Site Growth, Anonymous Comments, and Where We Go Now

What is this picture? What does it mean for our site? Why can I not figure out how to not make it so ugly?

Growth since the switch

Check out the answers in the extended section...

Young Philadelphia Politician Wins State House Seat

Cherelle Parker, a Mt. Airy native and former aide to Councilwoman Marian Tasco, won a special election for state House seat on Tuesday. Parker who is 32 years old will serve as the state Representative for the 200th State Legislative District which represents the 9th, 21st and 22nd wards, mostly located in Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill. This special election was called to fill the vacancy left by Leanna Washington when she was elected to the PA State Senate.

Parker was elected by promising to improve public transportation, education and long-term care for senior citizens. She had the support of many members of the NW Progressive community and she also serves on the state board of directors for the Pa. Women’s Campaign Fund

However, there was some dissent amongst Northwest progressives in this race. Some supported Green party candidate Marlene Santoyo. Santoyo is a long-time Mt. Airy activist and, funnily enough, also serves as Democratic committeewoman in the 22nd ward. Santoyo’s entry into the race divided some progressives.

It’s a shame that NW progressives weren’t able to unite completely behind Parker as it isn’t very often in this city that we get to send someone so young to the General Assembly. Parker will need the energy and support of the progressive community if she is to be a real agent for change.

Click "read more" below to find out why.

Philly For Change Endorses Patrick Murphy

Philly for Change announced today that they have officially endorsed Patrick Murphy for the Democratic nomination for Congress (PA-08).

As readers of this blog know, I strongly believe that Democrats need to vastly improve their national security image in the minds of voters and I believe that the best way to do this is by putting forth candidates who can easily convey to voters (in a picture or soundbite length statement) that we are strong on security. Thus I believe that we need to encourage veterans to run for national offices as Democrats, and we need to support these candidates and promote their campaigns on the national stage.

Below the jump you'll find P4W's e-mail and a link to vote for a very early endorsement from Democracy for America. Give P4w's e-mail a read, and please go vote on DFA's site! I know who I'm voting for...

THIS SATURDAY: Meeting of Philadelphia's Progressive Electoral Organizers

I just got an email from Jay Woodson (Dashrinc, for regular readers of YPP), about a meeting he is organizing of progressive Philadelphians, sponsored by the Philadelphia Hip Hop Organizing Committee. The meeting is Saturday, at 2 PM, with the aim or organizing around the idea of 1)changing Philly and 2) beating up on ol' Rick Santorum.

I stronly urge you to come if you can.

For further info, contact Jay at dashrinc at yahoo dot com.

Click "read more" to see all the details.

B & R Tribute to Cohens: Beyond Commemoration; Time for Action

Last night, Bread and Roses held their 17thTribute to Change. This annual awards ceremony recognizes social change leaders in Philadelphia. This year’s tribute was to David and Florence Cohen. David Cohen is our 90-year old Councilman-at-Large and Florence is an activist and was David’s Chief of Staff for 15 years. They met as young organizers and been married for almost 60 years.

There were over 400 people including all of the city’s progressive organization leaders, politcos, the Cohen’s neighbors and friends from their Ogontz/West Oak Lane/East Germantown neighborhood and lots of Bread and Roses supporters

The speakers, who included Shariff Street (on behalf of the Mayor), Pat Eiding, Mark and Sherrie Cohen and neighbors, and friends all told the tale of the Cohens: how they met, the organizing they did and what they stand for.

Click "read more" to see the rest.

Chris Bowers at the Supreme Court Hearings

Philly's own Chris Bowers, of MyDD is in Washington D.C., liveblogging the confirmation hearings for John Roberts, possible chief justice of the Supreme Court. As people from PA, we have a special interest in that Arlen Specter will be doing much of the shaping of this debate and hearing. Check it out at MyDD.

If you want to use your PA influence, check out People for the American Way, who are leading the fight against Roberts.

Philly Beyond Oil Teach-In & Conference

On September 18th (this Sunday) there will be a teach in and conference on oil and its effects on our bodies, our neighborhoods/society, and our world. Details are in the extended entry...

A Conversation on Michael Nutter

This week's City Paper cover story is a profile of Michael Nutter. The article is reasonably fair, and semi-interesting. I excerpt sections of it in the extended entry (just click "read more"). But, aside from the article itself, I think this is a good chance to talk about Mike Nutter generally, and his likely candidacy for Mayor.

So, how about it? Why do you feel like Nutter will be a good mayor? Why does he make you uncomfortable? Let me know. And click read more to see some interesting parts of the City Paper story itself.

PA Progressives

In the interest of making sure we realize where our allies are, I recently added a new group of links- Pennsylvania Progressives, that are not from the Philly area. The list will grow as I see sites. If you know of others, let me know in the comments.

Check em out:

  • PA for Democracy
  • Vote Blue PA
  • 2 Political Junkies
  • Progress Pittsburgh
  • WPHT needs to fire Glenn Beck

    Have you heard of local doofus, Glenn Beck, host of a morning radio show on 1210AM (WPHT)? He is like our own local Rush Limbaugh. And, he needs to be fired. Why? Check out what what Will Bunch heard him say this morning:

    But now, 11 days after the worst natural disaster in U.S. history, Beck said he's starting to hate the Hurricane Katrina survivors. In fact, he called them "scumbags." (Apparently, this is the word that Beck likes to use to describe people who lost a loved one though tragedy or terrorism, because last year he called the father of Iraq beheading victim Nick Berg "a scumbag.")

    He wasn't very clear, so assume that Beck -- just as with 9/11 -- doesn't think that all hurricane survivors are "scumbags," just the poorest ones, the ones who had the nerve to be impatient about collecting a little humanitarian aid after 10 days in hell.

    That business done, Beck said he was now going to start raising relief money for "regular people," folks in the (supposed) 90,000-square mile disaster zone and not just the 181 square miles of New Orleans. We honestly have no idea what he meant by "regular people."

    Surely he didn't mean white people, because they would never allow someone who thought like that on the radio.

    Would they?

    Go check out the whole thing at Attytood.

    Glenn Beck should be canned.

    Bread and Roses Tribute to Change is Monday 9/12: Buy Your Tickets Today!

    The annual Tribute to Change is the Progressive Philly event of the year- your chance to see and be seen among the liberal glitterati! This year's event will feature Amy Goodman, the host of Democracy Now! and will honor David and Florence Cohen for their contributions to Philadelphia's progressive community. This event is also a great way to show your support for grassroots organizing by giving to Philadelphia's most progressive foundation. Read YPP Contributor Ben Waxman's post for background about both Bread and Roses and the Cohens by clicking here.

    Tribute to Change EVENT DETAILS
    WHEN: Monday, September 12th from 6 – 9 pm.
    WHERE: Zellerbach Theatre at The Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut Street in University City
    COST: $50/person, $25/person low-income and $5/student rate.

    To purchase tickets, call 215.731.1107 or visit the B & R website here.

    Carney Officially Launches His Campaign

    I just noticed on MyDD that Chris Carney has officially launched his campaign for U.S. Congress

    On Wednesday September 7th, Chris formally announced his candidacy for U.S. Congress in front of a crowd of approximately 100 (trust me, this is a great turnout in our rural district). Below, I've given a brief report on the Kickoff, the text of Chris' speech, some pictures from the event, and listed two upcoming events that are of particular interest to those near Lewisberg, Pa. and Philadelphia, Pa.

    His announcement speech is in the extended entry.

    Carney will be stopping by Drinking Liberally on September 20th. As luck would have it I'll be at the Philly Drinking Liberally with the rest of the national Drinking Liberally folks (the umbrella group responsible for creating and maintaining Drinking Liberally, as well as Laughing Liberally and Rocking Liberally, is known as Cosmopolity. These are the cats that I went to San Fran with to throw a party at the YDA convention and Cosmopolity has been the group that I've been volunteering for since May.)

    Go Chris!!! And thank the lord that we finally have some candidates who can help us Democrats with our biggest image problem. What's that problem?
    It's Security, Stupid!

    Tribute to Change: Florence and David Cohen

    Philadelphia has many movements for social and economic justice. From Kensington to Northeast Philadelphia, progressives have organized around a variety of local, state, and national issues. Anywhere you find progressives organizing in Philadelphia, you’re also likely to find the Bread and Roses Community Fund.

    Founded in 1971, Bread and Roses has given over $6 million dollars to community organizations across the Delaware Valley. From the anti-war protests to the rights of prisoners, movements rooted in the power of collective action almost always have some connection to Bread and Roses.

    Every year, Bread and Roses awards the Paul Robeson Award to someone who best exemplifies a strong commitment to social justice. Click “Read More” to find out why I think attending this year’s award dinner is well-worth the price of admission.

    Help Increase Pennsylvania's Minimum Wage

    The time has come for Pennsylvania to join 17 other states and the District of Columbia in raising the state minimum wage above the paltry federal minimum of $5.15 per hour. The purchasing power of the current minimum wage has been greatly eroded since the last increase in 1996 and a raise is long overdue. A Pennsylvania working family cannot have a decent or acceptable standard of living based upon our current state minimum wage of $5.15 per hour.

    Starting today, JoeHoeffelandFriends.com will launch a campaign urging the Pennsylvania General Assembly to increase the minimum wage based on three standards that should be used to evaluate the legislation:

    1. There should be an immediate jump in the minimum wage level to match the standard that surrounding states have already set.
    2. Future, incremental increases should be included to at least reach the federal poverty line.
    3. Any bill that increases the minimum wage should also provide for future cost of living increases to ensure that all Pennsylvanians can afford to care for their families.

    Currently there are three bills in the state assembly that address the minimum wage issue: HB 257, SB 269, HB 216. While each of the three proposed plans represents a good faith effort to address this problem, only HB 257 meets all three standards. This bill will raise our minimum wage to $6.15 per hour by January 1, 2006, in line with neighboring states, and further increase it to help bring low wage workers out of poverty with an increase to $7.15 per hour by January 1, 2007. Perhaps most importantly the bill will incorporate a cost of living increase to be enacted every January 1st after 2007 to ensure that the working poor can provide for their families in the future.

    Please click here to sign a petition that will be sent to the Majority and Minority leaders of the House and Senate as well as the Governor urging them to increase Pennsylvania's minimum wage.

    Pennsylvania's workers deserve better -- by coming together we can convince the General Assembly to finally support those who need help the most by increasing the minimum wage. I ask for your support in this campaign to give PA workers a better and brighter future.

    Pennsylvania Universities and Colleges Step Up

    This is terrific:

    Moving with uncharacteristic speed, dozens of colleges and universities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey have enrolled hundreds of students from schools closed by Hurricane Katrina, slashing through their typically thick layers of red tape with abbreviated applications and minimal focus on transcripts and SAT scores.

    As many as 100 students - most of them from Tulane, Loyola and Xavier Universities in New Orleans - will begin classes today at the University of Pennsylvania. Rutgers University has enrolled 37 of the students; 34 more are already studying at St. Joseph's University, and 26 others chose Villanova University.

    For these students and most others displaced by the hurricane, tuition for the fall semester will be free at their new schools; they've already paid tuition at their old schools. But there are some hitches. Most schools don't have dormitory rooms available, and many classes are full. And in almost all cases, the new students are considered "visitors" on temporary stays.

    In fact, I believe that PA officials have decided not to charge tuition at any of the State run schools, with the money going to the student's original college to help with the rebuilding. It is a quick, sensible act of humanity and decency.

    Now, if we can just get to the idea that we must find a way for all students to attend college, not just otherwise enrolled victims of this awful tragedy...

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