"It Is What It Is."
Happy Tuesday, Activists!
“He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is.” Former First Lady Michelle Obama at last night’s Democratic Convention and throwing epic shade on her husband’s successor. You can watch her whole speech on YouTube here.
We hope you enjoyed last night’s Democratic Convention, which showed a bit of what normal looks like. Now back to our mission!
We know so many of you are worried about the Postal Service and mail-in voting. Let’s talk about what mail-in voting means for each of us voters. First, we still have 2½ months until the election and it looks like a lot can happen. See the Call To Action below and our FAQ.
The Commissioners office told us yesterday that they plan to start mailing out mail-in ballots in mid-September. They also said they hope to be able to announce drop-off locations around that time too.
Are you worried about what will happen if you sign up to vote by mail?
The good news is that when you sign up to vote by mail you are leaving yourself lots of options for voting. Here’s how:
On the one hand, you can either mail your completed ballot or you can drop it off. Right now the two drop-off locations are at City Hall Room 142 and at the Board of Elections office, 520 N Columbus Blvd, 5th Floor. However, the Commissioners confirmed this morning that these offices are closed to the public at the moment. See above for drop-off locations to be named in September.
In addition, you can also vote at your polling place! If you go to your polling place on election day with your non-voted ballot, you can surrender it there. The poll workers will destroy your ballot and you will be able to vote using the voting machines.
And for the last option, if you go to your polling place on election day without your ballot you can still vote there but on a provisional paper ballot. The Commissioners have confirmed that all provisional ballots are counted once they determine you didn’t vote twice.
You can also go to our webpage devoted to voting at this link. You’ll find links to the state’s sites to sign up, to track your ballot, and much more.
And one more thing. You can attend this virtual roundtable all about this year’s election.
Making Every Voter Count: How We Can Ensure a Free and Equal Election in Philadelphia
TOMORROW August 19, 4:00 pm– 5:30 pm
Hosted by the Philadelphia Bar Association
In this virtual presentation, Take Action Philly gathers advocates and election officials to talk about some of the key issues ahead of the November election.
Lisa Deeley, Philadelphia City Commissioner
Al Schmidt, Philadelphia City Commissioner
Omar Sabir, Philadelphia City Commissioner
Patrick Christmas, Policy Director, Committee of Seventy
Donnell Drinks, Election Protection Coordinator, ACLU of Pennsylvania
SPONSOR 1,000 VOTERS!
Our postcard project has been wildly successful. As a result, we’ve outstripped our budget. We now need to buy another 50,000 postcards to finish the project. Imaging that! Our original goal was 50,000 voters reached and now we are up to over 112,000 voters and counting.
So very many of you are working like crazy writing postcards. But if your schedule doesn’t permit you to write cards with us, please consider making a contribution to the cause. Just a $30.00 donation will buy postcards to go to 1,000 voters!
CALL TO ACTION SAVE OUR VOTING SYSTEM AND THE POST OFFICE
Rep. Evans – D.C. office 202-225-4001; Phila. office (215) 276-0340; email link
Rep. Boyle – D.C. office (202) 225-6111; Phila office (215) 335-3355; email link
We know Trump is doing everything in his power to destroy the United States Postal Service (USPS) and make it impossible for voters to vote by mail during a pandemic and more.
On August 12, House Oversight and Reform chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced a new bill meant to respond to Trump's political games. The Delivering for America Act would prohibit the Postal Service from implementing any changes to the operations or level of service it had in place on January 1, 2020, until the COVID-19 pandemic has ended. This legislation would maintain current service standards as well as the integrity of our elections and bedrock democratic principles.
Call your Representative and tell them to save the Postal Service by supporting the Delivering for America Act. The House comes back from recess to vote on this bill this week. We can’t stay silent on this issue because, without a well-functioning USPS, it will be more difficult to vote by mail ahead of November 3. Trump and the GOP are prepared to let the Postal Service fail if it means they get to keep power – this bill tells them we won’t stand for it.
After you call you can read an inspiring history of the Postal Service here.
Ask your State Representative to co-sponsor HR 2626. This bill would allow our election board to start to “pre-canvass” the mail-in ballots three weeks before election day. This means they can open the envelopes and flatten out the ballots so it will be faster to scan and count them. The bill does NOT let them start counting the votes until 7:00 a.m. on election day.
Find your State Representative here.
CENSUS PHONE BANK
The Census Bureau has announced it is moving the deadline for the Census counts to September 30, one month earlier than previously planned. This is Trump’s attempt to get an undercount in key areas – and thus under-representation – to advantage Republicans for the next ten years. Fill out your Census form now! Tell your family and friends to do it too. And you can phone bank to tell Philadelphians the same.
Here is the phone bank link for this week.
TEXT BANKING FOR JOE BIDEN
We’re text banking TOMORROW! We’ll text Pennsylvania voters to get out the vote. We’ll be on Zoom too, so we can have conversations and compare notes while we’re saving democracy.
When: TOMORROW, August 19, 6:00 pm
First – You’ll need to take a little training to learn the text bank system. Two trainings before our Wednesday event are here –
· TONIGHT, 8/18 at 8 pm—Register HERE
· TOMORROW, 8/19 at 3 pm—Register HERE
Second– Sign up here to text with us!
PHONEBANKING FOR JOE BIDEN
Check out why we need to do everything we can to get Joe Biden elected in November. Then come phone bank with us. Read our Q&A about phone banking from our recent newsletter here. We’re making phone banking fun!
Call voters for Joe Biden. We’ll be on Zoom again. Once you sign up we’ll send you all the information.
When: Tuesday, August 25, 6:00 pm
Where – On Zoom Sign up here.
Postcards work! Here’s proof.
You can see the article here that describes a study done in Pennsylvania in 2016 testing whether mailing postcards increased voter registration. And it did! Read about here.
Here is our progress to date by the numbers:
Remember, our original goal was 50,000 postcards.
17,750 – Weekly average number of addresses we’re sending to our postcard writers. That’s up from 5,000 per week only a four weeks ago!
66 – The number of Philly wards we’ve sent addresses for. That’s all of them!
775+ – The number of our volunteers writing postcards.
112,000+ – The number of postcard addresses we’ve sent to postcard writers so far.
50,000 – The number of addresses we sent as part of our project to an artist postcard group in Ithaca, NY.
That’s a total of over 146,000 postcards – and counting . . .
Click this link to join our awesome team!
Read about our beautiful artist-created postcards on our web page here.
Here’s how it works:
1. We will supply you with our fabulous original art postcards for free. You will need to only purchase 35-cent postcard stamps at this link.
2. The script includes two pre-printed labels and we will deliver those to you with the postcards.
3. We will email you the instructions for writing the cards and the script.
4. You’ll write the postcards and mail them as you complete them.
5. Join a Zoom postcard party or write cards at home on your own. It all helps! You can also join our Zoom office hours to say hi and answer questions, and some other fun stuff along the way. See below.
Click this link to sign up.
Virtual Postcard Events
The Zoom info will be in your confirmation email.
For easy access, all of our events are at this link.
Every Wednesday Virtual Cards & Coffee – See you tomorrow!
Sign up for any Wednesday, 11 am-1 pm – Pick the date you want when you sign up. Sign up here.
Every Thursday Virtual Cards & Cocktails
Sign up for any Thursday 6-8 pm – Pick the date you want when you sign up. Sign up here.
Every Sunday Brunch Office Hours – Every Sunday 12 to 2 pm. Sign up here.
You can drop in just to say hi, you can write postcards, ask some questions you might have, shoot the breeze, or have brunch with us, whatever. And if you haven’t signed up yet you can stop by and ask what it’s all about. We’ll be there!
Check out these amazing postcard photos!
Thanks for these great pix from Chip and Patricia!
Thank you to everyone for sending them in! Keep 'em coming!