Tuesdays with Toomey Grows Larger Defending Planned Parenthood and the ACA

Harrisburg TWT organizer Alissa Packer speaking outside of Senator Toomey's office. Photo credit: Sean Kitchen

The Tuesdays with Toomey movement is a women lead and women driven movement that has mushroomed into a statewide force, and it shows no signs of going anywhere.  It began after the November election when a small group of women started meeting weekly with staffers from Senator Pat Toomey’s Philadelphia field office.  The women showed up and talked about an individual topic they wanted to discus with Senator Toomey’s staff, talk about it and do it all again the following week with another topic or concern.  They continued to do this through the end of the year, and then others started doing the same in Pittsburgh and other parts of the state.  Now, hundreds of people are turning out in Allentown, Harrisburg, Johnston Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Scranton.

Last week, a dozen activists from Indivisible Berks organized Harrisburg’s first Tuesdays with Toomey action to protest the nomination and confirmation of Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.  Close to 100 people attended today’s Tuesdays with Toomey demonstration, which focused on preserving the Affordable Care Act and how it benefits for women, transgender women and those living in poverty.  Social media reports show that over 400 demonstrators showed up to Toomey’s Pittsburgh office, and over 500 showed up to his Philadelphia office.

Alissa Packer, a mother of two and an organizer from Harrisburg’s Tuesdays with Toomey chapter, told the crowd that she never saw herself shouting into a bullhorn outside of Senator Toomey’s office, but here she is.  She explained that she was in Washington DC for the Women’s March and  how that has galvanized her.  Pennsylvania State Senator Art Haywood (D-Montgomery) also attended the rally and spoke out supporting Planned Parenthood.  Senator Haywood told the crowd that his sister left her job to be a caretaker for his elderly mother, and if the ACA were to be repealed, his mother would lose her coverage from the Medicaid expansion and be thrown into an unaffordable marketplace.  Those standing in the crowd outside of the Harrisburg Federal Building were able to pick up the bullhorn and share their stories.

The Tuesdays with Toomey movement already has selected individual topics that they will continue to bring to Senator Toomey’s attention for the next month and a half.  Protesters across the state claim that they will remain committed to attending these events even if the Senator’s staff is unwilling to meet with his constituents.  It will be interesting to see where the movement goes from here and now for some tweets from around Pennsylvania.




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About Sean Kitchen 681 Articles
Contributor and Assistant Editor for the Raging Chicken Press. Stationed in Harrisburg covering politics in the capitol. You can send tips to sean@rcpress.org or reach me on twitter at @RCPress_Sean!
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