We are trying to find a location where there might be numbers of unregistered voters (or voters needing to update their registration) that we can engage. Our sister congregation in POWER, the Ethical Cultural Society, has had luck doing voter registration near the Community College of Philadelphia, for example.
Some of us think that the crowd of young adults who socialize on South Street on summer weekend evenings might contain a number of people who might need help with voter registration. The question is whether or not we can engage them. (I suspect, ideally, we’d have a voter engagement team that looks like the crowd we wish to reach or particularly “attractive” to the people we hope to speak with, but we will do our best! MC) We will have “POWER Votes” and signs. And be ready to speak about why this election matters. We are also thinking about something we might “offer” at our Voter Engagement table.
Will our effort on South Street be fruitful? We won’t know until we try. And if not, we’ll think of another way or another location to try again.
But we’re getting t-shirts, will have signage and a group working together to engage people out for a Friday night.
(Yes, we remember the recent violence on South Street. That’s why our efforts are going to be scheduled early in the evening. But we also presume the police presence is still higher than usual. And we only want people to come if they feel safe enough.)
This is all part of a larger effort of POWER and its congregations across the state to reach voters less likely to turn out to the polls in an off-year for elections for Governor and the US Senate, in particular, that will have a major impact on our state and the nation.
There is a strategy mapped out that invites us to be working on turnout the vote efforts with other Center City POWER congregations from September to November. In fact, Old First is hosting the first such gathering on Tues., September 27 at 7 pm. But even before that, we want to get working. This upcoming election and the ones after it are that important.
There will also be some more advocacy- related efforts on specific justice issues and the election.
And we will be offering training after church to help members of this community reach out to our friends, family and other contacts — to share with them the urgency of this election and to encourage them to vote.
A week from Friday, we will either gather at church or meet on South Street to get started about 7 pm. We’ll take a table and a couple of chairs down. Clipboards and more registration forms than we could need. But people are the most important…
If you have any suggestions, or questions, please speak with Michael.
Hope you will join us…