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.

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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.

Monday Poets at The Free Library of Philadelphia

every first Monday of the Month, the Parkway Central Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia (http://freelibrary.org) holds its Monday Poets Reading Series; last night I took part in an open reading, along with other fine regional poets. The next reading, on May 6, will be on the theme “Whitman@200: Art and Democracy,” featuring Leonard Gontarek and poets from the Poetry in Common Workshop. Please look into this, and please support your local libraries and other educational venues.

Workers’ Memorial Day

Workers’ Memorial Day, a day to honor the lives of workers who died on the job trying to make a living for themselves and their families-and a day to advocate for greater occupational health and safety measures-will take place in Philadelphia, at the Sheet Metal workers’ Hall, 1301 South Columbus Blvd., on Friday, April 26, 2019.

This event is sponsored by the Philadelphia Area Project for Occupational Safety and Health (PHILAPOSH) and the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO.

We will begin with a breakfast and discussion about workers’ health and safety issues. After that, we will have a funeral procession, with Brian Wydlitz on the bagpipes. The procession will end at Penn’s Landing, where we will place flowers into the Delaware as we read the names of workers in the region who were killed on the job. This is a beautiful ceremony honoring someone’s father, friend, son, or brother. Please support the work of defending the right of workers to safe working conditions.

Memorial for the Global War On Terror

The Philadelphia AFL-CIO is one of the many sponsors of the development of a memorial to honor US military personnel who have lost their lives during the Global War On Terror, which includes the activity in Afghanistan and Iraq. The purpose of the memorial is to honor the sacrifice of those brave young Americans who died in the service of their country in this period. the memorial is to be located at Penn’s Landing, close to the memorials for the veterans of the wars in Korea and Viet Nam. The builders of the memorial need you support to raise funds for the memorial.

For further information, and to make a donation, pleas contact:

PA GWOT Memorial

PO Box 14554

Philadelphia, PA, 19115

www.gwotmemorial.org

Philly For Change, March 6, 2019

Last night, I attended the monthly meeting of Philly For Change, held every Wednesday evening at Tattooed Mom, 5th and South streets in Philadelphia. we listened to the campaign pitches of candidates for the offices as City Council at Large and City Commissioner ( the body that runs the voting system in Philadelphia).

Lisa Deeley, current incumbent Chair of the City Commissioners, spoke to the group, along with Omar Sabir and Moria Bohannon, also running for City Commissioner. They took questions about the integrity of the new voting machines the City has purchased, whether they can be safe from computer hacking-a real fear. They also spoke about the need to educate people about how the voting system works, and of the importance of voting.

Candidates for City Council at Large were Justin DiBerandinis and Derek Green, who spoke of how their life experiences influence their participation in the political process. We as citizens should also involve ourselves in the process, because it affects our lives.

Voting Eu Referendum GIF by Geo Law - Find & Share on GIPHY

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.

Town Hall for Medicare for All

On Saturday, January 26, I attended a town hall meeting held at the Church of the Holy Trinity, 1904 Walnut Street in Philadelphia, for Medicare for All, sponsored by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), along with the National labor Campaign for Single Payer, CWA District 2-13, Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees-IBT, PASNAP, and UNITE-HERE, among others.

The speakers included Ed Mooney, Vice-President of CWA District 2-13, who spoke of the health care issue from the perspective of contract negotiations, and of the fight to implement in this “land of the free” a national-wide health insurance plan, as in Canada; and Michael Lighty, a fellow in the Sanders Institute and leader in California’s campaign for a single-payer system. Questions were taken from the audience.

The idea of health care as a commodity has led to a deterioration in health care, in spite of increasing costs. The time is NOW for a single-payer plan , as in Canada, to cover every American, no matter what their station in life, for health insurance. That would be one less source of anxiety alleviated from the minds of most Americans.

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.