User:Ewhiteside

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Ernest A. Whiteside, or Ernie Whiteside, is a discouraged worker turned part-time homemaker and part-time political activist. His professional background is in medical technology, business management and sales. He is a former Latter-day Saint turned Secular Humanist who continues to be interested in the role that religion plays in society. Like most Secular Humanists, his personal views are informed by science and philosophy.

Ernie Whiteside is a political activist who has been an active member of the Libertarian Party in both Texas and Michigan and is currently an active member of the Democratic Party in Michigan. His professional background is in medical technology, business management and sales. He is a former Latter-day Saint turned Secular Humanist. Like most Secular Humanists, his social, political and economic views are informed by science and philosophy.

He was the secretary of the Denton County Libertarian Party from 2000-2002 and was elected chair at the 2002 county convention. He was also a member of the Texas State Libertarian Executive Committee from 2001-2002.

He relocated to Michigan in early 2003 and became the Membership Representative for the Libertarian Party of Wayne County (includes Monroe County) where he assisted with communications to membership. He was also briefly a member of the Michigan Libertarian Executive Committee and the Membership Outreach Director.

Ernie ran for Michigan State Board of Education Member in both 2004 and 2006 as a Libertarian. His platform was one that promoted responsible management of the public schools and protection from regulatory excess in private school options including home education.

After 2006, Ernie became less active with the Libertarian Party, partly due to long work hours and partly due to changing views on electoral politics. Today he identifies himself as a civil libertarian and a social democrat and is active with the Michigan Democratic Party.

Frustrated by the problem of growing social inequality aggravated by a monetary and economic system that depended on mathematically impossible growth curves that threatened to destabilize currency, exhaust precious natural resources and pollute our environment beyond repair, Ernie began to understand that certain collective problems could only be resolved by collective action. His view of the role of government expanded.

Ernie is especially frustrated by the influence a small class of corporate owners have over government officials and the preference given to them as the expense of common, working class people. In 2011 he participated in Tax Day Protests launched by US Uncut and organization committed to exposing how some of the most profitable corporations avoid their duty to pay taxes shifting that burden to working class people and putting government operations in fiscal crisis.

That same year he became involved in an effort to recall Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and sponsored and effort to recall Michigan State Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville. The reason he became involved in these recalls is that these officials moved forward legislation that reduced taxes on highly profitable corporations by $1.9 billion shifting that burden to individual workers. The new law increased taxes on retirees by $300 million reduced tax credits for the working poor and cut money from local government and schools creating a fiscal crisis.

Ernie was also involved in the petitions to: repeal the Emergency Manager Law that robbed voters of the right to elect their own local officials; to end marijuana prohibition in Michigan; and to protect collective bargaining rights.

Ernie Whiteside is a precinct delegate of the Democratic Party, a member of the Monroe County Democratic Party Executive Committee and the Communications Chair of that committee. He is also a member of the Michigan Democratic Party Progressive Bloggers Caucus and the Progressive Caucus. He was the 2012 Congressional District 7 Precinct Delegate of the Year.

In 2012, Ernie was a founder of the Progressive Democrats of Monroe County Michigan, a local membership chapter of Progressive Democrats of America and a local progressive club of the Michigan Democratic Party. He is its Leader and Chair.

Ernie has been active as a field organizer in several campaigns. In 2012 he canvassed in support of Ballot Proposal 2, an initiative to amend Michigan’s Constitution and protect collective bargaining rights. He also canvassed for State Representative candidates including Bill LaVoy (D-Monroe), Gretchen Driskell (D-Saline), Jim Berryman (D-Adrian) and Larry Crider (D-Dundee).

In 2013, he helped organize the campaign to elect Democrats to non-partisan offices as Council Members and as Clerk/Treasurer in Monroe City.

Ernie is also a board member of Michigan Atheists, an organization committed to the Separation of Church and State issue, where he participates in annual tabling events and conventions. He is a board member of the Secular Coalition of Michigan, and organization that lobbies to oppose legislation that violates the Separation of Church and State.

Finally, Ernie is active with Monroe Public Access Cable Television and the Looking Forward Production Group. Looking Forward productions are intended to be both entertaining and informative. He is also the author of the Vine Street Report blog.