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Principles for the Political Revolution to Stand On

It All Starts With with Community Power

May 30, 2017

In the age of Trump, the question is should those of us on this side of sanity spend all our political time simply opposing every evil thing our unelected President does, or promote our own vision to counter his. We think the latter. Our vision remains the one Bernie Sanders put forward in his epic campaign last year, namely that it's time for a political revolution.

To start the revolution we need to have a common set of principles we can all get behind and demand that candidates for office get behind. Here are the ones we stand by:

1. Democratic and Community Control Over Our Country and Economy
We must start by taking money out of politics so that public policies reflect the will of the people. We need publicly financed elections that are open, accessible and fair to all. Locally controlled entities like cooperatives, land trusts, and public banks must be supported while Wall Street and private banks must be regulated so that our city serves not just the 1% but all the people of Philadelphia.

2. Living Wage Jobs And Benefits For Workers
Americans have a right to fair minimum and living wages, to organize and collectively bargain, to enjoy equal opportunity, and to earn equal pay for equal work. We need job creation that lifts our chronically unemployed and marginalized residents out of poverty.

3. Safe, Clean And Healthy Communities Where People Can Afford To Live
Our communities need affordable housing that has protections for homeowners and renters, efficient city services, and quality health care for all that is cost-effective.

4. Climate Justice & Clean Energy for a Just and Sustainable Future
We must reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and invest in cleaner, more innovative ways to produce and consume energy, like wind, solar and geothermal. Green energy jobs and more public and alternative transportation are needed in our city.

5. Support Pubic Education From Pre-K To Higher Education
We should provide universal access to early childhood education, make school funding equitable, elect our school board, invest in high-quality teachers, and build safe, well-equipped school buildings for our students. A high-quality education system, from universal preschool to vocational training, and affordable higher education, is critical for our future and can create badly needed jobs now.

6. Fair Taxes, Fair Budgets
Those that have more, should pay more so that our budgets provide for the essential services needed in all our neighborhoods, and especially for our most vulnerable citizens. We need to close corporate loopholes and giveaways for the rich.

7. Equality & Equity for All
Discrimination based on race, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, or nationality has no place in our society. We must end discriminatory practices such as racial profiling and Stop & Frisk and institute policies like Ban the Box, bail reform and community-based policing. Our immigrant communities must have access to opportunities and be free from deportations and detentions. We need to end mass incarceration and reinvest the savings in programs that prevent recidivism and promote rehabilitation and reentry....

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About NN

Neighborhood Networks is a culturally and racially diverse organization of Philadelphians dedicated to advancing social equality, economic justice and resource stewardship by influencing political decision-making from a grassroots level. We aim to create a powerful coalition by connecting neighbors at the division and ward levels and by forming strategic alliances with like-minded organizations throughout the City of Philadelphia and, eventually, beyond...

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Our Choices: Larry Krasner for D.A., Alan Butkovitz for Controller

They Support Our Values!

April 25, 2017

The votes have been cast and our members have overwhelmingly chosen to endorse Larry Krasner for District Attorney and Alan Butkovitz for Controller in the May 16th primary election. Here's why.

LARRY KRASNER FOR DISTRICT ATTORNEY

Larry Krasner and only Larry Krasner can be depended upon to deal with the mass incarceration problem that plagues Philadelphia.

Our city has the highest incarceration rate in the country. Krasner is running on a platform of ending the current system of mass incarceration that targets black and brown communities. Instead, he will focus on programs and policies that address problems from the root and that provide alternatives to incarceration.

He will end the system of cash bail that keeps too many low-income people stuck in jail without convictions, supports an end to stop-and-frisk policing and will divert low level drug offenders for treatment, not punishment.

Larry Krasner has a 30-year track record of standing up for people’s movements. As a civil rights attorney, he has defended for free thousands of people who have engaged in civil disobedience for social movements -- from Black Lives Matter to Occupy to Act Up to those arrested protesting school closures.

Krasner is also an environmentalist. Endorsed by Food and Water Action Fund, Krasner has pledged to bring Philadelphia’s polluters to justice, using all available means to protect the air we breathe and the water we drink. In a city with endemic pollution and shocking rates of asthma in poor communities, Krasner will be a voice for environmental justice.

Krasner has an extensive criminal law practice. He has tried thousands of cases defending the rights of poor and oppressed people in criminal court including 80 wrongful conviction cases. He is intimately familiar with the problems in the DA’s office that he has pledged to clean up.

We see all too many politicians talk the talk. Krasner has spent thirty years demonstrating to us that he will walk the walk. We can believe his promises won't be empty ones and that Larry Krasner will bring real change to the DA’s office.

ALAN BUTKOVITZ FOR CONTROLLER

The City Controller's job is little understood but critically important to the success of City government when it focuses on performance of City Departments, as well as whether they spend their revenues honestly. And that's how Alan Butkovitz, who's held the job for over a decade, has interpreted his charge. He has made the Controller’s Office the lead anti-corruption agency in the city....

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We're Building An INFRASTRUCTURE of Resistance to the Trump Agenda

Fights will Be At the Federal, State AND Local Level

By Stan Shapiro

February 2, 2017

Thankfully, just about everyone reading this will have signed up for the resistance. Great! Now the only question is what does resistance mean? We've probably all seen or heard that word more in the last 3 months than in the previous ten years. In truth though, I think resistance as we've been using it on the left has taken on two somewhat different meanings. Let's first look at what these two are and then I'll offer NN's take on how we think the word should be understood....

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Resistance to Trump Starts With a Bang In Northwest Philly

200 Activists Overfill Room At Our ROE (Resistance Organizing Event)

December 20, 2016

Wow! On December 14th, 200 of us came together to discuss how we can resist Trump, fight for policies that promote people over profits, and build power for the progressive majority in Philadelphia.

Winning this battle will require activism at all levels of government, city, state and federal. Our particular focus will be to beat back Trump’s efforts to take away rights we already have, and to find new and creative ways to expand those rights in the face of whatever obstacles he throws our way. All of the initial fights we’re waging have that focus:

1) We contested Trump and his far right-wing ideology directly, the very next day at Toomey's office where we protested Toomey's unwillingness to call out Trump's massive conflicts of interest, next coming up on January 21st at the Philadelphia Women's March against every element of Trump's dangerous agenda, and much more later as confirmation and other battles unfold;

2) We mobilize to dismantle the SRC and bring control of our schools back to our community in the face of Trump’s effort to totally privatize education;

3) We oppose SEPTA’s capitulation to the fossil-fuel industry by choosing fracked gas as its fuel of choice to run the Nicetown bus barn;

4) We organize to defeat right wing Republicans dominating the PA Legislature, focusing on the near suburbs and starting in the very next election cycle;

5) We develop plans to create a Philadelphia Public Bank, taking billions of dollars out of the control of Wall Street for reinvestment here at home.

6) We join the campaign to appoint Keith Ellison, a real progressive, as Chair of the DNC so that Democrats never again fail to project the message that our Party stands for economic and social justice.

To do all of these things we need to ramp up our fundraising; a bare bones budget will no longer do. Please click here to donate, and if possible make your donation recur monthly. Monthly pledges are especially valuable in enabling us to plan ahead rather than jump from crisis to crisis.

Our next meeting will Sunday January 29th at 3 PM, location somewhere in Northwest Philly, precise spot TBD. Please save the date....

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The Fight Back Against Trump (And Trumpism) Accelerates In Philly

In Northwest Philly We Meet Wednesday, Dec. 14th at 7 PM at Lutheran Theological Seminary

December 13, 2016

As the full import of Trump's election hits home, it's become clear that for all of his populist rhetoric, Trump will be turning over his government to the most right-wing factions of the Republican Party. To fight all that Trump has in store for us, we're going to have to organize more effectively, and with more unity, than ever before.

To do that, Neighborhood Networks, and its new and dynamic partner Reclaim Philadelphia, is organizing meetings all around the area to build connections among committed activists, and to promote a common agenda and strategy that can empower us in the big fights that are on their way.

The last of these events -- all of which have been supercharged with activist energy -- is on Wednesday, December 14th, from 7-9 PM at the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Hagan Center, 7301 Germantown Ave. There is ample free parking at the site and the 23 bus will bring you right there.

We've got the strategy, the agenda, and the alliances with other sources of progressive power throughout the region that we need. We'll have progressive local elected officials to provide their perspective. We only need one other thing: YOU!...

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Keith Ellison Should be the Next Chair of the DNC

Time for Democrats to Ramp Up the Fight for Justice

November 12, 2016

Well, we have now elected one of the most appalling political leaders ever to run for any office, to be the next President of the United States. It's real; we've now woken up four mornings since Election Day, and the media keeps saying Donald Trump is President-Elect.

In analyzing a defeat as horrible, yet narrow, as this one we can point to dozens of contributing causes. But to us one of them is most salient. The working class of all races, religions and colors is hurting in this country, and Democrats are no longer seen as the Party that has answers for that pain.

Despite that critical shortcoming, our next candidate might still gain the few hundred thousand votes needed to overcome Trump's margin of victory without addressing how badly things have gone wrong for so many. But it will be a long, long time before Democrats regain all the Congressional, gubernatorial and state legislative positions that they've lost over the last ten years if they don't promote meaningful ideas for engaging and uplifting the dispossessed people of this country.

The first test of how dedicated Democrats will be to that task is coming soon in the contest for Chair of the Democratic National Committee. Once again, we stand with Bernie Sanders and his call for the DNC to appoint Congressman Keith Ellison to that post. Ellison is the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and one of only a handful of Congresspeople who supported Bernie in the primary. Bernie has circulated a petition backing Keith that you can find by clicking here. We hope you'll sign it.

Undoubtedly our work is cut out for us in fighting back against Trump and Trumpism and its many manifestations unfolding right here in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania as well as in Washington. But we know everyone in NN is up to the challenge. We'll be back to you soon about the role we see NN playing in the fightback in the days and weeks ahead.

In the meanwhile, stay strong everyone. We WILL overcome....

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