MarchOnHarrisburg was born in a D.C jail cell (a warehouse-turned-holding area) for the thousand plus protesters that had been arrested at the Capitol building with Democracy Spring, a non-partisan movement to get big money out of politics in spring of 2016 that began with a 140-mile march from Philadelphia to Washington D.C. A few of our founders met along the march and discussed creating a democracy movement focused on passing pro-democracy, anti-corruption laws at the state level. Rabbi Michael Pollack, Executive Director of MOH, recruited other Pennsylvanians in that warehouse and made each of them commit to taking the fight for democracy and against corruption at the state level.
In fall, the MarchOnHarrisburg team selected our legislative agenda: ending gerrymandering, instituting a gift ban, automatic voter registration. These issues were selected because they correlate to legislation that has been previously introduced but has died in committee. Automatic voter registration has been dropped from the current campaign but the legislation introduced has only partisan support.
From January to May 2017, we lobbied 230 of our 253 PA State Legislators. In May, fifty activists marched for nine days and 105 miles from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, and then conducted five nonviolent direct actions over three days, resulting in 28 arrests.
In September 2017, we returned to the State Capitol, lobbying every House session day through November. In November, twenty-five activists marched for three days and 36 miles from Lancaster to Harrisburg. When legislators decided not to show up session on the day of our arrival in Harrisburg, five activists dressed as Waldo and were arrested in the main hallway in the State Capitol.
Currently, we traveling across Pennsylvania, reviving and organizing local chapters of MarchOnHarrisburg. Find the event nearest to you here. Additionally, as a part of the Coordinating Committee for Reverend William Barber’s revival of the Poor People’s Campaign, MarchOnHarrisburg is preparing for 40 Days of Action in Harrisburg from May 13 – June 23.
The March On Harrisburg Team
MarchOnHarrisburg is a statewide organization with volunteers across Pennsylvania. There are several ways to get involved - sign up to stay up to date on our latest news and calls to action! Please indicate any special skills that you are willing to share with MarchOnHarrisburg - like graphic design, canvassing, or lobbying. If you are looking for upcoming events in your area, check our barnstorm tour here. You can also reach out directly to the regional organizer in your area:
Western PA: Frank Kirkwood email@example.com
Central PA: Katrina Raser firstname.lastname@example.org
Eastern PA: Xelba Gutierrez email@example.com