Yesterday I spent all day at my division polling station, in the Election Board of my division of my ward in Philadelphia-I served as Machine Inspector. I helped set up the voting machine and turned it on, to help people get ready to vote, the most basic and simple-and essential-function of a democracy (what’s left of it in this country). I showed people how to use the machine if they were a little confused; and when the polling station closed I helped take the cartridge out of the machine, along with the tape that counted the votes, and closed the machine. It was a great day, rough in spots, but I enjoyed my work in advancing the democratic process. I hope all of you voted, and I encourage you to play a role in your own communities.
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.
Their website is https://www.reclaimphiladelphia.org/.
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.
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.
You notice I changed the name of my vlog. I speak on the past election and the work ahead of us.
As a committeeman for my ward in South Philadelphia, and as an American, I urge you to get out there and VOTE in the general election. The last day for voter registration is October 9; the last day to apply for a civilian absentee ballot if October 30; and the election itself is on November 6. Here are the candidates I endorse:
US Senate from Pennsylvania, Bob Casey; and
Governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolfe.
Not only must we get out and vote, but we must do so in record numbers, to show the politicians of both parties that we the people are conscious of what is going on in our nation and in our communities, and we want to hold them accountable and not take us for granted.
Later on the Presidential elections will come up; and hopefully the Democratic party leadership will have learned not to cheat the progressive element of their voice or votes, that the progressives of the party are raising serious issues:
trade treaties that move manufacturing, and the jobs that go with them, out of local communities and cause unemployment for workers, with its accompanying sense of hopelessness;
gun violence that kills young lives;
banks receiving virtual welfare-such as grants from the Federal Reserve-while delivering perks to executives and buyout deals for incompetent CEOs;
tax benefits for corporations and the wealthy which, in spite of the myth, do NOT simulate the economy, but stay in the foreign bank accounts of billionaires;
and the racism crawling out of the woodwork, thanks to (sarcasm alert) the wonderful example set by our commander-in-chief. This list just scratches the surface.
Not only must you vote, but inform yourself of what goes on in the community an the world, so the politicians see you are paying attention to what is going on.
Donald Trump, supposedly the President of the United States, went to Helsinki to meet Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia and the man helpful to donnie’s getting elected, with the Russian intelligence agents hacking the DNC and the Clinton campaign. In the press conference after the meeting-where there were no one else but interpreters, no foreign policy advisers-donnie commended Russia’s hosting the Word Cup, and took the word of Putin, the former KGB agent-you remember form the Cold war era, the KGB were the villains- over the findings of US government intelligence agencies-the same government donnie is supposed to be running-whether or not the Russian intelligence agencies sabotaged the election of 2016, jeopardizing what’s left of our “democracy,” thus installing a business failure-racist-misogynist-realty-show clown as president.
(Plus in the press conference, trump once again went off on a tangent about beating Hillary Clinton, like he’s campaigning again-but when does he ever stop campaigning?)
trump always had a soft spot in his “heart” for dictators and authoritarians, whether they be Kim John-Un, Erdogan, Recep Dutarte, Ix Jinping, or Putin. “Like takes to like,” as they say, and THESE are the role models trump is trying t follow.
Americans! Let’s stand up for our rights! Don’t wait until November, start NOW! Hit the streets, write to your editors, visit your elected officials!