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 nonpartisan movement to get big money out of politics in the 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 to the state level.
In the Fall of 2016, the MarchOnHarrisburg team selected an appropriate legislative agenda to effectively combat Pennsylvania’s corruption: Ending gerrymandering, instituting a gift ban, and automatic voter registration. Automatic voter registration has been dropped from the current campaign because 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 for 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.
Our work is far from over, but the snowball is rolling.
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