PHILADELPHIA, PA — The Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council, all of its business managers and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters today announced a “Voter Vans” initiative to ensure that any Philadelphian who wishes to vote in Tuesday’s election, but may not be able to get to their polling place as a result of the ongoing SEPTA strike will get picked up by a Philadelphia Building Trades member, driven to their polling place, and driven safely back home after casting their vote. The Building Trades is currently mobilizing its fleet of vans and other multi-passenger vehicles, enlisting drivers, and establishing telephone “hot lines” for people to call this Tuesday, November 8th, in the event that the SEPTA strike continues through Election Day.
“The Philadelphia Building Trades and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters stand with the striking workers of the Transport Workers Union, but we’re concerned that, if the strike continues through Tuesday, many Philadelphians who wish to cast their vote in this important election may not be able to get to their polling place without public transportation,” said John J. Dougherty, Business Manager of the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council. “The member unions of the Philadelphia Building Trades and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters have the vehicular and human resources to get folks to their polling places and return them home safely after voting. We also have the desire to do this to ensure than everyone’s voice is heard and every vote is cast.”
Dougherty emphasized that, although the Philadelphia Building Trades formally endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton for President, the “Voter Vans” initiative is a non-partisan effort; drivers will not attempt to influence passengers’ voting decisions.
The Building Trades is still in the process of designating telephone hot line numbers for Philadelphians to call for a ride to the polls Tuesday, should the SEPTA strike continue. Those hot line numbers will be issued to the media as soon as they are finalized.