June 2014

RIGHT NOW: We’re sitting in at the Capitol in Harrisburg for a fair budget. Can you help us out?

We’re in Harrisburg right now, standing with students, parents, teachers, and supporters to demand the governor support a fair budget. And we could use your support! Can you click here to send the governor a note supporting us and demanding he reverse $1 billion in cuts to education across the state?

We’re sitting in at the Capitol in Harrisburg because the governor just won’t listen! We’re demanding a budget that fully funds education, health, and human services across the state. And we’re saying there are easy ways to generate plenty of state revenue: taxing fracking, expanding Medicaid, and freezing business tax cuts. Can you take a minute to send a letter to the governor saying you stand with us and people all across the state?

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June 17, 2014: One Thousand Protest and Six Arrested Rallying Against Corbett’s Cuts in Philadelphia

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One Thousand Protest and Six Arrested Rallying Against Corbett’s Cuts in Philadelphia

corbett and christie protest

(L-R) Kia Hinton, Diane Payne, Ron Whitehorne, Jody Dodds, Andi Perez

Once again, Governor Corbett tried to run from the people that matter. On June 9th, the governor made a rare visit to Philadelphia with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for a private fundraiser for his re-election campaign. But he moved the location at the last minute and then refused to show his face to a thousand protesters outside the Comcast Center, where we held a huge rally demanding the governor reverse his $1 billion statewide education cuts, balance his budget with fair taxes, stop cuts to vital programs, expand Medicaid, and close tax loopholes.

Six protesters refused to get out of the corbett and christie protest 2street and were arrested trying to block Corbett’s cuts.  Police escorted them away as protesters chanted, “Arrest Corbett.”  They wore signs around their necks that read, “I’m sitting in the way of Corbett’s cuts!,” followed by their specific budget concerns, including “Fully fund public education” and “Tax the corporations.”  Those arrested included a Philadelphia public school parent, three retired teachers, and a local community activist.

Our day started at the Union League in Center City, but we soon learned that Corbett and Christie were sneaking into the Comcast Center to throw us off.  Hundreds of protestors, including activists from New Jersey, marched from the Union League to the Comcast Center waving signs and chanting “Corbett and Christie have got to go!” Once reaching the Comcast Center, speakers called on Corbett to adequately tax fracking, stop business tax cuts, close corporate tax loopholes, accept federal money to expand Medicaid, and find other ways to raise the money Pennsylvania citizens need for a functioning state.

andi p

Andi Perez, Youth United for Change,  is escorted away by police.

The governor has cut $1 billion from education statewide since taking office, including $272 million from Philadelphia schools.  He ended the General Assistance program, which provided funds to the temporarily unemployable, including disabled people and others.  Corbett also ended the adultBasic insurance program for low-income individuals (which a Commonwealth Court Judge later found unconstitutional).  He has refused to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid, leaving 500,000 working families without access to healthcare.  Medicaid expansion would also add $430 million annually to Pennsylvania’s state budget and add about $3 billion annually to its economy.   A Pennsylvania Economy League study finds that expansion will support 35,000 new jobs by 2016 and 40,000 jobs by 2022.

Helen Gym of Parents United told the crowd, “Philadelphia and Newark are the poster-children for failed education reform policies: a three ring circus of round robin superintendents, school closings and underfunding – and Governors Corbett and Christie are the ringmasters.”

“I sat down in the way of Corbett’s cuts because I’m worried about my daughter’s future and all children’s futures in a school system that keeps getting slashed to the bone,” said Andi Perez, the outgoing Director of Youth United for Change and one of the arrested protesters.  “I have spent a career fighting for Philadelphia public school students, and things are as bad as I’ve ever seen under Gov. Corbett’s massive budget cuts.  We need to say enough is enough.”

Several polls have shown Corbett down over 20 points from his Democratic challenger, Tom Wolf.  The Washington Post and other publications have repeatedly called Corbett the most vulnerable governor in the country.

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Time for PA to “Raise the Wage”!

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Students, teachers, parents, activists, concerned Philadelphians to stage massive protest against Gov. Corbett’s appearance Monday at private Center City fundraiser

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release

Monday, June 9, 2014

Ron Whitehorne, 215-779-2672, ronw292@gmail.com

Jesse Kudler, 617-974-3684, jesse@fightforphilly.org

 

Students, teachers, parents, activists, concerned Philadelphians to stage massive protest against Gov. Corbett’s appearance Monday at private Center City fundraiser

Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools will join New Jersey residents and many others outside Union League fundraiser with Corbett and Gov. Chris Christie to demand budget with revenue to fully fund education, health, and social services

WHO:

PCAPS public school parents, teachers, students, activists, and supporters; Parents United for Public Education; PA Working Families; NJ Working Families; PULSE NJ (Parents Unified for Local School Education), Working America

WHAT:

Protest against Gov. Corbett to demand a budget that supports education, health, and working people, not big businesses and frackers

WHEN:

Monday, June 9

4pm-6: Rally with speakers, chants, and signs

6pm: Action to greet Corbett and Christie arrival

WHERE:

Outside the Union League, Broad and Sansom

VISUAL:

Large and diverse crowd of students, parents, teachers, activists, community members spilling into the street, signs, chants, speakers, 6pm welcome action

 

PhiladelphiaMonday, hundreds of protesters will greet Gov. Tom Corbett at his latest attempt to quietly visit Philadelphia.  Outside of a private fundraiser with New Jersey Gov. Christie, a large and boisterous crowd will rally for a fair budget instead of more of Corbett’s devastating cuts to education, health, social services, jobs, and public programs.  They will call on Corbett to adequately tax fracking, slow business tax cuts, close corporate tax loopholes, accept federal money to expand Medicaid, and find other ways to raise the money Pennsylvania citizens need for a functioning state. 

Corbett has once again introduced a budget proposal that fails to properly fund vital state services.  After proposing a budget with only small increases to education funding – and no increase in the basic education budget – revenue shortfalls due to Corbett’s tax cuts mean Harrisburg is currently considering across the board cuts.   Current revenue projections show a more than $1 billion budget shortfall by next year, and the governor is reportedly looking to cut $1.2 billion from his proposed budget.  Since taking office, Corbett has signed legislation cutting taxes on businesses by about $1.2 billion.

The governor has cut $1 billion from education statewide since taking office, including $272 million from Philadelphia schools.  He ended the General Assistance program, which provided funds to the temporarily unemployable, including disabled people and others.  Corbett also ended the adultBasic insurance program for low-income individuals (which a Commonwealth Court Judge later found unconstitutional).  He has refused to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid, leaving 500,000 working families without access to healthcare.  Medicaid expansion would also add $430 million annually to Pennsylvania’s state budget and add about $3 billion annually to its economy.   A Pennsylvania Economy League study finds that expansion will support 35,000 new jobs by 2016 and 40,000 jobs by 2022. 

The governor has continued to opposed a severance tax on natural gas extraction, which could bring in hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue.  The governor has also refused to close the Delaware tax loophole or slow tax cuts to business. 

In January, the governor abruptly canceled a visit to Central High School at the last-minute when he learned protesters would be waiting for him.  He has never visited a Philadelphia public school since taking office.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been helping fundraise for Gov. Corbett in his role as chair of the Republican Governors Association.  The two were in Pittsburgh Friday for a private fundraiser. Several recent polls have shown Corbett trailing Democratic candidate Tom Wolf by over 20 points.

### 

PCAPS is a coalition of students, parents, and teachers with an unwavering commitment to improving Philadelphia’s school system. Members of the coalition include ACTION United, American Federation of Teachers PA, Fight For Philly, Boat People SOS, Jewish Labor Committee, Jobs With Justice, JUNTOS, Media Mobilizing Project, Neighborhood Networks, Occupy Philadelphia Labor Work Group, Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO, Philadelphians Allied for a Responsible Economy(PHARE), Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, Philadelphia Home and School Council, Philadelphia Student Union, SEIU 32BJ, UNITE HERE, Youth United for Change.

http://www.wearepcaps.org

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June 6, 2014: Fast food workers STRIKE for first time in Philly! Then they take their message to McDonald’s HQ.

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Fast food workers STRIKE for first time in Philly! Then they take their message to McDonald’s HQ.

On May 15, Philly fast food workers went on strike for the first time ever.  They joined workers in 150 cities across the US and protests in 33 additional countries on six continents.  Strikes and protests reached more than 230 cities worldwide!

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