Tuesday, August 29, 2006

My Friends Need Help

From David:

Hi everyone,

I am writing this because I believe that the blogosphere can impact politics. It did not occue to me until today that I could use it impact issues that affect me. So I am asking for everyone's support in helping me change legislation in Washington. The issue is one, that I feel at least, should have bi-partisan support. Please read and comment and if possible contact Carl Levin's office to support them taking a position on my proposal. Let's prove that America's government can be responsive for positive change. Thank you and I thank you for your support in advance (I promise this is the one and last time I will try to advance an agenda for myself and possibly very few to no one else - thank you!)

Here is the rest from from my blog:

This is a (slightly edited from what I sent them for personal reasons) letter to Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, who has failed to respond to my questions on this issue very dear to me in the past. Ironically the only person who has replied is Congressman Joe Knollenberg but his response showed an obvious lack of understanding of the issue, or the premise of what I was writing as his 'pseudo-form letter' did not address any of my specific concerns. But Senator Levin has stated this is an issue of importance to him and so I am focusing on him.

Dear Senator,

My name is David A Wishinsky. I am an adoptee born in Canada and adopted by two Americans from New York. As I am sure you are aware, our nation's system of immigration is tedious. There are many confusing and contradictory rules and the process does not always run as smoothly as one would hope.

For me, my story with America's immigration system occured very early in life. I was born in Toronto, to biological parents whom I do not know. I was blessed to be adopted by two devoted and loving parents who were always forthright with me which is why I haven't ever not known that I was adopted. I could not have been more fortunate. I am sure that my life is far better than it would have been had the adoption not occured and this is the reason I am sure that both you and I are proponents of adoption.

My parents seeking to include me not only in their family but in their nationality also, attempted to get me American citizenship. They were routinely rebuffed because being adopted, I did not qualify in the same manner that natural born children would. After years and years of this being the case reform came in 1996 when President Clinton signed sweeping immigration reform into place that seems to have changed my circumstances - this reform has allowed my younger sister to become an American citizen. Unaware of this change care of immigration regulation confusion at the U.S. Consulate in Toronto, on April 15, 1999 I turned eighteen and unbeknowest to my family my ability to gain instant American citizenship ended as my parents still resided in Canada. Two months after this date we applied for a green card for me. It still has not been issued because my father (who is my sponsor) still lives in Toronto and is unable to be a financial sponsor.

As I mentioned earlier, American immigration law is full of pitfalls and contradictions and in my situation I found many. For example, the irony that my father when speaking with INS officials in Buffalo, NY found that he could not sponsor me financially even if he were to leave money in a trust for the US government to utilize should I become destitute. Or the irony, that I am living in Farmington Hills with F-1 status and that my parents have demonstrated the ability to pay in excess of $100,000 in tuition to Michigan State University, yet there is concern over their ability to cover my the cost should I ever require food stamps.

I am a political science student at Michigan State University, I have been active in supporting Democrat candidates within the state, as you can see in letters to the editor I have had published in both the Detroit Free Press and Lansing State Journal this summer. I was raised in a politically aware family and American politics has always fascinated me. Yet it was not until today that the idea of using my blog as a message to get my story out was a good idea. So you can find a copy of this letter at withgodallthingsarepolitical.blogspot.com also.

Your office has failed to respond to me in the past, I hope this new public plea will help change that. With immigration reform a hot issue in Washington, I ask you this: Please reform America's immigration laws so that adoptees are treated the same as natural born children. As a society we all deplore the idea of abortion whether or not we agree with its availability - everyone sees adoption as the best alternative. Yet the government then counters that with an immigration policy that says, adopted children just are not the same. I ask you to reform this policy so that I too can rejoice in my family's background because whether or not Washington recognizes me, I have been raised to be an American and identify myself as such.

Thank you for your time, I look forward to receiving your


David A Wishinsky

From Jordan over at the Skinner Campaign:

Michigan bloggers, are we up to the challenge? We have been severely underrepresented in the national blogosphere. The netroots is afire over Connecticut, and there are plenty of “Netroots Candidates” from the west and the south. But where is Michigan? We are a solid blue state. As Governor Granholm told us at the blogger caucus, no electoral math gives us a Democratic president but a red Michigan. We have three highly competitive house seats. That is one fifth of what Democrats need to take back the house. Three seats- few enough to concentrate our resources, but still one fifth of what our party needs to take back the house. We have a responsibility to our party to give em hell in these districts, and start laying the groundwork for a strong MI Blogosphere for the ’08 Presidential.

This is a special year, we all can feel it. MI-09 is a statistical tie, we are raising enough money to catch the DCCC’s eye in MI-08, and we have a hell of a candidate in MI-11.

We can use the national netroots to our advantage, if we organize. All of you should have accounts at the two biggest Democratic blogs: http://www.DailyKos.... and http://www.MyDD.com I am putting together an email list to build a community of Michigan bloggers who can help strengthen Michigan's blogosphere. If you would like to help Michigan and receive updates let me know: JordanWells@gmail.com There are only 70 days until the election, if you don’t take the time to read a few emails, recommend a few diaries, and post a few comments you know you’re going regret it if we don’t take the house. So participate, then we can all blame the voting machines!

Some of us have already been trying to make Nancy Skinner MI-09 a netroots candidate. Nancy is the perfect choice of our 3 targets in Michigan. Let’s face it, with 425 Democratic House candidates; the netroots has to be choosy. For example, Jim Marcinkowski in MI-08 is a great guy, and the perfect choice to take on Mike Rogers. I have one of his tshirts, and a sign for my car. However I do not see the progressive blogosphere getting excited about his candidacy.

However Nancy Skinner already has a netroots presence. She attended Yearly Kos, she has written on Daily Kos, and there are plenty of diaries and comments on Daily Kos about her. She won $2,000 in DFA’s Grassroots All Star contest, and $5,000 in Mark Warner’s Map Changers contest, and earned a donation for coming in 3rd in Russ Feingold’s Progressive Patriot contest. Votes mean supporters, and Nancy has them. This sets her apart from Marcinkowski and Trupiano. Having name-id from her talk show past and appearances on cable news and Air America don’t hurt either ;)

Besides, one thing I’ve noticed about the netroots endorsed list is that there is a lack of women. Males outnumber females 16 to 3. Nancy is a candidate pro-choice progressive women everywhere can get excited about.

So- an email list to promote Michigan related news, and a coordinated campaign to get Nancy Skinner endorsed by the netroots. If Nancy does get endorsed, money comes in from nationwide and the Michigan blogosphere can rally behind our other two candidates. Two solid first steps to building Michigan’s blogosphere and our credibility. If we get active and involved, and a Democrat wins in the 9th district, you know we are going to get some credit: the Republicans have had the seat since the 1930’s!!!

I also think we should also follow our Governor’s advice and rally behind MichiganLiberal as THE Michigan blog. Of course anyone with their own blog should write there as well, but cross posting to MichLib gives out of staters an opportunity to stay informed while only checking 1 Michigan blog- great if we want to build support nationally.

Your thoughts?

Edit: In the interest of full disclosure, I am a volunteer on Skinner's campaign. I have also offered to do the same work for Marcinkowski. The arguments I make for trying to get Nancy endorsed by the netroots are accurate, and I believe with only 70 days until the election she has the best shot of getting the endorsement because we have already laid the groundwork. As she told us at the bloggers caucus, she has spoken with Markos of Daily Kos and he said that for her to get endorsed more of her local people must promote her. Markos says now all Nancy needs is more support on national blogs. We can do that. Any other candidate would need more than that.


At 10:57 AM, Blogger David A Wishinsky said...

Thank you Nirmal for putting my letter on your fantastic blog. Here is an update: My letter garned some attention from Senator Debbie Stabenow's office who called me on Tuesday. Today I spoke with Catherine (hope the spelling is correct) who talked with me at length about immigration issues. The attention and acknowledgement was greatly appreciated. Given it being an election year for Senator Stabenow and also given Senator Levin's specific reference to adoption on his website the letter was directed towards him, but I greatly appreciate any and all attention it receives and I wanted to demonstrate that I have received feedback. I am still awaiting a response from Senator Levin's office at this time.


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