Recognition for Gerrymandering Case Victory
 
Law Center and Arnold & Porter attorneys after the redistricting trial
In the coming months , Common Cause Pennsylvania and the Keystone Research Center will honor  our work securing a fair and constitutional congressional district map for the state of PennsylvaniaWe are honored to be recognized along with our petitioners: the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and 18 voters from each of the old congressional districts.

We will receive the Democracy Defender Award from Common Cause Pennsylvania during its  Democracy Works Summit  on Monday, May 21 and Tuesday, May 22 in Philadelphia. We  will also be recognized at the Keystone Research Center's Annual Awards Reception on June 7th in Harrisburg. 
 
 

Save the Date: Celebrate Our Victory at La Cabra on May 30
 
Photo from La Cabra Brewing.
Looking for a fun way to celebrate our recent gerrymandering victory and support our work? Learn more about the case, as well as our school funding efforts, on Wednesday, May 30 at La Cabra Brewing in Berwyn. Meet and mingle during a cocktail reception with our attorneys and learn, from the source, how we we're working to change Pennsylvania for the better, from the classroom to the voting booth. Tickets are $50 and include drinks and hors d'oeuvres! We hope you'll join us!

 
Spreading Garden Justice
 
Our threatened gardens CLE
This month, our Garden Justice Legal Initiative (GJLI) broadened our impact in Philadelphia with a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program and a legal clinic. At the CLE, we trained over two dozen attorneys on the legal tactics and strategies involved in the representation and protection of threatened gardens. Next, we held a legal clinic, where several community growers had their questions answered, giving them additional tools to protect the land they steward.

We developed this training to build our capacity in response to the continued threats gardens face in light of the city's, particularly the Land Bank's, failure to meet its commitment to protect these community spaces and resources. These efforts were also featured in the press several times this month, including two articles in the Philadelphia Inquirer and a piece in PlanPhilly.
 
 
Sen. Scarnati Ordered to Pay Attorney Fees in Gerrymandering Case

PA_s new congressional district map
PA's new congressional district map

On April 13, U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson ordered Pennsylvania State Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati to pay us and our pro bono partners at Arnold & Porter more than $29,000 in attorneys' fees and costs. We moved for these fees and costs as compensation for our work replying to Senator Scarnati's attempt to derail the trial in Pennsylvania state court by removing the case to federal court last November. Senator Scarnati withdrew the removal 30 minutes before a scheduled hearing because he had failed to obtain the consent of one of his co-defendants, Speaker of the House Michael Turzai. Our legal director Mimi McKenzie called the removal "frivolous."  In his memorandum , Judge Baylson praised our efforts, noting that our attorneys are "renowned for taking on difficult cases and achieving excellent results for their clients."

 
Bring Our School Funding Expertise to Your Community
 
Speaking for school funding
Pennsylvania has the widest gap in school funding between wealthy and poor districts in the entire country. The state's share of school funding is also one of the lowest in the nation, leaving local districts to rely on increasingly burdensome property tax rates, which are highest in some of our poorest communities. Students across the commonwealth are left without basic resources like text books and technology. How did we get here? What can we do to secure a fairer and more equitable school funding system in Pennsylvania? Our attorneys can answer these questions and more in our presentations about the history of school funding in Pennsylvania and our ongoing school funding lawsuit. If your community, parent group, organization, or association is interested in learning more, contact Dan Urevick-Ackelsberg at dackelsberg@pubintlaw.org to schedule a presentation. Dan will travel!



Take Action: Join Us to Oppose Medicaid Work Requirements

Work requirements are cuts in disguise. Credit: PHAN

On April 17, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a bill that would require Medicaid recipients to document whether they are employed in order to receive benefits. The bill, HB 2138, will soon be considered in the Senate. We are part of a coalition opposed to this bill and other additional work requirements for public assistance.  Research shows that work requirements cause people to lose health coverage that they need, often because of mistakes in navigating the new bureaucracy that these requirements create. In addition, most Medicaid recipients who can work, already do. Locking people out of health care coverage if they are unable to find work, as this bill does, will only create more barriers to employment as low-income Pennsylvanians let health conditions go untreated. We urge you to contact your state senator and let them know that Pennsylvania doesn't want new restrictions on access to health care.




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