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April 30, 2024

ABA Task Force for American Democracy to hold listening tour event in Philadelphia

CHICAGO, April 30, 2024 –The American Bar Association’s Task Force for American Democracy will hold the third in a series of listening tour events Wednesday, May 1, with a program in Philadelphia featuring local leaders, legal scholars and defenders of democracy. The event, held in conjunction with Law Day and titled Taking the Next Step: Ensuring Trusted Elections and Civics for Pennsylvanians,” will be held at the National Constitution Center and will address vital election integrity issues and the need to support poll workers. The event will be livestreamed, and a recording will be available afterward.

“Taking the Next Step: Ensuring Trusted Elections and Civics for Pennsylvanians”
Sponsored by ABA Task Force for American Democracy

Wednesday, May 1, 1:30-5:30 p.m. EDT

National Constitution Center
F.M. Kirby Auditorium
525 Arch Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Register by emailing [email protected]

Introductory remarks will be delivered by ABA President Mary Smith, Pennsylvania Bar Association President Michael J. McDonald and Philadelphia Bar Chancellor Jennifer S. Coatsworth. Judge James J. Eisenhower and ABA Law Day Chair Matthew Archer-Beck will deliver remarks on the importance of Law Day.

Attendees will engage in discussions and expert panelists will offer insights on safeguarding our electoral process. Program information can be found here.

Panels include:

“Conversation on Civility and the State of Democracy”

  • J. Michael Luttig, former federal judge and co-chair of the ABA Task Force for American Democracy
  • Jeh Charles Johnson, former Secretary of Homeland Security and co-chair of the ABA Task Force for American Democracy
  • Mark Alexander, dean of Villanova Law (moderator)

“Presentation by Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of State”

  • Al Schmidt, Pennsylvania Secretary of State

“Nuts and Bolts of Free and Fair Elections”

  • Karen Barsoum, Director of Voter Services for Chester (Pa.) County
  • Kathy Boockvar, President of Athena Strategies LLC
  • Lauren Mayk, Reporter, NBC 10 News (moderator)                       

“Strategies to Educate and Inform Citizens: Increasing Confidence in our Government and Electoral Process”

  • Charles Dent, Executive Director and Vice President of Aspen Institute Congressional Program
  • Andrew McGinley, Vice President of External Affairs for Committee of Seventy
  • Lauren Mayk, reporter with NBC 10 News (moderator)

The task force is committed to safeguarding the integrity of the nonpartisan administration of elections and providing support for election workers. Moving forward, the task force will:

  • Work to mobilize the legal profession to uphold its duty to support and defend the Constitution and the rule of law.
  • Ensure lawyers are educated regarding their professional obligations.
  • Leverage the legal profession to educate the public on the reasons for, and the importance of, democracy and the rule of law.

The first listening tour event was held in Atlanta Feb. 13 and can be viewed here. The second listening tour event was held in Detroit March 15 and can be viewed here.

Listening tour events are being planned for Wisconsin, Nevada, North Carolina and Arizona. Each session will include local election officials and community leaders discussing issues they face and how public confidence in the election process can be enhanced.

All media must be credentialed, and interviews will be available. To register, contact [email protected]. Media check-in will start at noon.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on X (formerly Twitter) @ABANews.