No matter our color or where we come from, we all want a good life for our families and community, with good paying jobs, quality schools, a safe, secure place to live, and care to keep us healthy. But corporate and political elites try to divide us based on what we look like or where we live. They want to distract us, so we won't see that they're failing our families while profiting off our hard work.
At Berks Stands Up (BSU), our mission is simple -- to make sure government works for all of us, not just the privileged few. We don’t look left or right but forward to a nation where everyone counts. We’re here to win elections, win issue campaigns, and win political power for everyday people. From raising our voices in our public square to going door-to-door to meet our neighbors, we are taking back our democracy.
Liberty and Justice for All
While we’re inspired by America’s founding principles, we recognize that our nation was built on stolen land with the labor of enslaved people. Over time, unchecked greed and weaponized racism have further corrupted our political system, rigged our economy, trashed our environment, and shredded our social fabric.
It is also true that from our founding, Americans of every race and creed have fought together for freedom and democracy against petty tyrants, and time and again we've won. America is for all of us. Our strength lies in the shared commitment to liberty and justice for all.
We know that when working people of all colors join forces, we win. The labor movement won a New Deal for American workers. The Civil Rights movement took on segregation and won the Voting Rights Act. Today, everyday working people are standing up for Black lives, fighting to raise the wage, and demanding healthcare and meaningful relief as our families struggle through the pandemic.
It’s up to us to fight for government of, by, and for the people.
BSU is one of the founding chapters of a powerful statewide organization, Pennsylvania Stands Up, that delivered Pennsylvania for Joe Biden and elected 27 endorsed champions to the Pennsylvania legislature. We are a movement organization, building independent political power where once there was none and changing what’s possible at every level of government. We support candidates who share our values and hold all elected officials accountable, regardless of party affiliation. We offer a wide range of opportunities for regular people to get involved in the political process.
Race- and class-based injustice has been with us all along, but specific forces have brought us to this political moment, including a decades-long decline in civic involvement where working people were part of labor unions and other organizations that offered a counterweight to the power of money. Democratic Party leadership has also failed to stand up to Wall Street or fight in meaningful ways for working people. These trends have allowed economic elites to gain a tighter grip on our political system, and led to millions of everyday working Americans feeling abandoned by the political class.
Right now, we have a unique opportunity to change this trajectory. The time is ripe for everyday Americans — of every race and creed, immigrant and native-born, sisters and brothers — to stand up together as one united people. To do this we need to be intentional, strategic, creative, and bold. But most important, this effort needs the involvement of everyday working people. Berks Stands Up needs you.
BSU joins the Shut Down Berks Coalition in fighting to close the Berks County Residential Center, a prison for asylum-seeking children and parents in our own backyard, and end the practice of imprisoning immigrant families in the U.S.
The Berks Mutual Aid Society maintains a running list of information and services – testing sites, how to manage stress, where to get free food, etc. – and a team of calm, friendly people ready to help match your needs with available resources.
Change takes time and this movement is just getting started. But what we saw in the primary election on May 18 is that we can take on the political establishment and create a government of, by and for working people of all races.
BSU is building the grassroots power by electing candidates from school board to city council who will push hard for bold, transformative change, and make Pennsylvania a place where all of us can thrive
PA Stands Up issued the following statement from Ashleigh Strange, lead organizer at Lehigh Valley Stands Up, following the jury’s finding police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all 3 counts for the murder of George Floyd last summer: