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.
Sent from my iPhone

Philly Gay Pride Fest 2015

Attic Youth Center kids performing during 2015 Pride Parade.

 

Philly Pride Weekend is still reverberating throughout the city.  Sunday was a day of color clad pride, enthusiasm and glitter covered streets.  Fran Dresher, a long time ally of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities (LBGT), was just a single highlight of the annual festival. 

City Hall's Director of LGBT Affairs and Dr. Rachel Levin

City Hall’s Director of LGBT Affairs and Dr. Rachel Levin

PrideDay LGBT Parade and Festival is the largest celebration of LGBT pride in the region. Over the years attracting over 25,000 people each year. Yes, 2015 was no exception. Also, celebrated was the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Independence Hall gay rights protest/picketing. 

Local celebrities ga-y-lore carried the banner of LGBTQ Pride throughout the day from Parade route to Main Stage. Miss Philly Gay Pride 2014 “Mimi ImFurst” and Mr. Philly Gay Pride 2014 “Jimmy Two Finga” were just two of the long list of local celebrities. Audiences also enjoyed fabulous performances by J Carson and the Attic Youth Center. The weekend ended on the stiletto heels of the Ms Philly Gay Pride Pageant. 
 

Mommy & Baby celebrating National Coming Out Day with the Attic Youth Center.

Mommy & Baby celebrating National Coming Out Day with the Attic Youth Center.

The glitz and glamour of Philly’s Pride weekend stretched from club scene dance parties and outrageous block parties to the Out Fest on Main Stage at Penns Landing. As Franny Price, President of Philly Pride Presents, says “National Coming Out Day was a record breaking success and we are already planning the festivities of the 2016 celebration, because Pride never quits.”

Night Market is Back!

Philly China Town Skyline
Night Market is back!!
This urban phenomenon is essentially a street food festival that travels to different neighborhoods just in time for Thursday evening happy hour. 

The Food Trust has announced dates and locations for Night Market 2015. So get your tastebuds ready, it’s gonna be a fun ride as trucks serving everything from traditional burgers to tricked out gourmet dishes, wine and designer beer. This is a food revolution to some and an urban spectacle for others, as hundreds of people push bumper to bumper under street lights to see why each line to the food trucks is longer than the last. Yes, many would argue the yummy food is worth having to navigate the busy crowd swilled with libations. Why not? It only happens a few times a year.

The fifth year of Night Market, really kicks off May 14 on South Street West. The market will hit Callowhill in June, Lancaster Avenue in August and Fishtown in October. 

Sadly, no Chinatown this year. But, there are plenty of new & exciting destinations.

Want to try some great food, good music and long lines. You can join the Food Trust’s Night Market email list for updates.

Philly’s own, Amos Lee, sings on The Sons of Anarchy

Amos Lee

Philadelphia singer songwriter, Amos Lee, and the Forrest Rangers share their petroleum and honeyed version of Bob Dylan’s ‘Boots of Spanish Leather.’

The Son’s of Anarchy house band, The Forrest Rangers, chose Lee, one of Philadelphia’s musical unsung hero’s, to construct a brassy and yet smooth take on Dylan’s 1964 hit for the show’s upcoming episode titled “Faith & Despondency.”

Lee’s popularity has grown internationally as he has become known for his emotive vocals, sweet runs and raw lyrics-Such a fiery combination of talents seems fitting when paired with the powerfully acclaimed show, The Son’s of Anarchy.

When listening to the collaboration, it’s almost impossible to ignore the sweet melancholy of Lee’s voice and the beautiful sting of the steel guitar, while Dylan’s heart wrenching lyrics cascade throughout. This collaboration is truly inspired.