Help for Refugees + Call Potus
Happy Tuesday, Activists!
We have three Calls To Action for you this week plus some news on upcoming meetings.
First, hundreds of Afghan refugees have been flown to Philadelphia to start the process of resettling. Some will go to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey for a period of time, and some are apparently being resettled in Philadelphia directly. Wondering how to help?
You can donate to HIAS PA on their website at this link or by check to HIAS Pennsylvania at 600 Chestnut Street, Suite 500B, Philadelphia, PA 19106. You can check out the specific list of needed items at this link.
You can provide help through the Nationalities Service Center at this link.
Next, we’re upping the ante on pushing our leaders in D.C. to pass the For the People Act. You can make calls to President Biden at the White House directly. PLUS we’re keeping the pressure on Senator Casey. Below are your scripts and the contact info. You have two choices to contact them – phone calls or messages on their websites.
Calls and messages to President Biden
1. Call the White House every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The comment line is open at 202-456-1111, BUT only from Tues-Thurs, 11am-3pm Eastern time. (You can either talk to a human or leave a voicemail.)
(BONUS: If you text DEMOCRACY to 333-39 you will get reminders to call the White House in addition to reminders to call Senator Casey.)
2. Send a message any time on the White House website - www.whitehouse.gov/contact
Here is a suggested script for this week for both the calls and emails:
In his speech in Philadelphia, the President told the country about the danger to our democracy. He said it is “the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War”
Since that is the threat, he needs to do much more!
He needs to use his bully pulpit to push for filibuster reform so that the Senate can pass S.1.
The choice is simple: keep the filibuster as it is OR save democracy. We elected him so he could make the right choice.
Call Senator Casey and ask him to turn up the heat on Coons, Carper, Manchin, and Sinema. Tell him you’re proud that he’s taking a stand against the filibuster and for our democracy and ask him to pressure his colleagues to do the same.
AND ask him to make a public statement calling on President Biden to get in the fight.
Phila office 215-405-9660; D.C. 202-224-6324; email link
Read more details in our earlier newsletter at this link.
California Recall – Help Our California Friends
Last but not least, Californians helped us win Pennsylvania for Biden last year when they wrote thousands upon thousands of postcards with us. Now it’s time for us to help California keep a Democrat in the governor’s seat. On September 14, California is holding its recall election on Gov. Gavin Newsom. It’s a critically important election for the whole country, not just California. You can read all about why it’s so important at this link and at this link.
You can use this link to sign up to make some calls to help keep Newsom in office.
Here are more options:
1. Every Wednesday at 6 pm PT and Saturday at 10 am PT: SPANISH Speakers Recall phone bank. Sign up at this link.
2. Calling the Central Valley: Vote No on the Recall Help reach No Party Preference (NPP) voters who want to vote NO on the Recall. Tuesdays 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm PT and Saturdays 1 pm to 3 pm PT. Sign up at this link.
3. Stop the Recall TEXTING. Sign up at this link.
SAVE THE DATE
Senator Casey will hold a Drive-in Town Hall on September 9 at 5:00 pm (“doors” open at 4:00) in Bucks County. He’ll take live questions and all the information is below.
What: Casey Drive-In Town Hall
When: Wednesday, September 9, 5 pm (opens at 4 pm)
Where: Lower Bucks County Campus of Bucks Co. Community College, 1304 Veterans Highway, Bristol, PA 19007
Casey’s office will put up an Eventbrite response form soon. When you sign up you’ll be asked to fill out a question you’d like the senator to answer. If they pick your question you’ll be able to ask it in person at the event! More info to follow as we receive it.
OUR NEXT MEETING The Census, Redistricting, and Gerrymandering
Join us for a zoom meeting with Fair District PA’s Carol Kuniholm. She’ll give us the scoop on Pennsylvania’s redistricting process, where it stands now, and what we can do to advocate to prevent regular gerrymandering. This will affect our voting for the next 10 years!
When: Thursday, September 23, 4:00 pm
And for some good news! Have you heard about prison gerrymandering? It’s the policy to count incarcerated individuals as living where the prison is located, not at their home address. This benefits more rural districts, where prisons are typically located, and disadvantages more urban regions. BUT, last week, the PA Redistricting Commission voted to change this policy and to start counting prisoners’ most recent address instead of where the prison is located. A 2019 study by two Villanova University professors found that this change was “a big step towards equalizing power between rural and urban areas, especially minority representation.”
Important Judicial Elections – Learn about the candidates
This November 2 the election will decide statewide judicial races for three court seats. This is critically important, and we need to be informed and show up at the polls to vote for good candidates.
Find out about them during the live virtual candidate forum hosted by Pennsylvanians For Modern Courts and the Free Library on September 20 at 7:00 pm. This event will be a moderated forum and attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions for the candidates. Sign up here.
Here are the participating candidates: Supreme Court (1 seat is open)
Hon. P. Kevin Brobson, Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court President Judge (R)
Hon. Maria C. McLaughlin, Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge. (D) You can watch the video of our meeting with Judge McLaughlin at this link.
Superior Court (1 seat is open)
Hon. Timika Lane, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge (D)
Megan Sullivan, Deputy Attorney General (R)
Commonwealth Court (2 seats are open)
Hon. Lori A. Dumas, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge (D)
Hon. David L. Spurgeon, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge (D)
Stacy Sorokes Wallace, Attorney (R)
Hon. J. Andrew Crompton, Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge (Incumbent) (R)
You can see all the details on this project at this link. We are writing postcards to persuade infrequent voters to get out and vote next year to secure Democratic victories for the open U.S. Senate seat and the open PA Governor’s seat.
Here’s how it works – We will distribute the postcards to you or you can pick them up at a Center City location. The hand-written script is only two sentences and you’ll also write the address. Please order your postcards in multiples of 50.
Here’s how to sign up – 1. Email us at this link to tell us how many postcards you want. 2. Purchase your 36-cent postcard stamps online at this link or at your local post office. 3. Donate $7.00 per set of 50 postcards at this link.
CARDS & COCKTAILS
Write your postcards together with us! When: This Thursday, September 2, 6:00–8:00 pm Where: Zoom Sign up here for the link.
35 DOORS PROJECT
Join this project to be a Neighborhood Leader interacting with voters at 35 addresses in your neighborhood. It involves going to doors a few times per year and using the information we’ll provide about upcoming elections. You’ll be ready to be the local election expert after our training session and the information and handouts we’ll provide. We’ll also provide the addresses in coordination with the Neighborhood Leader’s input, plus door hangers, election information – everything you’ll need! If you want more info or to sign up email us at this link!
Registering voters is critically important to turning out the vote so let’s get it done! For the farmers markets below we are doing in partnership with the Food Trust, which operates farmers markets around the city. The exception is the Germantown Farmers Market, which is now operated by Philly Forest. Sign up for a two-hour shift.
Philly AIDS Thrift –
Saturday, September 4, 11:00 am–3:00 pm – All spots filled already!
Saturday, September 11, 10 am–2:00 pm
Saturday, September 18, 10:00 am–2:00 pm
Saturday, September 25, Noon–4:00 pm
Have a safe week everyone!