Reclaim Philadelphia Meeting, February 9, 2019

On Saturday, February 9, I took part in a meeting of Reclaim Philadelphia, held at the Friends Center, 15th and Cherry streets in Philadelphia. This is the political movement that encourages progressive activists (like me) to run for local offices-committee people (like me), City Council, and state legislature.

Among the candidates present seeking endorsement for the May 21 primary election were Luigi Borda, Omar Sabir,  and Marwan Kreidie, running for City Commissioner; Ethelind Baylor, Sherrie Cohen, and Justin DeBernardinis for City Council at Large; Tonya Bah, running in the 8th Councilmanic District; and Wade Albert and Gregory Weyer, for Common Pleas Judge. Candidates were asked questions about such real issues as ending the ten-year tax abatement for real estate developers (which siphons money the City needs for services), the police advisory board, a moratorium on charter school development (and focusing on strengthening the public schools), housing as a human right, supporting workers right to organize, and climate change and renewable energy.

Kelly Morton, organizer for Reclaim Philadelphia, and Chair of its Democratic Party Transformation Taskforce
Madusa Carter, Mass Liberation Organizer, who gave a rap performance and spoke of her life and how it affected her activism and art.
Amanda McIllmurray, Lead Organizer, who spoke of how low-income and working people are need to unite across boundaries of race and ethnicity.

Their website is https://www.reclaimphiladelphia.org/.

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Parshat Terumah

This weekend we studied the Torah portion Terumah, Exodus 25:1-27:19. God outlines to Moses the plans for the construction of the Mishkan, the traveling tabernacle the Israelites carried while in the wilderness. God, the Ruler of the Universe, dictates the elements of the construction of the Mishkan-the cloth it’s made of, the setting of the jewelry, the fixing of the poles for setting up. This shows God intervening in the concrete affairs of humans.

This work requires the efforts of the entire community and its skills-stonemasons, carpenters, weavers, tailors, etc.; in fact, it symbolized and embodied the community, showing that each person, and each class in the community, has a role to play in the community’s development. 

I Was The Victim of Bullying, Part 2

Having been bullied and harassed as a kid, it distorted my perception of myself. It make me try to adapt myself to each person I came across, fearing they would not approve of me and reject me as a person. It made me think of myself as helpless and powerless, like anyone could do what every they wanted to me and get away with it.

I always tried to prove to others, particularly those in positions of authority over me, that I was indeed, in spite of my faults and imperfections, a good person and truly wanting to do good. But the teachers and principals of the school, and my own dear parents, still acted like I want no good for anything, and the cause of all the teasing and harassment placed upon me-and my inevitable and natural violent reaction against it.

Again, if you are the victim of bullying and harassment, I urge you to, at your first opportunity, get on the first bus out of that area you’re enduring it at. Fortunately for me, I did not even think of suicide, but too many other kids suffering bullying could no longer take it, and killed themselves. You deserve better than that, and those who are tormenting you are not worth the suffering you’re going through. Go someplace where there are supporting and loving people around you, that is what you deserve.

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