Philly Green Party

Archive for October, 2017

Philly Greens to Amazon: “Stay Away”10.17.17

Green Party to Amazon: Stay Away from Philly

http://www.gp.org/amazon_stay_away

PHILADELPHIA, PA – On October 19, cities across the country will submit their proposals to become the home of Amazon’s new $5 billion headquarters. The Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP) City Committee condemns Mayor Jim Kenney’s decision to enter Philadelphia into this competition while ignoring the harsh reality of the poor and working class citizens of Philadelphia. Far from improving our city, an Amazon headquarters would only exacerbate the crises we already face.

Amazon, which made $136 billion in revenue in 2016, is demanding tax breaks from the city it selects as its new home. Philadelphia cannot afford any more corporate welfare. The city has already given Comcast a ten-year property tax abatement in addition to tens of millions of dollars for Comcast’s new Center City building. It seems Mayor Kenney, a willing participant in Amazon’s bribery, can somehow put money on the table for Amazon but can’t seem to do so for the people of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia is the poorest big city in the U.S. Over 400,000 Philadelphians live below the federal poverty line, including 37% of the city’s children. Childhood hunger has more than tripled in parts of Philadelphia since 2006. But instead of using city money to end this crippling poverty, Mayor Kenney has promised millions of dollars to a massive corporation that only pays an average of 13% in taxes. Lauren Hitt, the Mayor’s communications director, has even said the city could overhaul its tax system for Amazon, saying, “We do have business taxes, but that’s something that could be looked at in the scope of Amazon coming here.”

Amazon claims its new headquarters will create 50,000 jobs, but Amazon has long been waging war against workers. The company has vigorously and consistently fought against its employees’ attempts at unionization and treats its workers with deadly disregard. In 2011, Amazon stationed ambulances outside its Allentown warehouse, where a lack of air conditioning allowed temperatures to rise over 100 degrees and caused 15 employees to collapse. A 2015 report by the New York Times detailed Amazon’s vile corporate workplace practices, including placing a woman who had recently had a stillborn child on a “performance improvement plan.”

According to S&P, Amazon “has been a major indirect contributor to higher housing prices and rents.” In Amazon’s current home of Seattle, rents have skyrocketed by 57% since 2011 and housing prices have increased as much as 13% per year. Philadelphia is already dealing with a housing crisis, and an Amazon headquarters would put that crisis into overdrive. The median house price in Philadelphia has soared 33% in the last decade, while the city lost 20% of its low-cost rental units between 2000 and 2014. By refusing to house the homeless but promising millions to house a multi-billion-dollar corporation, Mayor Kenney reveals his morally bankrupt priorities that put profits before people.

The Green Party of Philadelphia encourages all city residents to call Mayor Kenney at 215-686-2181 on Thursday, October 19 and tell him they oppose bringing Amazon to Philadelphia.

Taj Magruder, a Member At-Large of the GPOP City Committee, said, “It’s time to put a stop to corporate welfare in Philadelphia. We refuse to sell our city to Amazon.” Chris Robinson, GPOP Membership Secretary, said, “I agree with Taj that we must ban Amazon from Philadelphia. The Green Party sees the economy as being a support for a harmonious community and a healthy environment. Contrary to the two corporate parties, the Green Party platform says that ‘the giant multinational corporation [like Amazon] is the world’s most potent force for environmental and social destruction.’ Mega-monopolies like Amazon will find no friends in a Green Philadelphia.”

The Green Party is an independent political party founded on the four pillars of grassroots democracy, nonviolence, ecological wisdom, and social justice. For information about the Green Party of Philadelphia, please email gpop@gpop.org. Follow us on Twitter at @GreenPartyofPHL and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GreenPartyOfPhiladelphia.
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Greens to Meet, 10/26, 7:00 pm10.12.17

Greens to Meet
Thursday, October 26

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Shissler Recreation Center
1800 Blair Street
(near Girard Ave)
Fishtown, Philadelphia

This venue is wheelchair accessible.
More information from 215-843-4256 and gpop@gpop.org

Please join us to plan for the Green Party Election Day Presence at the Polls.
Let’s talk and decide what you can do!

We look forward to your participation.
This meeting is open to the public with no admission charge.
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Petition: Oppose SEPTA’s Plant in Nicetown10.03.17

The Green Party has actively opposed SEPTA’s fracked-gas power plants proposed for Nicetown and other neighborhoods in Philadelphia.

Please take a look at this Energy Justice Petition. It lists seven excellent reasons why most people reject SEPTA’s proposal. If you feel that this petition speaks for you, please sign it and then forward it to your friends and neighbors.

We need your signature on the petition no later than October 19. So please sign it today.
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Minutes, September Membership Meeting10.03.17

Minutes, Membership Meeting
September 28, 2017 – 7 PM

Shissler Recreation Center, Fishtown

Attendence: Vivek Ananthan; Christian Banchs; Olivia Faison, City Committee Member at Large; Georgie Georgeson, City Committee Member at Large; Alex Gillett; Eric Hamell;, Richard Kanegis; Taj Magruder, City Committee Member At Large; Margie Neary; Chris Robinson, Membership Secretary; Ernest Schulte; and Charles Sherrouse. Absent: Jarrett Anderson, Treasurer; and Galen Tyler, Chair.

This meeting was chaired by Taj, and minutes were taken by Chris. [Draft minutes were circulated for additions and corrections on 9/30. Several changes were suggested by Charles. Minutes were posted to the membership on 10/3.]

Before the meeting began, Chris congratulated our national Green Party for developing active caucuses. As an example:
Chris circulated “Greens Condemn Cancellation of DACA” to GPOP members on September 9. This was written by the Green Party Latinx Caucus.
Chris also circulated “Greens Mark Peace Day, Blast Military Budget” to GPOP members on September 22. This was written by the Green Party Peace Action Caucus.
If any GPOP member would like to organize a caucus around an issue or constituency dear to their heart, please contact Chris at 215-843-4256 and chrisrecon@netzero.net.

Campaign Updates
Jules’ Campaign

Chris said that the GPOP Electoral Operations Working Group now has ten Representatives who will volunteer at the polls for Jules4Judge on November 7. All but one of these divisions have been flyered door-to-door with “Register Green, Vote Green,” and we will soon being flyering with Jules4Judge literature. For more information, please see EOWG Report #9. http://www.gpop.org/news/?p=2387
Christian moved that GPOP purchase Jules4Judge yard signs for $50.00. The motion passed by consensus.

Cheri’s Pretrial Hearing
Taj reported that there was no news because we are awaiting the judge’s decision. (Cheri wants to sue the Democratic Party for electioneering in the Special Election in PA House District 197.)

Call for candidates
Taj made a call for candidates for races in 2018 and 2019. In 2018, every PA State Representative District will be up for election. These are small districts, which do not require massive amounts of funding or volunteers. They will also be an ideal way for new candidates to 1) put together a campaign organization and 2) begin to build name recognition for later electoral campaigns.
During 2019, Philadelphia will have elections for Mayor, City Council and City Commissioner.
Chris suggested that GPOP post a News Release that asks interested people to request information about running as a Green Party candidate. The News Release will also give us a chance to publicize the key issues that will ground such a Green Party candidate.

Election of GPOP Recording Secretary
Chris said that there have been no nominations. Taj asked if any member present would be interested in running for this office. Since there were no candidates, this election was postponed, and NOMINATIONS FOR RECORDING SECRETARY REMAIN OPEN.

Move GPOP to NationBuilder.com
Taj explained that some GPOP members would like to move our website and email to NationBuilder.com (NB).
Speaking in favor: Christian, Margie, Taj and Georgie.
Speaking in opposition: Chris and Charles.
The membership voted (10 yes, 2 no) to spend $288/year to move to NB.

Creation of GPOP Communications Working Group
Taj introduced a proposal for a new working group, which will handle GPOP’s website, email communications, social media, literature and news releases.
Chris agreed with this proposal, and requested that the new working group submit a statement of its objectives for approval by the members at the October General Membership Meeting. This was acceptable to Taj.
The following members volunteered to participate in the working group: Georgie, Taj, Christian, Jarrett (in absentia), Charles, Margie and Chris.
The GPOP Comminications Working Group was created by consensus.

Status of Anti-Islamophobia Committee
This committee (consisting of 4 volunteers) was created by the GPOP membership on 4/27/’17. Charles reported that Hillary had tried to develop something, but there appears to be little interest at the present time. The committee was declared in abeyance, with Charles’ agreement.

Status of Anti-SEPTA Power Plant News Release
On 8/27, the GPOP membership authorized a News Release demonstrating our opposition to fracking and to the proposed SEPTA Power Plant in Nicetown. The lead author has now moved to Florida, and the other two authors did not respond to an email posted to them on 9/14. The membership’s authorization was declared in abeyance due to lack of progress.
Chris circulated an Energy Justice petition against the Nicetown plant to GPOP Members on September 11. Please sign this petition when you have a moment.

Treasurer’s Report
Taj read Jarrett’s Treasurer’s Report, saying GPOP has $1343.78 as of September 19.

GPOP Issue Survey
On 4/27, the GPOP membership expressed a need for a survey of issues deemed important. Taj created an on-line survey, which was posted to the membership on 7/16. If you prefer a hard copy of the survey, please let us know.

Krasner to Speak?
Richard made a motion to invite Democrat Larry Krasner to speak at the October General Membership meeting and to seek Green Party endorsement. Eric seconded the motion, which was defeated (10 in opposition, 2 in favor).

Amendment to GPOP By-Laws
Margie withdrew her request to amend the GPOP Bylaws.

Respectfully submitted by Chris Robinson, Membership Secretary.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

October 12, GPOP City Committee Meeting, 7:00 pm, W/N W/N. http://www.winwincoffeebar.com/
October 26, GPOP General Membership Meeting, 7:00 pm, Shissler Recreation Center. http://www.phila.gov/findrec/RecCenterDetails.aspx?ID=831
October 28, Stop the Drone-Warfare Command Center, noon, Horsham Air National Guard base. http://www.brandywinepeace.com/event/ignite-peace-stop-the-drone-war-command-center-at-the-horsham-pa-air-guard-station/
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