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     Come to this non-partisan training; learn how you can win one of these positions. Help strengthen women’s voices in our political process and protect the right to vote!

     We will discuss, How to run for Election Board in 2013 and How to Run for Committee person in 2014 on Monday, January 14, 2013 from 5:30-7:30 pm at 1606 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA

     Speakers: Stephanie Singer, City Commissioner Norman Matlock, Esq., Judge of Elections, 9th ward, 2nd division Women make up only 17% of the PA legislature, one of the lowest rates in the country. Running for committeeperson is a very easy entry point into electoral politics. You don’t need to raise money; you just need the time and willingness to talk to your neighbors. Running for committeeperson is a way to learn grassroots organizing skills, gain leadership experience, and learn how the political system works.

     Running for Election board is an opportunity to ensure that we have fair elections. The Voter ID law, which is slated to be implemented in 2013, has drawn attention to what has been a very low profile position—the Judge of Elections. In each division, the Judge of Elections resolves disputes and makes determinations about voter eligibility in areas where the law is ambiguous. With the enactment of the Voter ID law, the position of Judge of Elections has become much more important. The Majority and Minority inspectors also play an important role in ensuring fair, well-run elections.

     Sponsored by the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Organization for Women and the Philadelphia Chapter of the Coalition of Labor Union Women.

     For more information, contact Karen Bojar at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Kathy Black at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wednesday, 02 January 2013 18:59
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     Over the past few days we’ve all learned a bit more about twenty beautiful six- and seven-year-olds who each seem as if they could have been any of our children or grandchildren. Jessica asked Santa for new cowgirl boots for Christmas. Daniel’s family said he “earned” all the ripped knees on his jeans. James liked to remind people that he was six and three-quarters. Grace loved playing dress-up and with her dog Puddin’.

     As the stories kept coming about the children and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School and their families began saying goodbye, many of us have spent much of the last week in tears. But many parents, especially those with their own young children, have instead gone through each day desperately willing themselves not to cry—trying to do what little they could to protect their children from the overwhelming adult sadness all around them. After all, for most parents protecting their children is a primal and primary instinct. This is just one reason this tragedy, which happened in school—a place where tens of millions of parents send their children every single day and need to trust they will be safe, has instilled so much horror and despair.

     When two serial snipers terrorized the Washington, D.C. area ten years ago, using a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle very similar to the one used in the Newtown shootings, one of the most horrifying moments came after the shooters targeted a child on his way to school, later asserting in a note: “Your children are not safe anywhere at any time.” After this latest tragedy, America’s mothers, grandmothers, fathers, grandfathers, and all those with a mothering spirit must finally stand up and fight that truth and make our politicians act to fight that truth doing whatever it takes for as long as it takes. We must seize the moment and say no more.

Wednesday, 02 January 2013 18:57
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     Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced the creation of a fact-finding team to explore issues that arose in connection with the November 6 General Election with the goal of making recommendations that will strengthen the election system in the City of Philadelphia.

     On Election Day the Mayor acknowledged that many Philadelphians confronted serious issues as they voted in polling places across the city and that he wanted to engage in a fact-finding effort about those issues. As a result, the Mayor assembled a team of Administration and community officials to work with the cooperation of the City Commissioners to review the voting system in Philadelphia. The team, led by Deputy Mayor and Managing Director Rich Negrin, will identify the problems and potential solutions to the variety of issues identified on – and leading up to – Election Day.

Wednesday, 02 January 2013 18:55
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A year end review 2012

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     As I look back over the year 2012, so many things happened news-wise that they are almost too numerous to mention. But certainly the re-election of President Barack Obama is number one on my list. I pray that in 2013 and beyond that President Obama can lead our nation out of such high unemployment and make a way for more business opportunities for small business owners. I pray he can get all Americans who need it, real true free health care and certainly, I pray that our President can make more positive impact on our education system, where ALL students, be they Black or white, will have a level playing field. At the end of the day on Tuesday, November 7, 2012, there was a tremendous celebration for President Obama and for his Vice presidential running mate and team mate Joe Biden as they savored a hard fought victory in Chicago at the Obama/Biden Campaign Headquarters fir their successful reelection. Meanwhile in Boston, the big story was the long wait loose Mitt Romney dished out before he finally offered his concession speech and lukewarm congratulations to well-deserving President Barack Obama.

Wednesday, 02 January 2013 18:49
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The relevance of Kwanzaa

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     “There is no way to understand and appreciate the meaning and message of Kwanzaa without understanding and appreciating its profound and pervasive concern with values. In fact, Kwanzaa's reason for existence, its length of seven days, its core focus and its foundation are all rooted in its concern with values. Kwanzaa inherits this value concern and focus from Kawaida, the African philosophical framework in which it was created. Kawaida philosophy is a communitarian African philosophy which is an ongoing synthesis of the best of African thought and practice in constant exchange with the world.”

http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/7principles.shtml

     Kwanzaa is a cultural celebration initiated by Maulana Karenga to encourage and promote a deep sense of unity, cohesion and meaning in the lives of African people during a time of radical social change and upheaval. During the 1960’s Africans in America struggled to throw off the yoke of racial apartheid and dismantle the economic caste system by demanding civil rights, Black Power and human rights. Several strains of thought and calls for action emerged during that time. One called for inclusion and integration into the existing social order. Another called for self-determination, a sense of self and community apart from Euro-American influence and domination. A small minority called for armed struggle. The government responded to all three via its ongoing counterinsurgency program called COINTELPRO. The corporate media, the FBI and local police collaborated to demonize Black leaders like Malcolm X, Elijah Muhammad, Stokley Carmichael and Martin Luther King Jr. and their organizations. The FBI and police infiltrated all the groups, created enmity and animus amongst the various organizations and waged a vicious and ruthless campaign to undermine and destroy any grass roots leadership that was emerging. The lethargy, hopelessness and helplessness we see in our communities today is a direct result of COINTELPRO and the government's policy of allowing massive quantities of drugs into our communities.

     Maulana Karenga was a “cultural nationalist”; he espoused unity and organization based upon African values as opposed to following Karl Marx or any other European analysis, doctrine or assessment. Karenga understood the power of values as the shaping and driving force behind philosophy, politics, economics, behavior, interpersonal and collective relationships, one’s world view and behavior. Much like Marcus Garvey before him, Karenga saw a distinct need to link the deep yearnings of Africans in America to be their authentic selves to a set of values that empowered us to free ourselves from mental slavery. As a scholar who familiarized himself with African and world history, sociology and anthropology he structured a set of values he called the Nguzo Saba or Seven Principles, using universal African values as a foundation and tool to resurrect a people beaten down by state sanctioned violence, bigotry and menticide. Karenga understood clearly from a psychological perspective that to encourage and initiate new behaviors and lifestyles amongst the colonized victims of Euro-American oppression would require an incentive, a specific reason and a solution that would benefit us both now and well into the future. So he created Kwanzaa as a way to emphasize personal, family and community unity, cohesion and behavior Maulana Karenga would be the first to tell you Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday. It is not a hero or personality based celebration. It is a cultural celebration that binds ancient African values, ways of seeing oneself and being in the world to modern socio-political realities, in other words it fosters mental decolonizaton, personal and social reorientation. But due to the success of COINTELPRO and the ongoing brainwashing of the mass media, many Black folks not longer think we need to relate to Africa or even resist US fascism either at home or abroad. Many of our people are caught up in the materialism, hedonism and superficialities promoted in the US mass media. We have become distracted, deceived and discombobulated by the glitter and the bling of American culture. We have internalized the incivility, profanity, disrespect and misogyny beamed at us 24/7 by the corporate media and now our communities reflect this pathology.

     Many of our people don’t understand Kwanzaa. Many of us suffer from psycho-sclerosis, closed mindedness; an unwilling to expand our thinking to entertain and embrace new ideas, even though Kwanzaa is over forty years old. Many don’t see the significance of a cultural holiday based upon African values. Some think their particular religion is all they need. Some are mesmerized by Hip Hop and see no need to reorient themselves to a more righteous way of looking at the world. But if we stop and look at the moral and fiscal bankruptcy and decay of this nation, it should be clear we need to rethink our role and place in this country; especially its values.

     Will we remain silent as the US and its imperialist allies continue to drop bombs on innocent men, women and children and conduct ever expanding drone warfare around the world under the bogus guise of “national security” and “the global war on terrorism”? Will we acquiesce to the blatant class warfare wage against us as the ruling elites and their puppets in Congress steal our wealth and get away Scott free?

     As the US economy continues to implode due to the intrigues of the ruling elites and their flunkies in government, shouldn’t we begin to think in terms of developing a cohesive purpose (Nia, Umoja) and strategy for our survival? Shouldn’t we be developing an internal sub-system of commerce and economics, (Kujichagulia, Ujima and Ujamaa) given what we are seeing all around us? Could we use our creativity (Kuumba) and genius to formulate ways to feed, cloth and protect our people?

     As confidence in the Congress and government plunges, and we see our elected official sell us out at every turn, shouldn’t we begin to think in terms of unity, self-determination and developing faith (Imani) in our ancestors, ourselves and our potential given no one is here to save us but us?!

      If you answered yes to any of these questions then Kwanzaa has relevance for you here and now. If you think it’s time to embrace a new way or relating to one another within our own communities, then Kwanzaa is relevant to you. If you want to heal the psyches of our people, build up our families and communities, strengthen them and help them thrive despite the economy and the moral rot permeating this society, then Kwanzaa has relevance to you.

Wednesday, 02 January 2013 18:46
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     The website www.walkscore.com, in collaboration with researchers at Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia, announced this week that Philadelphia ranks as the ninth most bikeable city United States and the best city for biking with a population more than one million. The rankings are based on four factors: bike lanes; hills; destinations and road connectivity; and bike commuting mode share.

     “I am pleased to see Philadelphia recognized as among the nation’s most bikable cities,” said Michael A. Nutter. “The work of the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities to coordinate agencies across City government has led to major strides in making biking a safe and convenient option for traveling around Philadelphia,” Nutter continued.

Wednesday, 02 January 2013 18:45
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     At 7:00 p.m. on December 31, 1862, our enslaved ancestors anxiously awaited the freedom that they were told would finally come the next day. For them, it was the long-awaited hope that the kidnapping, the enslaving, the brutal backbreaking labor, the buying, the selling, the beating, the raping, the castrating, and the lynching would finally end.

     Although it did eventually end, we- not they- reaped the benefits. They went through hell to try to get us to heaven. Therefore, we must acknowledge them, thank them, and especially avenge them.

Wednesday, 02 January 2013 18:44
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 Five hundred public housing schoolchildren will stay warm this winter thanks to a winter coat giveaway sponsored by the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA).

     PHA partnered with Operation Warm, one of the nation’s largest non-profit providers of brand-new winter coats, to hold the giveaway, which benefited children in need just in time for the holidays.

Wednesday, 02 January 2013 18:42
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 The Gospel Music Industry mourns the loss of the Legendary Lady Inez Andrews of the Caravans. Andrews passed away in the afternoon of Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at her home in Chicago.

     She was slated to receive the Dr. Bobby Jones Legends Award during the upcoming Stellar Awards Show in Nashville, TN in January 2013.

Wednesday, 02 January 2013 18:38
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We Should Never Forget The Father of Gospel Hymns, Rev. Charles A. Tindley

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      "By 1906, Dr. Tindley had composed and copyrighted at least 20 gospel songs. At that time, gospel hymns were not thought of so very much. Tindley would preach a sermon and then sometimes he would break out into one of the Gospels he had written. It was strange for people in the congregation the first time they heard it. But two or three times after that they would join right in. His daughter, Emaline Tindley (who had a very beautiful mezzo voice) would lead the hymns and the church would pick them right up."

Wednesday, 02 January 2013 18:34
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