About One PA: One Pennsylvania (One PA) is a multiracial statewide grassroots community organization that shifts the balance of power through providing political education, lifting up community voices, and building high-impact campaigns with partner organizations. To create a permanent progressive majority, One PA centers underinvested voters in Philadelphia, Allegheny and Delaware counties through a year-round calendar of civic and issue engagement. Through consistent and sustained face-to-face conversations, members lead the way, turning underinvested, politically invisible people into the foundation of a movement.
In 2022 One PA engaged voters across the state to elect progressive Democrat Summer Lee as Pennsylvania’s first Black Congresswoman, send Democratic Senator John Fetterman to Washington, and elect Democratic Governor Josh Shapiro. Summer Lee’s candidacy excited One PA’s base, contributing to a nearly 4% increase in voter turnout in Allegheny County. In One PA’s highest focus wards, Fetterman and Shapiro won by more than 90%.
One PA aimed o have two meaningful, in-person conversations with 50,000 voters in the runup to the 2022 election. Early in the summer, the first contact involved conversations to identify issues that were most important to voters and to providing preliminary information on the candidates. The second contact came right before the election, encouraging voters to cast their ballots using the highly effective and thoroughly researched Race Class Narrative, which ties racial justice to economic inequality. All of this important work was executed by One PA’s team of 10 core canvassers, the political infrastructure of One PA’s community. Each core canvasser is a community member who is paid a living wage to oversee a team of 10 additional canvassers. In total, this meant that One PA had 100 trained and motivated canvassers knocking on doors daily before the midterm election. Additionally, a six week voter registration drive resulted in 13,000 new registered voters in Philadelphia and Allegheny counties.
2023-2024 Action Plan:
Key initiatives for this cycle include expanding the full-time core canvass team to 15 paid team members and expanding outreach to Delaware and Montgomery Counties outside of Philadelphia. These suburban areas have seen demographic shifts as the high cost of living has pushed Black and brown voters out of the central city. Expansion into Montgomery County is also a priority to combat a wealthy Republican donor trying to buy influence in the area.
One PA has identified 200,000 Black registered non-voters, 77% of whom are in its counties of focus. Engaging with these registered non-voters and identifying and speaking to their key issues will be essential for victory in 2023 and 2024. To reach these voters, One PA will deploy a field program during both 2023 and 2024, focusing on local races such as mayor and city council in 2023 to build power and excitement for 2024. Additionally, to bring Black voters into electoral politics and elevate their stories, One PA plans to kick off voter registration drives on Juneteenth of 2023. These newly registered Black voters will be a key component of One PA’s organizing as they will receive extra contacts before Election Day (up to seven) providing them support on how to cast their ballots, important election dates, and information on the issues most relevant to them. Following Election Day, One PA plans to reach out to all new voters to hear about their experience and encourage them to become more deeply involved in organizing.
Flip the Vote’s Support Means:
With additional financial support from Flip the Vote’s network of grassroots donors, One PA will be able to increase the number of full-time staff on their core canvass team, resulting in more doors knocked and more quality conversations with Pennsylvania voters. A fully staffed canvass team would be able to knock each door in its target universe seven times over the course of the two year cycle, showing voters that One PA is an organization that will be active in their community during election and non-election periods. Expansion into more suburban areas would also be made possible by Flip the Vote’s support. These areas are ripe for organizing and opportunities to pick up support for Democratic candidates at the top of the ticket, the state legislative level, and local races such as city council and school boards.