With only days to go until Election Day, get-out-the-vote efforts in Philadelphia were everywhere this weekend.
“This is just our last opportunity to encourage people, support people, inspire people to have their voice heard,” Lauren Kahn, co-founder of Cycle to Vote, who was doing outreach on Sunday.
On Sunday, Kahn and a group of 15 cyclists planned to ride 11 miles across the city. They started at LOVE Park, where they got into their GOTV shirts, and were slated to ride through North, West and South Philly neighborhoods.
There’s a lot of GOTV activity in philly today. This group of 15 is cycling 11 miles around the city, including west and south philly, to remind people to vote pic.twitter.com/bx7OyWKCtb
— Ximena Conde (@RadioXimena) November 1, 2020
She and Chuck Matthews, the other co-founder, met by chance while biking in June. While talking on Lincoln Drive, Matthews and Kahn realized they wanted to harness the new wave of activism inspired by the fallout from COVID-19 and George Floyd’s fatal shooting at the hands of police.
The pair have been cycling around the city since, answering questions about voter registration and requests for mail ballots.
More than 90% of eligible Philadelphians have registered to vote this year, a 35-year record high. Kahn and Matthews say that’s worth celebrating, but the work isn’t done until those who registered cast their ballots.
According to Kahn, the group of cyclists has distributed more than 200 GOTV shirts and 2,500 buttons with a focus on “people who have had barriers to voting or needed some extra help or Black and brown communities where the vote has been suppressed.”
Similarly, the Fletcher Street Urban Riding club, also known as the urban cowboys, planned to ride from their stables in Strawberry Mansion to West Philly.
“It’s important that everybody gets out and votes no matter who you’re voting for, just to get a sense of where we are [as a country],” said Matthews.