kbojar's blog

Tony Payton: An Inspiration to CCP Students

Tony Payton visited my Community Involvement course at Community College of Phila. yesterday. Thanks, Tony for an inspirational presentation!

It’s clear from my students' reaction that when young dynamic candidates run and WIN, young people begin to see politics as something that just might have a connection to their lives.

Tony covered a wide range of issues and bridged the gap between the reform agenda and the progressive agenda which has been a theme on this list. While a reform agenda might not necessarily lead to a progressive agenda, the reform agenda (especially campaign finance reform) is the essential first step.

Tony was eloquent about the need to open up the process to talented new comers. I thought of his remarks when I read the Inquirer last night and came upon the following description of yesterday’s swearing in of recently anointed city council members:

The Women’s Way conference, Women & Influence, 2006

YPP is a great blog, but I think that women’s issues are not getting the attention they should. The following is a post about last week’s WOMENS WAY conference from http://www.philanow.blogspot.com

The euphoria I felt after the election has passed—a euphoria tempered by the defeat of Lois Murphy, a great candidate who I hope will run again.

With a Democratic congress we are in a better position to tackle deep-rooted structural problems, but the problems are so enormous, it’s real easy to get overwhelmed.

The Women’s Way conference, Women & Influence, 2006 held on Saturday, Nov. 18 provided me with the inspiration I need to keep plugging away. The conference focused on the challenges facing low wage women & families in America

For me the highlight of the conference was the keynote address by Donna Copper, Secretary of Policy and Planning for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. She focused not only on the need for economic supports but also as she put it, the need to address the “poverty of not being fulfilled.” She emphasized the restorative power of culture—e.g. The Shakespeare in Prison Project—and the importance of drawing on a broad range of cultural resources to enable women to find “their own cultural center.”

Endorsing candidates for the May 2007 primary election

Before the election there was a discussion on this blog re. what we considered the most important issues on the local level. A few people suggested that the “progressive/liberal reform movement" should focus on issues which unite us rather than on candidates.

I think that would be a mistake. Focusing solely on issues might appeal to policy wonks, but it’s not the way to draw in most folks. Introducing our friends, colleagues, neighbors to attractive candidates who are advancing progressive issues is the way to build a movement.

Progressive/ liberal organizations will be making endorsements for the May 2007 primary election. My guess is that most people on this list belong to organizations which will endorse in the 2007 primary—e.g., I chair Phila NOW PAC, am on the board of ADA, and a voting member of NN, and am a committeeperson in 9th ward. I will be voting on endorsements in these 4 organizations.

ballot questions

I’d like to know what you all think about the ballot questions. So far the only comment has been Councilman Goode’s post urging yes on the 2 City ballot questions. What follow is exact language on the 3 ballot questions and the Inquirer editorial on the questions:

Pennsylvania Ballot Question: Persian Gulf Conflict Veterans' Compensation Fund Referendum

The question: Do you favor indebtedness by the commonwealth of up to $20 million for the payment of compensation for service in the Persian Gulf Conflict of 1990-1991?

Phila Ballot Question 1:
Shall the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to require the Finance Director to issue an annual report that analyzes the participation of disadvantaged business enterprises (“DBEs”) in City contracts for the purchase of goods and services, compared to the percentage of qualified DBEs available to participate in such contracts, and that sets annual participation goals for DBEs, using such categories as Council may define?

Perzel is not the only Republican tacitly supported by the local Democratic party.

Perzel is not the only Republican tacitly supported by the local Democratic party. Phila NOW member Tammy Gavitt planned to run against John Taylor. She was concerned about the deterioration of her neighborhood, the lack of services to people in her district, the unresponsiveness of politicians.

Tammy started doing all the right things—going door to door, raising money early in the game. Also, she had lived in the district a long time and was born in the adjacent district in Fishtown. She had deep roots in the community which counts for a lot in Philly politics. Finally, the district is majority Democratic and demographics are changing, so Tammy thought unseating Taylor was doable.

Tammy was relatively new to electoral politics, but had a long history as an activist. She had become a committeeperson and worked hard to get out the vote and provide constituent services. This is what Councilman Kenney advised today—get involved in party politics, “don't approach the politics as inherently evil.”

The reform movement is getting great press!

The reform movement is getting great press. Just in case folks on this list missed Deborah Leavy’s DN piece: FIGHTING THE POWER

Posted on Mon, Sep. 25, 2006

WINDS OF CHANGE are blowing in Philly politics.
It's not a hurricane, not even a tropical storm, but the leaves are definitely rustling.
Bob Brady and the Democratic ward leaders still picked three fellow ward leaders for vacant City Council seats on a recent Monday evening.
But across town, Bob Casey addressed a packed audience of 300 at a town meeting of Philadelphians Against Santorum, a political action committee of more than 6,000 members, part of a nascent reform movement working outside the Democratic Party in the city.
Sure, they're against Sen. Rick Santorum. But they're also against the way politics is played in Philadelphia.

Something is Happening Here

Monday, September 11, 2006
Something is Happening Here

Last Wednesday night I attended the progressive candidates’ forum sponsored by Philly for Change, Neighborhood Networks, and Philadelphia NOW, along with many other progressive organizations. Candidates for the special elections were invited to address the voters. Progressive candidates like Maria Quiñones Sanchez, the NOW-endorsed candidate for the 7th councilmanic district, were there. The ward leaders (Savage and Sabatina), one of whom will be anointed by Democratic City committee to the 7th councilmanic district seat, were not.

I was overwhelmed by the large turn-out. We just may be on the cusp of real change in Philadelphia politics. A new generation of progressive young people is raising questions about the way political decisions are made and challenging the Democratic Party to become more open and inclusive.

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