ADA Civil Rights Commemoration Event
On July 27th, ADA Commemorates the 1948 Civil Rights Plank with U.S. Representative John Lewis (GA)
This free event commemorates the adoption of a strong civil rights plank at the 1948 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. U.S. Representative John Lewis, former President of ADA, will discuss the relevancy of the 1948 plank to contemporary civil rights issues.
1948 marked the last occasion when the Democratic National Convention was held in Philadelphia. ADA had been founded 18 months before and the Philadelphia Chapter was among the first and strongest organized. It is with pride that we look back at the important role our local leaders played in persuading the young Hubert Humphrey, an ADA member, to introduce a strong civil rights plank at the convention. As the Democratic Party again holds its convention in our city, it is fitting that we come together to highlight our past success and discuss how we might, working together, have success in the future.
Host Committee: Thomas Paine Cronin, W. Wilson Goode, Sr., William J. Green, III, Henry Nicholas, Michael Nutter, Edward Rendell, John Street, Shelly Yanoff.
2016 Pennsylvania Primary Endorsements & Recommendations
Monday, April 4th, the Board of Americans for Democratic Action, Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter, made its endorsements in the April 26th Pennsylvania Democratic Primary. ADA did not endorse in races in which the Democratic candidate has no primary opposition. ADA is a nonpartisan organization and sometimes endorses in Republican primary elections, however, there are no Republican primary elections in which ADA has an interest. You may view all questionnaires submitted by candidates here.
Pennsylvania Attorney General: Josh Shapiro
U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania: Joe Sestak
U.S. Congress, 2nd Pennsylvania District: Dwight Evans
U.S. Congress, 7th Pennsylvania District: Mary Ellen Balchunis
Pennsylvania State Senate, 1st District: Lawrence Farnese
Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 182nd District: Brian Sims
Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 183rd District: Phillips Armstrong, Sr.
Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 190th District: Movita Johnson-Harrell
Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 200th District: Christopher Rabb
Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 202th District: Jared Solomon
Ballot Question Recommendations
On postcards mailed to our members, we apologize for omitting the statewide ballot question to amend the mandatory judicial retirement age.
ADA recommends a “NO” vote
On the Proposed Pennsylvania Constitutional Amendment, Abolition of the Philadelphia Traffic Court
Democratic Primary Candidate Forum
2nd Congressional District
Candidates: Dwight Evans, Chaka Fattah (incumbent), Brian Gordon, Dan Muroff James Jones
Moderator: Holly Otterbein
Thursday, March 10th 7 pm (doors open at 6:15 pm)
William Way Community Center
1315 Spruce Street, Philadelphia
Open to the public
Co-Sponsors: Neighborhood Networks, Philadelphia Jobs with Justice, Philadelphia NOW, Philly for Change
Press Release from the United Nations Association of Greater Philadelphia
Global Refugee Crisis, Philadelphia’s Response
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania-December 1, 2015. On December 10th, 2015, the United Nations Association of Greater Philadelphia (UNAGP), will host* a discussion on the Global Refugee Crisis, Philadelphia’s Response. The keynote speaker will be Jana Mason, Senior Advisor for External Relations and Government Affairs at the United Nation’s Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The program will be from 6 to 8:30 pm at The Ethical Society of Philadelphia, 1906 Rittenhouse Square.
Also, from 5 to 5:45 PM there will be an Interfaith Prayer Vigil in support of refugees in Rittenhouse Square sponsored by the Interfaith Peace Walk, Grannies for Peace and New Sanctuary Movement.
According to UNHCR, there are nearly 11.7 million refugees in the world today including more than 4 million from Syria. This does not include over 1 million asylum seekers and 24 million persons displaced in their own countries. This ongoing humanitarian crisis, the largest since World War II, has now been complicated by recent terrorist attacks and varying responses by politicians. The Program on December 10 will focus on these issues and ways Philadelphia can be part of the humanitarian response to it.
Ms. Mason will be joined on the panel by two local experts: Carrie Fox-Kline, Director of Refugee Programming and Planning, HIAS-Pennsylvania and Juliane Ramic, Senior Director for Refugee and Community Integration, Nationalities Services Center.
UNAGP annually celebrates Human Rights Day on December 10. It recognizes the importance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and honors the tremendous leadership of Eleanor Roosevelt in gaining its approval by the United Nations in 1948.
*This event is co-sponsored by Amnesty International-Philadelphia, Middle East Center-University of Pennsylvania, HIAS-Pennsylvania, Nationalities Services Center, New Sanctuary Movement, Africom Philly, Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians, Brandywine Peace Community, PA Immigration and Citizenship Coalition and The Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia.
Letter in Support of NOW Petition to remove Three Asst. District Attorneys
December 1, 2015
To Whom it May Concern,
Americans for Democratic Action of Southeastern PA joins the Philadelphia chapter of the National Organization for Women, all the City Councilwomen of Philadelphia, and many progressive civic organizations in demanding the ouster of Assistant District Attorneys Patrick Blessington, Marc Costanzo, and Frank Fina.
While employed by the state and before they were hired by the Philadelphia District Attorney, Blessington, Costanzo, and Fina exchanged e-mails — racist, misogynistic, and homophobic – among themselves and others, including judges. By engaging in this activity, they manifested contempt for well over half the citizens they were appointed to serve impartially.
We believe it is clear that they should not continue to serve citizens they hold in such disdain. Their conduct in sending these e-mails has brought the entire criminal justice system into question, and raises concern about their judgment in all aspects of their work. Can African Americans, members of the LGBT community, and women, whether they are victims or possible criminal actors, feel secure that their matters will be investigated fairly and impartially? We think not.
The criminal justice system must be above reproach. The public must have absolute assurance that the system acts with probity and integrity.
District Attorney Seth Williams was elected to serve all of the people. He has the power, and the responsibility, to mitigate this problem. He should immediately demand the resignations of Fina, Costanzo and Blessington.
Very truly yours,
Glenavie Norton, Chair
Americans for Democratic Action of Southeastern PA
Please Join ADA in signing this petition.
“The Women of City Council of Philadelphia have stood with Phila-NOW to express solidarity and join us in denouncing the dissemination of the misogynistic, racist and homophobic emails by prosecutors and have unequivocally demanded the removal of these three prosecutors from the Philadelphia DA’s Office. State Senator Anthony H. Williams also convened community leaders to express outrage regarding the compromised judicial system in Pennsylvania, and is asking for a special Prosecutor to be appointed by the Attorney General. He is encouraging everyone to sign the Philadelphia NOW petition. We ask all of you to sign our petition to remove Assistant DA’s: Frank Fina, Marc Costanzo & Patrick Blessington from the DA’s office so we can restore public trust in that office.”
Congratulations to ADA Board Members on Kenney Transition Team Positions
Congratulations to board members Pedro Rodriguez, Andy Toy, and Marwan Kreidie for being named to Mayor Jim Kenney’s transition team.
Marwan Kreidie as Co-Chair of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs.
Pedro Rodriguez as Co-Chair of City Administrative Services.
Andy Toy part of Commerce and Economic Development.
Candidate Recommendations for November 3, 2015 General Election
Your vote for all three Democratic Supreme Court candidates is vital for school funding, voter rights, redistricting, prison/sentencing reform, & other issues critical to the future of PA.
#101 David Wecht
#102 Kevin Dougherty
#103 Christine Donohue
PA Superior Court:
#104 Alice Dubrow
PA Commonwealth Court:
#105 Michael Wojcik
Common Pleas Court Phila:
#106 Kenneth Powell
#107 Kai Scott
#109 Abbe Fletman
#112 Rainy Papademetriou
#115 Chris Mallios
# 121 Jim Kenney
City Council At-Large:
#126 Derek Green
#129 William Greenlee
#130 Helen Gym
#426 Kristen Combs
#826 Andrew Stober
7th District City Council:
#131 Maria Quinones-Sanchez
ADA urges a “No” vote on Judge Dawn Segal.
Ballot Question #1:
ADA strongly supports LGBT rights, but believes this is a legislative/administrative action that does not belong in the Charter.
Ballot Question #2:
PHONE BANKS for Progressive Supreme Court Candidates David Wecht, Christine Donohue, Kevin Dougherty
Land Title Building
office of America Votes
100 S. Broad St., Ste. 701
- Monday, October 19, 6 to 8 pm
- Thursday, October 22, 6 to 8 pm
- Tuesday, October 27, 6 to 8 pm
- Sunday, November 1, 2 to 5 pm
Please bring your cellphones and your laptops.
We will provide training and light refreshments
Tell us if you cannot come but are willing to make calls from your home.
267 879-0208 (c)
215 235-3719 (h)
Merit Selection Bill in the House Needs Your Active Support
On June 15, 2015, Lynn Marks of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts (PMC) notified the ADA board that House Bill 1336, a constitutional amendment to select statewide appellate court judges through a merit selection process, was introduced in the house. This bill is sponsored by Representatives Bryan Cutler (R-Peachbottom) and Madeleine Dean (D- Montgomery).
These legislators, along with Reform Coalition partners and PMC/PMCAction executive director Lynn A. Marks, have worked tirelessly in Harrisburg and across Pennsylvania to garner support for this essential reform.
As an organization which has long supported merit selection and as a PMC Court Reform Coalition Partner, ADA strongly supports this effort.
Please take these steps to demonstrate your support:
For more information about the specifics of the bill click HERE.
For more information about why we need merit selection, check out the PMC blog Judges on Merit.
To follow the progress of the bill, use this link:
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Polls open 7 AM – 8PM
From the Chair
ADA believes that it is critical to elect the most qualified judges and have only considered candidates found “recommended” or “highly recommended” by the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Bar Associations. We want to make sure that those we endorse possess the integrity, knowledge, experience and temperament for serving as judges. We especially want to have the most qualified candidates possible to face off next fall for the 3 Supreme Court vacancies since electing Democrats to that court will be vital to future legislative redistricting.
In Philadelphia, we have endorsed Jim Kenney for Mayor. He has demonstrated his commitment on a wide range of concerns that ADA supports from welcoming immigrants, supporting universal pre-k, opposing school vouchers, decriminalizing marijuana, to approving gay marriage and raising the minimum wage. These positions reflect a strong track record in making Philadelphia a city that works for all its citizens, especially those historically disadvantaged who rely on public officials and public policy to level the playing field.
Although we found there were an unusual group of worthy candidates for city council at large, we have only endorsed four. We also recommend voting only for Carol Jenkins for City Commissioner.
We urge you to vote and please remind your friends and colleagues to do so as well.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court (vote 3):
- #1 Judges David Wecht
- #3 Kevin Dougherty
- #5 Anne E. Lazarus
Pennsylvania Superior Court (vote 1):
- #7 Judge Alice Beck Dubow
Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court (vote 1):
- #9 Judge Todd Eagen
Philadelphia Common Pleas Court (vote 12):
- #12 Ken Powell
- #18 Brian T. Ortelere
- #21 Jennifer Schultz
- #22 Rainy Papademetriou
- #23 Abbe Fletman
- #28 Leon A. King II
- #30 Anthony Kyriakakis
- #35 Stella Tsai
- #36 Kai Scott
- #42 Jodi Lobel
- #44 Betsy Wahl
- #46 Chris Mallios
- #51 Chris McCabe
Philadelphia Municipal Court (vote 3):
- #56 Joffie C. Pittman
- #57 Matthew Perks
- #63 Daniel R. Sulman
- #68 Jim Kenney
Philadelphia City Commissioner (vote 2):
- # 76 Carol Jenkins
Philadelphia City Council-at-Large (vote 5):
- #93 Sherrie Cohen
- #94 William K. Greenlee
- #95 Helen Gym
- #99 W. Wilson Goode, Jr.
Philadelphia City Council District 7:
- #101 Maria Quinones Sanchez
Philadelphia Charter Amendments:
- ADA made no recommendation because we believe these are legislative/administrative matters that do not belong in the Charter.
Philly ADA’s Supreme Court Forum
We at the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of Americans for Democratic Action welcome you to attend our upcoming mayoral forum at the The Friends Center located at 1515 Cherry Street on March 10th from 7 to 9 PM.
This event is free and open to the public; however, we politely request there be no solicitation of funds for political or campaign purposes.
We look forward to meeting you and the next mayor of Philadelphia.
Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) is one of the oldest liberal political organizations in the country, founded in 1947 by progressive leaders spearheaded by Eleanor Roosevelt and Hubert Humphrey.
From the drafting of the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter in 1951 to the movement to recall Mayor Frank Rizzo, the history of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of ADA is the history of progressive politics in the Philadelphia region. We continue as a leading local watchdog for Progressive Values, Good Government and the Advancement of Democracy.