Yesterday, I received my mail-in ballot, made my vote, and mailed it to my county’s board of elections. It’s an alternative, in this pandemic crisis, of electing our public officials. It’s especially crucial to vote during this pandemic, so that we can have leaders who will truly lead, truly work to help us resolve this crisis, and not soak the public of tax money to line their own pockets (like SOME people lurking around the White House!).
I will attend the monthly meeting of Philly For Change, the progressive activist group, tonight at 7:00 PM, at Tattooed Mom, 5th and South streets in Philadelphia.
Present will be:
PA State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta;
Nikil Saval, candidate for PA First Senatorial District;
City Commissioner Lisa Deeley;
Greg Benjamin, candidate for the PA House, 188th District; and
Nikki Bagby, candidate for PA House, 198th District.
There will be discussion of the issues and questions for the candidates, in a relaxed atmosphere. I urge you to participate in the political process, as it affects our everyday lives; and, on Primary Election Day-April 28 in Pennsylvania- I URGE you to vote, to show the people in office that we intend to take back our democracy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Christina HR Schneider and Alexander Schneider, owners of the new store.
Patrons enjoying the new bookstore, which will hold author events and will feature local authors and publishers.
The outside of the store, at 1726 E Passyunk Avenue in South Philadelphia