Let Freedom Ring: New Rally!
Updated: Jun 18
Happy Tuesday, Activists!
We have two new blockbuster events for you on the docket. The common theme here is improving our government and making it work for us. Enjoy!
First, next Wednesday at 5:30 pm we have a follow-up meeting to our recent super informational meeting with City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart. This time we’ll have Rhynhart and Nick Hand, the leader of her team that put together the Controller’s Report on the City Budget. More below. Sign up here.
Next, we have our Let Freedom Ring rally on Wednesday, June 30. It will be at Independence Mall at 5:00 pm. More below. You can sign up here.
And don’t forget our regular Call To Action to tell our senators to pass the For The People Act. We know it’s a lot, but it's essential we keep up the pressure.
OUR NEXT MEETING – NEXT WEDNESDAY!
How Should We Spend Our American Rescue Plan $Billion$?
In our recent meeting in May with City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart she told us she would be issuing a report on budget allocations for the American Rescue Plan funds and now the report is out. Read it here. This meeting will feature Rhynhart and Nick Hand, the leader of Rhynhart’s team that put together the report, who will tell us how they came to their conclusions and how they believe the budget should be allocated and monitored. The report is an illuminating read.
Here’s the background – We have a one-time opportunity to change the way Philadelphia funds important programs to make real, sustained improvements in city life across the board. The American Rescue Plan is sending $1.4 billion into the city’s coffers. The question is how the city will allocate it.
The Controller's report and suggested spending priorities are backed up with research and lessons learned from what has worked in other cities. Mayor Kenney disagreed with these suggestions and is not about to follow them. The report also gives a sobering look at where our city stands related to similar cities in important metrics such as poverty level, literacy, wealth disparities, and more (hint: we rank dead last in many of them). If you do nothing else, check out the charts in this report and you’ll know why coming to the meeting and learning about a different path to improving this city is so critical.
Wednesday, June 23, at 5:30 pm on Zoom.
LET FREEDOM RING: Rally for the For the People Act
Here’s the background. As we detailed in last week’s newsletter, there’s no time to waste to get the For The People Act (S.1) passed in the Senate. Elections experts advise that if the For the People Act is going to take effect in time to impact the 2022 elections, it needs to pass by this fall.
We also know the House leaves for the long summer recess at the end of July and won’t fully return until September 20. When they return, we know that Democrats will face a MASSIVE legislative time crunch. They want to pass an ambitious recovery package, plus a federal budget with maybe a debt ceiling fight. With a lot to do and not a ton of time to do it in there’s a real risk that democracy reform will fall off the agenda. All this points to one clear political reality: If the For the People Act doesn’t pass in July, there’s a good chance it’s dead in the water.
Plus, it’s a general truism that Congress will only act on hard things if we force them to do it. And overcoming the filibuster is hard. Corralling all 50 Senate Democrats to get behind significant democracy reform is hard. And so right now, in this very moment of the legislative fight, we need drama, we need media attention, and we need wide-scale public pressure. Not in September. Not in early 2022. Right now – in the weeks leading up to the final showdown in July.
Our MoC allies are asking for our help to get this passed. If you were in our recent meeting with Congressman Brendan Boyle, you heard him plead with us to use our voices to push to get S.1 passed. And one of Indivisible’s allies in the Senate tells us it could be the toughest legislative fight of our lives.
They say this is how it ultimately goes down: Chuck Schumer will attempt to bring the For the People Act up for a vote next week. Mitch McConnell will filibuster it. The Senate Democrats and Republicans will adjourn to their separate chambers. Behind closed doors, Mitch McConnell will demand and achieve unanimous opposition from his GOP senators. Senate Democrats will stand up and talk about how important the For the People Act is. Our allies will try to convince the holdouts. And eventually -- maybe on that first attempt, maybe days or weeks later on the next attempt – there will be that moment to choose. Will they stick together? Will they overcome the filibuster? Will they save the republic?
Nobody can guarantee what will happen next. But what our allies in the Senate tell us is simple: Our greatest chance for success in that moment will come if the Senate as a whole feels overwhelming public pressure to get this done. Sign up here.
This rally is one chance we have to make our voices heard publicly and with media coverage. So come out for an hour and do it! We'll have entertainment, props, signs and more. See you there! Sign up here.
Wednesday, June 30, at 5:00 pm at Independence Mall
THIS WEEK’S CALL TO ACTION
Sen. Toomey – Phila office 215-241-1090; D.C. 202-224-4254; email link
Sen. Casey – Phila office 215-405-9660; D.C. 202-224-6324; email link
For outside PA: Find your Senators’ phone numbers and emails at this link.
Here’s your script (pick different parts for each day – doesn’t need to be a long call):
The Senate must pass the For The People Act – this summer. There’s no time to lose. Whatever it takes, Senate Democrats must come out now publicly and firmly that they insist that this democracy reform pass because it is essential to our country’s success. We worked hard to get the Democratic Trifecta and now our senators need to do their hard work and get this done. Statements on Twitter are not enough – go on TV, to the press, wherever you’ll be heard, and tell the public (and Manchin) that you want and expect the bill to pass. Also, please tell President Biden to use his bully pulpit to put pressure on the holdout senators.
Our Three New Projects – Help Make Joe Manchin Irrelevant in 2022
Let's win a senate seat! The 2022 midterms are right around the corner. We have discussed before, and described in some detail at one of our recent meetings, that we need to boost Philadelphia voter turnout next year to win the open U.S. Senate seat and our governor’s seat. We can do it but we need to start now.
Our three-pronged plan – (1) the Neighborhood Canvassing Project; (2) the 35 Doors Project; and (3) our new Postcard Project.
Plus, of course, we are still doing all our “regular” events like voter registration.
So pick the one that suits you best!
We are focusing on infrequent voters in all three projects, grounding our discussion on the American Rescue Plan to show that voting matters and elections have consequences. Our messaging informs voters of the benefits of the ARP and reminds them that Democrats enacted it and all Republicans voted against it. Our aim is to persuade them to vote next year and we are starting the conversations now. You can see more detail in a previous newsletter.
* Please order postcards in sets of 50.
* Please donate $7.00 per set of 50 if you can at this link. If you can, please chip in a bit more for those who can't.
* Email us at this link to tell us how many postcards you want.
* Purchase your 36-cent postcard stamps online at this link or at your local post office.
* We'll hand deliver your postcards in Philadelphia, otherwise we'll ship them (please add $5.00 for shipping).
2. Neighborhood Canvassing
We'll canvass in Philadelphia neighborhoods.
For more information email us here.
Our next canvass will be this Saturday, June 19, at 11:00 am. Sign up here.
Our next training is today! at 4:00 pm. Sign up here.
3. 35 Doors Project
In this project you’ll be a Neighborhood Leader interacting with voters at 35 addresses in your neighborhood. We'll provide all the materials for you.
If you want more info or to sign up email us at this link!
CARDS & COCKTAILS
Write your postcards to Philly voters on zoom with us!
This Thursday, June 17, 6:00-8:00 pm