January 2014

Fight for Philly to travel to West Chester to protest attack on working families

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Jesse Kudler

617-974-3684, jesse@fightforphilly.org

Fight for Philly to travel to West Chester to protest attack on working families
Activists will urge a vote against HB 1507, which makes it harder for PA workers to fight for their rights

Philadelphia, PA – Dozens of Fight for Philly activists will travel to West Chester, PA Thursday to urge Rep. Dan Truitt not to support the toxic HB 1507, which outlaws public workers like nurses and teachers from having their union dues and political contributions automatically deducted from their pay, even though it costs almost nothing and has been done for years.  HB 1507 is the beginning of a broader attack on working families in the state, supported by money from outside billionaires like the Koch brothers and right-wing organizations like ALEC.

At a time when schools across the state lack proper funding, healthcare access is being denied to thousands of people, and our state desperately needs more good jobs, legislators are seriously considering making things even harder for working people.  HB 1507 is a politically-motivated attack on the very people that fight for the middle class across the state.

Activists will leave the Fight for Philly office at 2pm to travel to Rep. Truitt’s office in West Chester.  They will rally there to call attention to this hurtful bill and urge its defeat.

WHO: Fight for Philly, working families
WHAT: Trip to West Chester to tell Rep. Truitt not to support HB1507
WHEN: Thursday, January 30, leaving at 2pm
WHERE: Fight for Philly, 846 N. Broad St.
VISUAL: Diverse crowd, signs, chants

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Fight for Philly is a grassroots organization fighting for good schools, good jobs, a fair economy, and a city that works for all of us.

info@fightforphilly.org * (215) 232-3792 * http://fightforphilly.org

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Activists to protest Sen. Toomey’s vote hurting long-term unemployed

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Jesse Kudler

617-974-3684, jesse@fightforphilly.org

 

Activists to protest Sen. Toomey’s vote hurting long-term unemployed
Protesters will tell Toomey to support crucial lifeline for long-term unemployed workers in slow economy 

Philadelphia, PA – Members of the Philadelphia Unemployment Project (PUP) and Fight for Philly, including unemployed workers, will march through the cold on Thursday to the Philadelphia office of Senator Pat Toomey, demanding he support an extension in unemployment benefits that help long-term unemployed workers. Sen. Toomey voted this month not to extend unemployment benefits.

Congress failed to extend emergency unemployment compensation before the new year, cutting off 1.3 million workers, including 12,000 from Philly and 86,900 from Pennsylvania, which has the fourth-highest total of unemployed workers collecting emergency long-term benefits.  70,000 more people will lose benefits every week Congress does not extend employment benefits.  Long-term unemployment remains as high as it has been since World War II.   There are currently about 3 unemployed workers for every job opening.   There is little evidence that ending benefits will force people to find jobs more quickly. 

Sen. Toomey has voted to extend unemployment insurance in the past, when George W. Bush was president, but he voted against an extention this month.  PUP and Fight for Philly are asking him to change his vote as emergency unemployment compensation (EUC) extension returns to the Senate.

Protesters will march, chant, carry signs, and tell stories of trouble finding work, demanding Pat Toomey support his constituents and vote to extend unemployment compensation.

WHO:

Unemployed people and activists with Philadelphia Unemployment Project and Fight for Philly

WHAT:

Demand Sen. Toomey help the long-term unemployed!

WHEN:

Thursday, January 23, 11:00am (arrive Toomey’s office 11:15am)

WHERE:

PUP office, 112 N. Broad St., marching to Sen. Toomey’s office , 1628 John F. Kennedy Blvd.

VISUAL:

Diverse crowd, signs, chants

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Fight for Philly is a grassroots organization fighting for good schools, good jobs, a fair economy, and a city that works for all of us.

info@fightforphilly.org * (215) 232-3792 * http://fightforphilly.org

 

 

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Governor Runs From Mess He Created with Schools

tara tillmanGovernor Corbett showed his true colors on January 17th when he decided to play hooky and ditch an event to honor the achievements of Central High School and three other high-performing public schools in the city.

Central High students and teachers were left dumbfounded when the governor abruptly canceled his visit at the very last minute, leaving students waiting. His visit would have been the governor’s very first trip to a Philadelphia public school during his entire term. Under the Corbett administration, funding for education has been cut by $1 billion, including $272 million in cuts to Philadelphia.  The governor cut $1.4 million to Central’s school-based budget, which means they’re educating their students on just $5,177 per child – the lowest in the entire district.  And last year, Corbett’s draconian cuts led to the closing of 24 Philadelphia schools and massive school employee layoffs.  But the governor couldn’t even go see what his cuts are doing to our schools and our students.

Hundreds of education activists marched from the corner of Broad and Olney to Central High. Activists waved signs and chanted, “Hey, hey, ho, ho Governor Corbett has got to go!” But as the march approached the school, protesters received word that Governor Corbett had turned tail and bailed on his own event. centralProtestors crowded onto the lawn in front of Central, and official word was given about Corbett’s cancellation, which was met with jeers and boos. Parent, teachers, education activists, and clergy spoke out against Corbett and his blatant disregard for public education.

“You don’t get any credit for our student’s accomplishments!” Fight for Philly’s Tara Tillman, a South Philadelphia resident and public school parent, told the governor.  “The only thing you should get credit for is hurting our schools!”   Tara told the crowd, “Governor Corbett is the root of the education crisis in our city! Why would he highlight the success of our best high schools, when he and administration had nothing to do with it?”

Protesters caught up with Corbett outside his Philadelphia office, where he had fled to present the achievement award to Philadelphia Public Schools Superintendent Dr. William Hite.  Amazingly, Corbett told reporters his reason for the last-minute venue change was not wanting to be “a distraction to the school day.”  Never mind the huge daily distraction of massive program cuts and layoffs caused by his budgets.  Corbett also dismissed the protesters, claiming, “I was not going to engage in the theatrics of what the adults wanted to do.”  Did the governor miss all the students protesting him too?  The governor even claimed,  “We have not received, to my knowledge, any requests to sit down and talk,” from proponents of more public school education funding.  Did the governor miss the invite to our candidates forum, our phone calls, our hunger strike at his office, our visits to the Capitol, and all our protests?  We’d love to talk to him!

In addition to giving the award, Corbett nominated City Councilman Bill Green to head the School Reform Commission.  Bill Green has strongly supported charter school expansion and voucher programs in the past, which worries many public school parents. The fight for full funding for education continues every day.

We’ll be in Harrisburg Tuesday for the governor’s budget address, demanding he give our schools what they need!

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