Since March, POWER has helped lead a broad coalition of groups which have been calling and knocking on the doors of thousands of unlikely voters to encourage them to go to the polls on May 20th and vote “Yes” on ballot question #1. So far POWER volunteers have connected with nearly 20,000 Philadelphians and have gotten commitments to vote from residents who don’t normally vote in primaries. POWER has been reaching voters through almost daily neighborhood canvasses, and sophisticated phone banking using the new high tech VAN system. POWER volunteers are also taking part in more traditional community mobilization strategies including house meetings, congregational gatherings, and community forums. There have been announcements during worship services and faith leaders have delivered sermons emphasizing the importance of voting. POWER's success has captured the attention of of it's parent organization the PICO National Network. PICO is viewing POWER's work on Voter Engagement as a model for other affiliates in the network. This week, two teams of 5-10 PICO National staff members are coming to Philadelphia to study POWER's voter engagement campaign and will use their observations to teach the 40+ other affiliates across the country about best voter outreach practices.
"We will not rest until we convince every unlikely voter in Philadelphia that their vote counts," says Bishop Dwayne Royster, Executive Director of POWER. "As people of diverse faiths, races, and ethnic backgrounds, we are united to ensure our laws and policies and structures serve the poor, not hurt the poor. We do that through the voting booth."
POWER is encouraging voter participation in general. However, POWER's two areas of focus include making sure Pennsylvania's new governor establishes a fair funding formula for our schools (#FullFairFunding)
For more information about today's press conference & POWER's voter engagement campaign go to http://powerphiladelphia.org or call POWER at (215) 215-232-7697. All media inquiries should be directed to Leslie Patterson-Tyler by calling (609) 247-2632 or email Leslie@TylerMadePR.com.