The Devor Report.
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Dear friends,

Despite the onslaught of difficult news these days, I believe there are many reasons to find hope - especially as we head towards Election Day this November 6th. Rates of voter engagement and interest are at record highs - from upticks in registration to increased volunteerism through door knocking, phone banking, and (yes!) even campaign related texting. So many of us recognize the significance of this election. And there are strong, progressive candidates worthy of our support. 

As a Democrat I am voting straight down the party line for candidates that best share my values around issues like gun control, full and fair funding for public schools, wage equality, and access to reproductive health. Given the broad readership of this newsletter, I have included links so you can easily find your local candidates.

I am also excited to report that after November 6, I will be focusing on my own election as I run for City Commissioner in May 2019. If given the privilege of being elected next May, I will work hard every day to increase voter turnout, protect voter rights, and ensure every Election Day runs smoothly. More details on this soon. 

Chances are if you subscribe to this email, you already have a voting plan prepared for November 6 - but with so much at stake, we all need to make sure our neighbors, friends and families do, too. To make this easy and fun, I worked with Committee of 70 (as a Buchholz Fellow) and MilkCrate to create a voter engagement tool called WeVote. Learn more about candidates, find polling places,  and report illegal activity on election day all in one place. Check out this app and share it with your community. 

Thanks for reading this. I hope that it helps you become an even more informed voter. Better Elections Start Now! 

Best/Jen Devor 


Tom Wolf, Governor
Term: 4 years 

What does the Governor do? 

  • Prepares state budgets and proposes legislation to the General Assembly.
  • Has the power to veto legislation (subject to the override of a two-thirds majority in each General Assembly chamber). 
  • Commands the State Police and the Pennsylvania National Guard, among other law enforcement duties. 
  • Grants pardons and cancels or postpones punishments of people convicted of crimes.

Why This Candidate Wins My Vote: 
As a Democratic Governor with a Republican-held House of Representatives, he has it tough in Harrisburg. I support Wolf because I want to keep Philadelphia blue, but this is a good reminder that our elected officials should represent we, the people, and we have every right to hold them accountable.
John Fetterman, Lt. Governor 
4 years
Salary: $157,765

What does the Lt. Governor do? 
  • Similar to the relationship between the Vice-President and the President of the United States, the primary responsibility of the Lieutenant Governor is to serve as Acting Governor should the elected Governor be unable to perform his or her duties.
  • Otherwise, the Lieutenant Governor's constitutional duty is to preside over the State Senate, where he or she can vote only in the event of a tie. 
  • As a member of the Executive branch, the Lieutenant Governor advises and assists the Governor in policy formation and administration, but each Lieutenant Governor's actual role depends upon the Governor.
  • Also has the discretion to pardon and cancels or postpones punishments of people convicted of crimes.

Why This Candidate Wins My Vote: 
I have been a fan of John Fetterman for a while now, since he became Mayor of Braddock and later when he ran for Governor. In a time where we are reevaluating drug laws, examining racial discrimination and - as Democrats - looking for new, innovative ideas, I think having John Fetterman serve in this office will result in a more accomplished and progressive Governor's Cabinet.

Bob Casey, US Senate
Salary: $174,000
Term: 6 Years 

What does a US Senator do? 

  • In concert with the House of Representatives, the Senate enacts laws, which the president may sign or veto - who knows! 
  • Senators also approve presidential appointments (including Supreme Court nominees).
  • Each state has two senators, who are elected for six-year terms in even-numbered years.

Why This Candidate Wins My Vote: 
In a world where activist group Tuesdays with Toomey exists, keeping Senator Casey in Washington is more important than ever. He's a Democrat that has spent two terms in the US Senate and has advocated for senior rights (specifically around medicare and the ABLE act) and affordable healthcare. The NRA hates him, and he's even been called out by Trump for supporting anti-gun laws. It's important to note that while he may not be the ideal democrat in all areas (his support for reproductive justice is iffy at times), his main opponent, Lou Barletta, is running on an "America First” platform.

Representatives in Congress

Salary: $174,000

Term: 2 years

Find your local candidate! 

  • Similar to the Senate, but  also very different...
  • The U.S. House of Representatives shares equal responsibility for lawmaking with the U.S. Senate but is organized differently with its own set of rules and procedures.
  • Members of Congress can implement gun control, immigration reform, and other wide-scale policies across the country based on the representation of their home state. 
  • Unlike the Senate, they don’t advise and consent on presidential appointees? 

Representative in the General Assembly (State Reps)

Salary: $85,338.65

Term: 2 Years

Find your local candidate!

What does the PA House of Representatives do? 

  • They create and pass the state budget which includes public education, healthcare, criminal justice reform, environmental services and more. 
  • State Reps also are responsible for constituent services, and are advocates for money to be spent in their specific districts, in addition to state-wide programs.
  • Currently, the Republicans have a 119-84 majority in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Twenty-six of the state’s 203 House districts are located (all or in part) in Philadelphia. 
  • Of the 23 districts that Democrats represent, incumbents are running unopposed in 16 while non-incumbent Democrats are running unopposed in three others. So run for state rep in 2020


Senator in the General Assembly (State Senators)

Salary: $87,180.27

Term: 2 years

Find your local candidate!

What do PA State Senators do? 

  • Identify new laws and introduce legislation to affecting education, campaign finance reform, pay and employment equality, and more.  
  • Have large constituent service operations, and work closely with State Reps. Do you want to mention that State Reps also do constituent services, above? And do you want to mention that State Senators are also responsible for the budget? 

Ballot Questions

Should the City of Philadelphia borrow ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY—ONE MILLION DOLLARS ($181,000,000.00) to be spent for and toward capital purposes as follows: Transit; Streets and Sanitation; Municipal Buildings; Parks, Recreation and Museums; and Economic and Community Development?

This question is asking if the City should borrow money to put towards a wide variety of capital improvements, including buildings, arts and cultural institutions, and more. The language is vague, but borrowing money at this level is fairly common practice for municipalities and I tend to vote yes to borrowing for these capital improvements. 

It is important to note that City Council would have authority, by ordinance, to change the intended allocation of these proceeds. Did you know they could do that?

I mention this because it is important to remember that when we're electing people, we're hiring them for a job, where we pay their salaries and should hold them accountable. We must understand the values of the people we choose to represent us and pay attention to every policy and vote. This is something important to keep in mind for next year when all City Council seats are up for re-election.

Thank you for your commitment to voting and to better elections!
Special thanks to Alli, Kirstin, Michelle, and Tivoni for helping with this newsletter.
Copyright © 2018 The Devor Report, All rights reserved.

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