Tuesdays With Toomey "Town Hall"
Start: February 21, 2017•12:00 PM
Because Senator Toomey has not responded to his constituents' repeated requests to come to Pittsburgh to hold an in-person town hall, we will hold one for him to show him how it's done! This week's Tuesdays With Toomey will be in a town hall format with our speakers answering questions about protecting the First Amendment rights of all Americans that Senator Toomey seems to be unable to answer for us. GOAL: We need Senator Toomey speak up against the onslaught of Trump’s unconstitutional executive orders and defend our First Amendment rights. We are also calling on our Senator to hold a town hall with his constituents and engage with us about these concerns. BRING: A letter about what your First Amendment rights mean to you and inviting Senator Toomey to a real town hall with real Pennsylvanians. Please include your name, address and zip code in your letter and do NOT place it in an envelope. Letters placed in envelopes must be tested for anthrax. NOTE: If you cannot make this event and would like to express your views to Senator Toomey, please sign our petition at https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/uphold-and-defend-our-first-amended-rights/manage. We will print out this petition and the signatures and deliver it to Senator Toomey on Tuesday. BACKGROUND: The first month of the Trump administration has been a full-on assault on our constitutional rights. The First Amendment protects our freedom of (religion, etc.). It also guarantees our right to petition the government and join with our fellow citizens in protest. We have a constitutional promise that the government cannot favor one religion over another, yet Trump’s executive order on immigration targets Muslim countries and prioritizes non-Muslims from the same regions. We have seen a short-term victory against the ban from the court system, but now is the time for our Senator to do his part by speaking up and defend our right to religious freedom. Now, Trump’s executive order on “preventing violence against law enforcement officers” is a thinly veiled attempt to criminalize protest and dissent. The right to petition our government and join with fellow citizens in protest or peaceful assembly is critical to a functioning democracy. When Trump ran as the “law and order” candidate, he followed in a long line of politicians who cared little for law, but wanted any excuse to punish dissent. The phrase has been invoked to condemn striking autoworkers in Flint in the 30s, and against the peaceful demonstrations of Martin Luther King in the 60s. While this order can target anyone who protests, marginalized communities in particular will see an acceleration of repression. People of color in America already face disproportionate police violence and mass incarceration. We all saw the excessive, violent force used against indigenous people at Standing Rock, the many deaths of black men and women at the hands of the police, and the crack downs in immigrant communities by ICE. Trump’s executive order ignores the reality of a criminal justice system that needs reform, not more unchecked power. Instead of defending our right to petition and assemble, Senator Toomey has played into Trump’s anti-democratic crusade. Senator Toomey has attempted to characterize those who disagree with his support for the Trump agenda as outside agitators and paid protestors, yet he refuses to engage with his the real concerns of real Pennsylvanians. Join us in calling on Senator Toomey to speak out against Trump’s executive orders, and defend our rights to religious freedom and our right to join with our fellow citizens to petition our government.