Pennsylvania Stands Up is responding to the national call from the Movement for Black Lives for a weekend of action to demand transformative change. Our local chapters have held or are hosting in person or virtual events over the weekend in Berks County, Chester County, Erie, York County, Upper Darby, and Lancaster. These are just six of more than a dozen events planned over the weekend with our local and national partners in cities and towns across the state.
"This is a pivotal moment in history," said Michaela Purdue Lovegood, Deputy Executive Director of Pennsylvania Stands Up. "We must decide who we are as a nation: whether we will cave to those who seek to divide us and stoke hate for political gain, or whether we will truly realize the promise that all people are created equal, with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We know where we stand and this Juneteenth, we're calling on our neighbors and elected leaders across the state to stand with us."
Our chapters are united with organizations across the state and nation in making three ambitious demands:
Defund the Police: Police budgets have swelled in recent years at the same time as vital funding for mental health care, social workers, and other core social services has been cut. Instead of spending public funds on programs that promote health and safety for all, we have seen increasing investment in excessive, brutal, and militarized policing that poses a threat to the safety of Black people, poor people, and other people of color.
Invest in Black Communities: We must realign our budgets at the municipal and state level with our shared values: building communities where everyone belongs and can live healthy and flourishing lives. That means redirecting funding away from policing and prisons and toward investing in community-based programs like healthcare, education, and housing. It also means targeted investment in programs that close the racial wealth gap by investing directly in Black communities, so that every family, regardless of their skin color, has the resources they need to thrive.
President Donald Trump must resign: Time and again, President Donald Trump has furthered the oppression of Black people in word and deed, using race as a weapon to divide working people against each other so he and his billionaire friends can profit at our expense. He has openly praised those who perpetuate acts of racist violence, including murderous white nationalists in Charlottesville. Now, as the commander and chief, he has threatened to use unconstitutional threats of state violence against those calling for justice. Whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, we cannot let President Trump's reckless and immoral behavior stand. All people of good faith must call for his resignation.
We recognize that real change doesn't come easy and it doesn't come quickly. The 1,200 members of Pennsylvania Stands Up will be working in coming months to pressure elected officials to adopt our demands and to force Donald Trump's resignation or his removal from office by the voters on November 3.
For more information about the events planned over the weekend, or to interview Michaela Lovegood, please contact Jacob Swenson-Lengyel or Colleen Kennedy.