At a Friday morning press conference in City Hall, Crowdpac, Young Involved Philadelphia, Influencing Action Movement and Unity in the Community launched a “Voter Education Week” effort designed to, among other things, boost turnout numbers for the May 19 primary and beyond.
Elizabeth Jaff, political director with Crowdpac, also shared details about the political-technology startup’s site which “uses data to show users where politicians stand on the issues based on what they say, how they vote and who gives them money.”
Said Felicia D. Harris of Infuencing Action Movement at the press conference held in the City Council Caucus room, “Today we stand before you to work on a problem: Voter apathy in Philadelphia. … Every vote is a voice and every voice deserves to be heard.”
To that end, the group will set out to connect voters with information about candidates and with one another, said YIP’s Nick Marzano.
While even a 30 percent turnout among an estimated 300,000 millennial voters could sway the election, he said the effort doesn’t aim to do that. Rather, it’s about fomenting an energy and voter-turnout effort that “hopefully one day is as commonplace as Philly Spring Cleanup” efforts.
“Our aim is not to come in and tell you who to vote for, but to make sure you have information on all candidates,” said Jaff of the non-partisan site. “We’re not supposed to tell you how to vote, and we never will.”
Crowdpac.com has information on everyone running in the 2015 Philadelphia elections, as well as the four ballot questions voters will be asked to answer. Site visitors can create a sample ballot to print out and bring to the polls.
The site also features interactive charts that show flow of money from influential donors to the candidates. This note of caution: Those charts include all reported donations from the beginning 2012 through the most recent filing deadlines in 2015, which does not offer a clear picture of spending in the current year’s races.
Among the events on the group’s calendar, in addition to volunteer field-training sessions and phone banks, are:
— NAACP Millennials Town Hall Meeting (5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Impact Hub, 1227 N. 4th St.)
— Unity in the Community’s Meet the Candidates Social (6-9 p.m. Thursday at 22nd Street Cafe, 1262 S. 22nd St.)
— YIP’s “Get Out BEFORE the Vote Canvass” (11 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 16 starting at Café Cret 110 N. 16th St.)
A full list of the #missingvotePHL events can be found via this link. or by texting “IAMvoting” to 55469.
According to organizers, those who join the campaign can “get info on all candidates, create your own ballot, find your polling place, take an Election Day poll, receive Election Day reminders and access Voter Education Week events.”
NewsWorks/WHYY’s Katie Colaneri contributed reporting.