Weekly Recap: What You Might Have Missed

Mary Gay Scanlon
8 min readOct 31, 2020


We only have 4 days until the election ends — Make sure your voice is heard!

Here’s what to do with your mail-in ballot if you haven’t returned it yet:

  1. Do NOT mail it.
  2. Make sure you have completed the ballot, placed it in the secrecy envelope, and completed the outer envelope.
  3. Place in a secure drop box or deliver to your county election office.
  4. Locate a drop box near you: votespa.com.
  5. Didn’t request a mail-in ballot? You can still vote in person at your polling place on Election Day. Find your polling place: votespa.com.

Here’s how I spent the past couple of weeks working for you:

Attended a community meeting in West Philadelphia to hear from community leaders and neighbors grieving a tragedy that should have never happened

Twenty-seven-year-old Walter Wallace Jr. should be alive right now. My heart is with his family, this community, and everyone who has been traumatized by his death.

The Police Commissioner and District Attorney have pledged to conduct thorough investigations and deliver justice for Mr. Wallace and his family. But, we don’t need to wait for an investigation to tell us that the Wallace family’s call for help should have been answered by mental health professionals not police.

As a society, we have failed Black people. As a society, we have failed people with mental illness.

We have a long road ahead of us to repair the trust and faith lost between our police and the communities they serve. The culture of policing must change and policing of mental illness must end.

Introduced Dropbox Access Act to Improve Voting Accessibility in Future Elections

I am proud to join Veronica Escobar (TX-16), and Sylvia Garcia (TX-29) in introducing the Dropbox Access Act to prevent states from unfairly limiting voters’ access to dropboxes by requiring that counties provide, at a minimum, one dropbox per 15,000 voting age residents.

We have an obligation to do everything in our power to remove barriers to the ballot box so that all eligible voters can make their voices heard. Dropboxes provide a safe and secure option to return mail-in ballots and efforts to undermine this process are just the latest example of voter suppression. The Dropbox Access Act will prevent these tactics from occurring in the future, while expanding access to the ballot box, safely and securely, to every eligible voter.

Read more here: https://repmgs.medium.com/scanlon-escobar-garcia-introduce-dropbox-access-act-to-improve-voting-accessibility-d6bda61c1044

Hosted LGBTQ History Month Forum

It’s been 523 days since the House passed the Equality Act, which will provide full legal civil rights protections to the LGBTQ+ community. This legislation remains in the Senate without a vote. As we celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month, it was great to be joined for a virtual discussion by Rep. Joe Kennedy, local activist Kendall Stephens, and HRC’s Jennifer Pike Bailey on why we need the Equality Act now more than ever.

Listen to our conversation here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=m7rY6of0Mq0

Introduced legislation to reduce violence against individuals with mental illness and disabilities

For too long, the needs of people living with mental illness and disabilities have been ignored, and they often have ended up in our criminal justice system — sometimes with fatal consequences. In order to address their needs, and change the culture of policing in this country, we must direct resources to meet those needs in a way that provides alternatives to and diversion from arrest, abuse and incarceration.

The Mental Health Justice Act would support the creation of mental health first responder units that can. be deployed in lieu of law enforcement when 911 is called because an individual is in a mental health crisis.

I was proud to be joined by Representatives Katie Porter, (CA-45), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), and Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) in introducing this common sense legislation to provide resources to meet the needs of members of our community living with mental illness and intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Read more here: https://link.medium.com/2Zafc8WOTab

Hosted a COVID-19 Tele-Town Hall

I wanted to provide you with the most recent updates on our continued efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic on the federal, state, and local level, and answer any questions you might have.

I was grateful to be joined by Former Secretary of Health and Human Services under the Clinton Administration and current Congresswoman from Florida’s 27th Congressional District Donna Shalala, Chair of the Montgomery County Commissioners Dr. Val Arkoosh, and Health Policy Consultant for Delaware County Rosemarie Halt.

We have learned a lot since we first started seeing COVID-19 cases in the United States — We have a better understanding of how the virus spreads and the actions we can take to reduce risk to ourselves and others, and there are promising new treatments and vaccines in development.

While we have made progress, we still have a ways to go before this fight is over. As predicted, fall has brought an increase in cases across the country, with over 60,000 people now being diagnosed every single day, and far too many Americans dying from this virus. All this is to say that this is not the time to take our foot off the gas. We must instead redouble our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Hosted a Coffee with your Congresswoman with Domestic Abuse Project of Delaware County Executive Director Julie Avalos

As many of you know, October is Domestic Abuse Awareness Month, and I am was grateful to be joined by Julie Avalos, the executive director of the DAP of Delco for her to share more about that organization and the support it provides right here in our community. We also discussed the rise in cases of domestic violence seen around the world during this pandemic.

The COVID 19 pandemic has reduced the options domestic violence survivors have for contact outside the abusive relationship, and therefore reduced opportunities to access help and support from family members, social services, shelters, etc.

DAP’s hotline is available 24/7 at 610–565–4590 or you can visit https://www.dapdc.org/ for more information.

Listen to our conversation here: https://www.facebook.com/2317303261926393/posts/2945431569113556/

Introduced the Stop Online Fraudulent Sales of Firearms Act

While big tech companies say they are cracking down on illegal, online gun sales, this problem persists. It has extended far beyond traditional websites and is now present on social media platforms.

This bill would make it illegal for gun sellers to circumvent websites’ terms of service to continue the underground proliferation of firearms. It’s part of a larger effort that needs to be taken to stop the plague of gun violence in our communities.

Read more here: https://link.medium.com/hj6n0XYNTab

Joined Patriotic Millionaires for a Tax the Rich/Save America Virtual Roadshow

Stagnant wages and rising costs have made millions of American households financially unstable. and Income inequality is one of the most pressing issues we face. This inequality is perpetuated by a broken tax system that gives too many breaks and benefits to corporations and wealthy individuals, allowing them, in some cases, to pay no taxes or substantially less than their middle class neighbors and small businesses, despite earning exponentially more income . This preferential tax treatment has not led to jobs or prosperity, especially for the constituents in my district.

This was true before the coronavirus pandemic, disproportionately affected low- and middle-income people. Those who were already well-off are doing ok, while those who were not doing well, or who were just getting by, particularly women and communities of color, are facing the brunt of the recession. We must reform our economy and our tax code, so that everyone has a fair shot.

Toured Tyler Arboretum

Tyler Arboretum is a non-profit public garden that serves our region through horticulture, education, and the preservation of natural lands. In addition to featuring gardens and trails that offer socially distanced recreational opportunities, the Arboretum has partnered with The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society this year to help address increased food insecurity in our region by supplying local food pantries with sustainable, nutritious produce from the Arboretum’s garden.

You can find more information about this project here: Community Briefs: Pa. Horticultural Society and Tyler Arboretum partner to combat Delco’s food insecurity https://www.delcotimes.com/lifestyle/community-briefs-pa-horticultural-society-and-tyler-arboretum-partner-to-combat-delco-s-food-insecurity/article_ef791cd8-14aa-11eb-a629-b7f3d86b9e76.html

Visited Heinz Wildlife Refuge

I was able to examine damage from the hurricane and discuss plans to build back. I also had to opportunity to help plant pollination plants and examine bee hotels!

Toured Bartram’s Garden

Bartram’s Garden is a 45-acre National Historic Landmark, operated by the John Bartram Association in cooperation with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. It was great to tour this beautiful community garden and learn about upcoming public education projects.

Joined Chester Senior Center for their Breast Cancer Awareness Month Walk

Celebrated William Penn day at the site where he landed 338 years ago

I continue to meet with our local public health and community leaders each week as we work together to map our path out of this pandemic and towards recovery. Thank you for everything you’re doing to keep your friends, family, and neighbors safe. Keep social distancing. Keep wearing your mask, And wash your hands frequently. We know that these are challenging times, but we can support each other to come through stronger.

Our office is here to help as we navigate this crisis together. You can reach us by phone at 610- 626 — 2020 or by sending me a message through our website at scanlon.house.gov/contact.



Mary Gay Scanlon

Mary Gay Scanlon currently serves a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District.