The Steady March to a Vote
Happy Tuesday, Activists!
Wow did we have a successful neighborhood canvass on Saturday! We talked to a LOT of voters and had a lot of great conversations. You can see the crew in the photo below. Our next canvass will be on Saturday, June 19, and you can sign up here. We have another action-packed newsletter for you today. Read to the bottom for all the options so you to take actions big or small. And don’t forget to sign up for our meeting with Congressman Boyle next week!
OUR NEXT MEETING
Next week’s meeting features an evening in conversation with Congressman Brendan Boyle on Wednesday, June 2, at 6:30 pm. Congressman Boyle represents Philadelphians in the 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Join us to learn about the controversies swirling around Congress, pending legislation, and future bills that will be coming to the floor. We’ll ask him about the strategy to get these bills passed and the chances for success, plus more! Sign up here.
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.
I’ll bet you’re watching all the giant bills moving through Congress. It’s critical to pass S. 1, the For the People Act, (including ending the filibuster!) before the August Recess, and we only have 33 days that the Senate is in session until then.
The timing is important because states will need time to change their voting laws, redistricting processes, etc. for next year's elections. If it’s passed after August, there won't be enough time for all the changes to be enacted before redistricting, and we run the risk of losing Congress for at least the next ten years. That’s why it’s SO important for us to continue to put pressure on our senators now and during the June/July Recess (more on that soon).
Call both senators and tell them to support the For the People Act. It’s a must-pass bill that strengthens our democratic systems and norms, and we’re gearing up for a fight to get it passed. It’s crucial we make our voices heard now (if you’ve already called, please call again)!
Also, tell our Senators to Abolish the Filibuster. The filibuster gives Mitch McConnell a cudgel to stop all our legislation in its tracks, even without a majority behind him. This is the only way the For the People Act, and so much we care about, will be passed.
Here’s another tool: Write Letters to the Editor!✍🏼
Do you like to write? You’re in luck! Letters to the editor are an additional tool to reach our legislators and influence their vote.
This time, we’ll promote the upcoming vote on the For the People Act. The bill is essential to protect the rights of voters and to ensure that our Democracy endures. And since Mitch McConnell has already instructed his members to vote it down, the vote may provide the impetus for filibuster repeal.
Your letter to the editor will thank Sen. Casey for his promise to vote for S. 1, and urge Sen. Toomey to see that the same forces who brought suit to dismiss Pennsylvania votes cannot be allowed to prevail in this and other states.
We’ll help you get started. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get all the info you’ll need.
OUR NEW PROJECTS – 2022 Is In Our Sights!
Here’s the deal – the 2022 midterms are right around the corner. As we have discussed before, and described in some detail at one of our recent meetings, 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.
We have a 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 (two dates below). So pick the one that suits you best!
We are focusing on infrequent voters in all three projects. We are 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, that Democrats enacted it, and that 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 this previous newsletter.
Here’s how it works –
We will distribute the postcards to you or you can pick them up at a Center City location, which we will tell you when you sign up. The handwritten script is only two sentences and you’ll also write the address.
We recommend you order enough cards to write over the next two months.
The packet you receive will include the postcards and the list of addresses. We’ll email you all the instructions and the script. Please order your postcards in multiples of 50.
We ask that you donate $7.00 per set of 50 postcards to cover our costs. We understand that in these times some of you may not be able to incur this cost in addition to buying the postcard stamps, BUT we want you to participate anyway. So please don’t let the donation stop you from ordering the postcard packets. On the other hand, if you can, please consider chipping in a little extra to cover the cost for those who cannot.
Here’s how to sign up –
1. Email us at this link to tell us how many postcards you want.
2. Purchase your 36-cent postcard stamps online at this link or at your local post office.
3. Donate $7.00 per set of 50 postcards at this link.
Here’s how to receive your postcards –
If you are in the Philadelphia area, we will deliver the postcard packets to you or you can pick them up. If you haven’t written postcards with us before, please give us your address.
If you want to pick up your postcard packets, we’ll give you the locations.
If you are outside the Philadelphia area, we can ship the packet to you. Please add $5.00 to your donation for shipping costs.
2. Neighborhood Canvassing
We are using some of the same theories used by Stacey Abrams and other Georgia groups to expand the electorate and sign up voters. We are canvassing in Philadelphia neighborhoods, focusing on infrequent voters and non-voters by using proven persuasion techniques.
If you want more information email us here!
Our next canvass will be Saturday, June 19, at 11:00 am. Sign up here.
We’ll schedule another training shortly before the next canvass.
3. 35 Doors 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 want more info or to sign up email us at this link!
We have two dates set to register voters in Rittenhouse Square. We’ll register voters safely and follow all COVID protocols. Meet up in front of the Ethical Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Square.
Three shifts on each day: 10 – noon; noon – 2; 2 – 4 pm
When: Saturday, June 5
When: Saturday, June 12
NEW! Interested in focusing locally?
We are starting projects to focus on local issues, partnering with local groups with expertise in the areas we care about.
Our first project pushes back on the Philadelphia School Board and its move to reduce public comment at its public meetings. We are working with the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools (APPS), a local grassroots education watchdog group. The bottom line is that the Philadelphia school board has recently limited public input that they don’t like at their public meetings. You can read more about it in the Inquirer piece at this link.
We are asking the postcard writers who have signed up for our new project to write five USPS postcards (that we provide) to City Council asking them to publicly note their opposition to the district’s new policy.
But you can do it too even if you haven’t signed up for that project! If you would like to make calls or write postcards that you already have on hand, email us at this link.