Want to have a Watch Party for the AFSCME Presidential Debate

Want to have a Watch Party for the AFSCME Presidential Debate

Public service workers in Philadelphia, PA and across the country submitted questions for 2020
presidential candidates. Now, on Saturday, August 3, we want to know if you want to gather to hear candidates’ responses at a local watch party of the Public Service Forum hosted by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and moderated by HuffPost.
Eighteen presidential candidates are expected, including former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Cory
Booker, Gov. Steve Bullock, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, Mayor Bill de
Blasio, former Rep. John Delaney, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Sen. Kamala Harris, Gov. Jay Inslee, Sen. Amy
Klobuchar, Rep. Seth Moulton, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Rep. Tim Ryan, Sen. Bernie Sanders, business
leader and philanthropist Tom Steyer, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and author Marianne Williamson.
This forum will give candidates the opportunity to speak directly with America’s public service workers
who will make their voices heard in this election. As they dedicate their lives to making our communities
stronger, safer and healthier, they have a unique perspective into solving the problems Americans face
every day.

So, how about attending or sponsoring a watch party at noon on August 3 for this event.

Call DC 47 VP Ethelind Baylor at 215-893-3761 for more information.

Countdown to Possible Shutdown

Countdown to Possible Shutdown

On January 25th Congress passed and the President signed a bill to end the government shutdown through February 15, giving Congress three more weeks to reach a deal on border security.  Bipartisan congressional opposition to the President’s demand for a physical border wall remains constant. Yet, despite signs of bipartisan progress in House and Senate negotiations on viable alternatives, President Trump has deemed these talks “a waste of time.”   

As a possible  alternative to a shutdown, the President now suggests the most extreme and constitutionally dubious step of declaring a “national emergency” at the southern border, allowing him to bypass the need for congressional approval to reallocate funds for his wall.  This unprecedented approach also faces strong congressional opposition, as well as serious legal challenges.  There is little doubt that a new government shutdown within the next two weeks remains a very real and serious threat.

Working with the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), we have launched a new countdown website called www.shutdownticker.com where members and the public can contact members of Congress and tell them they do not want another government shutdown. I encourage you to share this website with your members, as well as the sharable social media graphics on the site.

If you have any questions about the potential shutdown, please do not hesitate to contact Scott Frey at sfrey@afscme.org. If you have questions about the website or social media campaign, please contact Blaine Rummel at brummel@afscme.org.

Lee A. Saunders, President, AFSCME

PA Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Bill

State Senator John DiSanto will soon reintroduce SB113, legislation to strengthen the Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act to require the forfeiture of pension benefits for public employees that are convicted or plead guilty or no contest to any job-related felony offense. 

This legislation closes a loophole that allowed convicted former state Sen. Robert Mellow to have his $245,000 a year pension restored despite a guilty plea and serving prison time on federal conspiracy charges–which currently is regarded as a non-pension forfeiture crime. This is just one of many examples of public officials betraying the citizens and forcing taxpayers to pick up the tab.