About Make the Road Pennsylvania: Make the Road Pennsylvania (MRPA) builds power in Latinx, immigrant, and working-class communities of color. MRPA is member-led and driven, amplifying the voices of their constituency to advocate for racial equity and expand leadership opportunities. An organization with extraordinary vision, MRPA pursues groundbreaking electoral and organizing work, all while caring for everyone involved in order to sustain a long term movement.
Make the Road Pennsylvania activates its 10,000 members by organizing around issues that are most important to them, utilizing local Leadership Councils to guide priorities. It currently reaches 47,000 households in Reading, Philadelphia, and Allentown. MRPA employs a full-time core canvassing team of 7 trained community members who support base building and maintain community engagement during election and off years alike. In election years, they recruit and train many more canvassers from their communities. MRPA pays canvassers a living wage, including benefits for permanent staff.
In 2020 Make the Road Pennsylvania successfully made the unexpected leap to digital organizing and achieved 3.5 million contacts with voters across 66 (of 67) counties in Pennsylvania via call and text. Digital ad campaigns had an additional reach of 122,000 voters statewide. Of those engaged by MRPA, 80% turned out to vote in 2020.
A large focus in 2020 was lobbying in favor of Act 77, a crucial piece of voting rights legislation. Act 77 expanded vote by mail, ensured no excuse absentee voting, allocated 90 million dollars for voting machines and eliminated straight ticket party voting. MRPA successfully lobbied three legislators representing its communities to vote in favor of this essential advancement of voting rights statewide
2022 Action Plan:
In 2022, top priorities of MRPA’s membership are housing, immigration, and climate. Organizing around these high priority matters generates incentive for members to vote in the midterms and excitement around policy solutions. Essential races in Pennsylvania this year include a U.S. Senate seat, competitive U.S. House races, Governor, and state house races which could flip the state legislature.
MRPA plans to register 9,000 voters and engage deeply with each new registrant to ensure they are informed on election processes and new vote-by-mail legislation. Over the course of the year, up to 120 paid canvassers will knock on 550,000 doors and engage with voters who are not targeted by traditional get-out-the-vote efforts.
MRPA aims to expand its operations into a fourth region, Hazleton, PA, with a large voter registration push and canvassing to build the region's base and organize voters.
Flip the Vote’s Support Means:
With an influx of donations from Flip the Vote’s community, MRPA will be able to hire a Field Director and keep up to 120 full-time canvassers on staff between the primary and general elections. These canvassers will register voters and get out the vote in the midterm, testing messaging to persuade and mobilize voters. Money directed to MRPA will be invested in engaging low-frequency voters whom we need to vote for Democratic candidates up and down the ballot. MRPA will also test persuasion approaches directed at voters who may be susceptible to Republican messaging to ensure the highest Democratic turnout in critical swing districts.