Register today for the Shore to Shore Equality Ride!

Banner 10The Shore to Shore Equality Ride is an exciting 4 day Bicycle Tour across beautiful lower Michigan, beginning in the Detroit Metropolitan area and ending on the picturesque Lake Michigan shoreline. Come experience fall in all its wonder with access to scenic side trips, refreshments & meal breaks along the way. This is the inaugural year for the Equality Ride, so the event is limited to 100 VIP riders who will start in Ferndale and travel to Saugatuck via paved roads and enjoying many of the great Michigan biking trails.

For more information on the route and how to join the Jim Toy Center team, please visit the event website.

The Equality Ride is produced by the Michigan LGBT Community Center Network (CCN). The CCN is a collaboration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Community Center organizations across the state of Michigan. CCN members participating in the Equality Ride are Affirmations, The Jim Toy Center, Kalamazoo Gay and Lesbian Resource Center, KICK, The Network and Perceptions.

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Jim Toy’s Birthday Bash—Save the date!

Pic from http://www.whisk-kid.com/2009/08/say-it-with-cake.html

On Friday, April 12, from 7 to 10pm we’re hosting a Jim Toy Birthday Bash and JTCC fundraiser at the Corner Brewery Lounge in Ypsilanti. Additional details are forthcoming, but the long and short of it is that this will be a social gathering to celebrate the birthday of our namesake and to fundraise for the Jim Toy Community Center to support its efforts in the pursuit of equality.

We hope to see you there!

Pic courtesy http://www.whisk-kid.com/2009/08/say-it-with-cake.html
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Public Policy Meeting

There will be a Public Policy Committee Meeting at 6 PM tomorrow, Wednesday (March 27), at the Jim Toy Community Center.

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JTCC 2012: Year in Review and A Look Ahead

The Jim Toy Community Center has prepared its 2012 newsletter. Inside you’ll find a review of our activities and accomplishments over the past year as well as a look ahead to the future. Download it today!

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Vote Like Your Rights Depend on It!

Vote the ENTIRE ballot on Tuesday, Nov. 6th!

Election Day is tomorrow, Tuesday, November 6! Don’t forget to make a plan for when you’re going to the polls, how you’re going to get there, and what you’re going to vote for! Ask you friends and family what their plan is, and offer to help out if they need it.

Every election matters! Our representatives and elected officials make decisions about civil rights, health care, the economy, jobs, and other issues that affect our lives. Remember that your voice matters, and your vote counts!

Don’t forget to vote the non-partisan section of the ballot, often on the back or the bottom!

If you need any assistance on Election Day, call the Election Protection hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE (687-8683).

- Your friends at the Jim Toy Community Center 

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Michigan Trans* Voter Guide

Transgender people face uncountable challenges, and we don’t want voting to be one for you. Whether you’re a first time voter or you have done this before, this guide is intended to empower you as a voter. Remember, voting is a fundamental right for all citizens. It is imperative, as a minority community, to raise our voices to make the changes we want to see.

Let’s Vote!

Here are some gender-marker related considerations that you may want to think about when deciding how you will go and vote:

  •  If you have not been able to change your gender marker on your driver’s license/ID and you don’t want poll workers seeing your ID, then absentee voting might be a good option for you.
  • If you are a first time voter, you must have registered in person at your local clerk or Secretary of State in order to vote absentee. This option is also good for trans* students, trans* folks with disabilities and trans* folks who need English assistance.

Different Ways to Vote

  • Absentee voting (recommended if you are nervous about outing yourself at the polls):
    • Absentee voting applications are in the column on the left side of the michigan.gov/vote page and the application must be to your city/township/county clerk by no later than 2pm on Saturday, Aug 4th for primaries and 2pm on Saturday, November 3rd for general. The completed absentee ballot must be returned no later than 8pm on the day of the elections.
    • First time voters: If you have registered by mail or through a third party organization, you will have to verify your identity at your local clerk by showing a photo ID. This can be done either before the elections or if you drop off your absentee ballot in person.
    • If you’ve applied for an absentee ballot and show up at the polls, that may be challenged, so do your best to turn it in if you’ve applied for it.
  • Voting in person:
    • Make sure you are at the correct polling location. Check the michigan.gov/vote webpage or ask your local clerk. An organization called People for The American Way has a polling location hotline as well (800-326-7329).
    • Please look at the Trans* Tips for Feeling Good at the Polls section for help on gender identity concerns, disability and language barriers concerns.
    • ‘Typical’ ballot: Michigan law requires you to present a photo ID to go through a typical ballot process, so bring this with you if you have it.
    • No photo ID with you: Affidavit followed by a ‘typical’ ballot: If your name is on the voter registration list but you do not have a photo ID on you, then you will go through an affidavit process:
      • First, you will sign an oath, saying that you do not have an ID on you.
      • Next, a precinct board member will ask you a few questions in person to verify some information.
      • Finally, you will be given a typical ballot and it WILL be counted as part of the voting totals.
    • Pollworkers are uncertain: Affidavit followed by provisional ballot: If your name does not appear on the registration list or if the poll workers have suspicion about whether you are:
      1. 18 years old,
      2. a citizen,
      3. a true resident of the city/township or (4)
      4. whether you registered before the deadline,

      Then you will go through the affidavit process. You will be asked questions specific to the uncertain info and will be issued a provisional ballot instead of a typical ballot.

      Your provisional ballot status only matters if it is “challenged,” which may happen if the precinct board member is still unsure about the verification of your information. This will go through a court process, post-election.

Trans* Tips for Feeling Good at the Polls

Modified from the National Transgender Center for Equality’s “Overcoming Voting Obstacles”

Remember – it is your right to vote.

If you registered to vote and you show up to vote, you vote. Period.

What you should have with you just in case:

  • If you have legally changed your name and you did not re-register under your new legal bring the following items with you to the polls:
    • The copies of the court paperwork you had to go through
    • Or some older photo IDs or physicians’ letters if you don’t have that paperwork
    • If you don’t have any of these items or don’t want to bring these items but you are on the registration lists, ask to go through the affidavit process. If you’re not on the registration list, ask for a provisional (see Ways to Vote for more info) Please also call the Our Vote hotline (866-687-8683) to report and for further assistance.
  • If you have not gotten a legal gender marker change on your photo ID and/or your photo does not ‘match’ the presentation of your gender that day, and you’re nervous about poll workers challenging your identity, you should bring:
    • Copies of older photo IDs
    • Physicians’ letters
    • Any other documents that prove you are who you are
      • Follow the same starred procedure above if you are still questioned or if you don’t have these items
  • Bring a voting buddy! Be it a fellow trans*friend, a family member or someone else who makes you feel comfortable, bring them with you to the polling location. You are legally allowed to have someone assist you in the polling both if:
    • You have a disability
    • You are unable to read or write (make sure the other person is a registered voter too!).
    • Language barriers exist

The trans* community has always been integral to positive social change, despite receiving little recognition for hard-fought efforts. We need to be involved and visible in the conversation around voting and civic engagement, so that we can hold our politicians accountable to our community. Voting is a way we build our power as a community, a way to start making change so that we finally see our values and our needs highlighted by those representing us.

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Candidate Forum—Fri. Nov. 2, 6-7pm

Join us on Friday November 2nd from 6-7pm for a candidate forum for the Michigan 22nd Circuit Court – Washtenaw County. The event will be hosted by the Bar at 327 Braun Court.

Remember, the Circuit Court and other important judge elections are in the non-partisan section of the ballot, often at the bottom or on the back. Don’t forget to vote your entire ballot on November 6th!

Both Carol Kunhke and Jim Fink have been invited to participate in the forum. Jim Fink has declined to attend. 

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Call to action: All hands on deck!

Please consider joining us for a pro-equality, non-partisan Get Out The Vote night of fun volunteering at the Jim Toy Community Center, Monday, October 29 from 6 to 9pm. We have phone calls to make AND a mailing to process (just the right size for kid hands). This is a chance to make a difference! We hope to see you Monday!

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OUTFest 2012 – Tomorrow

One last reminder to everyone: OUTFest 2012 is tomorrow, Sept. 29, beginning at 5 p.m.!  We have a ton of things planned for everyone, including a variety of wonderful food and beverage vendors, fantastic entertainers including Abigail Stauffer, Out Loud Chorus, DJ Mark Johnson at the Necto Dance Pavilion and more!

We can’t wait to see you there – And remember: We’d be nowhere without our wonderful sponsors, so please thank them for supporting JTCC!

 

See you tomorrow!

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Get out the Vote for Equality

With the election just around the corner, it is absolutely imperative, now more than ever, that we identify pro-LGBT voters and get them out to the polls. That’s what our new initiative called, Get Out the Vote for Equality, is all about. We need you to step up and help us stop the blatant attack on the rights of LGBT individuals. If we continue to stand by and do nothing, our rights will continue to deteriorate. That’s not something we can afford to lose.

Below is a volunteer form that we are asking you to fill out; there you’ll find dates and times of our volunteer events. Please sign up for at least one shift. The work of passionate volunteers in our community are why we’ve been so successful so far in our efforts but there’s still so much work to be done before the upcoming election and we need you. The work is not only rewarding but it’s a great way to meet community members with the same interests and passions as you. Will you join us? Again, the sign-up form is below. Please take the time look at the shifts and sign up!

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dEhqRzNqMDd4N3N3YWRCc3hEcS1OQ1E6MQ

Please contact Alex Ngo, our Outreach Intern, if you any questions whatsoever. Thank you!

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