Court Ruling Supports Rights of Committeepeople

Early yesterday morning I received an another email from a friend and fellow Democratic Committeeperson, sharing historic news about a court ruling issued on June 3rd. The ruling supports rights of Committeepeople against unjust actions by a Ward Leader, my own.

Here is his email and the accompanying court ruling.

“I am pleased to announce that a Court Ruling issued on Friday, June 3rd  by Judge Ann Marie B. Coyle in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas represents a complete victory for the disenfranchised 22nd Ward committee persons, validation for the 22nd Ward Open Caucus, and a precedent-setting ruling for the advancement of the Open Wards movement in Philadelphia.

“The Court Ruling orders the Philadelphia Democratic Party Chairman Robert A, Brady and the Philadelphia County Democratic Committee  to “specifically direct the 22nd Ward Democratic Executive Committee, including its current Ward Leader Cindy Bass, to provide advanced reasonable notification to permit and promote attendance and full participation including voting of all duly elected 22nd Ward Democratic committee persons at all future meetings of the 22nd Ward Democratic City committee including the organizational meeting on June 6, 2022”

“The order also directs  City Councilwoman and 22nd Ward Leader City Bass  to “cease and desist from excluding duly elected members from attending and fully participating and voting of duly elected 22nd Ward committee persons in all future meetings” and to ” fairly distribute the normal election paraphernalia accorded to all its members” and to ” apply and govern with the referenced Robert Rules of Order to conduct its meetings and encourage civility among its members” and to be “civil and respectful of differing viewpoints of other members”

“I have attached the formal copy of the Court Order.

“Profound thanks to Carla Cain for her courage, to her attorney John Carnes in pursuing this legal remedy that sets a precedent that will reverberate far beyond the 22nd Ward, and finally to those of us enjoined in the 22nd Ward Open Caucus. Together we have demonstrated that given faith, determination, perseverance, and solidarity justice can prevail – even in Philadelphia.”

Special thanks to Maurice Sampson II, Philadelphia Democratic Committeeperson 22-06, and fellow member of the 22nd Ward Open Caucus for permission to share his statement.

A copy of the Temporary Restraining Order and Special Preliminary Injunction by The Honorable Anne Marie B. Coyle, Judge for the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas is available here.

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.

22nd Ward Open Caucus Makes Endorsements For May 21 Democratic Primary Election

The following is a press release issued today by a group that I strongly support in an effort to bring democratic practices to the Democratic Party in Philadelphia.

A group of Democratic committeepeople in Philadelphia’s 22nd Ward met on Thursday May 9th for the purpose of endorsing candidates who will be on the May 21 Democratic primary election ballot. The political association, known as the 22nd Ward Open Caucus, was created earlier this year to promote a more open, accessible, and democratic ward system; to share knowledge among committeepeople; and to increase voter participation.

The caucus issued a written request to all candidates appearing on the ballot asking them to provide brief questionnaire responses and appear at the recent candidates meet and greet at the New Covenant Church in Mt. Airy, and 35 candidates responded. “This response lends legitimacy to our caucus and our efforts to give voice to the elected committeepeople in the 22nd Ward and the people they represent” said acting caucus coordinator, Michael Swayze. “The active members of our caucus represent the divisions of our Ward with a high number of registered voters and some of the highest turnouts of all divisions in the City of Philadelphia. Many of us will canvas our divisions for these endorsed candidates.”

The Open Caucus voted to endorse the following slate:
Mayor: Jim Kenney
Council-at-Large: Erika Almirón, Justin DiBerardinis, Derek Green, Helen Gym
City Commissioner: Jen Devor, Kahlil Williams
Court of Common Pleas: Anthony Kyriakakis, Tiffany Palmer
The candidates were approved with a 60% majority vote requirement of those members present and voting.

This press release is also available to download.