Cool Things Wit Cool People is a monthly advice column by Akeem Dixon focusing on community development. To ask a question, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or reach out @akeemdixon.
With the impending election for Philly’s district attorney and a handful of judges, let’s chat politics with Philadelphia 3.0.
The progressive political organization backs “independent-minded” candidates at the local level and pushes for reform in City Hall. Director of Engagement Jon Geeting stepped in to help answer a few Politics 101 questions, including why you should bother voting — which, in a city that only saw 17 percent of its registered voters turn out for the primary this past spring, is still a question worth asking.
Question #1: In Pennsylvania, are you allowed to vote if you’ve been convicted of a felony?
Yes! There’s a lot of misinformation out there about this, but anyone with a criminal record can vote in Pennsylvania after they’ve been released from prison. Only people who are currently in prison aren’t allowed to vote.
— Jon Geeting
If you are a returning citizen struggling with questions like this, Hakim ‘Ali, the board secretary and coordinator of North Philadelphia-based Reconstruction, Inc. suggested reaching out to his organization, which has a mission to “effect social change by forging individuals that were formerly incarcerated into an organized community of leaders working together to transform the criminal justice system, their communities and themselves.” Find the organization online or by calling 215-223-8180.
— Akeem Dixon