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PNN Newsletter: Switch to Renewables, Say "No" to Amen Brown, Inquirer Praises Public Bank, and More

This week you can learn about ways to take individual and collective action to tackle climate change. And we need to stop a state bill that will increase incarceration while not reducing violence. Then read about a big win for the Public Bank movement with a Philadelphia Inquirer endorsement. And be sure to check out what happened this week in history.

Want to Make the Switch to Renewables?

Wednesday, July 13th, 7PM on Zoom

Is a future driven by renewable energy actually achievable? What role can you play in bringing it about? Want to help end the foot-dragging and get some results? PNN is collaborating with the Climate Reality Project in a new campaign to help individuals and families act to reduce their use of fossil fuels.

It can't be denied that the government plays an important role in doing the massive work of transitioning to a new energy source. But we also have a role to play, an obligation to our neighbors to be a responsible citizen. This presentation is an opportunity to get some knowledge on what you can personally do and what a future looks like if we're all doing our part together.

The campaign will empower people in our communities to take specific steps toward converting to renewables, and encourage the truth that a transition to clean energy is both necessary and possible if we we are willing to put in the work. Of course, that work won't stop at our doorsteps, so we will also be pushing for effective state and national policies.

Join us on July 13th at 7PM, as CRP and PNN volunteers present the outline of this effort and invite you to sign up to help. We’re looking for volunteers to:

  • Make presentations to local groups, using a ready-made slide show and materials

  • Distribute information and talk to people at local parks and events

  • Research specific topics, like legislation and scientific breakthroughs

  • Help develop materials, like handouts, slide shows, and graphics

There will be lots to do. Click the link below and indicate what interests you; then join us on Wednesday evening. You’ll receive the Zoom link after your RSVP.


Say "No" to Amen Brown's Hardline Sentencing Bill

Make a Call/Email ASAP

Freshman State Representative Amen Brown from the 190th District in West Philly is pushing a wrong-headed piece of legislation that will likely be a favorite among the law-and-order crowd in Harrisburg. But it will be a life-changing problem for many in our City, including those outside of Amen Brown's district – mandatory sentencing.

We want to send a clear message to Amen Brown: that his mandatory minimum bill will lead to mass incarceration and is not the solution to violence in our neighborhoods.

What Can You Do?

Make a call to the Amen Brown's office, using this number: 833-988-4009 – and leave him a message, something like:

"My name is ____ and want to let Representative Brown know that mandatory minimum sentencing will do nothing to curb gun violence. It will disproportionately imprison black and brown people and it will only hurt the community he's supposed to represent. I strongly suggest that he re-think his position before he does something that turns his constituents against him."

Then send him an email (a pop-up asks for your zip code; just click NO to proceed to the form) and copy/paste the above text or write your own.

If you have a Twitter account, please share and uplift on social media and retweet from @AbolitionistLC and @PhillyHRC and tag @AmenBrownPHL

The upsurge of gun violence in our City tracks with the rest of the big cities across our nation, and it is a chief concern among those most affected by it. Amen Brown may have had the best of intentions, but using the sledgehammer of mandatory sentencing will end up ruining the lives of those who have a chance for redemption. Let's put him back on the right track.


Inquirer Editorial Board Calls for a Public Bank

Kudos to the Philadelphia Public Banking Coalition – which PNN has led from the beginning – for its great work in making the creation of a Philadelphia Public Bank a mainstream idea. Yesterday, the highest pillar of the establishment – the Editorial page of the Philadelphia Inquirer – urged Council to pass Derek Green's legislation bringing the bank into existence.

We already have 12 Council members sponsoring the legislation, a veto-proof majority. With these developments we’re surely on our way to having Philadelphia become the first City in the country to take the “radical” step of bringing our money home from Wall Street into our own bank.

In endorsing this idea, the Inky mentioned one key thing our bank will do – making cheap financing available to black and brown businesses that for too long have been denied access to conventional lending sources. As the Inky points out, "a public bank, driven by the city’s mission and not shareholder profit, could be more strategic when giving loans to promote equity and offer more favorable terms.”

Indeed. And it can also propel other sectors of the economy long-neglected by Wells Fargo, et al., including low-income housing and renewable energy projects. In addition, City and School District infrastructure costs could be sharply reduced by a bank that lends to these entities at sharply lower interest rates than Wall Street’s bond market.

We’re on our way, but before we get there, we want you and other grass-roots stakeholders to participate in shaping the initial mission and priorities of the bank.

That’s why the Public Banking Coalition will hold a “Visioning Summit” on Saturday, September 18th from 1-5PM at which we’ll all participate in the conversation around what we want our bank to do for its owners - us. You’ll want to be there, as history is being made. Please save the date.


This Week in History

July 10, 1917 – Goldman Sentenced. Anarchist activist Emma Goldman was sentenced to two years in jail for conspiring to "induce persons not to register" for the newly instated draft. Upon her release, she was deported to Russia.

July 10, 1925 – Scopes Monkey Trial. On this day, activist John Scopes sat accused of teaching evolution in his high school science class in violation of a Tennessee state law. This was a deliberate action to challenge a law based on religious intolerance, and it led to one of the most famous legal and political spectacles in our nation's history.

July 14, 1912 – Woody Guthrie Born. Socialist songwriter Woody Guthrie was born on this day in Oklahoma. He penned numerous anti-fascist songs including "This Land is Your Land" and traveled the nation playing for farmer and worker groups.

July 13, 2013 – Black Lives Matter. Following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the murder of Trayvon Martin, a Facebook post containing the phrase "Black lives matter" soon becomes a rallying cry for a movement across the nation and around the world.

Thanks for your activism!

Tim Brown, Organizing Director


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