Penn Walk and Penn Park Allied Barton security officers have begun their third round of contract negotiations with the University of Pennsylvania after they overwhelmingly voted to join Racial and Economic Fund grantee Philadelphia Security Officers Union last spring. The vote was 72-2 in favor of joining the union. PSOU is a small, local, independent union formed in 2009 by workers at the Philadelphia Art Museum.
One Percent Fund grantee Decarcerate PA entered a town hall held by Governor Corbett at the Art Museum in September while groups such as Racial and Economic Justice Fund ACT UP rallied outside. Their shouts against Governor Corbett’s defunding of education and his allocation of $685 million for new prisons disrupted the proceedings to such an extent that the event ended 90 minutes early.
Racial and Economic Justice Fund grantee Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower and Rebuild (POWER) launched its “Let My People Vote” campaign in September with a rally in front of City Hall. The group also aimed for 100% voter registration among POWER’s 37 member institutions. In the wake of organizing like this from many Bread & Roses grantees and other groups, a PA judge decided that the law would not go into effect for the November election.
Racial and Economic Fund grantee JUNTOS held a truth commission on anti-Latino racism in Norristown. Attended by 100 people, the group’s members demanded justice for eight incidents of racism ranging from racial profiling to harassment. Among other requests, JUNTOS leaders asked the police department to hire more Latinos. Norristown officials in attendance promised to respond to all the group’s demands at an upcoming meeting.