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.

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Labor Day in Philadelphia

Yesterday I proudly took part in the 32nd Annual Tri-State Labor Day Parade and Family Celebration, on Monday, September 2. We assembled at the Sheet Metal workers hall, 1301 S. Columbus Boulevard.

Getting ready to march in OUR parade…
…honoring our history and our solidarity.
Sounds from the Avalon String Band.
John Greer, chair of the parade’s organizing committee, opening the program.
Amanda Hammock, AKA Rosie the Riveter, striking a pose for freedom.
The wrench, uh, torch passing to a new generation of Rosies.
The working people of Philadelphia, the stars of the show.

 

Philly For Change, July 3, 2019

I hope you can join me for the next meeting at Philly for Change, at Tattooed Mom, 5th and South streets in Philadelphia, tomorrow, Wednesday, July 3, 2019. Speaking there will be Rochelle Bilal, candidate for Sheriff; Tracey Gordon, candidate for Register of Wills; and Dave Scholnick, speaking on on gun violence. We will also discuss the refinery fire in South Philadelphia, and the 2020 election. See you there!

Salute To Labor

I was present at the Philadelphia Public Record‘s Salute To Labor, honoring a number of fine Labor leaders, some I know personally, at the Philadelphia Joint Board, 22 South 22nd Street, on Friday, June 20, 2019.

Nicole Fuller, Director of PHILAPOSH, Philadelphia Area Project for Occupational Safety and Health, one of the honorees. (Full disclosure, I’m on the PHILAPOSH board.)
On the left is Ken Washington, Laborers District Council of the Metropolitan Area of Philadelphia and Vicinity, one of the honorees.
Jonathan Saidel, former City Controller of Philadelphia, master of ceremonies.
Daniel Grace, Teamsters Local 830, one of the honorees.
Keven Boyle, Ironworkers Local 401, one of the honorees.
City Council-member Janie Blackwell and Pat Eiding, President of Philadelphia AFL-CIO.
Todd Farally, Sheet Metal Workers Local 19, one of the honorees.

Election Work, May 21, 2019

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.

Article Published

An article I wrote for the Philadelphia Jewish Voice (http://pjvoice.org) about the recent Israel Independence Day festivities has been published. Please check it out, http://pjvoice.org/2019/05/13/israel-independence-day-celebration-at-thomas-paine-plaza/#.XN7wFo5KiM8 .

Poetry Reading, May 6, 2019

This evening, my friends at A Novel Idea on Passyunk, 1726 E. Passyunk Avenue (https://anovelideaphilly.com/) will hold a poetry reading at the Lucky 13 Pub, 1830 South 13th street in South Philadelphia (https://anovelideaphilly.com/ ) Please come and watch fine area poets-like me-read their material.

Meeting The Candidates

As a committee-person for my ward, I join my other committee-people to listen to candidates for City offices in Philadelphia this year-Mayor, district City Council-member, Council at Large, Sheriff, City Commissioner (in charge of the voting system), Register of Wills, and Common Pleas and Municipal Judges. We ask the candidates questions about legalizing marijuana and sex work, reentry programs for ex-offenders, the Soda Tax, the ten-year tax abatement for real estate developers, gentrification, funding pre-K education, low-income housing, the $15.00-an-hour minimum wage, publicly-funded political campaigns, avoiding foreclosures on homes for sheriff sales, among others. These candidates come from various backgrounds, including immigrant and working-class histories; these are people sincerely trying to change the lives of their constituents.

I urge you to get involved in the affairs of your communities where you are, ask questions of candidates-maybe be one yourself-and for God’s sake get out and vote.

Philly For Change, April 15, 2019

A special meeting of Philly For Change-one of my favorite groups-will take place on Monday, April 15, 2019, at 7:00 PM, at Tattooed Mom, 5th and South streets in Philadelphia. There, we will meet the following candidates:

Maria Quinones Sanchez, City Council, 7th Councilmanic District;

Isaiah Thomas, Adrian Rivera-Reyes, Asa Khalif, and Fernando Trevino, for City Council at Large;

Jen Devor and Kalil Williams for City Commissioner;

and judicial candidates Wendi Barish, Gregory Weyer, Dave Conroy, and Jennifer Schultz;

and a discussion on voting machines led by Rich Garella.

This will be the last meeting before endorsement. I hope to see you all there.

Philly For Change, April 3, 2019

Once again, I will join many other Philadelphia progressive activists at the meeting of Philly For Change, at Tattooed Mom, 5th and South streets, in Philadelphia. Candidates for local offices will show up there, including:

Sherrie Cohen, Helen Gym, Eryn Santamoor. and Deja Lynn Alvarez, for City Council at Large;

Alan Butkovitz, for Mayor;

and Kay Yu, for Judge. Please come and ask them how they would work for the people of Philadelphia.