Newsletter 6/8/2020

Dear Friends,

This past week has witnessed unprecedented uprisings across the nation. Philly for Bernie hopes everyone is  doing their best to stay safe in these times. Please take a look at our statement on police violence here

Philly for Bernie is now making the transition into an organization committed to fighting for the progressive goals pioneered by Bernie’s campaign. Our new situation leaves a lot to be decided about the future of our group. We invite everyone to join us in making those decisions at our next citywide meeting. Stay tuned for details. In the meantime, join the 16 organizations in Philly in calling on City Council to pass a budget that reflects the true needs of working people in our city, “Revenue for a Just Recovery”. 

The “Revenue for A Just Recovery” Plan: Funding our Communities and City Services

During this time of crisis, the inequities in our nation have become more apparent than ever before. In our own city of Philadelphia, the pandemic has created a public health and fiscal crisis, which has disproportionately affected communities that have been historically underfunded and most impacted by austerity measures. 

The “Revenue for A Just Recovery” Plan is a proposal for progressive revenue options on the city, state, and federal level as well for the federal reserve. The goal of this plan is to shift the financial burden from the shoulders of working-class Philadelphians and small businesses to the people and institutions with the resources to fund Philadelphia communities. Suggested revenue options include fully ending the tax abatement, canceling cuts to the wage tax, closing the “Delaware loophole”, creating a People’s Bailout in Philadelphia, and using the Federal CARES Act to fund services in Black and Brown communities, among many other options. 

Click here to read more about “Revenue for A Just Recovery”.  

Show your support for the “Revenue for A Just Recovery” by giving public testimony during the FY2021 City Budget Hearings!

Last week marked the start of FY2021 City Budget Hearings. All hearings will be held until June 10th via Microsoft Teams. Tuesday, June 9th (3-5pm) is the last date for the public to provide testimony on any part of the revised City budget.  

For information on how to register to provide a public testimony, please call 215-686-3407, or send an email to budget.hearings@phila.gov by 3 p.m. on the day before that Council session and submit the following information:

  • Full name
  • Call-back telephone number where you can be reached
  • Identify the bill number or resolution number that will be addressed: 
  • Ordinance #200287 (Ordinance to adopt FY21 budget), and Resolution #200307 (Resolution to accept changes in FY20 and 21 budgets).
  • State whether your comments are for, or against, that particular bill or resolution. 

See the agenda for details

In Solidarity,
Philly for Bernie

Philly for Bernie Statement on Police Violence

thousands gather on JFK to demand accountability from our leadership

Philly4Bernie has spent the greater part of this last election cycle creating a basis for citizens to onboard themselves and take action politically in our city

We seek to bring together those who may be apprehensive or new to politics and seasoned organizers. We’ve come together to put our collective finger prints on Philadelphia’s sociopolitical stratosphere.

Our goal together as an organization is to build support in our communities in order to achieve the equality, liberty, and justice that we all deserve.

Deserving is a key word. We want everyone to understand we all are entitled to liberty, equality, to live a life free of fear, and full of opportunities.

As an organization we stand in solidarity with those who are making themselves heard. We stand in solidarity with Black lives Matter in achieving justice for Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor who were tragically murdered as well as all black people who are regularly under immense pressure put upon them by systemic and systematic racism. We also understand that in addition to these issues there is weight brought on by the COVID-19 crisis and the financial crisis.

This moment requires many actions. While direct action is taking place on our streets we want to also ensure that everyone continues to put energy into organizing to continue to build power. We want to ensure that there is change that supports our communities on the back end of these demonstrations.

We were a group created to elect Bernie Sanders and in addition to the frame of his agenda we have requests of our Mayor, City Council, members of the state legislature and elected officials around the nation.

What can our leaders do to address these events:

  • Start a citizens action committee that has power to hold police accountable with recommendations for punitive actions in regards to how they perform their duties.
  • Commit to demilitarizing our police
  • Receive a statement from our city leaders that fully and flatly calls for justice and equality for the murders of unarmed black citizens Immediately pass HR 40 as a first step towards healing the country’s racial divide.
  • Guarantee a livable wage of at least $15/hour
  • Guarantee a fair wage scale commensurate with the cost of living
  • Guarantee a fair wage scale that ensures black men and women are paid an equal wage for equal work
  • Guarantee healthcare as a human right through a single payer system.
  • Take every single monument of problematic and racist idolatry down. Including in our city the statue of former Mayor Frank Rizzo
  • Provide free PUBLIC college and trade school opportunities for citizens.
  • Place a rent freeze and a rent cap on city rents as well as ensuring that affordable housing is available in every neighborhood in our city.

We stand today in Philadelphia as our nations poorest major city. Many of these material requests are long overdue. We hope that these things will partially assist in addressing the frustrations of our city.

Citizens of Philadelphia we have a request of you as well. Come aboard, join our email list, follow us on social media, and come to our monthly meetings. Help our organizing community demand these objectives for our sisters and brothers. It is a small token that we hope to assist with in pushing for the agenda of ensuring that our cities citizenry and our nation receives the equality, liberty, dignity, and respect that we all deserve and that too many have been kept from.

May Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Philly for Bernie came together this weekend to discuss plans for moving our fight for a progressive Philadelphia forward. We were joined by Councilperson Helen Gym, PA State Congress candidates Rick Krajewski and Nikil Saval, PA Stands Up organizer Johnathan Smucker and March on Harrisburg organizer Michael Pollack. They answered questions on the future of progressive organizing in our city and state and called on members to continue the fight made possible by Bernie’s historic campaigns. Check out highlights from our meeting on our Facebook page.

There’s never been a better time to  fight to make Philly a true beacon for progressive politics. That’s why Philly for Bernie seeks to expand its organizing and networks across the city and state for the June 2 primary and beyond. Our interim steering committee (Ty Brown, Joanne Beer, Su Stout, John Zimmerman, Ron Joseph, Toni Dang, Jackrabbit Pollack) will guide us along until the June 2 primary, after which we’ll begin to discuss plans for a more permanent organizational structure. If you feel ready to take an active part, get in contact about joining our interim steering committee. In the meantime we’ll be holding a vote on formal endorsements as well as conducting GOTV phonebanking for progressive candidates, Bernie and his delegates. 


June 2nd Primary Get Out The Vote Phonebank Opportunities! 

We want to let people know they should still vote for Bernie and his delegates in the PA primary. Doing so will build support for Bernie’s platform and increase our influence at the convention. We also want to offer COVID19 support if needed, encourage people to apply for mail-in-ballots, and inform them about local progressive candidates like Rick Krajewski and Nikil Saval. 

Philly for Bernie will be phonebanking our own contact list from now until the June 2 primary. If you would like to help out, please join the slack (bit.ly/join-ph4b) channel #4-gotv-june2primary. Respond to this email with any questions.

Other organizations listed below are also doing GOTV phonebanking: 

Philly for Bernie Open Voting for Candidate Endorsements

Philly for Bernie’s interim steering committee will be conducting a formal endorsement process for the upcoming June 2 primary. From now through May 9, any candidates interested in receiving a P4B endorsement may submit already completed endorsement questionnaires they submitted to other groups. We’ll then send out an email blast covering all those seeking endorsement, including a list of recommended candidates. Following a 48 hour period of open voting, P4B’s formal endorsements will be announced on social media. Our endorsements will allow candidates’ use of the P4B logo, and P4B members will be encouraged to phonebank and volunteer for their campaigns.


Square Deal Podcast

Check out a great interview with P4B member Brad Wilhelm speaking on Medicare for All for our newest episode, “Silver Lining of the Pandemic?”, on Square Deal from P4B member Su Stout. Square Deal is a new podcast focused on pushing progressive ideas, and a platform for underrepresented voices providing much needed inspiration and maybe a bit of amusement in these trying times. Square Deal is available on Anchor, Spotify and other platforms. We encourage all those interested to pitch ideas or help produce episodes to producer Su Stout at suzkel@gmail.com.


Peer Support Check-In Zoom Call

Join our Peer Support Check-In Zoom call every Wednesday at 6PM. The P4B family comes together weekly for a virtual, mutual-support call to check in, listen to each other, get on the soapbox, and back each other’s organizing during these challenging times! Reminders are sent out the day of on Facebook and Slack. Register in advance for this meeting here: https://ccp.zoom.us/meeting/register/uZ0rcu6hqDIrgjc-oNImtErUdoa7RUDLtg


Also, we still have Philly for Bernie T-Shirts and Merch. Get ‘em here!



This fight is just beginning, 

In Solidarity, 

Philly for Bernie

The campaign ends, the struggle continues

I want to express to each of you my deep gratitude for helping to create an unprecedented grassroots political campaign that has had a profound impact in changing our nation.

I want to thank the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who knocked on millions of doors in the freezing winters of Iowa and New Hampshire and in the heat of Nevada and South Carolina – and in states throughout the country.

I want to thank the 2.1 million Americans who have contributed to our campaign and showed the world that we can take on a corrupt campaign finance system and run a major presidential campaign without being dependent upon the wealthy and the powerful. Thank you for your 10 million contributions – averaging $18.50 per donation.

I want to thank those who phone banked for our campaign and those of you who came together to send out millions of texts. I want to thank the many hundreds of thousands of Americans who attended our rallies, town meetings and house parties from New York to Los Angeles. Some of these events had over 25,000 people. Some had a few hundred and some had a dozen. But all were important. Let me thank those who made these many events possible.

I want to thank our surrogates, too many to name. I can’t imagine that any candidate has ever been blessed with a stronger and more dedicated group of people who have taken our message to every corner of the country. And I want to thank all those who made music and art an integral part of our campaign.

I want to thank all of you who spoke to your friends and neighbors, posted on social media and worked as hard as you could to make this a better country.

Together, we have transformed American consciousness as to what kind of country we can become, and have taken this country a major step forward in the never-ending struggle for economic justice, social justice, racial justice and environmental justice.

I also want to thank the many hundreds of people on our campaign staff. You were willing to move from one state to another and do all the work that had to be done – no job was too big or too small for you. You rolled up your sleeves and you did it. You embodied the words that are at the core of our movement: Not me, us. And I thank each and every one of you.

WE HAVE WON THE IDEOLOGICAL BATTLE

As many of you will recall Nelson Mandela, one of the great freedom fighters in modern world history, famously said; “It always seems impossible until it is done.” And what he meant by that is that the greatest obstacle to real social change has everything to do with the power of the corporate and political establishment to limit our vision as to what is possible and what we are entitled to as human beings.

If we don’t believe that we are entitled to health care as a human right, we will never achieve universal health care.

If we don’t believe that we are entitled to decent wages and working conditions, millions of us will continue to live in poverty.

If we don’t believe that we are entitled to all of the education we require to fulfill our dreams, many of us will leave school saddled with huge debt, or never get the education we need.

If we don’t believe that we are entitled to live in a world that has a clean environment and is not ravaged by climate change, we will continue to see more drought, floods, rising sea levels and an increasingly uninhabitable planet.

If we don’t believe that we are entitled to live in a world of justice, democracy and fairness – without racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia or religious bigotry – we will continue to have massive income and wealth inequality, prejudice and hatred, mass incarceration, terrified immigrants and hundreds of thousands of Americans sleeping out on the streets of the richest country on earth.

Focusing on that new vision for America is what our campaign has been about and what, in fact, we have accomplished. Few would deny that over the course of the past 5 years our movement has won the ideological struggle. In so called “red” states, and “blue” states and “purple” states, a majority of the American people now understand that we must raise the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour; that we must guarantee health care as a right to all of our people; that we must transform our energy system away from fossil fuel, and that higher education must be available to all, regardless of income.

It was not long ago that people considered these ideas radical and fringe. Today, they are mainstream ideas – and many of them are already being implemented in cities and states across the country. That’s what you accomplished.

In terms of health care, even before the horrific pandemic we are now experiencing, more and more Americans understood that we must move to a Medicare for All, single-payer system. During the primary elections exit polls showed, in state after state, a strong majority of Democratic primary voters supported a single government health insurance program to replace private insurance. That was true even in states where our campaign did not prevail. 

And let me just say this: In terms of health care, this horrific crisis that we are now in has exposed how absurd our current employer-based health insurance system is. The current economic downturn we are experiencing has not only led to a massive loss of jobs, but has also resulted in millions of Americans losing their health insurance. While Americans have been told, over and over again, how wonderful our employer-based, private insurance system is, those claims sound very hollow now as a growing number of unemployed workers struggle with how they can afford to go to the doctor, or not go bankrupt with a huge hospital bill. We have always believed that health care must be considered as a human right, not an employee benefit – and we are right.

Please also appreciate that not only are we winning the struggle ideologically, we are also winning it generationally. The future of our country rests with young people and, in state after state, whether we won or whether we lost the Democratic primaries or caucuses, we received a significant majority of the votes, sometimes an overwhelming majority, from people not only 30 or under, but 50 years of age or younger. In other words, the future of this country is with our ideas.

THE CURRENT CRISIS

As we are all painfully aware, we now face an unprecedented crisis. Not only are we dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, which has taken the lives of many thousands of our people, we are also dealing with an economic meltdown that has resulted in the loss of millions of jobs.

Today, families all across the country face financial hardship unimaginable only a few months ago. And because of the unacceptable levels of income and wealth distribution in our economy, many of our friends and neighbors have little or no savings and are desperately trying to pay their rent or their mortgage or even to put food on the table. This reality makes it clear to me that Congress must address this unprecedented crisis in an unprecedented way that protects the health and economic wellbeing of the working families of our country, not just powerful special interests. As a member of the Democratic leadership in the United States Senate, and as a senator from Vermont, this is something that I intend to be intensely involved in, and which will require an enormous amount of work.

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

That takes me to the state of our presidential campaign. I wish I could give you better news, but I think you know the truth. And that is that we are now some 300 delegates behind Vice President Biden, and the path toward victory is virtually impossible. So while we are winning the ideological battle, and while we are winning the support of young people and working people throughout the country, I have concluded that this battle for the Democratic nomination will not be successful.

And so today I am announcing the suspension of active campaigning, and congratulate Joe Biden, a very decent man, on his victory.

Please know that I do not make this decision lightly. In fact, it has been a very painful decision. Over the past few weeks Jane and I, in consultation with top staff and many of our prominent supporters, have made an honest assessment of the prospects for victory. If I believed we had a feasible path to the nomination I would certainly continue the campaign. But it’s not there.

I know there may be some in our movement who disagree with this decision, who would like us to fight on to the last ballot cast at the Democratic convention. I understand that position. But as I see the crisis gripping the nation – exacerbated by a president unwilling or unable to provide any kind of credible leadership – and the work that needs to be done to protect people in this most desperate hour, I cannot in good conscience continue to mount a campaign that cannot win and which would interfere with the important work required of all of us in this difficult hour.

But let me say this very emphatically: As you all know, we have never been just a campaign. We are a grassroots multi-racial, multi-generational movement which has always believed that real change never comes from the top on down, but always from the bottom on up. We have taken on Wall Street, the insurance companies, the drug companies, the fossil fuel industry, the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex and the greed of the entire corporate elite. That struggle continues. While this campaign is coming to an end, our movement is not.

Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded us that “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” The fight for justice is what our campaign was about. The fight for justice is what our movement remains about.

And, on a practical note, let me also say this: I will stay on the ballot in all remaining states and continue to gather delegates. While Vice President Biden will be the nominee, we should still work to assemble as many delegates as possible at the Democratic convention where we will be able to exert significant influence over the party platform and other functions.

Then, together, standing united, we will go forward to defeat Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in modern American history. And we will fight to elect strong progressives at every level of government – from Congress to the school board.

As I hope all of you know, this race has never been about me. I ran for the presidency because I believed as president I could accelerate and institutionalize the progressive change that we are all building together. And, if we keep organizing and fighting, I have no doubt that our victory is inevitable. While the path may be slower now, we WILL change this country and, with like-minded friends around the globe, the entire world.

On a very personal note, speaking for Jane, myself and our entire family, we will always carry in our hearts the memory of the extraordinary people we have met across the country. We often hear about the beauty of America. And this is an incredibly beautiful country. 

But to me the beauty I will remember most is in the faces of the people we have met from one corner of this country to the other. The compassion, love and decency I saw in them makes me so hopeful for our future. It also makes me more determined than ever to work to create a country that reflects those values and lifts up all our people. 

Please stay in this fight with me. Let us go forward together. The struggle continues.

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders

Rethinking Our Society During This Tragedy

BERNIE IN THE NEWS

Rethinking Our Society During This Tragedy

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Bernie Hosts Coronavirus Panel with Medical Experts

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OPPOSITION NEWS

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POLITICAL REVOLUTION NEWS | CORONAVIRUS

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Wisconsin’s Pandemic Primary Will Put Voters’ Lives in Danger

While La Crosse cut Tuesday’s polling places from 13 to 8, Milwaukee is cutting to just 5 with no agreement to postpone among legislative leaders

Wisconsin’s primary to go forward Tuesday even as coronavirus all but shutters the U.S.

Despite challenges and concerns, Wisconsin trudges on to Tuesday election amid COVID-19 pandemic

Wisconsin Republicans say they will ask Supreme Court to block extended absentee voting

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HuffPost reporter: Party leaders ‘know they screwed up’ stimulus bill

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The Democratic Party Must Harness the Legitimate Rage of Americans. Otherwise, the Right Will Use It With Horrifying Results.

Students Build LEGO Robot That Dispenses Hand Sanitizer

Late March Newsletter

Dear Friends, 

We hope you’re all keeping in touch with loved ones and reaching out and checking City, National and Mutual Aid resources if you need help. 

More than ever, the campaign is relying on us to organize the people we know. We’re the best ones to convince our own friends and family members, making sure they commit to vote for Bernie, apply for mail-in-ballots and volunteer from home if they can. 

Also, Pennsylvania’s primary election has now been moved to June 2, so everyone who can should register to vote (if you haven’t already) and apply for a mail-in ballot. Check below for more information.

If you missed our last newsletter and you’re new to things, check out the campaign’s Digital Organizing Parties and Volunteer Launch Calls. Below are a few more opportunities to connect with the campaign and your neighbors from the comfort of your own home. 

Also, check out this video of Bernie’s stand against hardline GOP Senators who threatened to delay the stimulus bill because of its expansion of Unemployment Insurance. It’s just another example of why Bernie is the only candidate we can trust to fight for us. 

PA Primary Moved to June 2! 

Pennsylvania has moved it’s primary back to June 2. So, for your own safety and that of others, the campaign wants everyone to apply for a mail-in ballot. Registering to vote and applying for a mail-in ballot can easily be done online, and takes a couple of minutes at most. 

As long as you register to vote first, you do not need to provide a reason when applying for a mail-in ballot. Check VotesPA.com for more information. 

If you register to vote online, you can also apply on the same form to automatically receive mail-in ballots for the rest of the year.

The deadline for registering to vote is May 18. Register to vote here. 

The deadline for applying for a mail-in ballot is Tuesday May 26 at 5pm. Mail-in ballots must be received by June 2 at 8pm. Apply for a mail-in ballot here. 

*Please note, the pages for registration and mail-in ballot on the PA Voter services website may not have been updated yet and may still indicate April 28 as the PA primary date. This is incorrect. The new date for the PA primary is June 2. 

Join The Campaign for a Teach-In Session

Reading the news right now can get overwhelming. That’s why the campaign has started its own Teach-In Sessions to get you oriented on everything that is happening right now and the campaign’s plan for the kind of mass state mobilization that we need to get out of this crisis. Check ‘em out. 

Mondays 8:00-9:00 pm, Winning Racial Justice in a Time of Crisis

Wednesdays 8:00-9:00 pm, Winning Public Health: Organizing for Health Justice in Times of Crisis

Thursdays 7:00-8:00 pm, Winning Worker Rights: Organizing for Worker Justice in Times of Crisis

Fridays  7:00-8:00 pm, Bernie 2020: Where do we go from here? Teach-In on Coronavirus and the Social Safety Net

Fridays 8:00-9:00 pm, Winning Corporate Accountability: Organizing for Economic Democracy in Times of Crisis

Saturday, 2:00-3:00pm, “China Virus”: A History of Racialization of Pandemics

Sunday at 2:00-3:00pm Immigration in the time of Coronavirus

Phonebank to ID Volunteers 

While the campaign is putting increased stress on relational organizing, we need to continue to check in with people to see how they’re doing with things, let them know about important changes to primary dates and, when possible, encourage supporters to apply for and send in their mail-in ballots for Bernie ASAP. We also need to ID volunteers, so they can organize their own friends and family to support Bernie. 

You can start making calls now, sign up for a virtual phonebank party or sign up for a shift later

Remember, if you still need some guidance, don’t hesitate to sign up for a Volunteer Launch Call or a Digital Organizing Party, where you can get trained on the dialer and make calls while staying connected with other volunteers over a Zoom conference call. 

Become a Bernie Victory Captain in Your Community

Bernie Victory Captains anchor the Bernie 2020 campaign. They are top tier volunteers who host strategic, weekly events to talk to voters and organize in their communities to take Bernie to the White House! If you are interested in becoming a Victory Captain, please fill out this interest form

If you still need some more experience or guidance sign up for one of the campaign’s Volunteer Launch Calls or Digital Organizing Parties

Let Us Know How You’re Organizing in Response to COVID 19

In light of the COVID-19 crisis we have seen many from Philly for Bernie coordinate with those from other communities and mutual-aid societies to protect the most vulnerable. We’d love to hear your story. As a part of a video project to inspire and motivate others, we’re requesting a 30 second video on what you’re doing to organize and effect change in this time of need. Send your video to John at johnbzimmerman@gmail.com.

Join a Peer Support Check-in Zoom Call

Every Wednesday at 7 pm 

While we’re all keeping physical distance from one another, we do not have to be alone. Philly for Bernie hosts group calls every Wednesday, as a time for people to get anxieties off their chests and provide mutual support. If you’re feeling isolated, join our call. 

Check our Facebook page or join our Slack page for weekly sign-in info. 

WE STILL GOT ‘PHILLY FOR BERNIE’ T SHIRTS! 

Wish you had gotten a Philly for Bernie T Shirt before this all went down? You still can! We’ve got a bunch leftover and would be willing to do a contactless delivery to your door. We have available four graphics, as shown above. 

Fill out this form with your contact info along with the graphic, size and color you’d like. Once we get your info, we’ll be in contact to figure out the best time for a delivery. 

Join Us on Social Media

Join us on slack here!: bit.ly/join-ph4b 

Facebook

Philly for Bernie 2020

(Citywide)

South Philly for Bernie 

North Philly for Bernie 

Northeast Philly for Bernie

Northwest Philly for Bernie

West Philly for Bernie

Twitter: Philly for Bernie

Subscribe to our Google

Calendar

Also, check out our website phillyforbernie.org!

March Newsletter: It’s Still “Not Me, Us”

Dear Friends, 

Our lives have radically changed this week. While we now all face many uncertainties and while this crisis has changed our strategy and priorities, this campaign isn’t going anywhere. This week, Bernie laid out clearly the kinds of policies and mass state mobilization we need to tackle this pandemic. Check it out here

So, while we’re at home, let’s talk to our friends, family members, neighbors and let them know that in this time of crisis this campaign and movement are continuing to fight to put our health and safety first. Most of all, if you feel isolated, reach out. You can join our weekly check-in call, or get connected to the national campaign with a Volunteer Launch Call, and also check out some more resources below. 


Join a Peer Support Check-in Zoom Call

Every Wednesday at 7 pm 
Join Here
Meeting ID: 232 812 0591
Password: unity

While we’re all keeping physical distance from one another, we do not have to be alone. Philly for Bernie hosts group calls every Wednesday, as a time for people to get anxieties off their chests and provide mutual support. If you’re feeling isolated, join our call.

Join a Volunteer Launch Call

Thursdays at 7 pm 
Join Here

New to the campaign and want to get oriented? Join a weekly volunteer launch call. On these calls you will hear about key opportunities to get involved in the campaign’s digital organizing program in PA. 

Attend a Digital Organizing Party

Weeknights at 6 pm 
Weekends at 12, 3 and 6 pm 
Join Here

Want to start phone banking and talking to friends and family, but need some guidance? Digital organizing parties will get you oriented and trained on how to phonebank and have open, honest, and thorough conversations with our friends, family, and neighbors about the 2020 election, and the issues they care about the most.

Let Us Know How You’re Organizing in Response to COVID 19

In light of the COVID-19 crisis we have seen many from Philly for Bernie coordinate with those from other communities and mutual-aid societies to protect the most vulnerable. We’d love to hear your story. As a part of a video project to inspire and motivate others, we’re requesting a 30 second video on what you’re doing to organize and effect change in this time of need. When you are done send your video to John at johnbzimmerman@gmail.com.

Get Connected with Mutual Aid and Other Resources

We’ve got to support each other at this time. Check out a list of Mutual Aid links as well as information and resources on schools, food, utilities, transportation, health and other volunteer opportunities on our website: “Resources for Philadephia and Beyond” and “Information for Citizens of Philadelphia County” 

Join Us on Social Media

Join us on Slack here!

Join us on Facebook here:
Philly for Bernie 2020
(Citywide)
South Philly for Bernie
North Philly for Bernie 
Northeast Philly for Bernie
Northwest Philly for Bernie
West Philly for Bernie

Join us on Twitter here:
Philly for Bernie

Subscribe to our Google
Calendar

Also, check out our website phillyforbernie.org!


We’re in this together, and it’s still, “Not Me, Us.” 

COVID 19 – Information for Citizens of Philadelphia County

Compiled by the Racial Justice Committee of the Caucus of Working Educators

Last Updated 3.19.2020

Below, you will find information on:

  • Schools and students
  • Utility services
  • Housing, foreclosures, and evictions
  • Transportation
  • Mental health and substance abuse
  • Food and public assistance
  • Health and COVID-19
  • Voting in PA
  • Updated PA sick leave law
  • Courts/legal services
  • Volunteer

Schools and Students: 

Grab and Go Meals 

  • Meals available for school age students Monday – Friday 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM – Sites here

Standardized Testing

  • Effective March 19, 2020 ALL testing will be canceled in PA. This includes the PSSA, Keystone and PASA.  

Learning Guides 

COVID-19 Parent Guide 

Local Online African American History Class 

  • Highschoolers can sign up here to learn the integral role African Americans have and continue to play in our nation. 
  • Join here

Utility Services:

Philadelphia Water Department

  • Effective March 16th, PWD and the Water Revenue Bureau will work together to restore water service to all delinquent residential and commercial customers through Friday, May 15, 2020, and the restoration fee will be waived. 
  • In addition, we will not shut off water service for delinquent residential and commercial accounts through May 15, 2020.
  • Residential customers who have been shut off for meter non-compliance will also have their water service restored until May 15, 2020

Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW)

  • Effective March 13th, PGW is suspending non-payment terminations until May 1, 2020. PGW also plans to waive new late payment charges.

PECO

  • Effective March 13th, PECO is suspending service disconnections and waiving new late payments charges through at least May 1, 2020

Comcast and Internet

  • As detailed on their web page – Effective Monday, March 16, 2020
  • Xfinity WiFi Free For Everyone: Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi. Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots and then launch a browser.
  • No Disconnects or Late Fees: We will not disconnect a customer’s internet service or assess late fees if they contact us and let us know that they can’t pay their bills during this period. Our care teams will be available to offer flexible payment options and can help find other solutions.
  • Internet Essentials Free to New Customers: As announced yesterday, it’s even easier for low-income families who live in a Comcast service area to sign-up for Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. New customers will receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month. Additionally, for all new and existing Internet Essentials customers, the speed of the program’s Internet service was increased to 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. That increase will go into effect for no additional fee and it will become the new base speed for the program going forward.
  • News, Information and Educational Content on X1: For those with school-age students at home, we’ve created new educational collections for all grade levels in partnership with Common Sense Media. Just say “education” into your X1 or Flex voice remote. To help keep customers informed, we also have created a collection of the most current news and information on Coronavirus. Just say “Coronavirus” into your X1 or Flex voice remote.

Housing, Foreclosures, and Evictions:

Evictions

  • Philadelphia municipal court is placing a stay on evictions effective, Monday, March 16, 2020, for 2 weeks. The landlord-tenant office will remain open to process new cases

Philadelphia Housing Authority

  • PHA suspended evictions for 30 days effective March 13, 2020. Hardship waivers to PHA residents will be available for those who lost a job or received a pay cut due to the pandemic.

Foreclosures and Sheriff Sales

  • All March sales are postponed. Check the web site for additional info. 

Homeless Initiative Info:

  • If you’re seeking emergency housing, contact Philadelphia’s Office of Homeless Services for help. During the day, families can also call 215-686-7150. After hours (nights, holidays, weekends), call 215-787-2887. Project Home is another resource for homelessness. Call 215.232.1984

Unemployment Compensation:

  • If you are employed in Pennsylvania and are unable to work because of COVID-19, you may be eligible for Unemployment Compensation (UC) or Workers’ Compensation (WC) benefits.
  • The following changes to UC have been made to help Pennsylvanians during the COVID-19 pandemic:
    • The Waiting Week is suspended. Previously, claimants were not eligible for benefits during their first week of unemployment (the “waiting week”). This has been suspended; eligible claimants may receive benefits for the first week that they are unemployed.
    • Work Search and Work Registration requirements are temporarily waived for all UC claimants. Claimants are not required to prove they have applied or searched for a new job to maintain their UC benefits. Claimants are also not required to register with PACareerLink.gov.

Transportation: 

SEPTA and Regional Rail:

  • Regional Rail will be running a reduced weekday schedule starting March 22. All SEPTA lines including train, bus, and trolley will be operating on a Saturday schedule, 7 days a week beginning March 22, 2020. 

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PENNDOT)

  • All Drivers License and Photo License centers in PA will be closed for two weeks effective March 16, 2020. Online services will be available 24 hours and 7 days a week. PA Turnpike has temporarily suspended cash payments. Expiration dates for driver licenses, identification cards, vehicle registrations, and safety and emission inspections scheduled to expire from March 16, 2020 through March 31, 2020 will be extended until April 30, 2020.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse: 

Mental Health Hotline:

  • Help is available. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, contact the crisis text line by texting PA to 741-741.

Substance Use Disorder:

  • If COVID-19 has you feeling down, you are not alone.
  • The Get Help Now hotline is a confidential, 24/7, 365 treatment and information service for individuals and families looking for help with a drug or alcohol problem.
  • Call 1-800-662-HELP.

Food and Public Assistance:

SNAP Benefits 

  • If you are out of work without pay, you are eligible to receive food assistance from PA or a food bank. There is a pandemic EBT provision that provides additional SNAP monies to families with children that have been out of school for more than 5 days. Grab and Go meals for children and families provided by over 50 rec centers. Click here for more details. 
  • Check out this link regarding how to apply for SNAP benefits or food bank locations. 

Kidz Meals on Wheels 

Public Assistance Programs:

  • All offices are closed effective March 17, 2020. 

Health and COVID 19: 

What to do if you have symptoms?

  • If you have serious symptoms like high fever, difficulty breathing, symptoms lasting longer than 3 days or suspected dehydration please contact your regular health care provider. 
  • If you do not have a provider please contact one of the urgent care clinics listed on the map and they can also help you coordinate with the health department.

CHOP – COVID 19 hotline 

  • For testing or health questions regarding children – Call 800.722.7112

PENN Drive- thru testing and health questions

PA Medical Assistance testing assistance 

Davita Kidney Centers

  • DO NOT MISS YOUR TREATMENTS. Contact your health care provider and the center if you are exhibiting symptoms.  

Donate Blood

  • If you are able to give blood, there is a critical shortage! 
  • Make an appointment here
  • Appointments are being spaced to allow for social distancing. 


Free Libraries:

  • All sites will be closed until March 29th and then re-evaluated before making an updated announcement on closure. 


Voting in PA:

Updated PA Sick Leave Law:

  • Philadelphia’s sick leave law has been expanded so that covered workers can use their paid sick leave for COVID-19 related business closures, quarantine, and to stay home with their children during school closures without fear of retaliation.
  • “If you work for an employer with more than nine employees, you’re entitled to paid sick days. If you work for an employer with fewer than 10 employees, you’re entitled to unpaid sick days. Chains with more than 14 locations worldwide also must provide paid sick leave, no matter how many employees work at one location. But you have to be an employee — not an independent contractor — to be covered by the city’s law.
  • If you’re not sure what you are, check your tax documents or ask your employer. Employees get W2s, and independent contractors get 1099s. Other workers who aren’t covered under the Philadelphia law include unionized employees and state and federal employees (these groups likely have a paid sick leave policy written into their collective bargaining agreements) and seasonal workers.
  • Your immigration status does not affect your ability to get paid sick leave. You have to work at least 40 hours a year for that employer in order to accrue sick days. Under the Philly law, you can accrue up to five (paid or unpaid) sick days. And you have to have worked 90 days before you can use them.” 
  • More here

Courts/legal services:

  • Community Legal Service will be closed until March 25, 2020. The housing intake hotline will still take calls at 267-443-2500.
  • Philadelphia Legal Assistance is taking no walk-ins until April 30, 2020. Telephone intake is Monday – Thursday from 930 am – Noon at 215.981.3800 and online intake is at https://philalegal.org/apply

Federal Court:

  • Federal courts and Common Pleas in PA have suspended jury trials in Montgomery, Bucks, and Delaware counties. 

Community Legal Services Family Advocacy Hotline: 

Volunteer: 

In the City of Philadelphia 

  • VOLUNTEERS looking to help out should be directed to follow these instructions:
  1. Go to the Mayor’s Volunteer Corps portal at https://serve.volunteermatch.org/.
  2. Click “Volunteer to support COVID-19 response efforts.”
  3. To sign up for an opportunity, please create an account. You’ll need to provide an email address.
  4. Select  an opportunity and sign up to attend. Please read the opportunity description in its entirety. Some opportunities are in-person, while others offer different ways to get involved.
  5. After completing the volunteer activity, record your hours on the Mayor’s Volunteer Corps portal.

Donate Blood

  • If you are able to give blood, there is a critical shortage! 
  • Make an appointment here
  • Appointments are being spaced to allow for social distancing. 

COVID-19 Resources for Philadelphia and Beyond

Friends and neighbors in Philadelphia and nationwide: we’ve compiled a list of resources for you to turn to during this unprecedented crisis. If you need something that hasn’t been listed here, please reach out! We’ll do our best to direct you to the right place or to help you ourselves.

Key Resources:

Here is a form for people to request help through Philly Mutual Aid.

Here is a Philly Facebook group for COVID19 response.

Here is a form to fill out if you can offer help to neighbors!

Philly Specific:

School District of Philadelphia (link to online learning tools and also a note that hard copies will be available at grab-and-go sites and Learning Guide Hotline)

Project Home and also their Hub of Hope (ways to donate supplies for those experiencing homelessness) 

Philabundance and their partner website AuntBertha (for both donating $ to help provide food and also for requesting food, respectively) – note, a lot of food banks are in short supply due to high demand and, as of March 17th, Philabundance is currently looking for volunteers

Schools and Recreation Centers Open for Free Meals for Youth (where parents can pick up food for their kids) – note, food is currently only being offered during WEEKDAYS

Petition by Philly Workers Dignity and Philly Socialist (petition advocating for workers rights during COVID-19) – there are other great GoFundMe’s being passed around (edited) 

National Resources: 

For Non-English Speakers

  • Esperanza Health Center: Esperanza Health Center, an organization that provides healthcare to the Latinx community in North Philadelphia, created a coronavirus information and resources page.
  • Greater Philadelphia Asian Social Service Center (GPASS): GPASS, a culturally diverse agency in North Philadelphia, can answer coronavirus-related questions by phone at 215-456-1662. Translators are available, including for residents who speak Chinese, Korean, and Spanish, weekdays from 8:30-5:30 p.m.
  • National Alliance for Hispanic Health: The National Alliance for Hispanic Health, a science-based and community-driven organization, has coronavirus information on their home page with updates and resources, including their helpline at 1-866-783-2645.
  • School District of Philadelphia: Philadelphia public schools will be closed from March 16-27. The school district translated this announcement in several different languages
  • SEAMAAC: Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Associations Coalition (SEAMAAC), a South Philadelphia organization, serves immigrants, refugees, and other marginalized communities. SEAMAAC will have coronavirus information on their social media and website in Bhutanese, Chinese, Khmer, Lao, and Vietnamese.

Voter Services:

COVID-19 unemployment compensation guide:

Other Announcements:

  • Beginning at 12:01am Tuesday, March 17, Gov. Wolf has ordered a statewide shutdown. He said pharmacies, grocery stores, and gas stations should stay open.
  • Lancaster County senior centers will temporarily shut down Tuesday, March 17. Closings include: Lancaster Neighborhood Senior Center, Lancaster Rec Senior Center, Luis Muniz Marin Senior Center, Next Gen Senior Center, Columbia Senior Center, Elizabethtown Senior Center, Lititz Senior Center and Millersville Senior Center. Staff will remain in contact with participants to offer support. Frozen meals will be provided to those who have no other meal options available.
  • There are handwashing stations and porta-potties set up in Lancaster City at Binn’s Park, Musser Park, Penn Square, the library, Linear Park, Reservoir, Colliton Park (handwashing station only), Buchanan, Long’s Park, Brandon Park (porta-potty only), Sixth Ward Park (porta-potty only)

Updates on COVID-19 response in Pennsylvania

CDC’s information and guidelines

CDC’s FAQ (We highly recommend reading this! Did you know they advise against wearing face masks?)

Guide on speaking with children about COVID-19

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