GENERAL MEETING MINUTES
Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 7-8:30pm
Kelly Morton opened the meeting at 6:58 and provided an update on Ward activities:
- Ben Block issued a newsletter to committee people with updates on committee activities.
- Kim Washington organized a voter registration cook out at the Courtyard and registered 50 new voters.
- The Speakers series on Education netted over $3000 for the Ward. Thanks to Sara Jennings and the Fundraising Committee for organizing this event.
Minutes from the September 12th were accepted. It was also agreed that members will review electronic copies of the minutes prior to the meeting to reduce the need for printed copies at the meeting.
Community Building Activity
Honey Polis facilitated a community building exercise where members gathered in small groups to discuss the question: What is your greatest fear if we do not turn out the vote in November?
Summary of concerns:
- Republican control of the Governor’s office and US Senate will negatively impact us in multiple ways by attacking and defunding the following programs:
- Healthcare including Medicaid, Medicare, prescription plans.
- Education especially our public schools and continued attacks on teachers.
- Women’s rights including reproduction issues.
- Environmental programs
- Energy assistance
- Losing democracy as we know it:
- Personal freedoms
- Freedom of the press
- Lack of moral leadership
- Voter disenchantment leading to our fellow citizens leaving the political process
- The 2nd Ward Dems lose credibility as a GOTV force.
Election Day Training
Amanda Feifer O’Brien explained the roles of the divisional Election Board members (Judge of Elections, Majority Inspector, Minority Inspector, Clerk, Machine Inspector, and Interpreter) and stressed that committee people must work with the Judge of Elections to be sure the polling place is fully staffed. In the event of a vacancy, a replacement can be appointed five days before the election. On the day of the election, the Board of Elections can vote to install a member to fill any vacancy prior to the opening of the polls via “curbside election.”
Interpreters may be needed and Spanish interpreters are legally required if needed. Other languages are not legally required and interpreters are harder to find. There is also and language line but it is not always helpful.
Election Board training is available either in person (dates listed in handout) or by reading the Election Board Guide. This training is run by the city and intended for the Election Board; committee people can attend at their own discretion if they would like to know more about polling place procedures.
- Mon 10/29 – Northeast High School (1601 Cottman Ave): 4pm, 5pm, 6pm
- Tues 10/30 – United Lutheran Seminary (7301 Germantown Ave): 4pm, 5pm, 6pm
- Thur 11/1 – West Philadelphia HS (4901 Chestnut St): 4pm, 5pm, 6pm
- Sat 11/3 – South Philadelphia HS (2101 S Broad St): 9am, 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm
- Sat 11/3 – Mariana Bracetti Academy (1840 Torresdale Ave: 9am, 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm
- Sun 11/4 – Voter Registration Office (520 N Columbus Blvd): 9am, 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm
You can also consult the official Election Board training materials from the City Commissioners Office at https://www.philadelphiavotes.com/en/election-board-officials/training-materials.
Honey Polis explained that committee people should support the poll staff by providing food. The Ward leadership will provide further guidance on how we will do this as a Ward (ie — whether the Ward will purchase food and distribute to all polling places or distribute money to each committee person to purchase for their own Division).
Kim Washington shared information about her experience as a Judge of Elections on past elections including the importance of committee people periodically checking the voter sign-in book in order to inform and better target their Election Day GOTV efforts.
Amanda will send out an Election Day ‘cheat sheet’ with more information about potential issues, how to handle them, and who to call. There will be a more comprehensive training session scheduled before Election Day on Thursday, Nov 1 at 7pm (location TBD) at which we will also review how to obtain a Poll Watcher’s certificate, which allows us to review the voter sign-in books throughout the day. It is important to attend this meeting to be fully prepared for Nov 6.
If you know of vacancies or other polling place issues in your Division and have not yet spoken to Amanda about it, contact her ASAP.
- Lizzie Rothwell is researching childcare arrangements for Election Day (public schools are not in session). Please contact her if you have need of this.
- Dermot Delude-Dix is participating in a Unite Here rally with Governor Wolf at the Marriott on 13th & Filbert to support the rights of Marriott employees to unionize. Please come out and support it on Friday at 4:30pm.
- Julia Tackett is assisting her neighbors on the 700 block of Latona who are opposing a 10-unit, 4-story townhouse development that has recently acquired a zoning permit despite letter of opposition from PSCA and Councilman Squilla. She is accepting donations for legal representation.
- Will Gross is organizing an rally/fundraiser on Friday, Nov 2 (7-9pm) at Ox Coffee to GOTV. There will be speakers and music as well as refreshments. Please mark your calendars and let Will know if you can help to organize.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:30pm.