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PNN Newsletter: Happy Independence Day, See Our New Website, Take a Renter's Poll and More...

Another Independence holiday is upon us, celebrating our 245th year of existence as a nation. There will be fireworks and cookouts and family get-togethers – for many, the first time in more than a year of sheltering in place. It is a time of renewed hope, and we take a collective sigh of relief as a fractured nation begins to mend.

Still, there is much to be done. America continues to suffer from the effects of a global pandemic that hasn't yet left us; we must reckon with a coup attempt by the minions of a dangerous narcissist and the ongoing threat to our freedom as fascism envelops one of our major political parties – all of this upon a background of global warming, as demonstrated by heat waves in places where they shouldn't happen.

Our Next Steps

As we move into the second half of 2021, there is much we can do here in our hometown to make a difference – fighting for a budget that reflects the needs of the least fortunate in our City; pushing for regulations that improve our quality of life; and taking part in actions that confront policy-makers whether they conduct the people's business at City Hall, Harrisburg or Washington, D.C.

We look forward to working with you to take on some of the toughest issues facing our City and our state, knowing that to be successful in our efforts requires a combination of hard work from our fellow activists and sufficient staff to help guide this organizing work over the long haul.

While our nation celebrates its independence, we are very much dependent upon the generosity of our members in funding our work, month after month. We currently have a full time staffer (me) as well as a part-time social media coordinator, but to be successful in growing our power to make change we need to add another organizer to our staff.

So, please consider becoming a sustaining contributor to Philly Neighborhood Networks by clicking on the link below. Any monthly amount – $5, $10, $20, $50 – becomes something that we can count on, one less worry as we organize to win change on important issues.


Check Out Our New Website & Social Media

One of the few upsides to a year-long pandemic is that folks got more comfortable with social media - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Zoom. So, part of our work will take place on these platforms. And it starts with our brand new website.

Here is where you can plug into the issues you care about - education, the environment, healthcare, housing - with all of their implications for real social justice. We'll keep you informed about events that are coming up – including state-wide efforts with our Blue Pennsylvania group, our continuing work on public banking, and workshops on how City government works, and how to become a leader in your community – and we'll offer you an opportunity to make your voice heard by writing a blog on an issue you care about.

You can also participate in our social media:

Let Us Know What You Think: As you'll see, this is a work in progress, and we are adding new content daily. We're also looking for your input on what you like about it and what you'd like to see added/changed. Please reach out to us and leave a comment on our Contact page.


Take the Renter's Survey

Our friends at Community Legal Services are working with researchers at Penn to develop a survey of all renters in Philadelphia. The objective is to learn more about the prevalence of illegal eviction, housing discrimination, substandard housing, rent increases, and especially how these adverse experiences break down along lines of gender, race, ethnicity, and income and zip code.

The results of the survey will help us make informed decisions on next steps to help struggling residents. If you're a renter, please take the survey; if you know a renter, please forward this email to them. The more renters who participate, the more accurate the results will be, so to entice folks everyone who participates will be entered into a lottery to receive one of fifty $50 gift cards.

If you'd like to know more about what Philly leaders are doing to help renters, check out this article from the Philadelphia Inquirer. Click this link to Apply for Rental Assistance.


Opinion: Community Safety Means Reshaping the Judiciary

by Tonya Bah, Kurt Evans, Katia Perez

District Attorney Larry Krasner’s landslide victory in the May primary has rightly been hailed as a resounding sign of public approval for re-imagining community safety. What’s received less attention is the election of reform-minded judges. (Philly Neighborhood Networks' endorsed candidates won 7 of the 8 positions at the local court level, and 3 of the 4 positions at the appellate court level.)

The election of progressive judges is a testament to the growing reform movement and a signal of where it’s headed as community groups expand their focus beyond policing, prosecution, and prisons to encompass the judicial and legal system.


This Week in History

July 2, 1964 – Civil Rights Act. On this day, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the historic Civil Rights Act during a nationally televised ceremony at the White House.

July 4, 1776 – U.S. is Born. The United States came into existence in our hometown, as the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain and its king.

Thanks for your activism!

Tim Brown, Organizing Director


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