Today we celebrate winning some big battles in our City's budget. Then we take on local, state and national issues. On Monday, residents will gather for a rally and march to call for fair funding for City schools. On Tuesday, you can get the facts on the security of our new voting machines. The next few days you'll have an opportunity to participate in some inter-state organizing by encouraging West Virginia residents to call on Joe Manchin to support the "For the People Act". Next Friday, you can join a rally for climate justice. Also, check out what happened this week in history. But first, find out what's going on to celebrate Juneteenth.
Celebrate Juneteenth in Philly
This Juneteenth has a special significance because Joe Biden signed legislation Thursday establishing June 19th as a federal holiday to commemorate the day in 1865 that Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War was over and slavery in the United States was abolished.
Want to celebrate? Here are some things you can do on Saturday:
Join the Parade: The parade will start at 52nd & Haverford @ 9:30AM and arrives at Malcolm X Park at 51st & Pine at 12PM
Party in the Park: Join a day of festivities, starting at noon, including arts and cultural exhibits, and be sure to check out the fresh food market, free to all
Germantown Festival: Visit the historic Johnson House at Germantown Ave & Washington Lane from 1-5PM, where there will be food, music, historic reenactments and activities for kids
Looking for more? Here's the City Guide to Juneteenth
Breaking News: Trickle-Down Tax Cuts Defeated in Council
Due to the hard work of many PNN members and our allies, last night City Council resoundingly rejected business tax cuts that would have gutted the City’s ability to restore services to pre-pandemic levels. The 12-5 vote to kill those tax cuts saw several members of Council who had previously been committed tax cut zealots see the light and vote "No".
Because of its rejection of a massive tax cut, Council was also able to improve the spending side of the budget. Council added $68 million for anti-violence programs, $3 million in new spending for eviction prevention, $6.5 million for the Philadelphia Land Bank, $15 million for Council’s Poverty Action Fund, $500,000 for a new Youth Ombudsman program, and a total of $7 million across various line items for programs that support the arts and libraries.
Here’s the lesson we can learn from last night’s vote: When we speak up, when we insure that our voices are heard, we win. To those of you who participated in our Budget Blitz, congrats on your effective work!
We know that our work is not done. Even with the defeat of the tax giveaways, service levels will remain down in Philly at our libraries, rec centers, and public parks. Anti-violence spending to lift up impoverished black and brown communities will not be enough. But we will be back next year and every year after to relentlessly push future Councils and Mayors to find the revenues needed to make our City the just, equitable and joyful place we want it to be.
Rally & March for Fair Education Funding
Monday, June 21st @ Noon, 59th & Overbrook
PNN joins POWER and other educational allies for a rally to support Gov. Wolf's budget proposal to include 100% Fair Funding for schools. Poorer districts need the resources to support the children, mostly Black and Brown, to grow up and compete for good jobs. Public Schools and Charter Schools all will benefit by the education budget that Governor Wolf is proposing.
The rally begins at noon at Samuel Gompers School at 5701 Wynnefield Ave in Philly (right next to St Joseph's Univ) and ends at Merion Elementary School (549 S Bowman Ave, Merion Station). There will be transportation between the Gompers and Merion Station schools for those who do not want to march. Join this short pilgrimage from a city school to a suburban school to help us make clear the difference in attention - measured in dollars - that public schools in richer districts get over their poorer cousins in our City. To get updates on the rally, march, and other information: Register Here
Let's Make Joe Manchin Support the "For the People Act"
Tues, Wed or Thurs Evening, Virtual Phone Bank
The For the People Act (S1) will expand voting rights, change campaign finance laws to reduce the influence of money in politics, limit partisan gerrymandering, and create new ethics rules for federal officeholders. In short, the For the People Act may be our last chance to save democracy from the Trump-inspired fascists that dominate the GOP and are pushing voting restrictions at the state level.
Here is an opportunity to reach out beyond our borders to influence the obstinate Senator from the Mountain State. It is clear from an audio captured of Manchin courting a group of billionaires called "No Labels" that, to politicians like Joe Manchin, their money "talks".
So, we need to talk louder.
We will be joining our allies across the nation to call upon our fellow citizens in West Virginia to connect them to Senator Manchin's office so they can leave a message in support of For the People Act. It's all explained when you click the link
Are Electronic Voting Machines Safe?
Tuesday, June 22nd, 12-5PM, Webinar
Listen in on this webinar to learn about the electronic voting machines we use in our elections, where election security expert and Protect Our Vote Philly member Kevin Skoglund and others discuss the use and security of ballot marking devices like the ones we use here in the City.
It's made up of four sessions (drop in at any time):
Do universal-use ballot marking devices provide the security, verifiability and auditability essential for trustworthy elections?
Legal Consideration: How do universal-use Ballot Marking Devices protect or degrade voters’ rights?
Administration: What does it take to run elections on universal-use Ballot Marking Devices?
The price tag: The cost of running elections on universal-use Ballot Marking Devices
Learn more about the program here: https://bit.ly/35iGHKz
Climate Justice Action "For Our Grandchildren"
Friday, June 25th, 5th & Market, 10:30AM
Join climate justice allies For Our Grandchildren at Independence Hall on June 25th to remind Joe Biden and others that protecting our families and their futures requires a rapid, uncompromising transition away from the unhealthy, unsafe extraction and burning of fossil fuels while embracing renewable energy, especially solar and wind power. Learn why the Biden infrastructure proposal doesn't go far enough, and what we can do about it. The rally will be followed by actions at the Chase Bank (1100 Mkt) and PECO (2301 Mkt) to demand 20% solar by 2025.
This Week in History
June 18, 1983 – Ride, Sally Ride. On this day, Dr. Sally Ride became the first woman in space when the shuttle Challenger flew its second mission.
June 19, 1865 – Juneteenth. See above.
June 21, 1788 – U.S. Constitution Ratified. The After two years of negotiations, New Hampshire became the ninth and last necessary state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, thereby making the document the law of the land.
June 22, 1944 – F.D.R. Signs G.I. Bill. The last of the New Deal reforms was signed to avoid a relapse into depression following the war, giving veterans money for tuition, living expenses, books, supplies and equipment, effectively transforming higher education in America.
Thanks for your activism!
Tim Brown, Organizing Directorx