With final decisions on the City Budget upon us, we have a few days to win budget concessions from the Mayor and City Council. We'll start this weekend with a media blitz of our elected officials – making calls, emails, posts, and Tweets – to let them know what we want in next year's budget. Learn how you can take part. On Monday afternoon, we'll rally with allies at City Hall to further our budget demands. On Wednesday, join us in Harrisburg as we support an action to ban lobbyists from bribing state legislators. Also, check out what happened this week in history.
Join Our "Budget Blitz" this Weekend
The City’s budget season is crashing toward the finish line. Now it looks like City Council is stepping on the gas to rush to a final vote on the Mayors’ budget this Tuesday, June 8th – two weeks ahead of schedule – before we the people have had ample time to express our views.
We cannot allow this to happen. If left to their own devices, Council will rubber stamp the Mayor’s budget, which both cuts taxes for the rich and continues sharp reductions in services that were put in place during the pandemic.
Let’s Make Our Voices Heard
With your help, we’re going to send a strong message telling the Mayor and City Council what’s wrong with the Mayors’ proposal, and how they should fix it. Click below to find the toolkit you’ll need to reach the Mayor and City Council.
In the tool kit you’ll see various scripts for emailing, phoning, and tweeting our demands. Those demands were developed using a process of deep engagement by our members and discussion with our allies. Here they are:
I. Restore Funding to at least their pre-pandemic levels for all libraries, recreation centers, homeless services, arts and culture programs and street repairs.
II. Add Additional Funding to:
Build housing for all homeless Philadelphians and fully fund the Eviction Diversion and Right to Counsel programs to protect tenants
Allow City Health centers to quickly service every resident needing either physical or behavioral health care
Create a $15/hr job program to protect and repair City infrastructure, and care for the vulnerable
Massively expand the availability of Mobile Crisis Units tasked with responding to mental health crises without police intervention
Prepare the City to transition to renewable energy by funding solar rebates and climate
III. Pay for Our Budget Priorities by:
Canceling the Mayor’s proposed $300 million business and wage tax cuts (note: the average Philadelphian would receive $15/yr from the wage tax cut)
Diverting $300 million from the Police Department budget
Let Us Know How it Went...
Please let us know when you’ve completed your outreach, and let us know if you get any follow-up from responses from members of Council. Please share with firstname.lastname@example.org so we can report your experience to the rest of us. Once we’ve got the data back, we’ll share in a debrief with the group.
Want to Testify on Tuesday?
Speakers interested in giving testimony must call 215-686-3407, or send an email to Budget.Hearings@phila.gov by 3 p.m. the day before the hearing and submit the following information:
Callback telephone number where they can be reached
Identify the bill or resolution number or numbers that will be addressed (note: you can use the general budget, which is #210322)
If you need assistance, or have any questions, contact Stan Shapiro.
Join "Tax the Rich" Rally for a Progressive Budget
Monday, June 7th, 4PM
We will be joining our progressive allies at City Hall (on the South Apron near the Catto statue) on Monday, June 7th to call for a budget that reflects the priorities of the majority of Philadelphians, and that finally taxes the wealthiest individuals, corporations and nonprofits who have been allowed to shirk their financial responsibilities to our City for decades.
The rally will feature a number of speakers, including our own Stan Shapiro, and will culminate in a march to the Chamber of Commerce office at the Belleview Hotel where we'll take on a giant piñata filled with budget demands. Sign up below to let us know you'll be joining us.
Join Anti-Bribery Action at the State Capital
Wednesday, June 9th, 11AM, Harrisburg
Want to see democracy in action? This Wednesday, join our friends at March On Harrisburg for an action to demand a ban on the so-called “gifts” that are showered upon our state legislators by lobbyists.
The disgraceful fact is that Pennsylvania has no limit to the value or number of gifts a legislator can receive – tickets to concerts and sports events, lavish dinners, free vacations, house repairs, even cash handouts – all have become legitimized.
But right now, Pennsylvania is on the cusp of pushing past the final obstruction to passing the Gift Ban bill – Senate President Jake Corman. So, we’re going to pay him a visit to ask him to change his mind.
This will be direct action. This means that some activists will be participating in potentially arrestable non-violent action (like a sit-in). You are welcome to simply observe the action and be there to lend your support. If you want to play a more active role in this action, you’ll be required to go through training and sign a non-violence pledge before you can participate.
Need transportation? Can you drive others? Want to take an active role?
This Week in History
June 4, 1919 – Women's Suffrage Secured. On this day, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote, was passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification.
June 5, 1968 – Bobby Kennedy Shot. Right after winning the California Presidential Primary, Senator Robert Kennedy was gunned down, leaving a fractured Democratic Party in his wake.
June 6, 1944 – D-Day. To the relief of our allies, American soldiers led the largest amphibious assault in history as they landed on the beaches of Normandy to fight against the fascist dictators who ruled Europe.
June 9, 1954 – “Have you no sense of decency?” Army Special Counsel Joseph Welch, lashed out at Red-baiter Senator Joseph McCarthy during hearings on whether communism had infiltrated the armed forces, effectively ending McCarthy’s reign of terror.
Thanks for your activism!
Tim Brown, Organizing Director