Good afternoon, We The People PA activists and advocates:
Welcome, We The People-PA activists, advocates, and supporters, to another edition of our biweekly eBlast! We bring you federal and state legislative news and ways to get involved!
- Legislative Updates
- We The People-PA Updates
- For Your Advocacy Work
- Upcoming Opportunities to Get Involved
- Call to Action
Both houses are currently in session.
The Respect for Marriage Act has passed the House with 47 Republicans in support, proving this is a bipartisan issue that most Americans support. This bill would protect marriage equality for same-sex couples and ensure that this protection applies in every state. If this bill does not pass in the Senate, the lives of LGBTQ+ folx remain at the mercy of the Trump-installed, far-right, activist Supreme Court allowing states to legally block marriages for same-sex couples.
The effort is led by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), and they are getting close to having the required number of Republican votes to pass it in the Senate. However, attaining that number will be difficult until after the midterms.
At the reversal of the Roe v. Wade decision in June, Justice Clarence Thomas stated that one of their goals is to overturn the 2013 and 2015 decisions that legalized marriage equality nationwide. These decisions rest on the same constitutional foundations as interracial marriages: the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause and its Equal Protection Clause.
The Biden-Harris Administration’s Student Debt Relief Plan Explained. Are you wondering how and how much this historic act might help you? This is what the program could mean for you and what comes next.
Health care lies at the heart of the Inflation Reduction Act, and the proposals to reduce costs and expand care are overwhelmingly popular with Pennsylvanians across the political spectrum. The Inflation Reduction Act will reduce racial inequities in health care, improve the health and well-being of seniors and people with disabilities, strengthen families, and save lives across Pennsylvania.
Show your support for taxing the ultra-rich!The 99% Pennsylvania campaign is inviting individuals and organizations to add their names to a letter in support of proposals to tax the ultra-rich. This letter will be sent to the 20 members of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation.
Both houses are in recess. Here is their schedule and those of the committees.
- PA Senate returns on Monday, October 17, 2022.
- PA House returns on Monday, October 24, 2022.
Since returning from their summer recess, our General Assembly has not done much of note, and we do not expect much to be done in the next week or two.
WE THE PEOPLE-PA UPDATES
We have kicked things into high gear this election season. We have conducted our Candidate Training Series for state-level candidates. We are also currently hosting virtual candidate forums in select districts, and we have kicked off our candidate endorsers tour with press events. These pressers will be held virtually or in person, depending on the region. These live-streamed events can be viewed on our We The People-PA Action (c4) Facebook Page.
Check out our new video — AND — sign our petition and tell Pennsylvania’s Republican legislators that it is time to put our priorities first, not those of wealthy corporations. It is time to give Pennsylvania workers and small business owners the opportunities they need to take care of their families in this tough time and to make large, wealthy corporations finally pay what they owe. Please share with your social media networks.
Capitol Insider Calls happen next Thursday 10/06 and every other Thursday at 4:30 PM. Sign up for updates and join our Zoom room or watch us on Facebook Live.
2023 Organizing Strategy: We recognize that most of you are busy with getting out the vote. Please remember to take some time for self-care because none of us can pour from an empty cup, and you are valued and needed! After this election season is over, stay tuned for updates from us.
We will need your input and participation as we further develop our 2023 organizing strategy. We will be building upon our current relationships with organizations, groups, advocates, and activists, as well as inviting others to join us. It is vital to all of us that we supercharge our networking, skills- and knowledge-sharing, and capacity-building efforts.
FOR YOUR ADVOCACY WORK
New releases by the Keystone Research Center & the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center:
Drawing on a few decades of research, this paper shows that banning abortion would severely harm women in the state, especially women of color and women with low incomes. The paper summarizes research showing that the inability to secure an abortion harms women’s physical and mental health, makes it harder for them to secure an education, reduces their prospects for employment and good wages, and is likely to leave them facing hardship, and poverty. The paper concludes that the combined direct and indirect effects of a total ban on abortion in Pennsylvania would reduce wages in the state by $10 billion a year.
The Keystone Research Center has released a new report, presentation, and blog post: “Why Pennsylvania Needs Student Debt Relief: A Look at our State’s Student Debt Crisis.”
The Keystone Research Center has released its annual “State of Working Pennsylvania” report. The report’s overall message: a tight labor market and new union organizing offer new possibilities for Pennsylvania workers. With smart and worker-friendly policies over the next several years, Pennsylvania could enjoy a return to shared prosperity for the first time in decades.
UPCOMING OPPORTUNITIES TO GET INVOLVED
Opportunity for formerly incarcerated individuals, college pathways program
From Rising Scholars: Are you a formerly incarcerated individual and thinking about college? You are invited to apply to Rising Scholars: A College Pathway Program for Formerly Incarcerated Individuals.
Rising Scholars is a college readiness and preparation program for formerly incarcerated people who wish to explore the value of a degree across the Commonwealth. This 3-day college preparation event takes place at Penn State University Park from April 2 to April 5, 2023.
Last April, our pilot program of ten scholars became a strong community. Alumni across the state are working to redefine reentry and incarceration. We hope you consider joining us.
Want to learn more? Register for our virtual information session.
Tuesday, November 2, at 6 p.m.
During the event in April, Rising Scholars will:
- meet with career counselors.
- learn how to pay for college.
- find what classes and careers might be right for you
- tour campus, sit in on classes, and meet with faculty
- open to all PA residents ages 18+
- hotel lodging and food are all included
Interested? Sign-up here. We will contact you.
Questions? Email us: PSURisingScholars@psu.edu
CALL TO ACTION
From the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania
Late on a Friday night, a week after they were supposed to have gone into recess, with little public notice, legislators passed an extreme package of bills that would alter PA’s Constitution. They don’t want you to know what they did.
It’s time to hold our legislators accountable. Our Constitution should not be used to ban rights, to expressly deny the right to an abortion, to take powers away from voters, and to give more power to the legislature. This is a stunning lack of transparency and a very bad policy. We must let legislators know they are not serving the people.
Write a letter to your legislator AND call them today to let them know your anger at this misuse of government power, and that you will hold them responsible for their actions. Find your legislator’s phone number here.
Best wishes, Nick! Our We The People-PA team is saddened to announce that Nick Pressley is departing WTP-PA. Nick has accepted the PA State Director position at All Voting is Local. During his time with us at We The People-PA, Nick built us into a true team. He coached, taught, led, and got in the trenches with us. Nick inspired us in many ways, and we will use what we’ve learned to continue striving for a better Pennsylvania and a government that works for everybody.
We hope you found this week’s eBlast valuable, and we appreciate your support and the demanding work you all do in your own areas every single day. Keep on keepin’ on!
Marc, Vivienne, Jay, and the rest of the WTP-PA team
We The People – PA is a campaign working to ensure that all Pennsylvanians can thrive. We advocate for bold action from state lawmakers to keep our families safe during today’s emergency—and to build a stronger, healthier, and more just future.
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