Thursday, May 26, 2005

PW on Neighborhood Networks

Philadelphia Weekly has a feature story on Neighborhood Networks, a new effort to be launched in Philadelphia next weekend. Neighborhood Networks is an outgrowth of the growing powerlessness of progressives in Philadelphia politics. The leaders of this new group have an admirable slate of priorities.
The organizers of Neighborhood Networks say they envision the group as a web of activists who can lend some time to political campaigns, in support of both progressive candidates for office and progressive policies.

"We care about good government," stresses [Marc] Stier, who unsuccessfully vied for a Pennsylvania House seat in last year's Democratic primary. "We want elected officials who don't give a $30 million tax break to a company like Comcast, which earned a $1.9 billion profit last year."

Rather, Stier and his cohorts would like to see a local Democratic Party that focuses on improving the quality of life of low-income residents by pushing for changes such as increasing the minimum wage and repairing abandoned homes.


Specific issues to focus on will be determined during next week's conference, and later by the membership. However, the Neighborhood Networks website does make reference to pushing for new ethics rules in Philadelphia government and limiting gun sales statewide. On a national level, the organization could get involved in protecting Social Security, and defeating "judicial nominees who are right-wing extremists," according to the website.
The idea is pretty basic. Organize a bunch of progressive and get them to talk with their neighbors about local politics.


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