Philadelphia Neighborhood Networks
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Connect with your neighbors . . . Change the world

 

It's A New Year

Let It Be A Year for Justice

January 7, 2014

It's not a time to be pollyannaish. Hardly a time to rest on any laurels. But things turned a bit in 2013. No one is talking anymore about cutting social security benefits. The first woman chair of the Federal Reserve was appointed and she actually cares that too many people are out of work. Here in Philly we created a Land Bank (although that's about it on City Council's list of accomplishments.) At the state level, even our out of touch Governor admitted that he had to do something about enrolling more people in Medicaid. And Robert Reich made another outstanding video about all of this.

But it's not just because we had a pretty good 2013 that there's reason to be optimistic about 2014. And it's not just that the Tea Party message is falling flat in PA. It's not just that Corbett's incredibly awful poll numbers show a right wing in decline, nor that this year should be the last in which we have to put up with that callous man as governor. The main reason for hope is that there is so much great organizing going on here, and so many people are in motion.

That most certainly includes all of the people in Neighborhood Networks. We are involved in virtually all the change movements that are powering up in our City and state such as public banking, anti-fracking, fighting corporate personhood, preserving public education, saving PGW from privatization, ending the school to prison pipeline and more. If you're a member and you care about any of these issues, you'll be hearing from us about these fights from time to time. Get involved because we've been winning, we're on the right side of history and with you, we will continue to move forward!...

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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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NN Helps "Obamacare" Sign-Up

Germantown NN Members Get Busy

By Conni Bille

December 19, 2013

Four days a week at the Germantown Life Enrichment Center a team of NN members are offering hands-on help to people wanting to sign up for the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") health insurance. On Monday afternoons 1:00 to 3:00 PM, Tuesday and Thursday evenings 6:30 to 8:00 and Saturdays 1:00 to 3:00 NN members offer computer access and information to community members. Community members have been delighted....

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The Privatization of Philadelphia Schools Must Be Stopped

Tell Your State Senators to Vote NO on SB 1085

December 4, 2013

The 1% have 40% of the wealth but don’t think it’s enough. Part of their scheme to collect more is based on turning humans into commodities. We see it with privatization of prisons. Humans in those prisons are viewed as mere financial conduits whose main significant characteristic is that they create payment vouchers for their dungeon-keepers. Indeed, we learned yesterday that when state governments don’t fill those commodified prisons, they actually have to pay penalties to the prison owners. Thus people are now sent to prison because of contracts, not crimes....

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Fed Up? Can't Take it Anymore? Then Don't!

Become An Organizer!

October 19, 2013

Did you ever read an article that made you wish you could do something right then and there to change the world? And then hear yourself saying “well there’s nothing I can do; I’ll just have to grit my teeth and bear it.”

Well we’re here to say your days of grit and bearing can be over. That’s because MoveOn.org is making its time tested, state-of-the-art organizing tools available to progressives everywhere who have an idea and the inner drive to move it forward. And on November 2-3 MoveOn is coming to Philadelphia to share those tools with all of us.

That’s right. You don’t need to have a million dollar lobbying organization behind you, a vast PR machine, or a broadcasting network. YOU can make the change yourself. Don’t believe us? Check this out. And then, sign up here for one kick-ass training for anyone who can say these three little words: “Yes, I can.” Details below:

When: Saturday November 2, 9 AM-6 PM (Optional Dinner Out)
Sunday, November 3, 10 AM-4:30 PM
Where: Philadelphia Friends Center, 1501 Cherry Street
What: MoveOn Organizing Summit
Bonus! Lunch and snacks are free each day

Only available one day? No problem; one day will be so much better than none!...

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Time to Jumpstart Philadelphia's New Economy

We're Declaring Independence From Wall Street

June 20, 2013

There’s lots going on out there; much of it kind of depressing. Locally the School District seems to be on the verge of blowing up; in Harrisburg the Governor refuses to open the Medicaid rolls to thousands of people who should be eligible under Obamacare, and in Washington, well in Washington they can’t seem to do anything at all.

We’re not about to tell you that those things don’t matter because along with our allies MoveOn is fully engaged in fighting to make all of these governments do the right thing. And it’s really important that they do.

But the fundamental problem that we face in getting any of our governments to deal with the problems of regular people is that they’re controlled lock, stock and barrel by the corporate elites, and those corporate elites don’t give a damn about the problems of regular people. Unfortunately these same forces of concentrated wealth control almost every aspect of the economy as well as the government, deciding what gets produced, who gets jobs, how much people get paid. They decide who gets to control the land, and what it can be used for. They decide what food we can eat, the quality of the very air we breathe and the water we drink. They get to do all this and more because the government that they control is all too obviously uninterested in controlling them.

In the face of that reality we have to find creative, new ways to regain power over our lives and our ability to live decent ones, in a manner consistent with the ability of the planet itself to live and prosper. And that means finding ways around the traps that the 1% have laid for us, the structural hammerlocks that keep us from realizing our full potential as individuals and as communities.

That's why, in the midst of all the crises that we read about on a daily basis, MoveOn and Neighborhood Networks are taking time out on Tuesday, June 25th to examine and to laud the work of five social entrepreneurs in Philadelphia who are hard at work creating a New Economy in our City, one that the elites cannot exploit solely to benefit themselves. These folks are making the following statements through what they're actually involved in doing in Philadelphia:

1) Productivity is not dependent upon the profit motive;
2) Financial investment capital is plentiful and available from places other than Wall Street;
3) There are kinds of capital that don’t involve dollar signs;
4) Our work is capital, and can be exchanged as an asset without the approval of anyone but ourselves and our neighbors;
5) We can build on our community’s land, without getting approval from huge developers or speculators;
6) A new world, based on love, respect, community and sustainability, is possible.

Below are the details of Tuesday’s event. Please sign up here to let us know that you’ll be with us. Fabulous refreshments from Weaver’s Way Coop will be available.

What: Forum on Jumpstarting the New Economy
When: Tuesday, June 25th from 7-9 PM
Where: SEIU Union Hall, 455 N. 5th Street
Speakers: See list below

• David Woo - past President of Weaver's Way Co-op, the largest food co-op in Philadelphia, and the spearhead of a surging number of projects to grow the co-op sector in our region
• Paul Glover - developer of "Ithaca Hours", and a nationally recognized expert in new money systems and local health care cooperatives
• Mike Krauss - Chair of the Pennsylvania Public Banking Project, who will discuss how a public Bank of Philadelphia can finance the New Economy
• Jill Feldstein - chief organizer of the Take Back the Vacant Land Coalition, a driving force to create a Land Bank in Philadelphia to revitalize neighborhoods for people not developers
• Meenal Raval - developer of Time4Time in Philadelphia and Philly EcoCity who will discuss how “new money” systems can move Philadelphia into the “green economy.”...

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Tax Giveaways to the 1% -- It’s Not Just a Washington Problem

Philly Taxes are Regressive Too, But Not Enough for the Mayor

June 2, 2013

One little known reason that the economic elites are so hell-bent on cutting federal taxes is that those taxes are relatively progressive compared to state and local taxes. So although the 1% would be happy if lower taxes resulted in less spending, they’d also be OK if it meant that spending shifted to states and cities. That’s because their main objective would still be met -- namely that the 99% would be paying most of the bills.

Nowhere is the tax burden more skewed in favor of the rich than in Philadelphia. When City government spends, it’s mostly poor and working people who fork over the money. Our major taxes are the sales tax, the wage tax, the real estate tax and the Business Income and Receipts Tax (BIRT). All of these, including BIRT, are regressive -- because they’re flat. Without delving into the nuances of each of these measures, all flat taxes are regressive because the rich can afford to pay so much more than the rest of us. When a millionaire pays a 4% wage tax, he still has $960,000 left over and no problem in paying his bills. When someone earning $20,000 pays a 4% wage tax, that costs her $800. That lost income can make her homeless....

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