We've got a lot coming up in the next week. You can take immediate action to help save our democracy by making calls to our senators and the White House. On Tuesday, you can testify on the need to create fair legislative districts in our state. Join us on Thursday evening at Eastern State Penitentiary to see "Stitching Our Futures" quilts. You can watch this month's Financing Philadelphia's Future Q&A with Councilmember Derek Green and sign up to be kept informed of ways to make our neighborhoods more renewable. And be sure to find out what happened this week in history.
Tell Toomey, Casey & Biden to Pass the "For the People Act"
For Immediate Action
All across our nation the GOP is passing laws to suppress the votes of people of color, students and the poor. That's why it is so important to pass the For the People Act, which will save our democracy by assuring that everyone's right to vote is protected.
But Mitch McConnell is threatening to once again filibuster this bill, and Senate Republicans voted unanimously against even talking about protecting every citizen's right to vote. Notably, the filibuster has been used to uphold Jim Crow legislation and other racist voter suppression laws in the past, so it’s no surprise to see it used again to block the For the People Act.
Allies in the Senate are telling us that only national action will give reluctant Senators the courage to do what is right. The U.S. Senate will go on recess the second week in August until after Labor Day, so it is crucial to get this bill passed in this session in time to safeguard the 2022 elections.
What Can You Do? You can make a few phone calls. Your first call should be to Senator Casey to thank him for his support and to encourage him to push Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to use every tool at his disposal to get this bill passed, including using cloture to break the filibuster. Then you can call Senator Toomey to shame him into protecting the rights of all citizens to vote. Finally, you can reach out to President Biden to use his bully pulpit and every legal means at his disposal to get this bill passed and on his desk.
Here is their contact information:
Sen. Toomey: Phila office 215-241-1090; D.C. 202-224-4254
Sen. Casey: Phila office 215-405-9660; D.C. 202-224-6324
President Biden: D.C. office 202-456-1111
Make Your Voice Heard on Fair Redistricting for PA
Tuesday, August 3rd @ 6PM, Zoom Hearing
Public hearings are beginning on redistricting in Pennsylvania and it is important that we make it clear to legislators that this time they need to make this process fair and transparent. Every ten years, after the Census, legislators are required by law to re-draw the legislative boundaries to accurately reflect the demographic changes that have taken place in the past decade, so that citizens in the Keystone State are fairly represented in Harrisburg.
We have an opportunity to make our voices heard on this critically important action and a duty as citizens to do all that we can to assure that this process is accurate, transparent and fairly represents the will of the people.
On Tuesday, August 3rd, you have an opportunity to testify via zoom to the Legislative Reapportionment Commission. While the hearing will be held in the North Office Building, Hearing Room 1 in Harrisburg, PA, the Commission will use Zoom to allow for virtual participation. You must sign up using the link below to participate.
See the Quilts at "Stitching Our Futures" Budget Event
Thursday, August 5th, Eastern State Penitentiary, 6PM-8:30PM
Come out to see the final patchwork quilts created by "Stitching Our Futures", a collaborative art project sponsored by Mural Arts Philadelphia to highlight the City's budgetary process and imagine the possibilities of reallocating funds towards community investment. Each quilt square lifts up the budget priorities that residents believe we should be supporting. The event will take place at Eastern State Penitentiary, 2027 Fairmount Ave., 6PM-8:30PM.
The first 100 people get in free! Just sign in at the table at the entrance. You can hang out for a while and bring a picnic blanket or quilt. You’re welcome to bring your own food, we will have light snacks, and drinks will be sold at the Penitentiary. PNN's own Stan Shapiro will be a guest speaker.
Recap of this Month's Public Banking Q&A
This past Tuesday, the Philadelphia Public Banking Coalition and Councilmember Derek Green hosted our monthly Financing Philadelphia's Future session. Our guest was Jim Burnett, the Executive Director of VestedIn (formerly known as the West Philadelphia Financial Services Institution) to talk about creative ways to invest in small businesses across our City. Click below to watch the half-hour session on our YouTube channel.
Want to Help Your Community Move to Renewables?
PNN’s Community Net-Zero Education Project is collaborating with the Climate Reality Project (Philadelphia and Southeastern PA Chapter) in a campaign to help individuals and families act to reduce their use of fossil fuels.
The campaign will empower people in our communities to take specific steps, encouraging the sense that the transition to clean energy is doable, if we do our part and at the same time push for effective state and national policies.
If you’d like to be on an email distribution for info on what you can do personally, or if you’d like to volunteer with us in making presentations , talking one-to-one to people at tables at public events and parks and building a community of climate activists, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week in History
July 30, 1965 – Medicare Becomes Law. On this day, Lyndon Johnson signed the Medicare bill into law. Former president Harry Truman became the first recipient of this new program which has since become a bedrock program of our nation.
Aug. 1, 1946 – Mine Workers Strike. The 400,000-strong AFL-United Mine workers went on a nationwide strike for better wages and safer working conditions. They resisted violent attempts to break their strike until the Federal government intervened to broker a deal acceptable to the miners.
Aug 3, 1981 – Air Traffic Controllers Strike. Due to insufficient pay and long hours in a stressful environment, the U.S. Air Traffic Controllers (PATCO) went on strike, shutting down both passenger and freight travel. Two days later, then-president Ronald Reagan fired all 11,000 workers thus setting the stage for the decades of right-wing sabotage of the rights of workers to organize and strike.
Thanks for your activism!
Tim Brown, Organizing Director