I will attend the reading of the Moonstone Arts Center, to be held at Fergie’s Pub, 1214 Sansom Street in Philadelphia, on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. (http://www.fergies.com/) The featured readers will be Clinton Smith, poet, prose writer, and musician; and poet Elijah Pryor. There will be an open mic reading, which I shall take part in. (http://www.moonstoneartscenter.org/).
On Wednesday, June 20, I went with members of congregations affiliated with POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Worship, Empower, and Rebuild) to Harrisburg for a “Day of Action” to support a fair funding formula for all the school districts in Pennsylvania; it’s of particular interest for Philadelphia, since the city’s schools are notoriously underfunded, as are other school districts with large minority student bodies. I wrote an article about the event, and it is out in today’s edition of the Philadelphia Public Record. Please look it up, thanks.
One of my many activities is acting in Conversations Across Time, broadcast over PhilyCAM, the public access channel of Philadelphia (Verizon channel 29, Comcast channel 66). The format is that we portray historical figures discussing contemporary issues, like immigration, nuclear arms, poverty, etc. In this show I have portrayed John Foster Dulles, Roy Cohn, J. Edgar Hoover, Henry Kissinger, George Wallace, Lyndon Johnson, and Horace Greeley, among others. I urge you to look at the show and think about the issues they discuss.
I will join members of my congregation, Leyv Ha-Ir (http://leyvhair.org), in a 100% School Funding Day of Action in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, sponsored by Philadelphian Organized to Worship, Empower, and Rebuild (POWER, https://powerinterfaith.org), here we’ll hold a rally in the State capitol Rotunda for equitable funding for schools in the state, through a “fair funding formula.” We ‘ll also march to Governor Tom Wolf’s office to pray for his support for such a funding plan. Our schools need funding for textbooks, building maintenance, teachers and other staff, libraries, computers-I could go on. Education is not a luxury, it is the great equalizer, the great source of personal and social empowerment.
The Philadelphia Unemployment Project (PUP, https://www.philaup.org), will hold its Jazz Fest at the first Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut Street, on Friday, June 22. They will honor my friend Jim Moran, veteran Labor activist and Executive Director Emeritus of the Philadelphia Area Project for Occupational Safety and Health (PHILAPOSH, https://philaposh.org), and Wilson Chang, senior IT consultant at the University of Pennsylvania, who has provided IT services for PUP at no charge. (No small service, with the internet being such a part of our lives.) Music will be provided by the Weez The Peeples Collective, led by percussionist Karen Smith. Please contact PUP for tickets to this event. This is a great organization, honoring two great activists.
I will take part in the swap meet at my favorite bar, Dirty Frank’s, on 13th and Pine streets, on Sunday, June 17. I will have copies of my books for sake there, and join small craftspeople who are selling such handmade products as jewelry, clothes, and soap. I hope to see you there.
Tuesday, I was in Center City Philadelphia, and I was informed that my “Key Card,” which I have used to pay for my rides on SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) was all used up-I had requested a monthly pass for the entire month of June, but instead the money I paid was put into the “wallet,” where I paid per ride. I couldn’t get any rides, I was furious-wouldn’t YOU be?
Some of us have been trained to passively accept this kind of think happening to them-“shit happens” and all that, “get used to it,” they tell us. BUT, instead of “just accepting this,” I kept going to the SEPTA sales office where I paid the money, and they eventually gave me a paper Trans-Pass for June. VICTORY for the consumer! This shows if you DO stand up for yourself, you stand a better chance of winning.
I will attend the monthly meeting of Philly for Change, a progressive activist group, at Tattooed Mom, 530 South Street in Philadelphia, on Wednesday, June 6, 2018. There, we will celebrate the election victories of our endorsed candidates-Malcolm Kenyatta, Brendan, Boyle, Mike Doyle, Dwight Evans, John Fetterman, Elizabeth Fiedler, Joe Hohenstein, Sara Johnson, Rothman, Chris Rabb, and Joe Webster.
Also, we will hear from Senate candidate Tina Davis and Temple Medical Trauma Outreach Coordinator Scott Charles. I hope to see you there.
I have just come from the meeting of the 48th Ward Democratic Committee in South Philadelphia, where I presented my credentials as a Committee-member. we had nominations for officers-Anton Moore, a live wire of a young man who is dedicated to the community, was elected Ward Leader; I myself was elected Assistant Secretary. I will join other great activists in bringing in the people of our neighborhoods into the democratic process, just in time to fight the Trump agenda.
Among the various activist groups I’ve worked with over the years is Philly For Change, which is the Philadelphia affiliate of Democracy for America, which spun out of the presidential campaign of Howard Dean in 2004. We meet on the first Wednesday of the month, at Tattooed Mom, 5th and South streets in Philadelphia. Here, in a fun relaxed setting, we discuss important issues such as government accountability and school funding, as well as listen to political candidates give their platforms and we vote on which candidates to endorse and work for. The group’s web site is philly4change.com.
The videos below, found in my YouTube channel, show the previous meeting of Philly For change. The first video is of my friend, Tracey Gordon, running for the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives.