Mayor Kenney’s Broken Promise to Black Voters

Mayor Elect, JIm Kenney greets black voters at My Brother's Keeper event at CCP in Philadelphia.

Mayor James F. Kenney made a promise to Black Voters and broke that very promise within weeks of taking office.

Kenney stated, “my position on stop-and-frisk hasn’t changed.”

But it has changed.

And Kenney didn’t stop there. He suggested the name of stop-and-frisk and said that wasn’t the actual problem as it was “unfortunate terminology.” His play on words is simply playing with black and brown lives.

Many whites and middle class people of color are unaware of the life curtailing effects and great number of stop-and-frisk. Most people of affluence don’t know because stop-and-frisk focuses on poor neighborhoods of color. In fact, almost 90 percent of those frisked were black or brown.

The streets of Philadelphia are still ringing with the silence of Kenney’s promise, “If I’m mayor, stop-and-frisk will end in Philadelphia, no question.” In case black voters doubted his sincerity, he followed up by explaining that “83 percent of the time, stop-and-frisk does not result in an arrest or recovery of a weapon.”

In an attempt to mitigate the pressure of being squeezed between the Fraternal Order of Police, who prefer stop-and-frisk and his pledge to black voters who helped put him in office he chose to break that very pledge only weeks after being in office.

Yet, John McNesby, leader of the FOP is famed for his chest pounding support of stop-and-frisk.

McNesby recently said, “Everybody is making a big deal out of stop-and-frisk.” “You’re allowed to stop-and-frisk under a Supreme Court ruling,”

We must be reminded by history, just because it may be the law doesn’t make it right.

As in 2009, over a quarter of a million stops were made by the Philly PD rivaling NYC’s numbers with a fraction of them claiming “reasonable suspicion.”

With the risk of violating a large percentage of people’s constitutional rights- still In 2014 a minor decrease was reported at 200,000 stops, with only 47 percent based on “reasonable suspicion.”

At the My Brother Keepers event just months ago, I listened to Kenney make this promise to a room full of hopeful young students of color at the Philadelphia Community College. He promised a robust end the stop-and-frisk.  Kenney was applauded with vigor as many attendees expressed their fear of feeling hunted in Philly streets by police. Kenney claimed to agree that people of color are unproportuntaely targeted by the PPD and as a result has fractured relations between the PPD and local communities of color. With a straight back, Kenney once again promised to end the era of stop and frisk to usher Philadelhia into an era of equality.

Kenney’s broken promise will certainly lead to the infringement of more Philadelphian’s constitutional rights and more lives being sacrificed to the private prison industrial complex. In this flammable time of fueled racial tensions and civil rights violations targeting people of color as reflections of fascism and plutocracy mine the despair of a lost middle class, we can’t afford to be silent on this in our own back yard.

Now Philadelphia’s black and brown communities are left to wonder, Where do we go from here?
All content and photos provided by Shara Dae.
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Is Leap Year a Real Thing?

Leap year in blue

Is leap year a real thing?!
There actually is a science to it all. There is a legitimate reason only once every four years, everyone gets an extra 24 hours.
While there are 365 days in a calendar year, it actually takes a little longer (365.2422 days longer for you math heads) for the Earth to circle around the sun, thus adding up to 365 days and 6 hours.

Then multiply 6 x 4.

If you can manage to do the fine and fantastic math- it all adds up to 24 extra hours. But what do we do with this extra 24 hours? How do we fit that in? It’s simple and rather convenient if you ask me. We just add an extra 24 hours into the calendar once every four years to set us right with the Earth’s movement around the sun.
Still don’t get it? Well then let’s break it down.

-A century year is a leap year only if it is divisible by 400.
-So years such as 1700, 1800 and 1900 weren’t leap years. But, of course, 2016 is a leap year.

Well, that just confused me too. So, let’s concentrate on the fun stuff!

Fun factoid: Leap day itself, Feb. 29, has long been the inspiration of folklore since introduced by Julius Caesar more than 2000 years ago. For example, in Scotland Leap Day used to be considered unlucky for someone to be born on this day, similar to that of Friday 13th. Even Greeks considered it unlucky for couples to marry not only on the day but during the entire year.

But on the bright side, women were thought to have an extra gift on Leap Day. In an old Irish tradition as folklore says, St Brigid struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to their men.

Not to mention, many historians believe this Irish custom introduced balance to the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how Leap Day balances the calendar.

In the words of the Notorious B.I.G., “if you don’t know…now ya know!”

Reimagining Philly’s Urban Spaces


Reimagining Philly’s Urban Spaces 

What and who are hanging out along Pear Street in Philadelphia? It’s the Pearl Street Passage, a collection of design projects greening the Chinatown North Callowhill neighborhood in an attempt to remind Philly to dream green. Curators of the temporary installation project say this is a precursor to the upcoming Reading Viaduct Rehabilitation in this very neighborhood.



Dancers performing within an art installation.

Dancers performing within an art installation.

Groundswell & Design Center for Architecture have combined talent & resources to highlight collaboration in design. Laura Rennekamp, Project Manager/Curator at Groundswell Design Group, shared that the goal of the project is to create a collaborative green space within a blighted alleyway of Pearl Street to explore the possibilities of urban space. Rennekamp said, “Reimagining our alleyway to share with people and share our time.”

Hip Hop Fundamentals performing for the Pearl Street Block party audience.

Hip Hop Fundamentals performing for the Pearl Street Block party audience. Photo credit:Su Mathew

You can also catch dancers, DJs, bands while buying some produce from local farmers along the Pearl Street Block Party.  The exhibition will be open to the public throughout the weekend of October 8th through Oct 11th.

Justin Dula, contributing artist.

Justin Dula, contributing artist.

Justin Dula, a local Philadelphia artist, is sharing his ideas on collaboration, green spaces and industrial areas with his Paricscope tower installation- which he hopes to convey the potential future of the viaduct by combining green space with an industrial neighborhood. Dula wants to remind people  to look up & see the skyline alongside a green landscape.

Justin Dula's installation -Parascope Tower

Justin Dula’s installation -Parascope Tower

Neighbors can look forward to more installations, projects and viaduct tours in the upcoming weeks for local artists and design groups.

Follow Lynda Grace Art on Instagram to see original weaving arts.

Follow Lynda Grace Art on Instagram to see original weaving arts.

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