Mary Bricker-Jenkins and Neighborhood Networks urge support for Cheri Honkala for Sheriff in Philly

Two recent updates to Cheri Honkala’s website show exciting signs of support for a campaign based on the promise to keep people in their homes and help give communities control over their land.

The first is from Mary Bricker-Jenkins, a social worker, author, and professor emeritus at Temple urging her fellow social workers to support Cheri in any way they can.  She wrote, in part,

You came into social work because you wanted change.

You learned quickly that we need fundamental, systemic change.

The “change we could believe in” hasn’t delivered.

So let’s listen to Ghandi:

We need to BE the change we wish to see in the world. . .

That’s why Cheri Honkala, co-founder of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC),is running for sheriff in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the Green Party ticket.

Neighborhood Networks is an organization in Philly that has, as far as I know, always been a progressive Democratic group.  In their message of support urging members to help get Cheri on the ballot, Neighborhood Networks said,

[T]here are

two races that Neighborhood Networks may well want to put resources into

in the Fall.  In one of those races, it’s time to act NOW.

Immediate action is needed in the race for Sheriff if we hope to have

any real choice in November.  That’s because Cheri Honkala, a Green

Party candidate that we may want to support, needs help just to get on

the ballot. The two major parties may not agree on much, but they do

agree that it’s in their interest to make it really hard for third party

candidates to compete.  So just for us to have a choice, Cheri needs

4,000 signatures of Philadelphia registered voters.  She aims to collect

them by July 1.

The Sheriff’s office is an object of scandal right now, with the

Controller having found that $53 million in fees is unaccounted for.  So

job one is to clean the place up.  But then it’s also important that

the Sheriff’s office operate in the public interest.  If Cheri is on the

ballot, she will bring to the election a lively debate about whether the

public interest at this time of growing economic distress and growing

homelessness requires that evictions be stopped.  We need to have that

debate.

So, if you’d like to get Cheri on the ballot, please call her at

888-434-7914.  Or just drop into her office at 718 Market Street and

offer to help out.

Four upcoming Green Party of Phila. events:anti-fracking, public meeting, May Day, Move to Amend

A list of upcoming events (including an anti-fracking demonstration today) from the Green Party of Philadelphia (for facebook links, check out the GPOP’s facebook group).

Earth Day Demonstration Against Fracking

Date: Thursday, April 21, 2011

Time: 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Location: Dept. of Environmental Protection, 2 Main St., Norristown, PA

Notes: Demonstration at DEP to demand a ban on gas drilling. Stop polluting our drinking water as well as our waterways.

This demonstration has been called by the Green Party of Philadelphia and endorsed by Brandywine Peace Community, BuxMont Coalition for Peace Action, Citizens for Clean Water, Green Party of Delaware County, Green Party of Montgomery County, Protecting our Waters and Saint Vincent’s Peace and Justice Ministry.

For more info: Green Party of Phila. 215-243-7103 or gpop@gpop.org.

Green Party Of Phila. General Membership Meeting, 4/28/2011, 7:00 pm (open to public)



Date: Thursday April 28, 2011

Time: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Next reminder: The next reminder for this event will be sent in 7 days, 4 minutes.

Location: Calvary Community Center, Samaritan Room, 2nd Floor

Street: 4740 Baltimore Ave., 48th Street entrance, in West Phila

City State Zip: Phila., PA

Notes: Proposed agenda includes nomination of candidates seeking election in City Council (Districts 1 and 8) and perhaps a challenger to Mayor Nutter for Mayor. Please come out to meet potential candidates, listen to their platforms, and decide if they should run for public office.

May Day Rally & Family Celebration

Date: Saturday April 30, 2011

Time: 12:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Location: Elmwood Park Labor Monument

Street: South 71st Street and Buist Ave.

City State Zip: Phila., PA 19153

Phone: 215-243-7103

Notes: SPEAKERS **** MUSIC **** ENTERTAINMENT **** KIDS STUFF **** BBQ **** PICNIC ****

Join us to celebrate May Day, a day that is celebrated globally to honor all workers including those who were killed in the Haymarket Riot during the struggle for the 8-hour day. Sponsored by: The PA Labor History Society and PhilaPOSH.

Endorsed by: The Green Party of Phila.

One of the speakers will be Cheri Honkala, Green Party candidate for Sheriff of Phila. Admission is free!

Move to Amend with David Cobb

Time

Thursday, May 5 · 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Location

First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia

2125 Chestnut Street

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

More Info

Come here David Cobb speak about the Move to Amend campaign, which seeks to amend the Constitution to abolish corporate personhood.

Learn more at www.movetoamend.org

Cobb was the 2004 Green Party presidential candidate. Green Party Sheriff Candidate Cheri Honkala will also speak.

Keepin busy with the Philly Greens – a march, a dinner, a meeting, and a concert

The Green Party of Philadelphia has three events in the next few weeks, and we’re also supporting a march to end foreclosures in Philadelphia organized by the Poor People’s Economic Rights Campaign, taking place on Martin Luther King Day.  The first event is a community dinner to discuss organizing on the 22nd, the second is a party meeting (of course open to whoever wants to go) on the 27th, and the third is a fundraising concert with the folk singer Tom Neilson, aka the bard insurgent.  More info below.

THE MARCH

March to Stop the War on American Families

“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people!” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

One in five families is in foreclosure in America. Join us as we lift up the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Stop foreclosures now!

January 17th – 12:00 PM

West Side of City Hall (across from Love Park)

Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign

2200 Coral St Phila, PA 19125

(216) 651-2606

info@economichumanrights.org

THE DINNER

GREEN NIGHT OUT

Saturday, January 22, 7:00 pm

Enjoy an endless supply of

vegetarian Chinese food.

Discuss neighborhood activism with

Jasmine Rivera, organizer for Action United.

Please join us.

GREEN NIGHT OUT

will be open to the public

and an exceptional bargain

for only $25/person.

Singapore Vegetarian Chinese Restaurant

1006 Race Street

Chinatown, Philadelphia

For more information:

215-243-7103 or email gpop@gpop.org.

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/event….

THE MEETING

GREEN PARTY OF PHILADELPHIA

Membership Meeting

Thursday, January 27, 6:30 pm

Greens will gather to discuss a

City Council ban on fracking for gas, a

national peace march in the Spring, and

new nominees for Green Party leadership.

Please join us.

This meeting is open to the public.

There will be no charge for admission

(a free-will offering will be accepted).

American Room, 2nd Floor

Calvary Community Center

4740 Baltimore Avenue

(entrance on 48th Street)

West Philadelphia

For more information:

215-243-7103 or email gpop@gpop.org.

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/event….

THE CONCERT

Tom Neilson, bard insurgent, will involve you in his progressive political satire at a fundraiser for the Green Party of Philadelphia, www.gpop.org. Tom Neilson, www.tomneilsonmusic.com, specializes in songs of nonviolence, liberation and human rights.

7:00 pm on Friday, February 4, $20/person cover (includes food and drinks). For more information please call 215-243-7103 or email gpop@gpop.org.

THE LOCATION HAS BEEN CHANGED from CrossRoads just down the street to the Roxborough Development Corporation (6148 Ridge Ave). Still, many thanks to CrossRoads for the generous help they’re providing.

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/event….

Green Party Says “No” to Stop-and-Frisk Policy at Philly City Council Hearing

From the Green Party of Philadelphia:

A representative of the Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP) testified against the stop-and-frisk policy at Philadelphia City Council hearings on Tuesday, December 14. Stop-and-frisk has been enforced by Mayor Nutter, City Council, and the police for the last three years. Stop-and-frisk involves a police officer running his or her hands along the outer garments to detect any concealed weapons. The stop-and-frisk program is being criticized by opponents who say that it leads to racial profiling and direct violations of citizens’ Constitutional Rights.

Hugh Giordano, www.hughgiordano.com, who is a union organizer and candidate for PA State Representative in District 194, represented the Green Party, www.gpop.org. Giordano, in his testimony told a story in which as a young teenager, he was pulled over, frisked and called “Chico” several times by the police. “I was so embarrassed,” Giordano told City Council, “I was accused of stealing the car I was driving, and when I told the officer it was my car, he told me, ‘We’ll see about that, Chico.'”

Giordano, who is Italian with tan skin and dark complexion, testified that he was told to put his hands on top of the car and was frisked as if he was some sort of violent criminal. “I did nothing wrong, but was profiled because of my age, the way I looked and because I was urban.” Giordano told City Council that he was so embarrassed because it was 5:00 p.m. on a Friday, and it was rush hour. “People were staring at me. It really ruined my day.”

Giordano feels that when stop-and-frisk is used on innocent citizens, it creates tension among the young citizens and the police. “If you make enemies with the innocent citizens of Philadelphia because you have such policies that make this possible, you will continue to have a ‘no-snitching’ mentality among the residents. They will protect other citizens rather than tell police what is going on in the area,” said Giordano. The no-snitching mentality refers to a code of the streets that you don’t “rat” on others to the police. Giordano feels that creating tension between police and citizens only makes the no-snitching mentality stronger.

Giordano made it clear that stop-and-frisk targets, urban, minority and young citizens. “This law is a form of Jim Crow law,” said Giordano, referring to discriminatory laws used to maintain segregation of the races. “It attacks a certain group of people, and the numbers and testimony shows it.” During 2009, police stopped and frisked 253,333 Philadelphians, 72 percent of whom were African-Americans. Only eight percent of these stops resulted in arrests. This is a violation of the Constitutional Rights of every resident of Philadelphia.

Giordano also criticized City Council because when it came to the testimony part of the hearing, they enforced speaking time-limits on lawyers, activist and professors. “It crack’s me up,” said Giordano. ‘When the Mayor’s people and the city administrators wanted to talk, they had all the time in the world, but when the people started speaking – Oh, now there are time limits.”

Giordano and the Green Party feel that this is a direct failure of City Council for not stepping up to the plate and defending the citizens as they were elected to do. “City Council might not be the law, but they create law; and this is one law that should be abolished,” said Giordano.

For more information about Hugh Giordano and the Green Party, please call please call 215-243-7103 or email gpop@gpop.org.

Labor’s obligation and opportunity: Philly organizer challenges unions to rally around Greens

( – promoted by John Morgan)

In an open letter to the leaders of the Philadelphia labor movement, the young and energetic organizer for UFCW Local 152 Hugh Giordano has challenged the city’s unions to have the courage to support the Green Party.  Giordano ran an exceptionally strong campaign as a Green for state legislature this year, raising almost $30,000 from unions and individuals and capturing over 18 percent of the vote in a three way race.  Now he would like to spread the same movement for honest politics, workers’ rights, and a clean environment (among other things) to the rest of Philadelphia, beyond his single district.

As the members of the party, which I am aiding in every way I can, build the organization for the 2011 local elections, Giordano has seized the opportunity make the area’s union leadership reconsider the popular path of supporting corporate Democrats.  In his words, “Why are we, the strong men and women of the labor movement, bowing down to the corporate bosses and politicians…Union brothers and sisters, when any one of us becomes ‘fearful’ or ‘controlled’ by a political party – it’s time to step down and pass the torch on.”

The full letter is printed, with Hugh Giordano’s permission, below the fold.

What We, As Labor Leaders, Must Do!

Dear Union Brothers and Sisters,

This letter is more of a “cry for action” rather than just an informational or ideological statement or platform. It is meant to be serious and intense, and I hope you take this letter in that form! This letter is being sent to as many union brothers and sisters as possible.

I have been involved in the labor movement now for about ten years, from non-union worker/union activist, to member, and officially becoming a union representative for UFCW Local 152. I have been a part of every aspect of the union movement, and now I must take the next step – Labor leader.

What do I mean by leader? Being a leader does not mean having the title of Business Manager or President of a local. It means standing up and saying what needs to be said against the status quo. There were numerous forms of this leadership before me, and their will be numerous ones after me – but I am worried about what is happening in today’s present labor environment.

Many of you might have heard about me in my run for State Representative as an Independent with the Green Party, and I am proud of that decision. I ended up getting the highest vote of any third party in Philadelphia and I am pretty sure I received the highest in a three way race. This is what needs to be done! I did this using basic union organizing skills and having a handful of unions behind me. Imagine what would have happened if I had all of the Philadelphia unions behind me?

Why do we support the Democrats and Republicans when all they do is take our money, use our man power, and then leave us out to dry? Why do we support CEO’s, corporate consultants, and corporate attorneys, when 365 days of the year when they are not running for office, they are fighting unions, breaking labor laws, and spreading their greed? But all of a sudden when they run for office as a ‘Democrat”, they have changed their ways? This just proves that the Democrats are as corporate as the Republicans.

Labor has the power to change this, and we must! Many labor unions still believe the Democrats are “labor’s friend”. Really? How can this be when they failed to pass EFCA, they bail out the super rich, failed to pass Single-Payer health care, pass horrible trade laws (NAFTA), attack pensions, and most of all – are in the pockets of the same people we fight everyday, the corporations! I am not writing this letter so I can fill it with boring facts, but the Democrats took 53% of the total “corporate” contributions – 53 %!

Why are we, the strong men and women of the labor movement, bowing down to the corporate bosses and politicians, when we could run for office, win, and do what we need to do – enact laws that benefit working people and poor people. We have the man power, money, and knowledge to run OUR UNION REPRESENTATIVES and win!

But here is the catch, we CANNOT run as a Democrat or Republican; those two parties are too corrupted and entrenched. We must strengthen and build a THIRD PARTY! Yes, we must do what our past labor leaders tried to do and that is build a party that is about us. Some of you might say, “That will never work, and it can’t happen”. Well I would say you are dead wrong!  The corporate Democrats ONLY win because we fuel them, but then they turn their backs on us. If we run with a clean and fresh party such as the Green Party, we can call the shots and be as progressive as we choose.

It amazes me how some local leadership bows down to the Democrats and “fears” them. Union brothers and sisters, when any one of us becomes “fearful” or “controlled” by a political party – it’s time to step down and pass the torch on. WE are the voice of working people, and WE should be telling these politicians what to do; not the other way around.

We owe the Democrats and Republicans NOTHING, because they have done NOTHING for our members, for our contracts, and for the movement. How much longer are we going to support a bunch of failures? WE don’t have to because WE can blackball them just like they blackballed our members and the movement. We gave them plenty of time and opportunities and each time, they spat in our face!

Here is what needs to happen:

*We have to come together and make a collective of progressive, fearless, and strong locals that will run with the Green Party.

*We have to talk about the issues we want passed in City Council and in the State Legislature.

*We then must pick union representatives to run for these seats in City Council and the State Legislature.

*We must stick together and focus on winning for once!

*WE CAN DO IT AND WE WILL DO IT!

The Green Party is the party of labor. They have a platform that is 100% pro-labor (repeal Taft-Hartley, NAFTA, and prosecute CEO’s who break the law). Other labor unions around the country are supporting Green Party candidates in local races, I say we RUN AS GREEN PARTY CANDIDATES. Here is the link, http://www.gp.org

It’s time we make history and do the right thing. We have an obligation our members, to our future, and we have an obligation to the men and women who died to form and join unions. If we keep on doing what we are doing, then we have slapped everyone in the face that fought for us.

Sincerely,

Hugh Giordano, Union Organizer

A Thanksgiving message from Hugh Giordano of the Philadelphia Green Party

Hugh Giordano, the Philadelphia Green Party’s 2010 candidate for state representative in the 194th and local union organizer, wrote the following on his facebook:

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Thanksgiving. We must remember that there are many out in this city and state that did not have such a happy Thanksgiving. Families who who can’t pay their bills, have no healthcare, bad jobs or no jobs, poor education – Or live in the street and shelters. Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks, but we must remember to care for others besides just family and friends.  If we all showed even half the love to human kind as we do our primary family, the world would be a better place.?

Happiness is more than just “material” wealth. Happiness comes when you can bring it to those around you, even strangers. It is a life that is fulfilled when you make changes in human kind for the better, not just making lots of money to buy “stuff.”

It’s not a fight of who can sit at the lunch table anymore, but a fight of who can actually buy the lunch.

Working people must stick together. We are all friends in the same fight for equality.

Giordano ran a strong campaign in 2010, getting 18% of the vote in his first time ever running for office.  He is planning on running again in 2012 and is currently working to build the Philadelphia Green Party as a voice for clean politics and the workers and poor of the city.

Greens do well in Philly, having meetings there this weekend

( – promoted by John Morgan)

First, Hugh Giordano ran a serious campaign for state legislature this year in Philadelphia and got 18% of the vote, the highest in the party’s history, and a great base to build the party on.  Below the fold is a thank you note he sent to supporters, along with some plans for the future.

Second below the fold are the Green Party’s immediate plans – for a series of events in Philadelphia this weekend.

A thank you note, with some announcements about the future, from Hugh Giordano, the strongest Green candidate in Pennsylvania’s history (for all you Philadelphians reading this…the choice is yours to support the unsustainable status quo or get on board with the future and the Greens):

To My Supporters,

I have sat back and thought about what to say, and all I can say is – Thank you! Thank you to all the thousands of citizens who opened up their mind up and didn’t just vote “A straight corporate ticket.” I earned every single one of your votes on Tuesday because you actively had to look for my name and push that button. I did not have to ride on other politicians’ coattails – or run with a huge corporate party that allows you to just hit a single button to vote for a line of politicians who you don’t even know.

Thank you to the citizens who look at themselves not as a political party that you put on a piece of paper, but as real people who think before they act. You should ALL be so proud of yourselves for not being controlled by the corrupt, corporate system.

Thank you to the thousands of citizens who opened your doors up when I knocked in the rain, heat, and cold. You listened and treated me with respect and dignity. You knew I was at your door because I really cared about all of you. Thanks for the food and drinks you gave me when you knew that I had been knocking on doors for 6 hours and was hungry or thirsty.

Thank you for inspiring me these past 7 months; I could have not done it without all of you. There were days I was walking up hills and steps all day, dragging myself in at night time feeling exhausted. But I would have emails and voicemails from you telling me how happy you were that I was running and how you finally had somebody to vote for! You kept me going, you kept me filled with energy.

I know that many of you are disappointed that we “the people” did not win last night in the election, but we did win! We have done something together that has never been done before! We came together as a people! We did it with no dirty corporate money. We did it without bullying or lying about who and what we are, and we did it using people power -NOT COROPORATE POWER!

We shook the system up, and let me be clear; the system was scared! The Democratic corporate machine was so nervous that they were caught stealing our signs, threatening our volunteers (grown men threatening women), and tried to drown out the peoples’ voices at the polls. But let me make this clear, we are taking action. We have contacted the Committee of Seventy, the District Attorney’s office and even the police. It’s one thing to win a race fair and square, it’s another thing to sit back and know that your people are doing this and let it continue to happen. My opponent was told about this, but never once put out a message on the website or face book denouncing these actions.

We lost the battle, but not the war! We must continue to stay engaged in this process and continue to fight back against the corruption and lies in Harrisburg. I don’t see a very bright future ahead of us if we sit back and just accept the corporate mindset of Harrisburg. In fact, that mindset has just been strengthened after last night.

So, this is what I am going to do. One of my campaign promises was to have monthly meetings with the citizens of the 194th district, and I wanted to do this so that we could really sit down and talk about the issues in front of us. Well, there is no reason we can’t still do this! Just because I am not a “politician”, does not mean WE AS CITIZENS can’t change the problems around us! I think we should start a local “194th Green Party Chapter” and have monthly meetings to talk about the issues that affect us. If you were a true supporter of mine, and you believed in what I stood for, then lets get this started!

Contact my website at www.HughGiordano.com or freindsofHugh@gmail.com. Send me your ideas and thoughts; this will be the citizens group, not anyone else’s. Behind every great leader is a leader in the front, side, and back of them – you can be that leader! This is my community, this is your community, and this is OUR COMMUNITY!

Again, thank you for everything you did for me. I won’t forget you; I am and always will be the peoples’ candidate.

Sincerely,

Hugh Giordano

And more from Hugh, this time about the meetings:

I want to invite true progressives out this weekend to “hang out” with the Green Party. When I first got involved with the Green Party I attended an event just like this, and it was the event that made me decide to run as a Green for State Rep in the 194th district!

Ever since then I have been excited about my decision to be active with the Green Party and I think it is important to get other progressives to get involved as well. It’s time we use our talents and energy for the good fight. Now, if you’re registered as a Democrat you won’t be harassed to switch over, but when you leave, I am sure you will do it on your own.

It’s a vegetarian Chinese restaurant in China Town (Hey, it was a first for me too), but the food is excellent and you leave stuffed! They restaurant gives us the whole upstairs and really is a great atmosphere to talk about the issues at hand.

You have nothing to lose, but a lot to gain. I hope you will attend. You can contact me with any questions, just go to HughGiordano.com or email me at freindsofhugh@gmail.com.

Saturday November 13, 2010, 7:30pm-10:30pm

Singapore Vegetarian Restaurant

1006 Race St.

Philadelphia, PA

There will also be a state committe meeting on Saturday and a pancake breakfast on Sunday.  You can read about those here:  http://www.facebook.com/#!/pag…