With all the snow it’s hard to believe that the primary election, held May 18, is just around the corner. But it’s time for UNITE to gear up and get going! Think petitioning! Think fundraising! Think voter engagement and mail ballots!
I’m sure UNITE members don’t be to be reminded how often our participation has made a difference. By electing underdogs Bethany Hallam and Olivia Bennett to County Council, we’ve seen significant reform at the county jail as well as the passage of an important ban on hairstyle discrimination. Thanks to our work, State Representatives Summer Lee and Sara Innamorato have secured re-election and this year are joined by UNITE endorsed challengers Jessica Benham and Emily Kinkead.
We are really changing the face and politics of the Allegheny County delegation in Harrisburg. And while UNITE’s candidate for DA, Lisa Middleman, did not prevail county-wide, our work in that election helped to amplify an urgent conversation about criminal “justice,” and engaged enough voters to allow Middleman to win in the city of Pittsburgh despite the difficulties of running as an Independent.
Bottom line? We’re really moving the needle. But of course we’ve got more to do. UNITE members who are ready to hit the gas in 2021 are doing these three things:
1. Get educated! Start the 2021 electoral season with a Zoom session called “What’s On the Ballot for UNITE!” Jake Pawlak, of UNITE’s election committee, will give us a tour of the offices that candidates are running for in May and help us to understand why these offices matter to UNITE. Ever wonder what EXACTLY happens in the Commonwealth Court? Now’s your chance to find out. Mark your calendar for Saturday, February 20 at 2:00 pm and register to attend.
2. Attend UNITE's endorsement meeting. On Tuesday, February 23, at 6:30 pm. we’ll talk about the impact UNITE wants to make this spring and bring forward a recommendation for races to focus on. Our criteria for choosing races and candidates, established at our first meeting two years ago, are importance of the race to our agenda, a clear contrast between candidates, the willingness of a candidate to co-govern with us, our ability to use the campaign to engage with marginalized voters and communities, and our own capacity to do real work and make a difference in the race. Register now for the UNITE Spring 2021 Endorsement Meeting. Remember that only members can vote at the endorsement meeting (you can join here)
3. Make sure we have the resources we need to do our work. If you’re a one time giver, move on up to sustainer! If you’re already a sustainer, bump it up a few bucks! We’ve got so much to do, and pitching in together is how we get it done.
Looking forward to seeing everyone soon,
The UNITE! Board