It's a New Paradigm!
Updated: Mar 15
Happy Wednesday, Activists!
Today we have a new paradigm for our activism and we hope you’ll try it out. The important need is explained below and all it takes is a little bit of time and remembering to do it. So here we go!
Just now -- the House Democrats passed the final version of the American Rescue Plan! Passing this legislation is important and exciting, and it would not have happened without all of our work and the work of innumerable other activists around the country and GEORGIA! And every single Republican – in the House and Senate – voted against the passage of President Biden’s relief package. They chose to score political points rather than help Americans to get vaccinated, get kids back to school safely, support struggling families, and so much more.
As the New York Times writes: “Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy estimates that the plan’s provisions, including a generous expansion of tax credits for low-income Americans with children, would reduce the poverty rate by more than a quarter for adults and cut the child poverty rate in half.” This is why we worked so hard in 2020.
Now, we need to add to our traditional activist and advocacy toolkit.
We need to focus on the 2022 midterms for a minute and consider what we can do at this moment to help Democrats maintain the Democratic Trifecta.
”Why?” you ask?
You might remember what happened in the 2010 midterm elections. Hint: President Obama and the Democrats got a “shellacking.” Democrats lost over 60 House seats and lost control of that chamber. That’s in part because in 2009 and 2010 not enough voters knew about how President Obama had helped prevent the economy from falling into a second Great Depression, and they didn’t reward him and the Democrats with their votes in the 2010 midterms. We need to keep that from happening this time. And we can do something about it right now.
This is how we help Joe Biden spread the word about the American Rescue Plan.
We need to make sure that people realize that Democrats and Joe Biden made this relief package and all its benefits a reality and that their votes matter. The polling to date has been clear on two points: People love the American Rescue Plan, and not enough people know about the American Rescue Plan. A recent poll from Navigator Research found that 71 percent of respondents support the plan when told about its major components. Still, a majority of Americans have heard little or nothing about the plan.
So now it's our job to get the word out! We want to make sure voters realize that Joe Biden and the Democrats have made this relief a reality in their lives, so they’ll thank them in the 2022 midterm elections with their votes. This is critical. We have ideas and actions for everyone here, so please share some of them with your networks.
You can see in the chart below the overwhelming popularity of several of the bill's provisions. Here’s what you can tell your friends and family, and share on social media networks, now and going forward.
Some major items in the American Rescue Plan that you can communicate –
* $1,400 direct checks for families in need – According to a recent Quinnipiac Poll, these payments are the single most popular provision in the bill, supported by 78 percent of Americans. And this Navigator poll found the checks to be the most compelling reason to support the plan. Telling voters about this provision is a top priority.
* $66 billion to fund coronavirus testing and vaccine distribution – We can connect the increasingly rapid pace of vaccinations to the Biden Administration's efforts, including the American Rescue Plan.
* $170 billion to help schools open safely – Republicans have previewed that they plan to make school closures a big political issue and blame Democrats for them. However, Republicans refused to vote for the American Rescue Plan that included significant moneys for school opening.
* Expanded unemployment insurance for those who have lost their jobs from COVID-19
* $47 billion to help keep thousands of small businesses open
Here’s more you can share on social media and wherever you want.
* A video from President Biden discussing the provisions of the American Rescue Plan.
* A chart from the Center for American Progress breaking down what’s in the bill.
* A graphic from Senator Bernie Sanders to share with your progressive friends and family dissatisfied with the final outcome.
* A lot of research from the 2020 cycle showed that the more specific the information the better. This thread from Eric Levitz of New York Magazine has a lot of good information about the impact of the bill.
* A lot of people are sharing images and news about their family and friends getting vaccinated. You can comment with a thank you to President Biden and Democrats and use the moment as evidence that elections matter.
You can see more detail in Dan Pfeiffer’s fantastic essay on this subject.
And now for our important, regular advocacy –
Sen. Toomey – Phila offices: 215-241-1090; D.C. 202-224-4254; email link
Sen. Casey – Phila office 215-405-9660; D.C. 202-224-6324 email link
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
For outside Philadelphia:
Find your House Representative’s phone number and email at this link.
Now that the final version of the Rescue Act has passed, it is headed to President Biden’s desk for a Friday signing. Call and thank our Democratic Senators and Representatives for voting for it and tell our Republican MoCs how disappointed we are that they chose politics over real relief for their constituents.
Last Week’s Meeting Recap
At last week’s meeting we announced our two new projects: Neighborhood Canvassing and 35 Doors. We’ll have more detail on those projects here soon. In the meantime, you can watch the video recording of the meeting at this link. The presentation is at this link.
And don’t forget our next two exciting meetings!
Meet the District Attorney Candidates
On Thursday, March 25, at 7 pm, we are holding a forum with the two current Democratic candidates for Philadelphia D.A. – Larry Krasner and Carlos Vega. As you know, Larry Krasner is running for a second term and Carols Vega is running against him in the May 18 primary. We’ll hear from each candidate separately and pose questions to each. This forum is sure to help you decide how to vote!
Indivisibles in Conversation with Senator Casey
Indivisible groups from across Pennsylvania will meet with Senator Bob Casey on Tuesday, April 6, at 5:30 pm. We’ll hear about his legislative priorities and the status of pending bills. And we’ll ask him about what is important to us. Have a question for Senator Casey? Submit yours in the form at this link.
More informational meetings --
Redistricting and gerrymandering discussion
On Tuesday, March 16, at 5 pm, join Spotlight PA with expert panelists for a free reader Q&A and discussion about redistricting, gerrymandering, and why it matters to our local communities.
You can submit a question for this event as part of the registration process.
Redistricting reporter, Marie Albiges, who is spending the year examining the process and ramifications, will lead the conversation with Salewa Ogunmefun, executive director of Pennsylvania Voice, and Robert Saleem Holbrook, executive director of the Abolitionist Law Center.
PA Supreme Court Candidate Forum –
On Wednesday, March 17, at 5 pm, Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts is partnering with other organizations on a forum with the candidates for Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court. The goal is to educate Pennsylvanians about the candidates and the court, so voters can make more informed decisions when they go to the polls.
You can sign up here.
And as always,
Stay safe. Wear a mask. Keep a distance. Be kind.