Make a Rhapsody for People
Happy Friday Activists!
We thought we’d brighten your day with an example of the special brilliance the art community so often gives us. If you’re a Queen fan, and even if you’re not, you owe it to yourself to take a few minutes to watch this musical treat known as Coronavirus Rhapsody.
Have a safe and healthy weekend. Stay home. Wash your hands. Treat yourself well. Do a little activism to save democracy.
TONIGHT – TELEPHONE TOWN HALL WITH CONGRESSMAN DWIGHT EVANS
Congressman Dwight Evans is holding a phone call town hall from 6:10 to 7:10 pm to discuss the coming legislation and medical issues related to the pandemic. You can sign up to attend here.
CALL TO ACTION
You can see last week’s Call To Action, which is still a good thing for you to do, on our website here.
Sen. Casey – Phila office 215-405-9660; D.C. office 202-224-6324; email link
Sen. Toomey – Phila office 215-241-1090; D.C. office 202-224-4254; 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
Congress has passed three coronavirus-related response bills. But there are many enormous gaps in what and who they cover, given what we need for addressing this crisis. We need at least one more response package.
We need to continue demanding that any coronavirus legislation put people’s need ahead of corporate bailouts. Congress must fix the gaps in the previous bills and make sure the responses to the outbreak plus the likely recession will make both less likely to happen in the future.
Call and ask our Members of Congress to make sure the package includes, at least:
– Funding of $2 billion for election infrastructure and require states to expand vote by mail, extend voting deadlines, and increase early voting days;
– More funding for the US Postal Service to handle coronavirus impacts and the vote by mail volume
– Increased federal funding of Medicaid and other health programs that cover low-wage people and that testing and treatment are available regardless of immigration status.
– Universal paid sick leave at 100% of wages, no matter the size of the business
– Expansion of SNAP payments
– No taxpayer funds for executive bonuses, stock buy-backs, “golden parachute” payments or dividends.
– Add any others you think are important.
SIGN UP FOR VOTE BY MAIL + OTHER REMINDERS
1.Vote By Mail – You can sign up here to vote by mail. The applications are accepted through May 26 but don’t wait! Give the boards of elections a break with this new law and sign up early so you aren’t unhappy when you get your ballot at the last minute.
You can see the important recent changes to the vote by mail system in this past Tuesday’s newsletter at our website here.
Also, you can track your ballot status here so you can see when your application for vote by mail has been approved, once the ballots are being mailed you can see when it’s been mailed to you, and you can see when it is received back at the election office.
2.Fill Out Your Census! I know, one more time with feeling – do it now please. You’ll thank yourself and you’ll be way ahead of the people in these memes. Philadelphia is actually running behind the response rates in the state and behind the rates for other big cities. Don’t be in this category!!
3. Voter Registration – The voter registration deadline is extended to May 18. If you, or someone you know someone, needs to register or update your voter registration with a new address or new name, tell them to do it now. Register online here.
VIRTUAL MEETING THE CENSUS AND WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU – GET IN THE COUNT!
We'll have our next meeting virtually on Wednesday, April 8, 6-7 pm. Our speaker will be Pedro Rodriguez, Director, Community Engagement & Partnerships of Philly Counts. He will tell us everything we need to know about the Census. Sign up here and we’ll send you the Zoom invitation so you can participate in the meeting online. Bring your questions too!
Our numbers are growing. We now have nearly 40 of you writing postcards from home and you are doing a brilliant job! Our new milestone proves it – we have written over 10,000 postcards since the beginning of the year! As always, it will relieve your anxiety, make you feel better, and you’ll actually do some good in the world.
We’ve been writing to voters in North Carolina and Georgia to remind them to double-check their voter registration status. Recently we’ve written cards to Wisconsin voters to ask them to vote for their Supreme Court candidate Jill Karofsky. And we’re writing to voters in Florida to remind them to sign up for vote by mail. We’ll be adding more options as we go along.
Here’s how it works:
– Step One: Order postcards from the Postal Service at this link. They are 39 cents each, including the stamp, and are the cheapest way to buy cards and stamps.
– Step Two: Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know you want to write cards .
– Step Three: We will send you addresses and a script for you to write the cards. We’ll replenish your supply of addresses as needed.
And you can write postcards from home with other people! Our weekly virtual postcards events are listed below, each with a video call so we can write postcards “together” virtually. It’s a lot of fun, super easy to connect, and a good way to stay in touch.
Virtual Postcard Events
We’ll be doing these events every week so order your postcards now. We’ll send you the link for the Zoom video meeting beforehand.
Virtual Cards & Coffee
When: Wednesday, April 8, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm (stay for as long as you want)
Virtual Cards & Cocktails
When: Thursday, April 9, 6-8 pm (stay for as long as you want)
MORE IDEAS FOR SPENDING QUALITY INDOOR TIME
Here we go with more fun stuff! Watch some animals frolic, a theater production from London, some national park videos. If you missed our ideas from last week, find them on our Newsletter page on our website here and here.
1. Look up to the sky and see . . . If you didn’t see it at the top of this newsletter, here’s another chance to watch the brilliant Coronavirus Rhapsody. Exciting views are coming to the night sky. Tomorrow there is a long-awaited meteor shower. Next week features a Super Moon! On April 14-16 you can watch Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, and the Moon violate social distancing protocols. Check out all of them out here.
2. More Virtual Experiences –
– Virtual First Friday at the Barnes from 6:00 to 7:30 pm – Tonight, enjoy a live video orchestra performance and a short talk about the group. You’ll need to like the Barnes on Facebook to join the party.
– Virtual mural arts tour– Take a “ride” on the Market Frankford Line to see the murals along the way, specifically the “Love Letter” murals, some on rooftops.
3. More Donation Opportunities –
If you can, this is a good time to donate to help out people who are really affected by the shutdown of so many businesses and institutions. Check out our longer list from Tuesday’s newsletter on our website here. Here is another one.
Join José Andrés and help feed people. America’s Food Fund has been launched by Leonardo DiCaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs, Apple, and the Ford Foundation. Its goal is to help ensure that all people have reliable access to food. It is launching with World Central Kitchen and Feeding America as its first two beneficiaries. World Central Kitchen is led by world-renowned chef and humanitarian, José Andrés, and has been at the forefront of urgently providing meals to people in need in the wake of disasters around the world.