Groups in Philadelphia sponsoring major get out the vote effort
The American Federation of Teachers and Unite Here unions are part of a national get out the vote effort which claims to have influenced many Philadelphians.
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The final election day push is underway to bring out voters in the region.
More than 200 people who are knocking on doors to try and influence voters gathered at FDR Park in South Philadelphia to prepare their final effort to influence the turnout on Election Day next week. The group included members of Unite Here Philly’s Workers to the Front canvas team and the American Federation of Teachers.
Among them was Shantel Woodberry, who said after knocking on more than 10,000 doors since the summer, she thinks there are still people unaware of the importance of the election in Pennsylvania.
“We just speak the truth when we talk to them and it opens up conversations for people to be like, ‘Well, what about this and what about that?’ And we can tell them honestly,” Woodberry said. “I feel like it’s going to make people that didn’t think they would want to come out to vote, to come out and vote.”
Woodberry said the people she has been speaking with appreciate her efforts to educate and enlighten them about the candidates.
“You’d be surprised how many people don’t know how important it is, but also you’d be surprised how many people are so informed of what is going on and how these candidates can help and change their lives,” she said. “So a lot of the feedback is, ‘I’m glad you’re out here talking to us.’ Parts of the city don’t even have people come to them and knock on doors and speak to them. So it actually makes them feel good that people care about their community.”
David Hogg, a gun control activist who survived the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, joined the group in South Philly Friday morning. He said this is a critical election for the future of the country, especially when it comes to curbing gun violence.
“We can’t just address how somebody gets a gun. We have to address why they pick it up in the first place,” he said.
Jerry Jordan heads up the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, the union representing teachers in the city’s public schools. He told those at the rally their work is important and needs to be done.
“Ours is the struggle of a lifetime and maybe even many lifetimes. And each one of us in every generation must do our part,” Jordan said.
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