APRI Awards Banquet

On Friday, September 13, 2019, I joined other trade unionists in celebrating the annual Awards Banquet of the Philadelphia chapter of the A. Philip Randolph Institute. (I’m the recording Secretary of the Philadelphia chapter.) The honorees were:

Martin Williams Jr., of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers;

Linda Fields, Special Assistant, LIUNA Local 135;

George Piasecki III, President of the Delaware County (PA) AFL-CIO;

and Vernon Woodall, LIUNA Local 135.

Joining me to honor these Labor leaders were other labor leaders, Stewards and other people dedicated to upgrading the lives of their fellow working people. These are working-class people finding empowerment in banding together to help other workers find their power. I would encourage you to find your power in banding together with other workers in a union.

Advertisements

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/.

Philly For Change, February 6, 2019

This Wednesday, February 6, I joined in the meeting of Philly For Change, held at Tattooed Mom, 5th and South streets in Philadelphia. Philly For Change is a progressive group, borne out of the Howard Dean campaign in 2004.

We listened to candidates for various municipal offices, who are running in the primaries on May 21. Addressing us were candidates for Common Please Judge: Wendi Barish, George Twardy, and NIcola Serianni. For City Council at Large, there was Beth Finn, and for Sheriff, there was Rochelle Bilal, President of the Guardian Civic League, the association of African-American law enforcement officers in Philadelphia. For City Commissioners 9responsible for the election system in the city), addressing us were Luigi Borda, Jen Devor, and Marwan Kreidie (full disclosure, I know Marwan from back at Temple). All of these candidates spoke to us how their lives affected their decision to run for office, not for their benefit but for the good of the community. These were everyday people having to deal with the social system, and they want to make it better for all.

Lisa Deeley, Chair of the City Commissioners, spoke to us about the Commissioners’ web site, https://www.philadelphiavotes.com/ .The deadline for registering to vote in Pennsylvania i February 11. Eric Thut, Executive Director of Netroots Nation (https://www.netrootsnation.org/), told us about the group’s upcoming convention on July 11-13, to take place in Philadelphia.

Moonstone, January 16, 2019

On Wednesday, January 16, 2019, I attended the poetry reading at Fergie’s Pub, 1214 Sansom street in Philadelphia (https://www.fergies.com/), sponsored by the Moonstone Arts Center (http://moonstoneartscenter.org/) , one of the great promoters on poetry and poets in Philadelphia.

Larry Robin, Director of Moonstone and great promoter of poetic talent in Philadelphia, who hosted the open mic.
Jason Mitchell, featured poet
Joe Roarty, poet who read in the open mic, like I did.

Next Wednesday, January 16, the next Moonstone poetry reading will feature Jennifer Anolik and Amy Barone. Jennifer Hook and Anila MacNeal will host the open mic.This will again take place at Fergie’s.

On Sunday, January 27, Moonsoone will host a tribute to poet JC Todd, featuring her new book, Damages of Morning. The event will take place at 2:00 PM at Fergie’s.

On Wednesday, January 30, Moonstone will host Hive Night, Apiary magazine’s celebrate of local poets, which will include an open mic. This will also take place at Fergie’s.

Philly For Change, January 2, 2019

Tonight, I will attend the monthly meeting of Philly For Change, at Tattooed Mom, at 5th and South streets in Philadelphia (https://www.tattooedmomphilly.com/). Featured speakers tonight will be candidates for this years’s municipal elections:

Melissa Robbins, and Fernando Trevino, running for City Council;

Jen Devor, running for City Commissioners;

and judicial candidates Gregory Weyer, Kay Yu, and Henry Sias.

Please attend and ask questions.

Honoring Sex Workers

Tomorrow, December 17, there will be a silent memorial service honoring sex workers who were killed while at their jobs, making money to earn a living live all other workers. In Philadelphia, it will take place at Thomas Paine Plaza, 1401 JFK Boulevard, from 12-4:00 PM. After this, there will be a discussion and presentation at the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), 531 N. 12th Street in Philadelphia, from 7-10:00 PM.   

Upcoming, December 1, 2018

Tomorrow, December 2, I will attend the show Traveling Wares, a market where craftspeople sell their hand-crafted products, like jewelry and soaps, from 2-7:00 PM, at Dirty Frank’s on 13th and Pine streets in Philadelphia. There I will have for sale copies of my anthology, All Of The Above, and the two poetry volumes Mutterings and Out Of The Box.

On Monday, December 3, I will read my poetry at the open mic program Community Drafts, held at Lucky 13 Pub, 1820 South 13th Street in South Philadelphia, starting at 8:00 PM.  I will have my books for sale there also, and others will perform stand-up comedy and music.

On Wednesday, December 5, I will be at Tattooed Mom, 5th and South streets in Philadelphia, for the meeting of the progressive group Philly for Change.

A New Bookstore Is Born

Today I attended the grand opening of a new bookstore in South Philadelphia, A Novel Idea On Passyunk, located at 1726 E. Passyunk Avenue. It’s part of a movement back to small independent bookstores, locally owned and operated, away from the big box chains and Amazon and the other online systems. This is more personal, more neighborhood oriented.

DSC00659

Christina HR Schneider and Alexander Schneider, owners of the new store.

DSC00660

Patrons enjoying the new bookstore, which will hold author events and will feature local authors and publishers.

DSC00662

The outside of the store, at 1726 E Passyunk Avenue in South Philadelphia

Their e-mail is books@anovelideaphilly.com.

 

Pennsylvania Global War On Terror Memorial

The Philadelphia AFL-CIO is one of the many organizations sponsoring the Pennsylvania Global War On Terror Memorial, in honor of those who have fallen for this country in Afghanistan and Iraq. This memorial will e situated in Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing, facing the Delaware River, near the memorials for those who served During Viet Nam and Korea.

For further information, and to contribute, Please contact:

PA GWOT Memorial

PO Box 14554

Philadelphia, PA 19115

On the web: https://www.gwotmemorial.org/ 

 

PHILAPOSH Awards Night

Last night I took part in the 34th Annual Awards Night of the Philadelphia Area Project for Occupational Safety and Health (PHILAPOSH), an organization dedicated to protecting the health and safety of workers on the job. Here are some photos I took of that wonderful event:

DSC00636

Peggy Ellis, with the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, winner of the Leadership In Health and Safety Award.

DSC00638

My friend Pat Eiding, President of the Philadelphia AFL-CIO, winner of the Tony Mazzocchi Award

DSC00639

Nicole Fuller, the new Director of PHILAPSOH, following…

DSC00640

…Barbara Rahke, the retiring Director

DSC00642

Lewis Fitzgerald, the other winner of the Leadership In Health And Safety Award

DSC00649

Christina Martinez, winner of the Crystal Eastman Award

DSC00650

Rick Bloomingdale, President of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO

DSC00653

Wendy Ruterman (left), Dylan Purcell, and Barbara Laker, winners of the Karen Silkwood Award, for the reporting in the Philadelphia Inquirer about the health hazards of Philadelphia public schools.

We had also a commemoration for Cathy Brady, a tireless union activist who was instrumental in pushing for a memorial to Labor in South-West Philadelphia.