We're Workin' It!
Happy Tuesday, Activists!
84 DAYS UNTIL THE ELECTION
We know Trump is doing everything he can to disrupt the election. But we can beat that, make no mistake. There are millions of us activists across the country doing this work. Some of us at Indivisible Philadelphia HQ participated in an Indivisible Bootcamp this past weekend teaching us about the tools to win in November. There were over 3,000 Indivisible leaders from across the country participating, which gives you an idea of the numbers of groups working their tails off to make sure we kick this horrible excuse for a president out of office. But we all need to get to that work now.
You may have heard the Democratic National Convention is happening next week! You can see the lineup here. The theme for this convention is “Uniting America” – and the DNC really means it: Michelle Obama, Bernie Sanders, and former Republican governor John Kasich are all expected to speak on the first night (we know, right?!). This DNC is a major moment for us to come together to rally behind Joe Biden, remember what it’s like to build bridges and get stuff done.
We’ll have updates on watch parties, etc. In the meantime, let's get to the work!
CALL TO ACTION
1. Call and email our Senators and demand they pass the Heroes Act with $25 billion in USPS funding and $3.6 billion in election funding. That’s the whole message – easy peasy. See the details about the Heroes Act 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
2. Call our state legislators and demand they pass legislation to relieve the mail-in ballot issues. Ask them to enact legislation to address the issues raised in the Department of State’s August 1 Report.
Find your state legislators here. They will be happy to hear from you!
3. Call the City Commissioners, the Mayor, and City Council and tell them they need to act now to ensure our votes in November are protected. Demand they invest in staff and equipment to secure mail-in ballot counting and safe polling places.
Commissioner Lisa Deeley: (215) 686-3460, 3461
Commissioner Al Schmidt: (215) 686-3464, 3467
Commissioner Omar Sabir: (215) 686-3462, 3463
Mayor Jim Kenney: (215) 686-2181
City Council President Darrell Clarke: (215) 686-3442, 3443
Find your City Council person here
IN VOTE-BY-MAIL NEWS . . . .
We know you’re worried about the state of voting by mail. That’s with good reason. It’s a new system in PA and it’s under attack by the Republicans. But you should also know that there will be a lot of changes for our system between now and election day. Last week we told you about the Dept. of State’s request to the legislature for changes. We’ll keep you posted on progress with that.
And no question there is worrying news, like the Postmaster General’s announcement that states will have to pay 55-cent postage (instead of the typical 20 cents) to get ballots to voters on time. So in case you needed more reasons to work hard to get Joe Biden elected, this is one more.
There’s good news too:
1. Some good news came in an article in yesterday’s Inquirer. The Commissioners in Philadelphia and surrounding counties are planning to open satellite election offices for early voting. Philadelphia’s plan is to open 17 offices! We checked with the Commissioners office to confirm and this is the plan assuming they can get funding and staffing. They will try to have these offices open for a few weeks before election day. This would mean we would effectively have early voting! We’ll continue to monitor this and keep you posted.
2. Next Wednesday get the up-to-date info – The Philadelphia Bar Association is hosting a roundtable discussion all about this year’s election and how to ensure our votes are counted. Panelists will include the three City Commissioners and representatives from the ACLU and Committee of Seventy. All are invited.
When: August 19, 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Where: Sign up for the virtual event here. The zoom link will be sent to you before the event starts.
3. We’re on it. Indivisible Philadelphia will be doing all we can to make sure voters know how to fill out their mail-in ballots properly so they’re counted, and that they mail them in early and/or know where to drop them off so they’re counted. We’ll have postings on our website and social media and direct voters to the page so they have all the information they need. More on that when ballots are being sent to voters.
Plus, the work of our postcard project is to increase voting rates by infrequent voters. Lots more to come!
The Census Bureau has announced it is moving the deadline for the Census counts to September 30, one month earlier than previously planned. This is Trump’s attempt to get an undercount in key areas – and thus under-representation – to advantage Republicans for the next ten years.
Here’s what you can do –
1. Fill out your own Census form in case you haven’t yet. Tell everyone you know!
If you have any questions you can go to www.census.gov or call 844-330-2020.
2. Make sure your neighbors, and your family are counted!
3. Post it on your social media–- click here to download. – from the Philly Counts folks to remind your networks to complete the 2020 Census TODAY! Click here to download. it and then post it. The image is below.
4. Phone bank to remind Philadelphians to fill out their Census form. Sign up here to make calls between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Make your own schedule!
5. Check out this interactive map to see where your area stacks up in the count so far.
6. Check out this fun fact. Think the Census only makes a count? The 1790 (and first) Census changed how we mark our street addresses. Read this cool Philly history here.
Ponder for a moment how you want to feel after election day (probably more like election week). You’ll want to know you did everything you could to kick Trump out of the White House. Check out why we need to do everything we can to get Joe Biden elected in November. Read our Q&A about phone banking from our recent newsletter here. Then sign up below. We’re making phone banking fun!
Call voters for Joe Biden.Tonight we’ll be on Zoom again. Once you sign up we’ll send you all the information for it.
When: TONIGHT, August 11, 6:00 PM
Where – On Zoom
More phone banks coming soon!
Thanks to all who already donated for merch! You can see all of our beautiful items on our website. Here’s how it works:
1. View the selections and pick out what you would like to order.
2. Make a donation for the amount (or more!) listed for each item.
3. Use the email link in the item description and tell us you made your donation.
4. We’ll ship you the item.
5. You’ll enjoy it, and know you donated to a worthy cause!
We’re starting our text banking next week! We’ll text Pennsylvania voters to get out the vote. We’ll be on zoom too, so we can have conversations while we’re saving democracy.
When: Wednesday, August 19, 6:00 p.m.
First – You’ll need to take a little training to learn the text bank system. The next training is TOMORROW August 12, at 8:30 p.m. Sign up here for it.
Second – Sign up here to text with us!
Postcards work! Here’s proof.
You can see the article here that describes a study done in Pennsylvania in 2016 testing whether mailing postcards increased voter registration. And it did! Read about here.
Our next Postcard is released!
We’re excited to start sending out our second artist-created postcards! See this gorgeous new postcard below, designed by Brooklyn artist Michael Saintil. We planned to roll this one out right after Labor Day. BUT we have sent out just about all 50,000 of the “Mailbox” postcards in only three weeks!
SAVE THE DATE – MEET THE ARTISTS!
We have exciting news! Next Sunday, August 16, you can meet the two amazing artists who started us off on commissioning our beautiful artist-created postcards. They are activists Anna Wolf and her partner Mike Perry, who you can find out more about on our web page devoted to this project. They have funded a large percentage of the postcards and arranged all the printing, shipping, and discussions with the two artists who created the cards.
When: Sunday August 16, Noon to 2:00. Anna and Mike will be on our Zoom for part of the office hours, and we’ll update you on exactly when they’ll arrive.
Where: Zoom – Sign up here.
Here is our progress to date by the numbers:
Remember, our original goal was 50,000 postcards.
Woo-hoo! We just blew past 100,000 postcard addresses sent to our postcard writers.
15,750 – Weekly average of addresses we’re sending to our postcard writers. That’s up from 5,000 per week only a three weeks ago!
66 – The number of Philly wards we’ve sent addresses for. That’s all of them!
660+ – The number of our volunteers writing postcards.
50,000 – The number of addresses we sent as part of our project to an artist postcard group in Ithaca, NY.
That’s a total of over 150,000 postcards – and counting...
Click this link to join our awesome team!
Here’s how it works:
1. We will supply you with our fabulous original art postcards for free. You will need to only purchase 35-cent postcard stamps at this link.
2. The script includes two pre-printed labels and we will deliver those to you with the postcards.
3. We will email you the instructions for writing the cards and the script.
4. You’ll write the postcards and mail them as you complete them.
5. Join a Zoom postcard party or write cards at home on your own. It all helps! You can also join our Zoom office hours to say hi and answer questions, and some other fun stuff along the way. See below.
Click this link to sign up.
Virtual Postcard Events
The zoom info will be in your confirmation email.
For easy access, all of our events are at this link.
Every Wednesday Virtual Cards & Coffee – See you tomorrow!
Pick the date you want when you sign up. 11:00 am to 1:00 pm (stay for as long as you want). Sign up here.
Every Thursday Virtual Cards & Cocktails
Pick the date you want when you sign up. 6:00 to 8:00 pm (stay for as long as you want). Sign up here.
Every Sunday Brunch Office Hours
Sign up for any Sunday Noon to 2:00 pm. Pick the date you want when you sign up. Sign up here.
You can drop in just to say hi, you can write postcards, ask some questions you might have, shoot the breeze, or have brunch with us, whatever. And if you haven’t signed up yet you can stop by and ask what it’s all about. We’ll be there!
Check out these amazing postcard photos!
Thank you to A. Gilbert, Michele, Diane, Jennifer--Way to go! They're beautiful! Thanks to everyone sending in their photos. Keep 'em coming!