Summer Camp and Unvaccinated Baseball Players

Coronavirus mandated vaccinations have been ordered in New York City and in the state of California. The federal Department of Veterans Affairs will require COVID-19 shots for their frontline health workers. Dozens of medical organizations this week issued a call for mandatory vaccinations in the health sector. Action is being taken in response to a dramatic rise of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the last month.

This story is in response to a news article written July 15 by Jon Harris and Tom Housenick of The Morning Call in Allentown, Pennsylvania, titled, “MLB says too many IronPigs haven’t been vaccinated, so now a youth baseball camp has been canceled.” The Lehigh Valley IronPigs is a minor league AAA team, affiliated with the Philadelphia Phillies.

The news article reported that a summer youth baseball camp, scheduled for July 20-22, was cancelled and parents notified because the Lehigh Valley IronPigs did not reach a required 85% team vaccination rate, as required by Major League Baseball. As a result, children missed a camp because baseball players did not get a couple shots in the arm.

A couple quotes are worth examining. One is by Mike Ventola, the IronPigs media relations manager. “We’re disappointed but that’s out of our control,” Ventola said. “Major League Baseball, they have certain mandates we have to oblige by. It’s out of our hands.”, according to the July 15th Morning Call story.

Phillies ace pitcher Aaron Nola, who remains unvaccinated, was recently asked by NBC Sports Philadelphia report Jim Salisbury what his plans were. Nola replied, “It’s a personal choice. Not right now. I’ll keep it at that.”

One hundred million Americans remain unvaccinated. The question to IronPigs players, to the Philadelphia Phillies, to the other major and minor league players, if not now, when? “A personal choice”, “out of our control”. Really?

By last report, as of June 25, seven major league teams – including the Phillies – had not yet reached the MLB mandated 85% vaccine threshold. An email request made to Major League Baseball on the current status of these teams went unanswered. Mike Ventola, in a phone call yesterday, reported the summer camps scheduled for August 3-5 and August 24-26 have also been cancelled and parents notified by mail. Sorry kids.

Philadelphia Judicial Candidate Forum

Open Wards Philly-Meet the Judicial Candidates: April 20, 21, 22

Tonight I co-moderate the first of three Meet the Judicial Candidates, sponsored by Open Wards Philly. For purposes of disclosure, I am on the group’s Steering Committee and a member of their Communications Subcommittee.

The candidates forum will take place across three evenings on April 20, 21, and 22 from 6:30pm – 8:00pm. The candidates running for Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia, which deals with a variety of consequential civil and criminal matters, will each speak for 15-minute segments to introduce themselves and field questions.

To register for the forums go to: bit.ly/OWPevent.

Pennsylvania Voter Engagement Resources

The set of voter engagement links below was created on behalf of Philadelphia’s 22nd Ward Open Caucus in preparation for an online voter engagement webinar, titled, “Block by Block: Voter Engagement for Committee People and Block Captains” to be held today. See details below.

PA Online Voter Registration Application
Description: The preferred voter registration method but you must have either a PA Driver’s License or a PennDOT ID. Allows you to register to vote, change of address, name change.

Voter Registration Application – Paper Version
Description: Paper form to register, change address, name. Paper applications are also available in other languages.

Mail-in & Absentee Ballots Online Application
Description: Options: 1) apply online, 2) download paper application, 3) call Board of Elections. Problems? Call 215-686-1509.

Application for Mail-in Ballot – Paper Version
Description: Hardcopy paper application.

Find Your Voter Registration Status
Description: Search for your voter registration status with your name, Penn DOT Driver’s License or Penn DOT ID. Enter county, zipcode, DOB.

Find Your Polling Place
Description: Enter your residence address, assuming you are registered at that address. Otherwise, check your status using, “Find Your Voter Registration Status”. Problem? Call 833-728-6837 (833-PAVOTES).

“What’s In The Mail?” – How to Complete a Pennsylvania Mail-in Ballot – YouTube
Description: Step-by-step instructions on what you will receive with your mail-in ballot; how to complete and return your voted ballot.

Track Your Ballot Status
Description: To track the status of your application or ballot enter your name, DOB and county.

Voter Application Status
Description: To check on the status of your online voter registration application include your application number, name, DOB.

Are You Ready To Vote?
Description: A great landing page! Includes a link to Ready to Vote Toolkit with a treasure chest of social media goodies.

Stay tuned for other material to be shared at the Block by Block event.