PNN Newsletter: Victory for Public Banking, Evening of Storytelling, Support Plastic Bag Amendment

We've cleared the first hurdle for public banking in Philly when the Finance Committee voted unanimously to send the bill for a vote by the full City Council. Support the plastic bag amendment introduced by Councilmember Squilla. Sign up to join us for an evening of storytelling in January. Take part in some in-person organizing training this weekend. And be sure to check out what happened this week in history.


Big First Step for a Philly Public Bank


Monday was a big day for PNN, members of the Philly Public Banking Coalition and all who have supported our campaign to establish a public bank for our city. The Council Finance Committee has unanimously voted Bill 210956, the Philadelphia Public Financing Authority Bill, out of Committee. We couldn't have reached this milestone without PNN members reaching out to Councilmembers to tell them how much our city needs a new kind of banking for its neighborhoods.


It wasn’t a slam dunk. Before the Hearing, three Council members remained unconvinced that our bill was a necessary addition to the economic environment of the City. But thanks to the dynamic, heart-felt and educational testimonies of our witnesses, the motion carried with full support of all nine Committee members. If you missed the excitement, you can find the full hearing here. The text of the bill can be found here and a summary here.


What’s Next? The bill went on to its first formal reading in Council on Thursday morning. This reading is a formality that will send the bill on for discussion and a full vote after Council resumes sessions in 2022. We will need you again in January for more lobbying, but for now, take this win, with our thanks, into your holiday season and celebrate!

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Support the Plastic Bag Amendment

Virtual action


Supported by the environmental community, Councilmember Mark Squilla recently introduced amending legislation to motivate greater use of reusable bags by shoppers and assure the success of Philadelphia’s Plastic Bag Ban which officially went into effect in July.


The amending legislation would implement a 15 cent fee on paper bags should the study being performed under the supervision of the Mayor's Policy Office find that single-use bag usage has declined by less than 80 percent by October 1, 2022. The fee would become effective by January 1, 2023, to allow for public notification and vendor preparation.


Including fees as part of any single-use bag reduction policy was also part of the recommendations in the 2020 Economic Impact Study ordered by the Pennsylvania Legislation. In the absence of a fee, the cost of free paper single-use bags is projected to raise the costs of consumer goods by $80 to $100 million which imposes a disproportionate impact on the City’s underserved residents.


Help Philadelphia reduce litter, eliminate the unnecessary burden the current plastic bag policy will have on low income and underserved communities and increase use of reusable bags by telling your Councilmember to support the fee amendment.


Send Your Letter

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In-Person Organizing & Leadership Training

Saturday, December 18th, 12:30-4:30PM, 2140 N. Hancock St.


Looking for some in-person organizing and leadership training? You can get it this Saturday at the West Kensington Ministry in North Philly. The first workshop will be on community organizing from 12:30-2:30PM, followed by strategic leadership training from 2:30-4:30PM. It will be an opportunity to learn more about deep canvassing, storytelling, as well as meet other emerging and existing community leaders. Snacks and beverages will be provided.

Sign Up Here

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Blog: Privacy, Constituency and Hypocrisy

Coleman Poses, Blue Pennsylvania Chair


Happy Holidays. It’s been quite a year. We started 2021 fending off an insurrection, and then weathered the various Republican onslaughts throughout the year against wearing masks, vaccinations, and just treating other people with respect. Republicans are now ending the year fighting common decency on a number of fronts – a phony forensic investigation of the 2020 election, criminally skewed redistricting, and running a celebrity quack from New Jersey for the Pennsylvania Senate. Read More on Our Website

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Making Good Trouble: An Evening of Storytelling

Monday, January 17th, 7PM, 6815 Emlen Street


You won’t want to miss this evening of storytelling & reflections featuring some of Philly’s progressive politicians, award winning storytellers and comedians – AND YOU!

Befitting the MLK holiday, join us at the Commodore Barry Club on January 17th to honor the late civil rights leader John Lewis, and to celebrate past times when we made good trouble. We will be joined by politicos, comedians and storytellers for a great night of entertainment. Helen Gym, Larry Krasner, Kendra Brooks, Derek Green, Steve Clark and Che Guererro will be among our participants.


Have you ever been in trouble? Stirred up trouble? Gone looking for trouble? We want to hear all about it – from the funny and personal to the political and serious. You'll have a chance to tell it. Sign up to reserve your tickets.


Reserve Tickets

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Fast Fact: The Biden Administration has confirmed more Federal judges in his first year than the last five presidents (including the Orange Menace).

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This Week in History


Dec 17, 1903 – First Flight. On this day, Orville Wright piloted the first successful airplane flight in Kitty Hawk, NC. While lasting only 12 seconds and 120 feet, this pivotal moment led the way for air travel as we know it today.


Dec 18, 1991 – GM Closes Plants in US. Demonstrating that what's good for GM is not good for America, General Motors announced it would shuttered 21 plants in the US, putting 74,000 Americans out of work.


Dec 23, 1783 – Washington Retires. In a seminal moment in our nation's history, General George Washington stepped down as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army and retired to his farm in Virginia, assuring that our nation would be in the hands of a civilian government.


Thanks for your activism!

Tim Brown, Organizing Director