October 20-22nd, 2023 Put People First! PA held our 11th Annual Membership Assembly in Williamsport, Northeast PA. This was our first time having a statewide, all together in-person – with virtual option – Assembly since 2019, and it was a big success! The Membership Assembly is our largest yearly gathering and one of our most crucial, as we continue to build our member-led, staff-free, statewide, politically independent movement of the poor and dispossessed united across all lines of division. During the Assembly we grew our leadership and unity as a class through meals together, workshops, Mistica (spirit of the struggle) and Arts & Culture. 

Every year the Membership Assembly is an opportunity for us to connect, share our experiences, strength, and hope with each other. We celebrated our achievements, processed our challenges, reflected on 2023 and prepared for 2024. There were more than 120 participants of the Membership Assembly from Pennsylvania and other states including California, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming!

Good morning Facebook!! Excited for today!! You ask why I give all my time to Put People First! PA!!! BECAUSE THEY GIVE ALL THEIR TIME TO ME!!! Organize With Put People First! PA FOREVER!!!
– Esther of Northeast PA

Feeling amazing after going to my first ever membership assembly thanks for inviting me!
– Toby of South Central PA:

This year, I attended my first in-person Membership Assembly.  Of all the weekend’s memorable experiences, I find myself reflecting most on the tremendous sense of collectivity I felt and its significance for our ongoing movement.  The Assembly exemplified our commitment to co-creating the spaces we share.

Some members led workshops while others coordinated essentials like food, transportation, childcare, and A/V.  Members had varying levels of responsibility, but, thanks to our militant work schedule, everyone was involved, everyone had a role to play.  This simple reality was itself revolutionary! 

Throughout our daily lives, we are routinely conditioned to be disengaged, to be little more than consumers.  We are taught that there are experts and professionals, and that we have nothing to contribute.  Our Membership Assembly provided stark opposition to these ruling-class notions: we studied, learned, prepared, and shared with one another.  We held roles–big and small–pushed ourselves to try new things, and created a three-day experience that wouldn’t have existed without us!

The significance of organizing such a participatory and empowering event transcends the Membership Assembly.  It reflects and reinforces our daily approach to organizing and helps to lay the groundwork for a truly inclusive society, one that respects all of us and allows us to have our needs met and to thrive.
– Ande of Southeast PA

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