General Assistance (GA) is a government life line that many of our vulnerable Pennsylvania families depend on. If this life saving funding ceases to exist, it will leave families struggling to live day to day. At the Capitol, a woman who is a military veteran explained how GA helped her get back on her feet. A modest $200 a month helped her and her three disabled sons after her husband left them. The Corbett administration estimates that eliminating the General Assistance program will save $150 million per year. But, if this program is eliminated it would increase the public cost to maintain homeless shelters, prisons, and state psychiatric hospitals.
Fight for Philly partnered with PA Cares for All and other organizations to save this program. Close to a hundred Fight for Philly members stood in solidarity with a broad range of partner organizations in the State Capitol Building’s rotunda, echoing chants of “Keep your Promise” directed at Governor Corbett and his administration.
After the GA rally, the focus turned to Pennsylvania’s proposed anti-immigration laws. Philadelphia-based Juntos led the charge against the 15 anti-immigrant bills, similar to those introduced in Alabama and Arizona. If some of these bills are passed, then businesses employing undocumented individuals would shut down or deny birthright citizenship to children born in PA. Further, it could deny a person without a government issued ID a right to receive public benefits. Community members spoke with state representatives and senators to express their dissatisfaction with these measures that won’t only hurt immigrants, but also poor and working class people.
Not surprisingly, profit motive has been tied to many of these anti-immigration laws through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). As these connections continue to gain publicity, many corporations are pulling their support for the extreme right-wing group. However, Philadelphia-based Comcast has yet to do so. Stand up for people being harmed by ALEC’s laws and urge Comcast to dump ALEC now.