This coming week offers you an opportunity to sign up to join a virtual event on Tuesday about the Philadelphia women activists who fought for the right to vote, in celebration of Women's Equality Day. You can also testify against using the prison population to unfairly gerrymander state house and senate districts. On Friday, join a teach-in to teach historical truth in our nation's classrooms. Sign up for the upcoming Public Bank Visioning Summit. Check out our blogs and be sure to find out what happened this week in history.
Celebrate Women's Equality Day
Thursday, August 26th, 6PM, Virtual Event
"The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." Nineteenth Amendment
Lucretia Coffin Mott, Mary Grew, Alice Paul and Carrie S. Burnham are no longer household names, but they, among others, were responsible for a woman's right to vote in America. And they did this righteous work right here in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.
This Thursday, in celebration of Women's Equality Day, you have an opportunity to learn about these justice warriors and their fellow suffragists when you join us at "Making Her Mark: Philadelphia Women Fight for the Vote".
This virtual event is sponsored by The Free Library of Philadelphia and will explore the vital contributions these women made, which we hope will inspire conversations and action around the rights of citizenship, activism, and voting for all of us. You must register to attend.
Testify Against Prison Gerrymandering
Did you know that some state districts are drawn by counting the number of people who are incarcerated within their borders? And that while these prisoners "count" for the purpose of political gerrymandering, they are ignored by the officials who ostensibly "represent" them? Nor are they allowed to vote in the district in which they are counted?
Chances are you didn't even know this crazy rule existed. You're not alone. This isn't an issue that would be on the minds of most people who don't have family members behind bars, but it is a reality that has consequences for everyone who resides in the Keystone State because it affects the balance of political power in Harrisburg. And it is reminiscent of of how the enslaved were counted in southern states before emancipation.
A 2019 study conducted by Rory Kramer and Brianna Remster, sociologists at Villanova University, found that using an incarcerated person’s last address before being imprisoned would make four districts — in rural, predominantly white parts of the state — too small for redistricting guidelines. Reallocation would also make four districts too big. As a result, Philadelphia could gain an additional majority-minority district for the state Legislature. You can read more about this issue here.
What You Can Do: Right now we are in the midst of redrawing our state district boundaries, but the window for this process ends on October 15th. So it is imperative that if we are going to influence the decision-makers who draw these districts that we do it right now, by taking a moment to write a comment that will be read by the State Commissioners.
Related News: Attend a Reapportionment Hearing
The Legislative Reapportionment Commission (state legislative maps) has scheduled a public hearing on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 from 10:30am - 12:30pm, to receive a report on the processing of census data and consider other matters relating to legislative reapportionment. The hearing will be held in Room 8E-B, State Capitol Building, Harrisburg, PA. The hearing will also be live-streamed starting at 10:30AM on Tuesday Here:
Join a Teach-In to Teach Truth in Our History
Friday, August 27th, 5th & Market St, 5PM
White supremacists have made the teaching of Critical Race Theory their latest culture war boogeyman, falsely claiming that "it teaches that every white person is a racist" (thanks for your input, Ted Cruz).
Even worse, right-wing lawmakers across the nation are attempting to force teachers to lie to students by passing laws to make it illegal for teachers to speak truth about our nation's history, by threatening to withhold funding from schools and have teachers fired.
If you would like to stand up to this is heavy-handed attempt to suppress truth in our classrooms, then you can do so by joining educators, students and parents for the "Educators Pledge to Teach Truth" teach-in at the People's Plaza located at 5th and Market on Friday, August 27th starting at 5PM. If you'd like to know more about this campaign, click here for details.; otherwise, sign up using the link below.
Reminder: Sign Up for the Public Bank Visioning Summit
Saturday, September 18, 1-4PM
The planning for our Visioning Summit is coming together and we are signing on an impressive list of guest speakers who will help us to explore all the things that a public bank can do for our City. Of course, you'll play an important role in this visioning, too and you will have a number of opportunities to ask questions and weigh in with your thoughts. We look forward to seeing you at our online summit, so please let us know you'll be coming by clicking on the link below.
A Public Bank Can Support Black-Owned Businesses – Kay Lasker
It is heartbreaking to learn that the country lost 41% of Black-owned businesses in the spring of 2020, and I applaud the Black Chamber of Commerce for supporting such businesses. Read More
It's Time to End Prison Gerrymandering – Tonya Bah
The unconstitutional counting of bodies formerly residing in impoverished areas outside Prison occupied counties is more than unlawful, it’s morally bankrupt. Read More
Like to Blog? We have an opportunity for you to share your thoughts on a variety of subjects. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
This Week in History
Aug 20, 1619 – African Slavery at Jamestown. The first enslaved Africans were sold for food and supplies by privateers in this Virginia colony, setting the stage for 250 years of slavery in America.
Aug 21, 1831 – Turner's Slave Rebellion. On this day, enslaved preacher Nat Turner led a 2-day revolt against slave owners in southern Virginia that destroyed the white Southern myth that slaves were actually happy with their subjugation, along with harsher slave laws.
Aug. 25, 2009 – Ted Kennedy Dies. The "Liberal Lion of the Senate" successfully fought for legislation concerning education, immigration reform, health care, increases to the federal minimum wage, voting rights, and equal rights for minorities, the disabled, women and gay Americans.
Aug. 26, 2016 – Colin Sits Out Anthem. The 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick remained seated during the national anthem in a silent protest of police misconduct against black and brown Americans. Nobody noticed until asked by a reporter during the third game, when he replied, "...this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way," sparking a national controversy over race relations in the U.S. He would later take a knee.
Thanks for your activism!
Tim Brown, Organizing Director