kbojar's blog

Urge Governor Rendell to appoint Joyce Eubanks to the Municipal Court vacancy which currently exists in Philadelphia.

Thanks for spearheading this Karen, and yea Joyce! -Ray

At our chapter meeting this Monday, Philadelphia NOW voted to send a letter to Governor Rendell urging him to appoint Joyce Eubanks to the Municipal Court vacancy which currently exists in Philadelphia.

We enthusiastically endorsed Joyce Eubanks when she ran for a judicial slot last year. Click "read more" below to see the letter written on behalf of the chapter. Joyce would also welcome additional letters from individual supporters.

Philadelphia NOW Celebrates Local Women Leaders on April 17, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Ethical Society

Philadelphia NOW Celebrates Local Women Leaders

Philadelphia Ethical Society, 1906 Rittenhouse Square
Thursday, April 17, 2008 - 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Please join us as we honor

Vanessa Brown, Candidate for PA House District 190

Lillian Ciarrocchi, Founding member, Philadelphia NOW

Cathy Scott, President, AFSCME District Council 47


AFSCME Local 2187, Kahim Boles, Pres.
AFSCME Local 1723, Paul Dannenfelser,
AFSCME Local 590, Howard Deck, Pres.
Coalition of 100 Black Women, PA Chapter
Cindy Bass
Kathy Black
Karen Bojar
Coalition of Labor Union Women
Sherrie Cohen
Anne Dicker
Anne and Bill Ewing
Larry Farnese
Congressman Chaka Fattah
Gloria Gilman
Terry Graboyes
Councilman Bill Greenlee
Jean Haskell
State Representative Babette Josephs
Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO
Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez
Councilwoman Marian Tasco
Dr. Bayard Storey
Letty Thall

Fundraiser for Vanessa Brown on March 17

Meet Vanessa Brown, her Team and Friends

Democratic Candidate for State Representative 190th District

On Monday, March 17, 2008

6:00 -10:00 PM


Abbraccio Restaurant
820 South 47th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19143


The cuisine is Italian and cash bar. The love of our neighborhood is genuine.

The best review we can get is a smile or hug from you.

We invite you to enjoy yourself in a relaxed atmosphere, and come again when you can!

entertainment by the R.L. Experience – a HOT Female Jazz Band

Celebrate Pisces Team Members Birthdays

Clifton, Joyce, Eva, Kirby, Earlene

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Donation $25.00

Host Committee: $250, $100, $50

RSVP to 215-878-1045 OR win@vanessabrown2008.com

Checks Payable to: Friends to Elect Vanessa Brown

942 North Fallon St., Philadelphia PA 19131

Support Vanessa Brown for Representative in the 190th district

Vanessa Brown may soon join Tony Payton as the second currently enrolled CCP student to serve in the PA House of Representatives.

Vanessa was a student in my Community Involvement class; it soon became apparent that she could be teaching the class. She is certainly one of the most talented students I have been privileged to teach.

Vanessa has a very impressive record as a community activist. You can learn more about Vanessa at Vanessabrown2008.com

Philadephia Now has endorsed her candidacy for State Representative in the 190th district and we are holding a fundraiser for her this week-end. I hope some of you will be able to join us:

When: February 24 from 2:00-4:00

Where: 706 Lombard Street. South side of Lombard, near corner of 7th and Lombard.
Take Market-Frankford El to 8th and walk south to Lombard. Some meter
parking and two pay parking lots nearby.

Refreshments will include famous whole grain home-baked breads and chocolate

Congratulations to Helen Gym, The Inquirer's 2007 Citizen of the Year!

Congratulations to Helen Gym, The Inquirer's 2007 Citizen of the Year!
From today's Inquirer:

Editorial | Helen Gym
This inclusionary leader has tirelessly fought to improve city schools.

Mayor-elect Michael Nutter could've just taken a bow last week after the announcement that the city and schools would get an extra $2.71 million this year from the Philadelphia Parking Authority.
Instead, the man who wants citizens to stand up and help him to make the city better shared the limelight with people who are doing just that: Parents United for Public Education.

"The parents deserve a tremendous amount of credit," Nutter said. "They came upon this issue, focused on this issue, and drew some serious attention to it, and they are the true champions here."

Parents United has spent the last two years speaking out at School Reform Commission meetings, poring over budgets, pushing City Council to commit more resources to education, and insisting that the Parking Authority live up to its promise to help fund city schools.

While this is undeniably a team effort, the voice of one Parents United member stands out:

Helen Gym, The Inquirer's 2007 Citizen of the Year.

Here's a bit of that voice:

"It's crazy to think in this day and age that asking for music in a child's life is radical. That it is radical and revolutionary to demand a qualified teacher, or science labs and decent bathroom facilities, or healthy fresh food in lunchrooms. . . .

"If these things are radical, then all of us need to become militant to our core."

Read more at http://www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/20071223_Editorial___Helen_Gym.ht..., photo property of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Should progressive organizations involved in electoral politics try harder to work together?

Should progressive organizations involved in electoral politics try harder to work together?

Last year representatives from progressive groups involved in electoral politics (including ADA, Liberty City, Neighborhood Networks, NOW, Philly for Change etc.) formed a coalition of sorts to share information and, to the extent possible, endorse the same candidates.

We managed to pool our resources and set up website at www.takebackourcity.org which listed the endorsements of participating organizations and their criteria for endorsements.

Uniting around candidates proved to be more difficult than we thought. The only endorsement we had in common in the 2007 primary was for Maria Quinones Sanchez.

Committeepeople make a difference: it’s not too soon to start thinking about 2010

Committeepeople make a difference. Here’s just one example: the 9th ward recommended “No” on retaining Judge Deni and just about every committee person had a letter urging this.

The results in my division for Deni:
Yes: 75 votes, 28.6%
No 187 votes, 71.3%
Undervotes (that is those who voted but skipped this race): 79

These results were very different from the vote city wide:

1st Judicial District (Philadelphia County)
Candidate Votes Percent
DAHER, GEORGANNE V. "Yes" 78,132 68.2%
"No" 36,353 31.8%
DENI, TERESA CARR "Yes" 76,046 65.9%
"No" 39,271 34.1%
GRIFFIN, DEBORAH "Yes" 82,158 71.1%
"No" 33,323 28.9%
MERRIWEATHER, RONALD B. "Yes" 89,781 77.1%
"No" 26,697 22.9%
PEW, WENDY "Yes" 84,913 76.0%
"No" 26,828 24.0%
PRESENZA, LOUIS J. "Yes" 84,120 75.1%
"No" 27,846 24.9%

County Breakdown for 1st Judicial District (Philadelphia County)
Judicial Retention

Press Conference Thursday November 1, 1:00pm: Groups Demand that Judge Teresa Carr Deni Must Go

Press Conference Thursday November 1 1:00pm

Outside Phila Municipal Court, 1301 Filbert St (Criminal Justice Center), Philadelphia
Contact: Mary Kalyna, Global Women's Strike 215-776-1004

Groups Demand that Judge Teresa Carr Deni Must Go –

Say "All Women Deserve Protection from Rape"

A broad range of organizations are calling for Philadelphia Municipal Judge Teresa Carr Deni to be removed from office following her decision to drop rape and assault charges in the case of a 20-year-old African-American woman gang-raped at gunpoint by four men. Because the woman was working as a prostitute, Deni decided that she could not have been raped and changed the charge to "theft of services."



It is not often that the Philadelphia Bar Association comments publicly on a judge’s ruling in a legalproceeding. Indeed, the Association has, aspart of its mission, the preservation of a free and independentjudiciary. This issue goes to the marrowof our existence as a free and independent people.

However, an October 4 ruling by Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Teresa Carr Deni – issued on the heels of ratings released by our nonpartisan Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention of Judge Deni and other judicial candidates in next week’s election – represents a confluence of events that compels us to speak out.

When is a rape not a rape? When the victim is a sex worker!

Philadelphia NOW and Americans for Democratic Action will recommend a no vote for Teresa Deni in their voters' guides.

See Jill Porter's article on this at http://www.philly.com/dailynews/columnists/jill_porter/20071012_Jill_Por...

I received the following message from those who are organizing to make sure that Deni does not remain on the bench:

******Please distribute widely*********

When is a rape not a rape?
When the victim is a sex worker!

Did you know that in Philadelphia forcing a sex worker to have
unprotected sex with multiple partners at gunpoint and without consent
is not considered rape? That's right, Municipal Court Judge Teresa
Carr Deni decided that based upon her occupation, the victim, a
20-year-old single mother, had consented to any and all brutality
unleashed upon her.

When asked whether she considered rape to be a traumatic event, Deni

Darrell Clark’s vendetta against Haile Johnston

If I remember correctly, Haile Johnston was endorsed by YYP. If progressives want to encourage more young progressives like Haile to run for office, shouldn’t we respond in some organized way to attempts at intimidation such as Darrell Clark’s vendetta against Haile.

There was an article about this in last Friday’s Inquirer (http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/10101292.html) and now this report in City paper, "Councilman Clarke's revenge inflicts collateral damage on a fragile community."

Just after Haile Johnston lost his May primary contest with Clarke, Clarke allegedly arranged to have Johnston's community greening contracts with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) canceled. Since June, trash has piled up on hundreds of vacant lots, as the drug dealers return.

Clarke's ire could not be more foolishly directed. Haile Johnston and wife Tatiana Garcia-Granados are literally the poster couple of community organizers.

Michael Nutter addresses the issue of family violence

Just returned from the Women for Nutter event at Moore College of Art and was very happy to hear Michael Nutter address the issue of family violence. This is a rough paraphrase from memory. I wasn’t taking notes. He said:

We have got to stop the epidemic of violence plaguing our city and that includes violence in the home. It may not get the headlines, it may not be a front-burner issue for many citizens, but violence against women and children is a major public health issue.

There were many other points Michael Nutter addressed, but the women I spoke to after the event were most impressed that the next mayor considers domestic violence a critically important issue, one that will command his full attention.

Michael Nutter wants talented young people involved in city government

This should be of interest to young progressives:

Throughout the day, as he toured various city offices, Nutter was struck by the number of young people in places of authority, which is a real contrast to Philadelphia.
For instance, the first stop of the day was New York's vast 311 center, 311 being a 911-style telephone number through which local residents can obtain access to city services and all manner of basic information.
The tour was conducted most prominently by Elizabeth Leath, the system's analyst for community affairs. Leath is 25. She's been working on 311 for five years. She started as a college intern.
Nutter said that he wanted both a 311 system and a way to get talented young people involved in city government.


Elvira Arellano: U.S. immigration policy and family values

I don’t know how much coverage the Elvira Arellano case got in Philadelphia. I was in Mexico at the time and there it was pretty much all Elvira, all the time.

This is a national issue but one with local implications, so I think appropriate for this blog. I was very happy when I returned to learn that the National Organization for Women had taken a position in support of Arellano and against the raids and deportations which are tearing immigrant families apart. Here is the NOW statement:

NOW Denounces Deportation of Immigrant Rights Advocate Elvira Arellano
August 22, 2007

The National Organization for Women (NOW) is urging its members to speak out against the recent deportation of immigrant rights activist Elvira Arellano, president of La Familia Latina Unida (United Latino Family). La Familia lobbies on behalf of families that could be split up because of deportation.

More evidence that we must change the system by which we select judges

On June 19, the DN reported that a “Common Pleas judge nominee spent 550G to win in primary.”

Michael Erdos, a prosecutor in the district attorney's office for the past 10 years, spent about $550,000 in his barely successful campaign to win a Democratic nomination for Common Pleas Court. The figure is thought to be an all-time record for the amount spent to win a local judicial nomination.

The other three judicial candidates who won Democratic nominations also relied on themselves and their families for most of their campaign money.
Alice Beck Dubow reported $303,243 in campaign expenses, Ellen Green-Ceisler spent $199,150 and Linda Carpenter, who had the luck to draw the top ballot position, spent about $130,000, according to their campaign-finance reports.
Candidate Beverly Muldrow, who ran fifth, 3,078 votes behind Erdos, reported $158,053 in campaign expenses, more than $150,000 of it her own money. .

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