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PNN’s mission is to engage, empower and educate. Here’s what’s coming up in each of these areas:
Engage: Contact City Council to finally Pass the Public Bank Bill
Empower: Host a canvass at your home; Students to register and vote
Educate: Take our workshop on effective storytelling
Read on to find out the when, where, and how.
Big Win for Philly: Student Voter Registration
Yesterday evening the Philadelphia Board of Education passed the Student Voter Education & Registration Resolution that officially sanctions a policy of engagement with students who are eligible to vote. We applaud this wise decision. And we thank the many who worked tirelessly for this over the last several years, most notably our own PNN member Coleman Poses, and Tom Quinn from Pa Youth Vote.
Many of our members are parents of public-school students who believe that voting is one of life's rites of passage, a necessary step in the lives of our high school students as they move toward adulthood.
We also think that school is a natural place for them to take this step, that it models good behavior among their peers, and that it lays the foundation for responsible citizenship, which is a bedrock principle of our public education system.
Every year, only about one in eight students registers to vote when they become eligible. Many students often have no example for participation in their lives, and as yet no official policies to guide them. This is a harbinger of future disenfranchisement that is a detriment not only to these young adults, but to the communities in which they live.
However, we will soon have a program in place that officially encourages the registration of all eligible students. Over time, this program will build a history of participation in our schools and neighborhoods, and a personal habit of voting among our students that will remain with them throughout their lives. This is a very good development for our students and our city.
Tell City Council to Create a Public Bank
ASAP, Use the Advocacy Toolkit Below
We are at the cusp of a long-fought victory this week as the City Council finally has the opportunity to pass the Public Bank Bill and send it to the Mayor's desk.
Of course, this is the time that private bankers will whisper in our Councilmember's ears, trying to convince them that "it's too risky" and "not going to solve anything" and anything else they can hurl in the path of the bill that will free our City from the shackles of Wall Street.
That's why we need you to help us "media blitz" our Councilmembers to remind them of their support for this bill only a few months ago. We need 9 votes to pass it and 12 votes to make it veto-proof.
When the bill was first introduced, nobody signed onto it. Then we called, emailed and texted these decision-makers and demanded they get behind this great bill that will finally let our residents decide our economic fate. And we got 12 co-sponsors. Then the bill was unanimously passed out of committee.
Now we are at the moment of passage. Help us make it happen by clicking below.
Let us know how it goes - Contact Stan Shapiro if you get a response when you reach out. ___________________________________________________________________________________________
Sign Up for Our "Power of Storytelling" Workshop"
Monday, March 7th, 7PM, Virtual Event
Looking to build your organizing skills? Ready to take the leap from activist to leader? Just want to learn more about how organizers do what they do? At the end of this workshop you will:
Understand the value of sharing personal stories to organize
Learn to craft and share a personal story that connects with people
Develop the ability to create urgency and inspire action
You don't need to bring any organizing knowledge to this workshop, just an open mind and willingness to learn.
Free the Ballot Benefit Concert
Friday, February 25th, 8PM-10PM, Virtual
Free The Ballot! Incarcerated Voter Family Network is hosting a Concert Fundraiser this Friday evening featuring five musicians from Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and more performing virtual sets alongside speakers from Free the Ballot, Fair Districts PA, Philly Bail Fund, and Better PA discussing their intersecting work and campaigns. If you wish to purchase a ticket, click on the link below.
Jen Bennetch Fundraiser
Jen Bennetch, the brilliant powerhouse housing and homelessness activist and leader in Occupy PHA, passed away at the age of 36. She was instrumental in the two politicized homeless encampments early in the pandemic that ultimately resulted in PHA transferring dozens of vacant properties to a community land trust for unhoused families.
She left behind three children, an incredible legacy of collectivized homes and strategic and organizing lessons but not a great legacy of money.
Her children have put up a fundraiser to help them deal with reorganizing their lives after the loss of their powerhouse mom. Please donate if you can and pass around to folks you know in the housing movement. You can read her obituary here.
Will You Host a Canvass?
Canvasses will Start in March, Sign Up NOW
PNN is looking for a volunteer in every Division to help us by Hosting a canvass in front of your home for the Primary Election. What does that look like? It's pretty simple, actually.
Click the link below
In the list of activities, click "Launch a Canvass in front of my House"
We'll call you to set up a date and time
We'll work with you to recruit a dozen volunteers to canvass
On the day, we'll set up a table in front of your home
You'll greet volunteers and we'll provide a training
We'll pair up our canvass volunteers and send them to talk to neighbors
We'll welcome back our canvassers and debrief them on their experience
Our goal is to have a comprehensive canvass in every Division, to get to know neighbors, to talk about shared issues, to get folks registered to vote and help them with their mail-in ballot applications, so that we can defend our democracy against a determined fascist movement.
Want to Do More? Our activists are taking on issues around education, the environment, healthcare and housing, and preparing for the upcoming elections that will be part of everything we do for 2022. The theme of Saving Our Democracy permeates all the work that we will be taking on this year. And we cannot do it without you – so please sign up for whatever you can do and we will be in touch to follow up.
Looking for Organizers. We are currently accepting resumes for Organizing Staff (full/part) on Contingency Funding for c3/c4 electoral and community work. Send your interest to firstname.lastname@example.org
This Week in History
Feb 25, 1870 – First Black Senator. Hiram Rhodes Revels, a college-educated minister from Mississippi, was sworn into the U.S. Senate, becoming the first African American ever to sit in Congress.
Feb 26, 2012 – Trayvon Martin Murdered. Martin, a black teenager walking home from the store was confronted and gunned down by a self-styled vigilante, triggering national protests and led to the first use of the phrase "Black Lives Matter".
Mar 1, 1961 – Peace Corps Established. President Kennedy signed an executive order establishing the Peace Corps which would send trained American men and women to foreign nations to assist in development efforts.
Thanks for your activism!
Tim Brown, Organizing Director