| On a windy Friday morning, an extremely cold- but equally determined– group of advocates held a press conference outside of the Media Courthouse, calling for the passage of Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) legislation. The leaders of Delco United joined with their partners Heeding God’s Call to End Gun Violence and CeasefirePA to organize the event, which was held a week after the horrific shooting that took place in a Wawa in Radnor on March 28th. Also in attendance at the conference were Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun Copeland, State Sen. Tom Killion, State Rep. Todd Stephens, and State Rep. Jennifer O’Mara.|
D.A. Copeland pointed out that, had the ERPO bill been enacted into law previously, it could have saved the life of Stephanie Miller. Miller was senselessly murdered by her ex-husband with an AR-15 that he purchased less than 2 weeks before the shooting. Jessica Frankl, Co-Chair of Delco United, reminded the crowd that, “The tragic loss of life that occurred inside a Wawa in Radnor Township unfortunately is not an isolated incident. With nearly 1,500 firearm deaths in Pennsylvania each year, the ripple effects of gun violence are consistently reverberating through our communities, leaving behind children, parents, classmates, colleagues, and friends wrestling with the trauma that continues long after the cameras and news vans leave. Stephanie’s killer was able to walk into a gunshop and buy an AR-15 LEGALLY, with nothing and no one stopping him. This abomination does not- I repeat- does not need to be our everyday reality.”
Many of our lawmakers are already taking the necessary steps to change this reality. Sen. Tom Killion and Rep. Stephens are the prime sponsors of Extreme Risk Protection Order legislation in the Pennsylvania State Senate and State House, respectively. Their life-saving bills, SB 90 and HB 1075, would allow law enforcement and family members to temporarily restrict an individual’s access to firearms, if a judge finds them to be in danger of harming themselves or others. For Rep. Jennifer O’Mara, HB 1075 hits close to home, as her father died by gun suicide when she was just 13 years old. Hundreds of families each year just like hers could benefit from ERPO legislation, which has been proven to significantly reduce the number of firearm suicides. 15 states have enacted similar measures so far; it’s time for Pennsylvania to step up, and join this growing list.
You can view coverage of the press conference by clicking the links below:
Daily Times Article
Phila. Inquirer article
On Tuesday, October 16th, a hundred supporters filled the Oaks Ballroom in Glenolden, as they gathered in celebration of 5 years of Delco United. The evening started with good food and conversation among friends, while a slideshow featuring highlights of our work over the past 5 years played on. The slideshow can be viewed here.
To kick of the program, Ashli Rice graced us in song, with a rousing rendition of “Rise Up” that wowed crowd (Take a minute and watch this awe-inspiring performance– you’ll be glad you did!). Speeches followed by a few of Delco United’s endorsed candidates, including PA-5 Congressional candidate Mary Gay Scanlon, and State Senator Anthony Williams, who spoke of the urgent need for common sense gun legislation on a statewide and national level. Throughout the evening, the hard work of Delco United was honored by many of our allies, which included Shira Goodman of CeasefirePA, Movita and Yancy Harrell of the CHARLES Foundation, and Beverly Wright of Women of Strength United for Change. We were also privileged to be joined by Anna Crusis Women’s Choir, who moved the crowd with their stirring performances. All in all, the evening was a touching tribute to the efforts of Delco United, and a thank you to it’s supporters for all of their hard work. Attendees left the ballroom re-energized, inspired to keep pushing forward in the fight to end gun violence.
Posted by Ashli Rice on Tuesday, October 16, 2018
On Friday, September 21st, Delco United’s Co-Chairs and supporters proudly stood on the steps of the Media Courthouse alongside 8 of our endorsed candidates from both sides of the aisle. Those present included: U.S. Senator Bob Casey, 5th Congressional District candidate Mary Gay Scanlon, Sen. Anthony Williams (D-8), Sen. Tom McGarrigle (R-26), Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky (D-161), Rep. Jamie Santora (R-163), candidate for the 165th legislative district Jennifer O’Mara, and Rep. Chris Quinn (R-168).
Senator Casey addressed those assembled, calling out the unacceptable federal inaction on the issue of gun violence, “There are a number of measures we can pass that are bipartisan, but there is strong and powerful force in the United States Congress that doesn’t even allow bills like this to have a vote. We have to take action. We should not surrender to this problem”.
All candidates present agreed that more needs to be done, and that the time to act on common sense gun legislation is long overdue. That’s why Delco United is urging voters to strongly consider a candidate’s stance on common sense gun legislation when heading to the polls this November.
For more coverage of the event, check out our article in the Daily Times.
Below is a full list of our endorsed candidates for the 2018 election:
U.S. Senate: Bob Casey
PA Governor: Tom Wolf
5th Congressional District: Mary Gay Scanlon
26th State Senate District: Tom McGarrigle
8th State Senate District: Anthony Williams
159th State House District: Brian Kirkland
160th State House District: Anton Andrew
161st State House District: Leanne Krueger Braneky
163rd State House District: Jamie Santora
164th State House District: Margo Davidson
165th State House District: Jennifer O’Mara
166th State House District: Greg Vitali
168th State House District: Chris Quinn
185th State House District: Maria Donatucci
191st State House District: Joanna McClinton
Dear Delco United Members Supporters,
Allow us to introduce ourselves! We are Jessica Frankl and John Linder, the new co-chairs of Delaware County United for Sensible Gun Policy.
We, like many of you, have been heavily impacted by the fervent and ceaseless work of Terry Rumsey and Robin Lasersohn, who have been the co-chairs of Delco United for the past 5 years. The effort they have put into founding, building, and growing this organization is invaluable, and we, like all of you, have found it hard to picture Delco United without their leadership. Their example and expertise has allowed our organization to grow so much bigger than we could have ever dreamed. And it has taught us that each and every one of us has an important and essential role to play in the fight against gun violence.
While we will greatly miss Terry and Robin as leaders, we not only owe it to
them to keep on fighting, we owe it to our entire community. We have made unimaginable strides in the past 5 years, but know in our hearts that we cannot give up until our family and friends are safe from the threat of gun violence. As your new co-chairs, we promise to keep Delco United in the forefront of this battle, and will do all that we can to help make your voices heard. At the end of the day, your participation is what makes Delco United as strong and as powerful as it has been in getting our message to those who need to hear it most.
From Jessica: I joined Delco United in 2016, have been a member of the board for the past year, and have acted as the outreach coordinator for the past 6 months. I am passionate about growing support for our cause, and taking the next step towards change in our current gun laws.
From John: I am the former Mayor of the city of Chester, and have been a member of Delco United since its inception in 2013. In addition, I have been active since 2010 in common sense gun legislation initiatives with CeasefirePA, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and and Cities United. I am excited and proud to share the co-chairship with Jessica, and am looking forward to continuing this amazing work with all of you.
While we will never fill Terry and Robin’s shoes, we promise to keep marching Delco United forward with everything we have to give. But we will need your help, your voices, and your passion. Will you march with us?
Jess and JohnRead More
Delco United Co-Founders, Robin Lasersohn & Terry Rumsey
Delco United Members and Supporters,
Five years ago, we were a part of a small group of intrepid individuals who came together in June of 2013 and founded Delaware County United for Sensible Gun Policy. Since we were the ones who had organized the meeting, our colleagues asked us to be the Co-Chairs and we accepted.
Five years later, the seedling has grown into a tall and sturdy tree, with deep roots and many branches in our community.
Delco United, as we nicknamed our group early on, now has a solid Board of Directors, a healthy bank account for an all-volunteer group, over 2,000 members across Delaware County, and a history of successful electoral, legislative, and public policy action.
So, it’s one of the hardest things we’ve ever done to announce to you that we are stepping down as the Co-Chairs of Delco United.
The easiest thing to explain about our decision is that Terry has a new job as executive director of Witness to Innocence and Robin is assuming the lead role in running Green Seeds, our grant writing business. But this is not just about our new jobs and business responsibilities. It’s about our belief that social justice organizations need a dose of alternate perspectives, fresh ideas, and new leadership at some point to grow beyond their founders and evolve into authentic community-based organizations. Five years is that milestone for Delco United.
That’s why we’re so excited to announce that Jessica Frankl and John Linderare the new Co-Chairs of Delco United.
Jessica is a young, dynamic organizer with boundless energy, and John, the former Mayor of Chester, brings experience and earned respect to their shared leadership. We know they will be a great team. You will be hearing from them directly in the very near future. We ask that you immediately get behind them for the next round in a hard, tough fight to take our state and federal governments back from the grip of the NRA.
OK. It’s time for us the exit this stage. We’ll let others judge the strengths and weaknesses of the job we performed these past five years. We, however, want you to know that we are awed by the commitment, creativity, determination, passion, and resilience that so many of you exhibited as we built Delco United together.
Delco United is your organization. Do it!
Terry and RobinRead More
Here’s our accounting report on yesterday’s Demand the Ban action:
One AR-15 semi-automatic rifle was melted down and beaten into a plowshare by the peacemaking blacksmiths from RAW Tools.
300 fired-up gun sense advocates marched from Old First Reformed Church of Christto Senator Toomey’s office located inside the federal U.S. Custom House. The spirited throng of marchers chanted, “United We Stand – Demand the Ban!”and “Senator Toomey you can’t hide – Demand the Ban – or step aside.” The marchers then participated in an energetic rally with more, chants, songs, and speeches calling on Senator Toomey to announce his support for a federal assault weapons ban.
100 or more federal and Philadelphialaw enforcement officers were mobilized behind barricades to make sure that nonviolent constituents were blocked from visiting the taxpayer-funded officeof their own U.S. senator.
33 courageous nonviolent activistswere arrested for attempting to visit the heavily-defended office of Senator Toomey and then refusing to leave until the senator announced that he would co-sponsor S.2095, Assault Weapons Ban of 2017.
12 individuals from Delaware County were arrested as a part of the nonviolent civil disobedience action (Julie Breen, Ralph Ciampa, Bill Clinton, Mary Clinton, Jessica Frankl, Peter Friedrichs, Bonnie Hallam, Robin Lasersohn, Fran Sheldon, Paul Sheldon, Terry Rumsey, and Elaine Vetre).
One U.S. senator and his 99 colleagues were put on notice that a new, inspired movement to ban assault weapons is committed to organizing a nonviolent direct action campaign that disrupts business as usual until these weapons of war and mass terrorism are forever bannedin the United States of America.
More photos below and even more photos and videos available on our Facebook page — check them out, like the page and follow Delco United.