Reclaim Philadelphia at Netroots! A Recap
This week Philadelphia hosted the Netroots Nation conference, a national gathering of progressives in pursuit of networking, collaboration, and inspiration from grassroots movements. The Reclaim crew made our presence known, participating in several sessions and shaking things up with a direct action, alongside allies Coalition to Abolish Death By Incarceration, that targeted Attorney General Josh Shapiro. Highlights are below:
Philly in Charge: How Community Coalitions are Transforming Power Here and Nationwide
On Thursday morning, Rick Krajewski, our lead Mass Liberation Organizer, was on a panel alongside our allies (and officemates!), Bryan Mercer, Hannah Sassaman, Arielle Klagsbrun, and Kendra Brooks, who are with Media Mobilizing Project, 215 People's Alliance, and the Our City Our Schools Coalition, to discuss how coalition organizing has taken Philly to the next level, and the unique challenges we've faced in doing it.
Save Hahnemann Hospital!
Later that day there was a huge rally outside Hahnemann Hospital, which is currently in danger of shutting down at the end of summer. We joined the crowd in demanding that patients be put before profits and heard Councilpeople Helen Gym, Derek Green, Cindy Bass, and Bobby Henon speak about the important of keeping Hahnemann open, given its position as a safety-net hospital serving vulnerable people who need immediate care.
Amanda McIllmurray, Reclaim’s Political Director, and Sergio Cea, and organizer with Reclaim, co-facilitated a breakout session, along with councilwoman Helen Gym, that focused on takeaways from the May primary election results and what to look forward to in the fall and beyond. Reflections included how to be more effective in grassroots doorknocking programs, running more candidates in more districts, and targeting Republican held seats.
Josh Shapiro: Yes or No!
On Friday, Reclaim alongside Coalition to Abolish Death By Incarceration (CADBI), disrupted a panel about progressive Attorney Generals that included Josh Shapiro, the AG of Pennsylvania. The PA Legislature just passed a controversial law targeting Philadelphia and District Attorney Larry Krasner. This law gives the Attorney General massive power to overrule decisions made by the DA’s office regarding gun-related offenses. This was done without any input from community organizations or other stakeholders in our city, and was a disgraceful move made by the State House to block our agenda of ending mass incarceration. As a result of the action, Shapiro committed to not using the law and to support efforts to repeal it.
Prison Organizing Led By the Directly Impacted
Our Dignity Act Campaign organizer, Madusa Carter, sat on a panel alongside Saleem Holbrook and Lorraine “Ms. Dee Dee” Haw, discussing the importance of directly impacted people leading in criminal justice reform movements.
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