic Party organized a fundraising event at Mr. Faiz M. Khan's residence in Rochester Hills, June 2012.

Over 50 people attended the event. Congressman Gary Peters, speaking to the gathering, said that he understands immigrant's issues and their problems, as his mother was an immigrant from France. He said he also understand the issues of freedom and liberty and justice because he is a descendant of people who fought in the US Civil War. He praised President Obama'ss policies and explained they are helping to revive the economy and increase employment.[26]

Peters meets with Arab and Muslim American groups

Democratic Congressman Gary Peters was making his rounds August 2013, to meet with Arab and Muslim American leaders and groups over the past few weeks. Peters is a candidate for U.S. Senate and competing in the race to for U.S. Sen. Carl Levin’s seat.

Peters paid a visit, last Tuesday, Aug. 27, to The Arab American News office, where he met with the paper’s publisher, Osama Siblani, who discussed with the crisis in Syria with Peters, urged him to do all he could to prevent a U.S. strike on the country.

On that same day, he attended an event, hosted by the American Arab Chamber of Commerce at Byblos Banquet Hall, where according to representatives from Peters’ office, he talked to community members about issues surrounding small businesses. He also met with members of the Arab American Civil Rights League (ACRL) at the organization’s office in Dearborn, along with Executive Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations Dawud Walid. Peters also met with Imam Mohammad Elahi from the Islamic Institute of Knowledge, and other members of the Arab and Muslim communities. Elahi asked Peters to do all he could to prevent U.S. intervention in Syria and to use dialogue and diplomacy for a democratic transition in Syria.

The Congressman spoke about the complicated nature of the conflict in Syria and recognized the difficulty in dealing with it. He said he would do all he could to reduce the suffering of Syrians, through humanitarian help.

Dawud and members of the ACRL discussed civil rights issues, pertaining to the Muslim American community, with Peters and asked for his support to the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA) 2013. [27]

2018 Cuba visit

February 2018 Cuban President Raul Castro received a bicameral delegation of US lawmakers.

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"During the meeting they discussed matters of interest to both countries," the Cuban government said in a statement.

The delegation, led by Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont,comprised of Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Michigan's Gary Peters, along with representatives Kathy Castor of Florida, Jim McGovern of Massachusetts and Susan Davis of California.

Leahy has been one of the most active politicians inside the Capitol in advocating the improvement of US-Cuba relations, which defrosted somewhat in 2014 under Barack Obama after half a century of tension.[28]

Led by Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, the U.S. legislators met with Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, the newly appointed director for United States in the Cuban Foreign Ministry.

The lawmakers are reportedly on a "fact-finding trip" concerning changes in the Cuba policy introduced by the Trump administration following alleged health incidents involving US diplomats in Havana.

"A pleasure to welcome U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy and the congressional delegation (…) Enjoyed a constructive and candid dialogue," Fernandez de Cossio posted on his Twitter account. The Cuban diplomat is said to have told the visitors during the meeting that no evidence has been found by either Cuba or the US regarding the cause of those incidents.[29]

Buetow connection

In the early 1990s, when Maria Meier first moved to Washington DC, she was a recent Stanford University graduate navigating the Washington networking game from scratch: She couldn't afford an unpaid Hill internship while in college, and she came to D.C. without a job.

Now it's Meier's job to counsel young people as the director of the Senate Democratic Diversity Initiative in Minority Leader Harry Reid's office.

Meier—a 49-year-old Omaha, Nebraska, native (a "Midwest Mexican," she says)—is a force of change on Capitol Hill when it comes to hiring: Meier has personally helped more than 200 ambitious and ethnically diverse people find jobs in the Senate since 2011.

Zephranie Buetow, a legislative counsel for Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan, went through Meier's vetting process in 2011. Buetow was then a 32-year-old recent law school graduate with limited Hill experience.

"She told me, quite frankly, the diversity initiative does not get people jobs," Buetow says. "She said she could get my resume in the right hands but it's up to me to follow up with these jobs, to make that impression."

Soon after, Buetow was employed in former Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's office. When Landrieu lost her Louisiana reelection in 2014, Buetow went back to Meier. "She forwarded my resume," she says.[30]

Staff

The following have worked as staff members for Gary Peters:[31]

External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Legistorm: Gary Peters: Bio (accessed on Jan. 17, 2011)
  2. CLW website: Meet Our Candidates
  3. CLW website: Who We've Helped Elect
  4. CLW, Gary Peters endorsement page, 2014
  5. DDDSA Newsletter, jan. 2009
  6. In These Times, December 25, 2009 Mobilized in Motor City How Detroit DSA works in the Democratic Party to effect change. By Seth A. Maxon
  7. Democratic Socialists of America Greater Detroit Local May 2009 newsletter
  8. GDDSA newsletter, July 2009
  9. Justice Caucus on Flickr: Jim Kruer & Congressman Gary Peters, July 2, 2009 (accessed on Jan. 31, 2011)
  10. http://detroitdsa.com/March%202010%20DSA%20Newsletter.pdf GDDSA newsletter. March 2010 Volume 11, Issue 2]
  11. PDA May 2013 Educate Congress Digest Letter drops (191 in total – 105 in April )
  12. OpenSecrets website: VoteVets.org (accessed on Sept. 3, 2010)
  13. [http://www.votevets.org/press/votevets-org-pac-congratulates-peters-on-victory-vows-strong-support-through-november-release, VoteVets, VoteVets.org PAC Congratulates Peters on Victory - Vows Strong Support Through November Aug 08, 2012 · VoteVets.org PAC, Press Release]
  14. Clear Politics Video, MI: VoteVets Group: Gary Peters, Thanks For Having Veterans' BacksPosted on October 10, 2014
  15. J Street 2008 Annual Report
  16. 21st Century Democrats website, About us]
  17. 21st Century Democrats 2008 bio
  18. http://www.peoplesworld.org/university-of-michigan-students-pledge-to-save-their-country/ Peoples World, University of Michigan students pledge to save their country by: John Rummel September 10 2010]
  19. CBS Detroit, Occupy Detroit Gets Union Support November 6, 2011 7:10 PM
  20. Polis website. Polis, Cartwright Introduce Legislation to Hold Fracking Industry Accountable,
  21. CPUSA wbsite.2014 elections: Keep our eyes on the prize by: Joelle Fishman November 10 2014
  22. ACTBlue, Contribute Now to Peace Action's Peace Candidates by Peace Action
  23. Blog, Elections Matter! By Paul Kawika Martin 2014/09/29
  24. PAF
  25. The Muslim Observer, MDP ConventionMUSLIM MEDIA NETWORK 28FEB 2013 By Faiz Khan and TMO Staff
  26. [1]
  27. [https://dawudwalid.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/congressman-gary-peters-meets-with-arab-and-muslim-american-groups/WEBLOG OF DAWUD WALIDCONGRESSMAN GARY PETERS MEETS WITH ARAB AND MUSLIM AMERICAN GROUPS http://www.arabamericannews.com/news/index.php?mod=article&cat=Community&article=7374 Congressman Gary Peters meets with Arab and Muslim American groups By Natasha Dado Thursday, 09.05.2013]
  28. Patrick Leahy Press release, 02.16.18
  29. [2]
  30. AAtlantic Maria Meier: The Senate Staffer Getting More Minorities on the Pipeline to Power BRIAN RESNICK MAY 20, 2015
  31. Legistorm: Gary Peters (accessed on Jan. 17, 2011)