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Citizen Mouth Off 2016: Poverty, Philadelphia's Greatest Crisis on November 18

Philadelphia is often cited as “America’s poorest big city.” Here’s what that means: 26 percent of Philadelphians are living below the poverty line. For a family of four, they are subsiding on $24,250 a year. What’s worse? Imagine "deep poverty," a term describing living on half that amount. Among the nation's 10 largest cities, Philadelphia ranks highest for deep poverty. This is our city’s greatest crisis.

On November 18, join The Philadelphia Citizen, Committee of Seventy, New Leaders Council, and Philadelphia Federation of Young Republicans for a collaborative conversation exploring ways to address this crisis. Established cross-sector moderators will lead discussions with advocates doing real, on-the-ground work fighting poverty. The goal of each conversation is to formulate or refine solutions addressing poverty.

Cost: $5 (If you would like to participate in the conversation but feel that the entry fee is a barrier, please reach out to us at social@thephiladelphiacitizen.org). Refreshments will be available.

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Born to Run: A Beginner's Guide to Running for Office on November 14

Ever wonder how lesser-known candidates fund their campaigns? Wondering what being in office is really like? Or just wondering how to get your own campaign up and running?

Seventy and Young Involved Philadelphia invite you to talk face to face with candidates (successful and otherwise), consultants, politicos, government staff, and local activists to hear their take. And who knows? You might just walk home with plans to run yourself! Born to Run will take place Monday, November 14, 6-8:30pm at the Painted Bride Art Center. Register online.

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2016 Election Returns Watch Party at City Diner

City Diner is the place to be after the polls close on Nov. 8th! Come watch the 2016 election returns roll in over beers at South and Broad, with friends of Philadelphia 3.0, the Philadelphia Citizen, Influencing Action Movement, and Committee of Seventy. The cover is just $5.

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Citizens' First Vote Celebration on October 26

The Committee of Seventy and the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians are co­-presenting Citizens' First Vote, a lively celebration of the first ballot cast by naturalized citizens, featuring food, music and an opportunity to share the joy of voting for the first time. The celebration will be held on Wednesday, October 26, 6-8pm at Mayor's Reception Room (Room 202) in Philadelphia City HallRegistration is FREEThis event is part of Citizen University's 2016 Joy of Voting project.

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Voices of Voting on November 7

Targeted to middle and high school students but open to the general public, Voices of Voting is a short play commissioned by the Committee of Seventy and written and directed by award-winning Philadelphia artistic director David Bradley that ties the personal struggles and political courage of the 1960’s campaign to secure the vote to the present-day challenge of engaging young people in our electoral process. Three actors play more than a dozen characters in an event full of audience participation and laced with live music from the award-winning hip-hop/funk/jazz collective Ill Doots. Each performance is followed by a “talkback” session that challenges audience members to remember the courage of the young men and women of another generation who fought so hard to attain that fundamental right and renew their own commitment to citizenship. See the coverage from NewsworksPHL17 and the Times Herald, and from November's performance at CBS and ABC.

Join us on November 7th at 11 am, 12:15 pm, 1:30 pm or 7 pm at the Enterprise Center (4548 Market St in Philly). Admission is FREE, but space is limited. Please RSVP to reserve your seat by emailing voicesofvoting@seventy.org.

This grant was made possible through The Philadelphia Foundation’s Fund for Children, which is supported through generous annual contributions from the Philadelphia Eagles and the Philadelphia Phillies.

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American Experiments on July 25

The best ideas from America's civic tech and political reform communities to help reinvigorate democracy in the US were showcased in American Experiments on July 25. See the coverage from the Knight FoundationPhiladelphia Business JournalPHL17Newsworks and Philly.com.

American Experiments Showcase: Delegates, journalists, advocates, philanthropists, venture capitalists visited this exhibit of ideas to improve democracy in the United States. The Showcase put products of various organizations in front of people who could become champions, investors or partners. (This event was limited to nonpartisan organizations; groups promoting a particular political party or candidate could not participate.). 

Microsoft American Experiments Challenge: Six organizations (chosen competitively) will present their best ideas for improving elections or democracy. The presentations will be fast-paced, to an audience and a panel of influential judges drawn from the top ranks of the public, private, and civic sectors. Presenters are eligible for two awards: One decided by the panel of judges. The other, the People’s Choice Award, will be chosen in a live, mobile vote by the audience. Winners will have their ideas featured in coverage by the event’s media partners: Governing.com and the Technical.ly chain of digital news hubs.

Sponsors: The University City Science CenterMicrosoft Corporation and the Committee of Seventy
With support from: John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Civic Partners: Code for Philly and Young Involved Philadelphia

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Girls and Boys on the Bus on July 24

In 1972, political journalist Timothy Crouse’s book Boys on the Bus captured the unique experience of journalists covering the Presidential campaign. But the boys on the 1972 bus would not recognize the experience of their counterparts today, the young people (boys AND girls) covering the 2016 presidential election. The 24/7/365 news cycle, the widespread availability of wireless internet, and the relentless demands of social media have all fundamentally changed the ways in which the campaign is reported, and perhaps the candidates and the campaign itself. Chris Satullo, former Philadelphia Inquirer columnist and Director of News and Civic Engagement at WHYY, now Civic Engagement Consultant for the Committee of Seventy, led a conversation with national print, electronic, digital journalists covering the 2016 race. Seventy  sponsored this event in partnership with Young Involved PhiladelphiaView the conversation online, provided by C-SPAN.

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Joy of Voting on May 31

Parades, street theatre, open-air debates, and festivals – these were once part of America’s culture of voting and it’s time to revive them. With the support of the Knight FoundationCitizen University is partnering with KMUW of Wichita, Engage MiamiThe Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at The University of Akron, and Committee of Seventy in Philadelphia to bring artists, activists, designers, and citizens together to launch initiatives in these four cities to create creative, communal experiences and rituals around local voting. More than 70 ideas were generated at a convening in late May.

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The Latino Vote Town Hall on April 13

AL DÍA will be hosting insiders from within the Latino community to discuss the increasingly important Latino vote on Wednesday on April 13thfrom 5:30pm to 7:30 at The Hub Commerce Square, Apollo Theater (2001 Market St. #210). AL DÍA Executive Editor Sabrina Vouroulias and Philly Magazine Deputy News Director Holly Otterbein will lead the conversation with guest panelists including: CNN contributor Daniel RestrepoRep. Leslie AcostaCouncilwoman Maria Quinones-SanchezSRC Commissioner Farah Jimenez, and Rep. Angel CruzRegister online

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Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor's Forum, March 24

Judicial retirement will be discussed at a special Chancellor's Forum of the Philadelphia Bar Association on March 24, 4 to 6:30 pm, spurred by the April 26 ballot question that will ask voters whether the current mandatory retirement age of 70 for Pennsylvania judges should be upped to 75. Rep. Kate Harper, Joseph J. Mittleman, Dr. Barry W. RovnerSen. Anthony H. Williams and Vincent R. McGuinness, Jr. will serve as guest panelists from 4 to 5:15 pm, with a reception to follow. The forum is co-sponsored by Seventy and Pennsylvanians for Moderns Courts and will be held at the 1101 Market St. on the 11th floorRegister online.

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2016 Apps for Philly Democracy Hackathon, March 18-20

Seventy's partnering with the City of Philadelphia on Code for Philly's second annual Apps for Philly Democracy HackathonMarch 18-20. The weekend's events begin with a Community Needs Assessment---and happy hour!---in the City Hall Caucus Room on Friday (5:30-8:30 pm). It's free, but registration is required. The actual hackathon (that's where needs become apps) happens Saturday (9:30 am-10:30 pm) and Sunday (10 am-5 pm) at a location to be determined. The cost for that is $10 and includes meals and snacks. Register online.

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Community Forum on Elections and Voting, February 25

Think that voting doesn't matter? You'll find out otherwise (and learn about your rights and how to exercise them) at Esperanza College's community forum on elections and voting Thursday (6-7:30 pm) at the student lounge on Esperanza's campus in Hunting Park (4621 N. 5th St.).

Panelists include City Commissioner Lisa DeeleyMarian Schneider, PA Deputy Secretary of State for Elections; and Danny Cortes, Esperanza's Executive Chief of Staff. Seventy's a co-sponsor of the Esperanza College event, along with Esperanza Housing and Economic Development (EHED) and Ceiba.

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Women’s Political Forum: Why Young People Pass on Politics & How to Engage Them, February 24

Survey after survey has shown that the younger you are, the less likely you are to vote, let alone run for office. Women and young people, in particular, are underrepresented in elected office across the country. How to turn that around? The Harrisburg-based PA Women's Forum will host a panel on engaging young people in politics on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse (111 S. 17th St.). The panel features Jen DevorAnna OrsoOmar WoodardKellan White and Sulaiman Rahman and runs noon to 1 pm, including lunch. Register online.