PA’s Valentine? Pat Toomey
On Valentine’s Day Pat Toomey received close to 1,000 Valentine’s cards from the PA residents.
In conjunction with a petition that got 800 signatures, the Valentine’s asked Toomey to protect the ACA.
While organizers spoke on protecting the rights of the LGBT, in light of the court filing that requested to withdraw Obama's motion to scale back a temporary injunction that blocked the Obama administration's guidance over the ability of transgender people to use the bathroom of their gender identification.
In addition, as the event began, they announced our Valentine's day campaign and encouraged the protesters to sign the Valentine's that urged Senator Toomey to vote not to repeal the ACA with a "Pennsylvania loves the ACA” message.
The letter sites that the ACA repeal will result in the loss of health insurance, loss of over 137,000 jobs in Pennsylvania, and add $1.4 billion to the state’s deficit.
The group, For Pennsylvania's Future Action Fund, worked with Tuesdays for Toomey and prepared the Valentine’s that were sent in conjunction with the petition.
“This was a separate message from what Tuesdays with Toomey was doing but since we’ve been working so closely with them, they allowed us to give the people at the protest [the Valentine’s] and people signed the petition the last 24 hours online also,” said Julie Viera, Communications representative from For Pennsylvania’s Future Action Fund.
As the protests grow, Tuesday’s with Toomey started with a group of seven women and now has hundreds of people every Tuesday, the interaction with Toomey has not changed.
“The overall messaging is that Senator Toomey is going into his seventh year for Senator and he’s never held a Town Hall in Philadelphia and he hasn’t held a town hall period since 2013. We’re concerned he’s not listening to the majority of his constituents,” said Paige Wolf, one of the organizers of Tuesday’s with Toomey.
Met with voicemails that don’t take messages, no emails, and locked doors, the Valentine’s may be an example of the more creative ways the group can get Toomey’s attention.
“I think the whole point is to get his attention - even if we know we’ve got his attention, we still haven’t gotten a response,” said Viera.
Though the group had previously been able to meet with staffers when they were roughly 40 in size, the true goal has been a meeting with Toomey himself and possibly a Town Hall in the Philadelphia area.
“People are asking for 15 minutes of his time and this was problem before this term. He’s notorious for not listening - for not being willing to listen to a big part of his constituency,” said Wolf stated.
And while there has been a lack of response thus far, some see an opportunity for hope during the upcoming recess.
“I know during the congressional recess, there are a couple events that Toomey can schedule to meet with his constituents meetings, town halls - opportunities for Toomey to get together with his constituents on his own ground,” said Viera of the For Pennsylvania’s Action Fund.