The funds raised from the event will go towards GRASP, which is a relatively knew non-partisan political organization based in South Philadelphia, which seeks to teach and encourage South Philadelphians to be more active in the city’s local political system.
Residents and interested potential voters are encouraged to come out to the Grassroots Advocacy for South Philadelphia Hot Dog Days of Summer Fundraiser on Sunday Aug. 5, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at FDR Park.
The funds raised from the event will go toward GRASP, a relatively new non-partisan political organization based in South Philadelphia that seeks to teach and encourage South Philadelphians to be more active in the city’s local political system.
“It came from a place of wanting to figure out the system and be a part of it,” said Karen DiLossi, one of a number of founders of the organization. “We’re looking at harnessing people’s power to vote and make them understand they have that power.”
DiLossi said that entails helping know when election dates are, knowing how to register to vote and connecting them with political candidates. Since forming soon after the 2016 presidential election, GRASP has held various political events, including a state representative debate, a lieutenant governor’s forum, and Q-and-A’s for both the 3rd and 5th congressional districts.
“We were doing these throughout the winter months up until May to get people excited about voting,” DiLossi said, “and to get people to understand who they’re voting for and give them an opportunity to ask a question.”
Even for political junkies such as DiLossi who vote in every election, understanding local politics can be hard.
DiLossi, who was born and raised in Southwest Philly, describes herself as a “super voter who votes every single election.” However, she never truly understood Philadelphia’s voting ward system until just last year.
“Teaching people about the wards and divisions themselves can be an effort,” she said.
Sunday’s event will raise funds for GRASP. DiLossi said the organization will use the money on things such as creating informational materials, building a website (the organization currently only has a Facebook page), and holding more events such as debates and forums.
Entry to Sunday’s event is $12 per person and $25 per family. The entry fee includes entry into a raffle for tickets to that day’s Phillies game, which starts at 1:35 p.m. that day (so you’ll likely have to leave GRASP’s event early to make it if you win the raffle). Voter registration forms will be on hand at the event. If you’re looking to get involved with GRASP, you can attend the organization’s monthly meetings at the Adobe Cafe in East Passyunk. The meetings take place on the first Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact GRASP139@outlook.com or visit facebook.com/grassrootsPHL.