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.

Cool Down for Warmth Event – Feb. 1&2

On February 1 & 2 there will be an event in Newark, New Jersey called “Cool Down for Warmth”. The purpose is to raise funds so families can stay warm this winter. My goal is to raise $1,000 for the cause.

A little history. In December, 1992 I wished there was a place to refer families to when no other energy assistance resources were available. Little did I know, it would lead to the creation of New Jersey SHARES, our statewide energy fund – which is now celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Today, I need your help to keep my dream alive and to help New Jersey families stay warm. On February 1 & 2 New Jersey SHARES will be holding “Cool Down for Warmth” to both raise funds and to make our mission better known in our state of New Jersey.

We’re building an Ice House – yes, an ICE HOUSE – in Newark to highlight the critical importance of heat during the cold winter months.

You can help by making a donation. Your donation makes a difference and may be eligible to be matched dollar for dollar by your utility company. So if you can give $50, it can have the impact of $100.

Donate now. Go to my Ice House Challenge fundraising page. If you want more information then read my personal story.

You can follow Cool Down for Warmth on the NJ SHARES website or on Twitter, #CoolDown4WarmthNJ or @njshares on Facebook.

Thanks for your help.

Five Ways To Make A Difference In 2018

Last week I received an email from the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization I contributed to in 2016 following the presidential election. SPLC is a nationally recognized group that fights hate groups and bigotry. The email caught my attention since I’ve yet to make a New Year’s Resolution.

Their “five ways to make a difference” is not so much a personal promise you have to make to yourself but a pledge to remake our country, to take it back, all in a way that can work for you. I’ll be doing my best to follow their suggestions.

You can follow it by reading their article. It starts out with the following: “What will you do this year to be an engaged member of a democratic and tolerant community? Here are five items to add to your New Year’s resolution list.” 1)Pledge to start a conversation. 2) Pledge to be informed. 3) Pledge to stay engaged. 4) Pledge to make your voice heard. 5) Pledge to take real-world action.

I’m going to take a good look at the pledges suggested by Southern Poverty Law Center and see how I can incorporate them in my resolutions for 2018.

Btw, I continue to contribute to the Southern Poverty Law Center as long as we have a racist sleeping in the White House.

Let America Be America Again: A Fourth of July Poem

Let America Be America Again is a poem written by Langston Hughes in the 1930s. It is appropriate, in my opinion, to read it on this national holiday as we celebrate the Fourth of July and as we continue to struggle against unjust laws and tyranny.

A video version, narrated by Alfre Woodard, is available online.

Let America Be America Again

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!

From The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Copyright © 1994 the Estate of Langston Hughes.