Election time is upon us and 200,000 Philly voters don't know they're not going to receive a mail-in ballot; sign up to help us reach them. Watch political theater at People's Plaza tomorrow, Oct. 2nd. Build your organizing skills. Sign up to watch a movie on Medicare as a Civil Right. Catch the latest on Haitian deportations. And be sure to check out what happened this week in history.
Sign Up to Help Elect Good Judges!
The challenge we face as progressives is to turn out voters on November 2nd. The general election after every presidential election is notoriously the LOWEST turnout election of the four year cycle - even lower than the off-year primary when there are at least some in-party challenges.
But Republicans show up for this election; while Democrats generally do not. This inevitably results in Republicans winning a stronghold on judgeships and other key offices across Pennsylvania every four years.
Courts Matter: There are 4 critical positions for appellate court judges:
Maria McLaughlin (Democratic)  Supreme Court
Timika Lane (Democratic)  Superior Court
Lori A Dumas (Democratic)  Commonwealth Court
David Lee Spurgeon (Democratic)  Commonwealth Court
These statewide judges make important decisions that affect every aspect of our lives - voting rights, public school funding, abortion, and gun control, just to mention a few. They are often our last resort to protect our civil and constitutional rights that are under attack on so many fronts these days.
We also have a District Attorney's race to consider and while we like his chances, Larry Krasner isn't a shoe-in if Democrats take this election for granted. Can you imagine the disaster of having Chuck Peruto as our D.A.?
What 200,000 Voters Don't Know...
Aside from general apathy, we face another Big Problem: 200,000 Philly voters think that because they applied for a ballot in 2020 that they're going to automatically get one in 2021 - but they won't.
The rule was written so that they could apply one-time for the 2020 general election, but if they wanted permanent status to receive a Vote By Mail Ballot, they are required to apply for it in 2021.
We're going to be making phone calls to these folks - likely voters - to let them know about the need to apply for permanent status right now in time for the October 26th, 5PM deadline.
We will also be knocking on doors to talk with our neighbors about this election.
Want to Build Your Organizing Skills?
Philly Neighborhood Networks is willing to provide skills-building workshops for activists who are ready to take a larger role in the work we do in our community. This training is for you if:
You volunteered before, but know you can do more
You have an idea for a project, but don’t know how to get started
You want to develop your organizing skills
You like working with people to make change
These workshops will be run by leadership trainers with the goal of preparing participants to take the next step in community and electoral organizing.
Our first workshop will be on Thursday, October 21st at 7PM. If you are interested in getting more involved in our city's politics, then use the link below.
Watch Political Theater @ People's Plaza
Saturday, Oct. 2nd, 1PM, 5th & Market St.
Come dance to the beat of the West Powelton Drummers as our hero Judge "Marjorie T. Rules" takes on bad guy Senator "Gerry Mander" and his sidekick Phil E. Buster to draw ethical boundaries and secure Fair Elections for our state. PNN's Tim Brown will be announcing the performance, and we are joined by great allies Fair Districts PA, League of Women Voters, PA Youth Vote and PA Center for Women and Politics.
There will be four short theater performances that will include information about the importance of electing great judges in the upcoming Nov. 2nd judicial elections.
Need a Reminder? We'll save the date for you and send a reminder with more information as we get closer to the event.
Movie Night: "The Power to Heal"
Tuesday, Oct. 12th, 7PM, Virtual Event
Join us the second Tuesday in October for a special viewing of "The Power to Heal: Medicare & the Civil Rights Revolution". This one-hour movie on how Medicare helped create equity in healthcare in our nation will be followed by a discussion with David Smith, the author of the book on which this movie is based, and Dr. Walter Tsou, former Health Commissioner of Philadelphia.
Here's the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjC0etPNxw4
The audience will be invited to ask questions. We'll send the link for the show in a follow-up email the day of the show to everyone who signs up.
Update on Protest Against Haitian Deportations
There was a big and vocal turnout Tuesday at City Hall to tell President Biden that it is time to put an end to the expulsion and deportation of Haitian and other Black asylum-seekers. PNN Steering Committee member Steve Paul, whose family has roots in Haiti, was one of a number of community leaders who spoke passionately about this travesty.
Next steps are in the works and we'll keep you informed as they develop.
This Week in History
Oct 2, 1967 – Marshall Sworn In. On this day, Thurgood Marshall became the first black Supreme Court Justice. As Chief Counsel for the NAACP, Marshall was the architect and executor of the legal strategy that ended the era of official racial segregation.
Oct 3, 1946 – Strike at the Coal Mines. At the end of WWII, 400,000 United Mine Workers went on strike. President Truman seized the mines from the owners and met the workers demands.
Oct 6, 1845 – First Co-Op in U.S. The Workingman's Protective Union opened the first co-op in Boston to take control of the means of production and offer good wages to workers and fair prices to consumers.
Oct 7, 1975 – Lennon Deportation Reversed. The NY Supreme Court revered the deportation order against John Lennon for his activism against the Viet Nam war.
Thanks for your activism!
Tim Brown, Organizing Director