POWER Update

POWER Update

The people who make up the Old First POWER team would like to update you and let you know ways you could join us.

At the center of POWER’s work is a commitment to racial justice. At the core of this work is a commitment to a transformational and faithful moral vision. Out of faith and a commitment to racial justice, the faith communities that make up POWER are working on these issues.  And these are the Old First representatives on the teams determining the strategies.

Economic dignity – Clark D
Mass Incarceration – Barbara G and Beth W
Education – Mike W

Below are some of the specific goals, actions and ways to be involved.  You may talk with any of the members of the team for more conversation or information.

Economic dignity
Clark D

Four sub teams

1. $15 minimum wage for Philadelphia and beyond – Clark is the Old First representative.  Focus on child care and health care workers, and increase in subsidies for people who need child care. Actions are being planned but not yet scheduled

2. Green Jobs Initiative – Old First does not yet have a representative.  Action being planned for May 2.  Goal to get PECO to hire local people in the NE to install solar panels on street lights

3. Public Bank – Old First does not yet have a representative.  Goal to have city monies in one bank created to benefit Philadelphia.  February 22 First Public Hearing Rm. 400 City Hall 1 PM.  April 13 Second              Public Hearing 1st United Methodist Church in Germantown, 1-7 PM

4. Anti Poverty Summit – Old First does not yet have a representative,  planning and execution for Summit on May 19.  Public Hearing, March 1, 1-7 PM at New Vision Church

Would you like to join Clark on the economic dignity team?

Mass incarceration

Barbara G and Beth W

Focusing on these aspects of the mass incarceration
1.   Stop and Frisk
2.   Follow up on the U.S. Department of Justice action plan for Philadelphia Police
3.   Bail Reform
4.   Addressing the City’s inability to remove police officers based on excessive force because of the union arbitration process.

Ways to get involved:

  • Beth and Barbara would like to talk one-on-one with 5 people from Old First who have been impacted by the criminal justice system in one way or another.  This is part of the team’s research efforts to gather the personal impact mass incarceration has on people’s lives.
  • Teach-in on mass incarceration based on Michelle Alexander’s book “The New Jim Crow.”  Date tentatively set for April 20.

Would you talk with Beth or Barbara? Do you want to go to the teach-in?

Education team

Mike W

Goals are

  • Full, fair funding formula for public schools in Pennsylvania.
  • Voter engagement
  • Defining what excellent education looks like

Different ways to help through research, advocacy and direct action.  Direct actions are being planned that include a demonstration in Philadelphia and possible civil disobedience in Harrisburg.  10-20 people are needed for direct action in Harrisburg.  They will be trained before hand.

Would you be on of them?

Voter registration

In addition to the work people are doing on the above teams, voter registration work will start soon to encourage people register to vote in the primaries and general elections this year.  Voter mobilization has been a powerful tool in past efforts to impact policy and affect positive change in the lives of Philadelphia residents. POWER does not focus on political parties or specific candidates, instead the focus is on the issues that are important to the faith communities that make up POWER. This year POWER looks to increase the number of voters that will make the voice of the faith community heard at the polls.

Would you help people register on a Sunday morning, during Saturday morning Cupboard breakfast, at your work place, in your neighborhood? Talk to Mimi CJ

— submitted by Mimi CJ, Old First POWER team chair, on behalf of the team members
Michael J, Julie S, Michael C, Steve W, Clark D, Barbara G, Beth W and Mike W