Welcome to Philadelphia Jobs with Justice
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
This summer, JwJ has been out in the streets alongside of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, the Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools and many others. The PFT has been holding weekly neighborhood rallies at Philadelphia public schools that will be affected by the school cuts and closings.
Many young children and parents crowded around the entrance to Julia DeBurgos Elementary School in North Philadelphia for the first rally. A bilingual elementary school, parents and students spoke to the crowd in both Spanish and English. PFT Community Engagement Chair Evette Jones closed the rally with strong words. “Why should we have to beg for something that is a constitutional right!”
Despite rain, the second neighborhood rally at South Philadelphia High School went on today. The rally was dotted with red shirts, the PFT’s color, and a number of teachers spoke about the effects the cuts will have on their teaching.
We hope you can come out to the next rally on Wednesday, August 14, at Harding Middel School at 3:30!
posted by penny at 11:57am
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Philly JwJ is growing! In the past few months alone, we have doubled the number of our monthly sustainers and launched the Good Neighbors Campaign, our first JwJ-led campaign in three years. Thanks to our increased capacity, we able to play a key role in in both the school funding and paid sick days campaigns, and our May Solidarity Awards turned out to be our most successful fundraiser ever. Our student chapter at UPenn, Penn SLAP, helped win campus workers union recognition, and our student base is bigger than ever.
But we've got a lot to do. Our public schools are still desperately underfunded, the folks who provide some of our most essential services have gone years without a contract, and private sector workers are still fighting back against corporate greed. Our workers and our communities are under attack.
So this summer, we're continuing our ambitious project of building our capacity and our power. We're: working with faith leaders and congregations to build our September Labor in the Pulpit/Bimah/Minaret Program, a coordinated program incorporating worker justice into faith services on or around Labor Day. Seasoned Penn SLAPista and JwJ summer intern Penny Jennewein is coordinating our first-ever Philly Area SLAP Council, which will bring together student activists from Penn, Swarthmore, and Temple. This August, we'll convene our Mobilization Committee, tasked with building our mobilization capacity. In September, we'll be hosting our fourth annual sustainer soiree (we're hoping to hit 100 sustainers!), and our second annual Taproot Training.
And next week, we kick off a monthly JwJ happy hour, a chance for JwJers to meet and socialize informally, and for newer folks to find out what we're up to. If you've never attended a JwJ event before, don't be shy--come out and join us Monday! We're hoping new folks will see it as a fun opportunity to meet the staff and find out more about our work.
So stay excited, and save these dates:
Bastille Day Happy Hour
Monday, July 15th, 6-7pm @ The Bards Irish Bar, 2013 Walnut Street
Bastille Day marks the teardown of a 1% fortress-prison by the 99%--what better day to kick off JwJ's new series of monthly happy hours? Drop in, grab a drink, talk to staff, and help us build the JwJ community! (click here to RSVP on Facebook)
4th Annual Sustainer Soiree
Saturday, September 7th, 7-11 pm @ The Drake, 1512 Spruce Street
Join us in our annual celebration of our monthly donors--the sustainers that help keep us grassroots and locally accountable! We suggest a $50 donation at the door for non-sustainers (sustainers enter free!). We're working hard to hit 100 sustainers by the soiree (right now we're at 75). Are you a sustainer yet? Help us reach our goal by signing up here!
2013 Taproot Training
September 20th, 21st, and 22nd (Location TBA)
Carefully honed and developed by and through the national Jobs with Justice network, this training program provides leaders with insight into value-based organizing's key concepts and skills.
For more information about meals, costs, and registration, please click here.
It's an exciting time to be part of Jobs with Justice--we hope you'll be able to make it to some (or all!) of our upcoming events.
posted by gwen at 10:55am
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
I'm writing from the #phillyfast tent outside Corbett's office at Broad and Walnut. It's day three, and JwJ members Kate Goodman and I are joining the #phillyfast parent and worker hunger strikers (including JwJ member Mike Mullins) for a day of fasting to keep our schools safe and staffed. We're asking other JwJ members to let us know if they're interested in doing the same.
Over the next week, there will also be many opportunities to show your support for the battle to fund our schools-- all #phillyfast events will take place in front of Corbett's office at Broad and Walnut.
- Tonight at 5 pm, we're hoping you'll join us in a show of solidarity with the hunger strikers. We're asking our members and allies to join us down at the #phillyfast site to come out again and show your support. (Click to RSVP)
- Tomorrow at 9 am, join PCAPS, JwJ, and Unite Here at City Council to demand a yes vote on the U&O tax, which would require businesses to pay their fair share towards our schools.
- Saturday at 2 pm, #phillyfast is asking all its community allies to join them in a mass solidarity action calling on Corbett and Nutter to end this crisis and fund our schools.(Click to RSVP)
- Next Wednesday at 5 pm, the Philadelphia AFL-CIO is calling for a day of labor mobilization in support of the #phillyfast hunger strikers.
We hope you'll come to as many of these events as you can--now more than ever, we need to fight like hell to save our city's schools.
posted by gwen at 12:27pm
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
My name is Penny Jennewein, and am interning with Philadelphia Jobs with Justice in collaboration with the national network, Interfaith Worker Justice. I am going to be a senior at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall.
I’ve been organizing with Penn SLAP, which is an initiative of Jobs with Justice, since my first year in college. When I was a first year I was part of the final push in the successful campaign for Penn’s nonreinvestment in HEI Hotels & Resorts achieved in Spring 2011. Since then, I’ve been an organizer with Penn SLAP’s Justice on the Menu Campaign. Working alongside of dining hall workers dissatisfied with their working conditions, Penn SLAP laid the groundwork and supported the workers as they went public. In Spring 2013, dining workers successfully joined Teamsters Local 929. Contract negotiations are currently in progress.
I’m also a co-founder of Penn’s housing co-op, Penn Haven and a member of the Steering Committee of the Student/Farmworker Alliance. I am excited to be working on building a regional SLAP network and working with faith leaders on JwJ’s Labor in the Pulpit initiative.
In solidarity, Penny
posted by penny at 11:35am
Saturday, June 8, 2013
On May 23rd, Gwen Snyder, the Executive Director of Philadelphia Jobs with Justice, testified at City Hall for the City Council Committee on Finance in support of bill 130123. This bill provides standards for tax exemptions for nonprofits by requiring land-owning nonprofits to annually file a statement to the Office of Property Assessment. If the nonprofit were not using its land charitably, then it would have to pay property taxes. This bill aligns with the ideology of Good Neighbors Philadelphia, a campaign launched by Jobs with Justice and eights other organizations. This campaign calls on Mayor Nutter to require mega-nonprofits to pay taxes on land used for non-charitable purposes, like vacant land and profit generating ventures such as hotels or rental space. Currently, organizations’ tax-exempt status is based on decades old applications. These kinds of accountability measures are already the norm in the non-profit sector. Private foundations almost universally require nonprofits to show how grant money is being used to further charitable work. Our city’s schools and essential services have suffered over the last few years and forcing uncharitable mega-nonprofits to pay taxes will generate millions of dollars for these necessary services. The Committee on Finance received Gwen’s testimony quite well. Bill 130123 will be introduced for a vote. To read Gwen’s testimony, click here.
Councilman Green, Councilmen Goode, and Councilwoman Reynolds Brown sponsored bill 130123. This bill amends Section 2-305 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled ‘Office of Property Assessment’. Click here to read the bill.
posted by Dominica at 3:07pm
Friday, June 7, 2013
Hello JwJers! I am Dominica Gonzalez and I am a new summer intern for Philadelphia Jobs with Justice. I just finished my first year at Smith College, but now I am home in Pennsylvania for the summer. I have worked a little with Western Massachusetts Jobs with Justice near my school, but I am eager to work more in depth with the Philadelphia chapter.
I have always been interested in social justice but it was not until this past year that I started organizing. At school, I was a part of Students for Social Justice and Institutional Change. We worked with SEIU Local 211, a union that included my college’s dining hall and housekeeping workers. This year the college was renegotiating their contracts and attempted to cut wages and reduce benefits, even though the workers are currently making significantly less than the living wage in Northampton, Massachusetts. We stood in solidarity with them by organizing actions and, since we are a student organization, we were able to use school funding to print hundreds of campaign pamphlets to distribute to the student body.
Also, I was part of a newly formed group at school called Organizing for Undocumented Students (OUS). We ran a series of campaigns to push the college to change their admissions and financial aide practices towards undocumented students. We have successfully pressured the college into advertising their undocumented student admissions policy on the admissions website, although we are still pushing for more detailed information on the website. The group is progressing quite quickly, many major decision makers are aware and in communication with our group, such as the Vice President of Enrollment, the Student Government Association, and the college President. We now have a strong network of Students, Alumni and Faculty. We have also been in close contact with Freedom University, a program that offers free college level classes to Undocumented students in Atlanta, Georgia. We have also made a tumblr to encourage higher education reform for undocumented students all over the nation.
I am passionate about labor and immigration issues. I also love photography, so you will probably meet me with a camera in hand. I am really excited to work hard and learn a lot this summer.
In Solidarity, Dominica Gonzalez
posted by Dominica at 3:12pm
Friday, June 7, 2013
The May 30th Solidarity Awards was an amazing success! It was our largest fundraiser yet! The hall of the 1199c Union Hall was filled with eighty people that joined Jobs with Justice in honoring our awardees. Thank you to all of our volunteers, executive board members, and everyone who attended that made the event so wonderful. Thank you to our awardees, who have fought and continue to fight for safer and stronger workplaces and communities in Philadelphia. We also want to thank our sustainers, who donate monthly to support Jobs with Justice’s fight for economic justice.
We are happy to announce that we reached our goal of 70 sustainers by May 30th. However, we are still hopping to reach our goal of 100 sustainers by Labor Day. To help us reach our goal, become a sustainer today by clicking here and pressing the 'reoccuring donation' button.
posted by Dominica at 12:55pm
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Don't forget--tomorrow's the big day!
May 30th, 2013, 5:30 pm
1319 Locust Street
open bar, light fare
Come join us as we celebrate leaders that made a difference in our workplaces and communities this year: Barbara Rahke, who spends her days fighting employers who try to cut corners that could cut workers' lives tragically short. Kahim Boles, who has spent decades with one foot in labor and the other in anti-poverty work, teaching folks that community and labor justice issues go hand in hand. Daniel Denvir, one of the most extraordinary reporters in Philadelphia, who has spent his career reporting on the excesses and corruption of big business and covering important social justice campaigns and stories.
Let's celebrate our allies and their audacity: IATSE Local 8, for striking to spotlight the hypocrisy of a theater company that tried to undermine its workers and their jobs even as it planned to profit from the launch of a biographical play about the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. CWA Locals 13000 and 13500 for their long and ultimately successful battle with Verizon against slashed wages and benefits. And of course PCAPS, for their work uniting many of our community, labor, and education advocates in a historic fight that saved many much-needed public schools from closure.
Our communities and our workplace rights are under vicious attack, and our awardees didn't give up--they fought back, and they're still fighting.
Workers are still under vicious attack, and right now it's more important than ever that we celebrate our victories. Will you plan to attend tomorrow, and help us out by buying a ticket today
Many thanks to our event's Premier Sponsors, CWA 2-13 & CWA 13000, and our Diamond Sponsor, UAW Region 9!
posted by gwen at 1:26pm
Monday, May 20, 2013
It's a busy time here at Philly JwJ. Over the next two Wednesdays, there are two parties coming up. We need you to join us in anger at one, and in celebration at the other.
Anger: Crashing Mayor 1%'s Party
this Wednesday, 5/22, 2:00 pm
Westin Philadelphia 99 South 17th Street
click here to RSVP on Facebook
Mayor Nutter has spent $45,569 in taxpayer dollars on membership to the United Conference of Mayors--money that could have been used to help out our struggling schools, neighborhoods, and working families. As UCM President, he's flown to Italy, China, and around the country for free, portraying himself as a model leader.
Meanwhile, our schools are closing and the number of city workers living below the poverty rate has DOUBLED.
This week, Mayor Nutter celebrates the last UCM event of his term as "America's Mayor." Let's join our friends from AFSCME in letting him know that Philly's sick of our mayor buying titles and placing 1% interests ahead of the rest of us--join us Wednesday!
Celebrate: Philly JwJ's Party!
next Thursday, 5/30, 5:30 pm
1319 Spruce Street, 1199c
click here to RSVP on Facebook
Next week is Philly JwJ's Solidarity Awards Night, featuring awardees Barbara Rahke (PhilaPOSH), Daniel Denvir, Kahim Boles (AFSCME DC 47), IATSE Local 8, and PCAPS.
As always, our Awards Night also features an open bar and some really good food!
Buy your ticket online, and be entered into a raffle to win a JwJ t-shirt!
Here's hoping to see you a couple Wednesdays in a row!
Want to support solidarity, reciprocity, and action for workers' rights?
posted by gwen at 3:17pm
Friday, April 19, 2013
For the past six months, we’ve being pushing quietly for Mayor Nutter to institute the Good Neighbors policy. The Good Neighbors policy would make mega-nonprofits pay their fair share towards the schools and services we depend on, by taxing properties that aren’t used for charitable efforts.
Well, we’re done pushing quietly. It’s time to launch a campaign.
Join us outside Mayor Nutter’s office for our formal press conference launching Good Neighbors Philadelphia and recognizing our coalition partners!
Tuesday, April 23rd
Philadelphia City Hall, 2nd Floor Hall
- Featuring AFSCME DC 47 President Cathy Scott and City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown!
Together, we'll call on Mayor Nutter to issue assessments to mega nonprofits and enforce the Good Neighbors Policy, raising tens of millions of dollars for our city's schools and public services.
RSVP on facebook, and be sure to invite your friends!
posted by gwen at 2:19pm