This Week: Voting Rights Victory, How City Council Works, Be a Poll Worker and More…
This week we will be conducting the first in a series of workshops on “How City Council Works.” We offer many opportunities to make phone calls to voters in Philly to be sure they know how to vote in this vitally important election, and we will fill you in on how you can facilitate in-person voting by becoming a paid poll worker. We also provide details about an important town hall on reimagining policing in our communities in October. But first, let’s start with some good news about the election in Pennsylvania.
Voting Rights Victories
Voters received two huge victories yesterday in the PA Supreme Court. The Court removed the Green Party candidate from the Presidential ballot, clearing the way for counties to print and send ballots to voters. The ballots should now be sent out to the thousands of voters who have chosen mail ballots this year.
The Court has made it significantly easier to hold a safe and fair election:
- Drop boxes and satellite offices are expressly permitted!
- Deadline for ballot receipt via mail is extended until 5 pm on November 6 (as long as the ballot is postmarked by Election Day).
- Poll watchers must be from their home county.
However, the Court has left two problems that we need to educate voters on:
- Naked ballots are discarded – voters MUST use the privacy envelopes.
- County Boards of Election are NOT required to notify voters if their ballots have been filled out incorrectly.
The changes will likely allow tens of thousands more mail ballots to be counted. More voting options will be available. However, mail in voters will have to be very careful to fill in the ballots correctly and put the ballot in the secrecy envelope. In the meantime, we will wait for more specifics from the county election offices on how they will implement the PA Supreme Court decision. Stay tuned.
“How City Council Works” Workshop, Thursday, Sep 24th
Ever wonder just what City Council does? What kind of power they wield? How a bill becomes law in our City? How to engage members of Council and make an impact? Well, wonder no longer. Our workshop series on City Council will provide you with the answers to these questions and more as PNN Steering Committee member Steve Paul guides you through a ten-stage course on the workings of our City’s governing body. Sign up for our first session.
Coming Oct 10th,Town Hall on Police in Our Community
Join us on Saturday, October 10th at 11AM to take part in the first of multiple discussions about re-imagining the role of the police in our neighborhoods. Sign up for this 90 minute Town Hall where we’ll ask tough questions and work together to find some answers.
Sign Up Now for a Phone Bank!
We have phone banks every Wednesday at 1PM, Thursday at 6PM and Saturday at 1PM. We are tasked with reaching out to 81,000 voters in NW Philly to remind them how important their vote is to saving our democracy. If you haven’t yet signed up for a phone bank, you should really try the new ThruTalk auto-dialer tool. It makes the calls for you; all you have to do is log onto your computer and wait for the beep.
Want to be a Poll Worker?
We rely on poll workers to help run our elections. Many folks who have been poll workers in past elections are older and more susceptible to sickness, so they are rightly concerned about their health while working at the polls. With fewer poll workers available, that means fewer polling places open on Election Day.
If you would like to become a poll worker in Philadelphia, sign up at the link below. You’ll get training, you’ll earn up to $250 ($50 for training and $200 on Election Day) and you’ll be doing your part to protect our democracy.
This Week in History
Sep 18, 1793 – U.S. Capitol Started. George Washington laid the foundation stone for our Capitol building, which was largely built by slaves. Construction took nearly a century to complete.
Sep 21, 1780 – Benedict Arnold Commits Treason. General Arnold met with the British to discuss handing over West Point to them, in return for the promise of a large sum of money and a high position in the British army.
Sep 22, 1862 – Emancipation Proclamation. Abraham Lincoln issues this document which sets a date for the freedom of more than 3 million black slaves in the United States and recasts the Civil War as a fight against slavery.
Thanks for your activism!
Tim Brown, Project Organizer