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Interfaith Group Working To Build Voter Turnout For May 20th Phila. Election

(An interfaith group of participants takes part in a training session for voter turnout phone banks, home visits, and followups.  Photo by Cherri Gregg)

(An interfaith group of participants takes part in a training session for voter turnout phone banks, home visits, and followups. Photo by Cherri Gregg)

Gregg_Cherrie--NEW Cherri Gregg
Cherri Gregg is the community affairs reporter for KYW Newsr...
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By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An interfaith group of 40 Philadelphia congregations is joining forces for a voter outreach campaign, kicking off this week.

This so-called “faith army” is hoping to increase participation by Philadelphia voters in upcoming the May primary.

Today, at the Living Water United Church of Christ, on Loretto Ave. in Northwest Philadelphia, Bishop Dwayne Royster rallied the troops.
“We are coming — marching, pressing our way to City Hall and to the state house,” he said.

Royster (below) is executive director of Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Rebuild, also known as “POWER.”

He says dozens of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish congregations are reaching out to roughly 45,000 “low propensity” voters to encourage them to vote in the May primary.

(Bishop Dwayne Royster.  Photo by Cherri Gregg)

(Bishop Dwayne Royster. Photo by Cherri Gregg)

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“Congregation leaders will be organizing phone banks where they will be calling people, they’ll be organizing door-knocking days where they’ll be knocking on doors of the people in their communities,” Royster explained. “In addition, we’ll be doing mailings to people we contact, to remind them they made a commitment to vote on May 20th.”

Royster says they do not support any specific candidates but will be talking to voters about raising the minimum wage and pushing lawmakers to create a fair school funding formula in Pennsylvania.

“We’re going to use the tools of our faith to fight,” he said.

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