This Critical Week in Congress
Happy Tuesday, Activists!
It's going to be another critical week in Washington. We have the status of the legislation negotiations below. Plus, we know the status changes practically by the minute. The biggest thing for us to focus on is to keep up the pressure so our senators know what we expect and need
CALLS 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.
So after all these months of negotiating over the comprehensive improvements to our society, we’re getting toward the end. Here’s where things stand:
Democracy: Sen. Schumer is continuing to prove to Senators Manchin and Sinema that no matter how much Democrats attempt bipartisan negotiations, Republicans are never going to come to the table. Last week it was the Freedom to Vote Act (check out details here). This week we’re expecting another failed vote on the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. As we all know, the filibuster has to go if we want to get anything done. Even President Biden’s on board!
Reconciliation: This is going to be a tough week because everything in the Build Back Better plan is up for debate. According to Indivisible, although we hear that X priority has been lost or Y policy is being scrapped, pretty much nothing is final at this point, and negotiations are ongoing and changing minute-to-minute.
There are still a lot of good things that everyone agrees are in the bill. So we'll stay focused on our overarching demand: that the Senate pass a bill big enough to meet this moment, and that they do it alongside, not after, the infrastructure package passes.
So we need to keep up the pressure on our senators to get the best package possible.
Call our senators about democracy. We expect another vote on the John Lewis Voting Rights Act sometime this week. So now’s a great time to call our senators and insist they fix the filibuster and reform our democracy.
Call our senators about reconciliation. It’s crucial our senators hear what’s important to you and why you insist they pass the full bill alongside the infrastructure package.
ONE WEEK UNTIL THE ELECTION! 1. Here's our resource on the backgrounds of the statewide judicial candidates – PA Supreme Court, PA Superior Court and PA Commonwealth Court. We recommend voting for all the Democrats on this list. 2. Read the ratings by the Philadelphia Bar Association just for the Philadelphia-based candidates. It includes the local judges up for retention. 3. Read the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s ratings and backgrounds for all the statewide judicial candidates. Supreme Court ratings at this link. Superior Court ratings at this link. Commonwealth Court ratings at this link. 4. The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania held forums for the judicial candidates - videos at this link. 5. See a good roundup of all the races – including District Attorney, City Controller, etc., in this Philadelphia Citizen article. 6. Here's a comprehensive list of voting options and the current map and list of drop boxes in Billy Penn at this link. 7. Philly's ballot questions -- Read an explainer at this link and one just for Question #3 at this link. Here's the Inquirer's list of endorsements including the ballot questions and a contrary view on Question #4 at this link. Voting by mail and your ballot 1. Vote by mail -- TODAY is the deadline to sign up. If you didn't do it for this year you'll need to go to the polls, unless you sign up immediately at this link. 2. Ballot drop boxes – Your completed ballot must be received by the election board by 8:00 pm on Election Day. So it's safer to drop it in a drop box at this point. Find a map of the locations at this link. All the drop boxes are available 24/7 and are monitored by security cameras. You can only drop off your own ballot unless you fill out this form. 3. Check your mail-in ballot status with the state ballot tracker at this link.
THE POTENTIAL SEPTA STRIKE
Here’s what will be running and other information if there is a SEPTA strike next week.
QUICK REMINDER OF OUR NEW PROJECTS
We had a GREAT canvass this past Saturday! Twelve of us canvassed in the Oxford Circle part of the city and met so many friendly voters. We talked to infrequent voters to remind them about the November 2 election and the critical 2022 elections. We'll have more canvasses coming up soon, so join us! If you're upset with the obstruction by just two Democrats blocking transformative legislation, we have the most effective ways for you to easily make a difference, like our Canvassing Project and our 35 Doors Project. If there is something else you'd rather do to help let us know. We have other behind-the-scenes projects you can work on.