Oh Joe Manchin!
Happy Tuesday, Activists!
We hope you’re having a good week so far. We at Indivisible Philadelphia HQ are planning some exciting projects, and one that you’ll see next Tuesday is our new postcard project. We’ll have all the details then, but it will continue our focus on the 2022 elections. We know, it might not seem so urgent at the moment and that we have plenty of time to get out the vote, but now is the time to get started talking to infrequent voters. This will help set the stage for wins next year.
We’ve rolled out our Neighborhood Canvassing and 35 Doors projects (more below), and this postcard project also uses the strategy proven to work. So be on the lookout for it next week! And by the way, while all three of these projects are critically important, talking to people directly, person to person, is proven to be the best method to move voters to the ballot box. We hope you’ll try it out as we make it all as easy and as fun as possible!
Finally, all three of these projects involve, in part, educating voters about the American Rescue Plan. Check out our new web page with more information and details on this fantastic legislation at this link.
OUR MEETING THIS WEEK
This Thursday, May 6, our meeting features City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart. You’ll learn about the important mandate for the City Controller’s office and Ms. Rhynhart’s approach to her role. Bring your questions!
When: Thursday, May 6, at 3:30 pm.
You can check out the videos of our recent election-related meetings on our YouTube channel at this link.
CALL TO ACTION
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.
For outside PA: Find your Senators’ phone numbers and emails at this link.
What’s the deal with the D.C. Statehood bill? You may have heard that last Friday Joe Manchin said he has a problem with the D.C. Statehood bill because he thinks statehood requires a constitutional amendment. Well, we think he’s gotten it wrong. First, Congress is empowered to admit new states with majority-vote legislation, just like it’s always done. Second, Congress has the authority to set the District’s geographic size, which is what the bill does. Finally, the 23rd Amendment grants Congress authority to decide on the District’s Electoral College vote, and simple legislation can adjust that too. The whole thing is explained very well by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. And Indivisible’s short video is at this link.
Most importantly, we need to call our Senators and tell them we want them to vote for D.C. Statehood. You can thank Senator Casey for being a co-sponsor and tell Senator Toomey to get on board. They need to know we are paying attention!
MAY 18 ELECTION INFO
Voting By Mail
If you are the ultimate procrastinator, you can sign up for a mail-in ballot on the state website here. The deadline is May 11 at 5 pm!
Here’s what you need to know to return it safely.
– Drop boxes are in place now, open 24/7 until 8 pm on May 18. Find the list of locations at this link.
– Mail-in ballots must be turned in only by the voter, unless the voter is disabled and can certify another person to deliver it. Certification forms are at this link (at the bottom).
– Follow the directions on the card included in the ballot envelope. (1) Fill out the ballot with blue or black pen; (2) vote for the right number of candidates as indicated; (3) put your completed ballot in the blue secrecy envelope; (4) put that envelope in the mailing envelope; and (5) be sure to sign on the back of it where indicated.
– Either mail it or put it in a drop box. It must be delivered by May 18 at 8 pm (not postmarked by then).
Voting In Person
* Tuesday, May 11, 2021, at 5 pm: Last day to request an absentee or mail-in ballot
* Tuesday, May 18, 2021: Election Day
* Tuesday, May 18, 2021, at 8 pm: Completed mail-in ballots must be received by your county election office. Postmarked is not enough. So do it today!
Remind your family and friends how important it is to vote in this election! This is a lower-turnout election, so your vote is more important than ever.
You can see the more expanded rundown in our recent newsletter, and below is our quick review. There are four state-based questions on the ballot plus one Philadelphia question.
1. Constitutional Amendment to Article IV. Transfers certain of the Governor’s existing authority to manage disaster emergencies away from the Governor and to the General Assembly. We recommend voting NO to this Amendment.
2. Constitutional Amendment to Article III, Section 9. Allows the legislature to terminate or extend the Governor’s disaster emergency declaration without the Governor’s approval. We recommend voting NO on this amendment.
3. Constitutional Amendment to Article I. Creates a PA constitutional prohibition against restricting or denying an individual’s equal rights under Pennsylvania law because of race or ethnicity. We recommend voting YES on this amendment.
4. Statewide Referendum. Allows Municipal fire and emergency services companies to be eligible to take out loans from an already existing state loan program. We recommend voting YES on this referendum.
5. Philadelphia Home Charter Rule Change. Expands the Board of License Inspection Review from six to nine members who can hear and decide cases in three-member panels. See more here.
For more –
Read the Progressive Voters Guide advisory for Constitutional Amendments at this link.
Read the state website with the descriptions of the ballot questions at this link.
Read the Committee of Seventy’s voter guide at this link.
* PA Supreme Court – summary of who they are and their positions is here.
* The Philadelphia Bar Association’s recommendations are at this link.
OUR NEW PROJECTS
We announced these projects in a previous newsletter and we hope you’ll join us. The 2022 election is right around the corner, and if we’re going to win the U.S. Senate seat and Governor’s office we need to start talking to infrequent voters now. We also need to register voters. Sign up below!
1. Neighborhood Canvassing Project. Join us and use some of the same theories used by Stacey Abrams and other Georgia groups to expand the electorate and sign up voters. We will canvass in Philadelphia neighborhoods, focusing on infrequent voters and non-voters by using proven persuasion techniques. The goal is to persuade them to vote in the 2022 midterm elections when they have not done so in the past.
Our first training is scheduled for Thursday, May 20 (below), and our first canvass is set for Saturday, May 22, at 11 a.m. in the Queen Village area.
If you want more information email us here or just sign up below for the training and first canvass!
2. 35 Doors Project. Our first informational meeting for this project is next Thursday, May 13, at 1:00 pm. Email us here for the Zoom link. In this project, you’ll 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.
If you’re interested, email us here to get started or for more information. Or just sign up for the training below.
New Projects Training– An expert Indivisible trainer will lead the training.
When: Thursday, May 20, at 4 pm
Sign up at this Indivisible Zoom registration link
If you can’t make this one, don’t worry. We’ll record it and there will be more live sessions too.
Neighborhood Canvass – Queen Village
When: Saturday, May 22, at 11 am
Join us to register voters in Rittenhouse Square, one of our most successful locations because the square has people from all over during their farmers market days. We’ll register voters safely and follow all COVID protocols. Meet up in front of the Ethical Society.
When: Saturday, June 5th, three shifts – 10-noon; noon-2; 2-4pm.
Matching Fundraising Program
These new projects will require us to spend some extra funds to make them successful. And luckily, Indivisible has announced a matching grant for our fundraising now through May 30. Donations will be matched up to a total of $500 in donations. So if you can, you could make a donation to help this effort and it will be matched dollar for dollar. You can donate here. Thank you!
Thanks for reading and we'll see you soon!