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Everything you need to know about voting on June 2nd             May 30, 2020

Together, We Can Do This

Conor Lamb Campaign

 

On Tuesday, March 13th, Democrats in Upper St. Clair and across southwestern Pennsylvania have the opportunity to elect Conor Lamb to Congress. Conor is running for Congress to protect our seniors, combat the heroin epidemic, and fight for good-paying jobs here in western Pennsylvania. Conor is sick of politicians in D.C. who say one thing and do another, and he’s pledged to hold regular town halls and be truly responsive to people here. But Conor needs your help to get to Congress. Please join his campaign for canvassing and phone banking, every day from now until March 13th. His Allegheny County office is located at 321 3rd Ave., Carnegie, PA 15106. Contact Tim@conorlamb.com to get involved and get a Democrat elected in PA-18!

 

Go Vote

 

Door to Door Experiences

 

Canvassing Was Not as Scary as I Thought

Paul Baxter

Against my better judgement, I let myself agree to canvass for the first time last Saturday. I'm an introvert by nature and was quite nervous about being face to face with possibly argumentative strangers.

I started cramming talking points and facts about the candidates. As it turned out, I didn't need them. Canvassers were supplied with a packet containing a suggested speech and some easy questions to ask.

We started driving, paying close attention to Google Maps! Folks on our list were mostly for Conor and didn't need convincing. (The lone Saccone supporter we encountered was very polite.) I happened to have some yard signs in my car and folks were eager to let us place them.

My partner and I agreed to alternate speaking and note-taking, but it quickly turned out my partner was a gifted speaker. We encountered many “Not Home” voters, and there were some errors in our list, but we pressed on fearlessly.

After deep breathing and meditating I will be out again soon.

Pro tip: Download the MiniVAN app from ngpVAN

 

A Canvassing Virgin

Natalie Livingston

“I’m a virgin,” I said to the few people that began the gathering at a volunteer’s house. “I have never canvassed for a political candidate before.” Why hadn’t I? I have strong convictions; women should govern their own bodies, funding for public education, African American civil rights, LGBT nondiscrimination action, gun regulations and affordable health care. I have a laundry list! This is the day I take steps beyond counterpointing in social media, beyond my anger and bafflement over what is happening in this current administration. I am taking it to my streets, door to door!

The small number of canvassers was growing by ones and twos until we had become a group. Everyone was introducing themselves, sharing their experiences and giving tips. One being use MiniVAN to record your interviews! (I thought the reference was a vehicle, it’s an app!) The atmosphere was charged with enthusiasm. We all chose the area we wanted to cover and collected our list of names and addresses. Time to pair up! Everyone brought a buddy, so the two newbies made a go of it together, me and Paul. I was anxious but excited.

Paul and I drove and walked through our list of addresses using Google maps along Painter Run Road. We found a woman who had just moved into a home and amidst all her chaos she took the time to chat and concluded by agreeing to put a sign in her lawn. The next house was a woman who told us about her job as a medical equipment provider; how she got a call on New Year’s Eve to drive to Green County to deliver a life saving device. The husband hugged her and cried in gratitude of her service and it was the best New Year’s Eve she ever had. We gave her an absentee ballot since she did not know if she would get a call on Election Day and a sign for her lawn. At another home, I flagged down a vehicle preparing to leave the drive way. As soon as the mother heard me say I was canvassing for Conor Lamb, She leapt out of her car and jubilantly proclaimed the entire end of her street was Conor Lamb country.

There were also the houses were no one was home, the address where there was no home, or the “No, I am not voting for him” response house. There was the man that claimed, “No, Christine is not here!” then adamantly, “I’m not lying”

I got to know a little about Paul during the day. He is retired engineer and his daughter moved to the area, then he and his wife move to be close to the grandchildren.

What I found by knocking on doors was look for the similarities. These are my earth neighbors. They are doing the best they can. When I feel disconnected to people to the pulse of the present agenda that is the time to pull them close not push them away. I know we can do better.

 

Putting Our Stamp on the Future

Deb Allen

At a recent USC Democratic Committee meeting, Darcy Battisti, Terry Aikin, and I were discussing ways to assist with Conor Lamb’s campaign. We wanted to find a way to connect with our community on a personal level and to convey the importance of voting in the March 13th Special Election. We realized that due to safety concerns, some of our neighbors, especially seniors, might be leery about answering their phones or opening their doors to strangers. We also knew that some people were not connected via social media. Our solution was to use an “old fashioned” approach and to get the word out with postcards.

With the support of the USC Democratic Committee, we conducted two very successful postcard writing events. In addition to several USC Committee Members, over 40 volunteers gathered to work on the postcards. We were thrilled to have people from Whitehall, Bethel Park, Canonsburg, South Fayette, and Mt. Lebanon join us to write personal notes to our USC voters. Talk about a grassroots effort! During the two sessions, we completed 500 postcards. Additionally, during one session, someone from the campaign brought us about fifty more yard signs and numerous buttons. All were distributed quickly. We even had a few people stop by our tables and ask for buttons.

I consider the events to be very successful. The camaraderie was inspiring. It was a perfect way to make new friends, share ideas, and most importantly, get the word out about the upcoming election.

 

Defending Women’s Health

Jodi McClelland

Creating a safe forum for discussion was the inspiration for the new speaker series, Change, the discussion. A place for neighbors to share differing points of view and to learn the facts about complex cultural, social, and political issues. Wanting to satiate a hunger for education and truth in this culture of sound bites and misleading over simplifications, we hoped to create a safe forum to learn more from our neighbors and community experts. We hoped to create and exchange that educates and arms participants with a path to action.

This is the premise that launched the first lecture, Stand with Women, Attacks on Healthcare featuring Jessica Semler, Public Affairs Director, Planned Parenthood of Western PA. Ms. Semler discussed and emphasized the impact PPWP has on women in communities underserved by public health clinics and reliant on Medicare and Title X.

Ms. Semler demystified the term to "defund" Planned Parenthood (cutting Medicare funding to reimburse healthcare services, not including abortions) She explained the lesser known healthcare and public service PPWP provides with STD and HIV testing. She cited examples of public health crisis in communities unable to have access to Planned Parenthood Clinics therefore limiting access to affordable birth control, pap smears, health screenings, and safe abortions. Planned Parenthood is very often the primary healthcare provider for thousands of poverty level women.

In closing, Ms. Semler identified attacks taken by politicians to chip away at reproductive healthcare by cutting the Medicare & Title X coverage, implementing legislation to create undo burdens on healthcare providers that offer abortions, creating legislation that creates term limits on abortions, and interferes with a women's relationship with her physician.

We were reminded to support our state legislators that are supportive of a women's right to control their own bodies. Pennsylvania is not a "female friendly" state, rank 49th in representation. Pennsylvania residents enjoy very limited female representation and support for a woman's right to choose. We cannot rely solely on our supportive Governor, Tom Wolf to veto unfavorable legislation! Ms. Semler suggested supporters to donate to PPWP and their PAC, Pennsylvania Advocates, as well as make calls to your legislators, and more importantly VOTE!

Take Action

 

The Newly Redrawn 18th Congressional District

Steven Logan

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently released the Remedial United States Congressional District maps resulting from the gerrymandering suit brought by several groups, including Fair Districts PA. These maps only impact the United States House of Representative seats, and they do not influence the Pennsylvania House or Senate races. The new maps will be in effect for the 2018 Primary and General Election. They are being challenged in Federal Courts and the United States Supreme Court, so there is a chance the Remedial maps will not stand, but we should assume they will for planning the elections.

Upper St. Clair is still part of the very different 18th Congressional District. The 18th includes much of downtown Pittsburgh, south east Allegheny county, and Upper St. Clair. Mt Lebanon is not part of our district, as it is now part of the 14th. Our U.S. House Representative will be Mike Doyle, if he wins his election bid in both the Primary and General Election this November. If you are not familiar with Mr. Doyle, please take some time to review his website.

The new map does not affect the ongoing Special Election. When Conor Lamb wins the election, he will represent Upper St. Clair for the reminder of the year. It is critical that we do not lose sight of the immediate goal, flipping the seat on March 13th.

 

March Events

 

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