PA Stands Up News You Can Use
This is one of the hardest editions of News You Can Use we’ve produced. As we closed the month of May, which featured Asian Pacific Islanders heritage month and mental health awareness month, our own Asian communities and mental health were targeted and tested as hate crimes continue to rise and the news coming out of Uvalde gets worse every day.
May 31 was the anniversary of both the government sanctioned MOVE bombing of Black communities in Philadelphia and the Tulsa race massacre.
But as we do scroll trough the constant terror, we at PA Stands Up know that we have always been in this together. We have known that getting guns in PA is easier than getting healthcare. We know having cops in schools does not make students safer and endangers them. We know minority communities are at much greater risk of hate crimes, though they are not usually regarded as such.
We also know that we can work together to change the policies and pain that people experience every day. As we head into LGBTQ+ Pride month and Juneteenth, there are many reasons to celebrate and reflect on what our communities can do differently.
You are more than the pain we see on the news. You are capable and engaged, and we’re glad you’re with us. Join one of our chapters as a member today!
Ashleigh, Onah, Lev and the PA Stands Up team
What’s happening in Pennsylvania?
Election News Round-Up: The Democratic Primary for the 14th Senate District in the Lehigh Valley remains too close to call. Progressive candidate Tara Zrinski remains about 40 votes behind Nick Miller, but the legal situation is changing on a very regular basis. As of June 10th it seems that the certification deadline has been pushed back for both Lehigh and Northampton counties until mid-June. This ruling impacts the Zrisnki-Miller race, as well as the ongoing Republican race for United States Senate.
In related news, in its ruling late last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that “Ignoring ballots because the outer envelope was undated, even though the ballot was indisputably received before the deadline for voting, serves no purpose other than disenfranchising otherwise qualified voters.” The Supreme Court upheld that decision this week to clear the path for the appeals court’s ruling to be enforced and for all 257 ballots to be counted and could allow the rule to cover the whole state.
We are currently in the heat of Democratic Party Reorganization as thousands of Democratic Committee people from across the state will gather to elect their local party leaders. The jockeying for party power extends all the way to the top where State Senator (and current Party Vice-Chair) Sharif Street seeks to become the Statewide Party Chair in a contest against Gerald Lawrence, Josh Shapiro’s preferred candidate. Historically speaking the Gubernatorial nominee choses the party chair, but Street is looking to buck that tradition. At the local level, we will be paying close attention to races for party leadership in Philadelphia, the Lehigh Valley and Lackawanna County.
Ending Solitary confinement: Solitary confinement in jails is a practice that started in PA and we can end it in PA in 2022.
Join Lehigh and Lackawanna leaders and an incredible group of panelists as they discuss the importance of ending solitary confinement and starting a crisis response team in our communities through the ballot process.Attendees will gather locally and engage with the panelists through Zoom. RSVP with this link to find out how to get involved in a chapter near you!
Say hi, Valentina!
We’d like to give a hearty congratulations to our staff members who made the list of City and State PA’s Top 100 most influential figures in the state’s LGBTQ community! Sergio Cea, our electoral organizer with Reclaim Philadelphia and Carrie Santoro, our Executive Director! We’re also excited to see our endorsed candidate Izzy Smith Wade-El among those listed.
In June, we find ourselves uniquely placed in what is referred to as “rainbow capitalism.” It’s a phenomenon when companies change their logos to include a pride flag, while their money actually goes to support politicians that create bills and policies that harm the LGBTQ+ community.
You won’t find a change in our logo or our values this month as we not only stand with our LGBTQ+ community, we are the community. You can use this link to join Reclaim Philadelphia’s Queer Liberation Caucus!
What’s happening nationally?
Care Not Cops: 19 children and two teachers were killed in Uvalde, Texas in a 90% Hispanic school last month. It was the 27th school shooting and the 212th mass shooting in the US so far in the 144 days of 2022. Eleven days before that, 10 were murdered at a Black supermarket. In those 11 days, an estimated 22 Pennsylvanians were murdered with firearms. Countless more were injured.
Adam Garber, CeaseFirePA Action’s Executive Director, issued the following statement:
“After each shooting, I’m asked: ‘are you surprised?’ No. Because the causes are the same. A deadly refusal to enact common sense laws. A decision to ignore the simple facts: no other developed country sees this level of violence. Gun violence prevention laws save lives.”
Our chapter in Lancaster held a vigil to remember those that fell and renewed our call to true public safety by taping their demands to Congressman Lloyd Smucker’s door to protect our communities. To get more involved with Ceasefire PA to end gun violence, join their volunteer team.
What’s happening globally?
Running on empty: Gas prices continue to soar and Republicans are among up efforts to point the blame directly at Joe Biden. “I Did That” stickers are appearing on gas pumps across our state as working people are struggling to keep up with the high cost of gas. Rep. Katie Porter knows that this is a false narrative and has co-sponsored The Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act that passed in the House of Representatives last month. This bill targets the real culprit of soaring inflation in the US, worldwide corporate greed.
Next time you hear about someone’s pain at the pump, take a moment to find some common ground first. This is an issue that hits almost all of us. Use compassion while sharing facts and sharing how you’re being hurt as well. Finger pointing and arguments don’t build communities, compassion does.