Our busy week has already started. The PA Dept. of Education goes on trial today over their unconstitutional neglect of our public schools, which you can read about below. Check out the schedule for virtual tenant rights meetings this weekend. Join the Poor People's Campaign in our nation's capital for Moral Monday. On Thursday, rally in Philly for safe and healthy schools. Read how public banking can be revolutionary. And learn how your financial support through our Onward campaign will propel us into 2022. But first, some breaking news...
Election Update: Lori Dumas is Now Winning Her Race!
Despite early returns, PNN endorsed Commonwealth Court candidate, Judge Lori Dumas has now leaped ahead of her opponent by more than 17,000 votes due to a surge in mail-in ballots. Assuming the current counts hold, Dems will have beaten a GOP incumbent and flipped a statewide seat on the PA Commonwealth Court, the statewide court that oversees our elections and handed the Trump campaign some of its only legal wins.
We should all be proud of the role PNN played in this victory, from the fundraiser we held for our slate of judicial candidates, to our canvassing in normally low turnout divisions. In successfully doing this work, in which every vote cast was vital, we helped elect the first black female judge to that GOP-leaning court. Of the state’s 31 appellate judges, just one other judge is a person of color – Superior Court’s Carolyn Nichols.
Judge Dumas is a home grown Philly native, and has served as a Common Pleas judge since 2002, hearing family criminal and civil cases. We look for Judge Dumas to emerge victorious from the automatic recount that is now taking place and take her seat on the Commonwealth Court.
Dept. of Education on Trial for Neglect
Friday, Nov. 12th, happening now
At this moment the Pennsylvania Department of Education is in court to defend itself against charges that it has so badly underfunded certain school districts that it has violated the state constitution. Read more about it here.
Councilmember Helen Gym is there right now in support of parents and students. If you'd like to get involved in Philly's campaign to fully fund our schools, then sign up for the Dec 12th rally in H'burg or get a poster you can display in support of fully funded schools. (Below, see what's happening at the Board of Education this Thursday.)
Tenant Power Weekend in Philly
Friday, Nov. 12, 2PM - Saturday, Nov. 13, 7PM, Virtual
Our friends at the Philadelphia Rent Control Coalition have scheduled a series of virtual meetings and events around the persistent crisis around affordable housing. Here is an opportunity to discover more about a problems faced by those who live in housing owned by others, to understand the real problems they face daily, and to get a better sense of what solutions have the best chance for success.
The presentations start 2PM on Friday and run through the weekend, ending with an in-person hang out at the Gojjo Bar & Restaurant at 4540 Baltimore Ave.
On Friday, they’ll discuss the State of Tenants’ Rights in Philly; “Youth, Housing, and Building Intergenerational Power”; and Mutual Aid and Housing Movement Solidarity.
On Saturday, you’ll take part in an imagining session on the Philly Tenants' Bill of Rights; you’ll also get some practical organizing advice on “Building Structured Conversation and Research Skills”.
Join Moral Monday in D.C.
Monday, Nov. 15th, 12PM, National Mall
Join Rev. William Barber and thousands of other activists and supporters of the Poor People's Campaign to greet Congress as they return to their offices in the heart of our nation's capital. We'll be there to let our elected representatives know that we want them to Build Back Better from the BOTTOM UP, and to pass voting protections to save our democracy from the coordinated attacks across our nation.
Rally for Safe & Healthy Schools
Thursday, Nov. 18th, 4PM, 440 N. Broad St.
Join our allies from Our City Our Schools Coalition this coming Thursday afternoon outside the Board of Education meeting to demand a plan to build a safe, healthy, and modern public school in every neighborhood of Philadelphia.
We'll be joined by parent organizers from across the city to demand that remediating lead, mold and asbestos must be a top priority. Recent history has shown that safely renovating these harmful conditions from our schools depends on the school district involving school communities in that process. Also on our agenda is transparency as we search for a new superintendent to replace Hite and consider the appointment of new school board members next year.
If you can't be there in person on Nov 18, you can post on social media demanding a master plan to repair our toxic schools, with input and oversight from school communities, using the hashtags: #RingTheAlarm and #PHLed.
Opinion: Public Banking as a Revolution
The Philadelphia Public Banking Coalition continues its tremendous work in getting the word out about why taking our money back from the Wall Street banking cartel is fundamental to our democracy.
The latest example is this personal story from Coalition member Pamela Haines on her introduction to public banking a decade ago at a Philadelphia conference, and the insights she learned there that have prompted her strong activism around the campaign to create a a bank of our own.
From the Article: "The potential for public banking — or managing taxpayer funds through publicly-controlled financial institutions rather than private banks — first became real to me in the office of my city councilmember in the spring of 2019. A group of us had fanned out through City Hall to speak with every member of the council about the benefits of establishing a Philadelphia Public Bank. The staffer we were chatting with was new to the idea, and grew more and more interested. “The Council person would really like this idea,” he said. “It’s good for the common people. It’s good for the city budget. I think she’ll want to support it.” Read More
This Week in History
Nov. 13, 1956 – No to Segregated Busing. The Supreme Court affirmed the Browder v. Gayle ruling that bus segregation was unconstitutional.
Nov 12, 1954 – Ellis Island Closes. The gateway to America, shut it doors after processing more than 12 million immigrants since opening in 1892. Today, tens of millions of Americans can trace their roots through Ellis Island.
Nov 18, 1872 – Anthony Arrested for "Illegal Voting". Two weeks after voting in the presidential election civil rights activist Susan B. Anthony was arrested, and fined $100 for voting illegally. “I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty,” she said.
Thanks for your activism!
Tim Brown, Organizing Director