Who we are
Philadelphia is a great city -- but it's more than a city. It's a group of neighborhoods whose vitality depends not only on people caring about each other, but also on the political decisions that shape our environment.
Neighborhood Networks traces its origins to the MoveOn presidential campaign of 2004. After the election a core group of MoveOn veterans around the city decided to keep the energy and connections alive by continuing to hold monthly potlucks over the winter. When they discovered that similar activity was happening outside their own wards, the groups planned to form a new organization. They joined together at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in June, 2005, and Neighborhood Networks was born. The idea was to create an ongoing organization to push for progressive candidates and policies in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the national level, not unlike the strategy the far right used so successfully to dominate the Republican Party.
What do we progressives need to do to regain political power and thus the ability to create a more peaceful, just, and tolerant world?
We believe all three are important. But we think that organization is the one task that citizens who do not do politics full time might best focus on.
See also: Joining NN: What you can do
Highlights of our past campaigns
NN worked on a campaign to get a large Yes vote on an ethics reform ballot referendum in the November 2005. This important action was a first step in ending pay-to-play in our city. We had over 130 workers on the streets and in the polls in our first such undertaking, and we believe that we played a major role in creating the overwhelming majority for ethics reform. No ballot question in the past ten years won by such a high margin. the ballot question was planned and financed by a wide coalition of progressive groups. NN was responsible for the grassroots operation. Marc Stier did an excellent job of coordinating our work with the other groups and getting our forces out to work.
NN worked as part of another coalition to force a minimum wage bill to the floor of the Pennsylvania state legislature and insure its passage. It was not a bill that totally reflects what we wanted (a living wage would not be a bad idea), but it will increase the take-home pay of most of the lowest-wage workers in the state. NN was involved in the Raise the Minimum Wage Coalition from its inception. We played a major role in developing the strategy for the campaign. We collected thousands of signatures of petitions calling for the minimum wage to be increased. We helped organized the first outreach effort outside Philadelphia when Marc Stier traveled to Altoona with those petitions. And we provided the seed money for the radio advertisements in key house and senate districts. Our outreach efforts and the radio advertisements put pressure on the legislature to bring the ball to the floor of both the House and the Senate. We gladly joined with the governor and some of the key legislators at the signing of the bill which took place at the Sharon Baptist Church in Philly.
ElectionsWe have been working actively to elect progressives to City Council and to the courts in Philadelphia. We were especially active in the Spring 2007 primary and also supported an independent, Jesse Brown, Jr., for the 8th District City Council seat in the 2007 general election race. Jesse did not get elected but we learned a great deal from our involvement in that election and we are prepared to use those skills in upcoming races.