News

A movement in Philadelphia to rise from poverty, end mass incarceration—and run Republicans out

August 07, 2019
 – 
Alexandra Arriaga

Sitting in the corner of Fergie’s Pub in Center City, Philadelphia, Kendra Brooks wishes she could stay in the corner. She’s an introvert, she says, and the room is packed with guests who came to see her—a mother of four, grandmother of three, and a public education organizer and activist running for City Council.

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Independents are on the rise in Philly. Could they actually win a City Council seat?

Aug. 1, 2019,
 – 
Max Marin

Independents make up just 12% of voters in Philadelphia. But this year, they’re signing up in droves. More than a quarter of new registrations since the start of this year have been neither Dem or Republican, according to the Inquirer, but independent. That poses a problem for the other parties in the upcoming November election.

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10 third-party candidates file petitions for November ballot

July 31, 2019
 – 
Michael D’Onofrio

Ten minor-party candidates are angling to win City Council seats in the general election.

Candidates from five minor parties filed their nomination petitions with the Board of Elections by Thursday’s deadline to get on the ballot, according to the unofficial tally.

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Could progressives capture two Philly City Council seats long held by GOP?

July 12, 2019
 – 
Sean Collins Walsh

In a test of how far progressive organizing in Philadelphia has come, several liberal outsiders have launched independent campaigns aimed at seizing two City Council seats that are reserved for minor-party or unaffiliated candidates and have been held by Republicans for nearly 70 years.

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Lou Barletta, out of Congress but still into immigration policy, wants to build that wall

August 2, 2019
 – 
Jonathan Tamari, Chris Brennan and Sean Collins Walsh

Former U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, a top Pennsylvania surrogate for President Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection bid, is trying to combine the thing he is best known for — fierce opposition to undocumented immigration — with something his political brand is not known for — fund-raising.

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POLS ON THE STREET: GOP Plans a Counter to Wolf’s ‘Restore PA’

July 26, 2019
 – 
JOE SHAHEELI

The moment the dust settled on the municipal primary election this spring, all fulltime State-level politicians swung into fulltime planning for 2020, which will be their turn onstage.

All legislative proposals for the remainder of the 2019 session will be

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Allan ‘Condo King’ Domb targeted by critics of Philly property tax abatement

April 18, 2019
 – 
Jake Blumgart
kendrataxabatement pics

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Public demands that Council invest in schools

May 7, 2019
 – 
Greg Windle
kendra testifying at council

“The health of our schools is paramount,” said community organizer Kendra Brooks. “Not only the physical health of our schools, but the mental and emotional health of our students. Our children face trauma at an alarming rate.”

Brooks, who has children at Steele Elementary and Science Leadership Academy @ Beeber, said the community connector position was crucial to “build a bridge. … The ultimate goal is to improve the success of the students, and the best way to do that is by supporting the entire family.”

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Gun violence is rampant in Nicetown, so this mother is fighting back

October 30, 2018
 – 
Michaela Winberg
stand up nicetown circle pic

Gun violence in Nicetown has gotten so bad, said resident Kendra Brooks, that each morning, she worries about sending her 10-year-old daughter off to school.

“Over the summer, my kids buried a friend every other week,” she told Billy Penn. “They’re waking me up every other week saying such-and-such got shot.”

But the dedicated mother refused to be paralyzed by her fear.

Brooks, a steering committee member of the 215 People’s Alliance, thought up a temporary solution, which she hopes will leave a lasting impact on her community: Weekly meetings that bring resources directly to the residents of Nicetown.

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New Weapon To Combat Gun Violence In Philadelphia: Cold, Hard Cash

April 10, 2019
 – 
Kimberly Davis

“We call it Stand Up Nicetown because we pick one of the busiest corners in our neighborhood and just stood out there and talked to people and brought resources around,” Kendra Brooks said. “Being a good father, resources for young men and mentorship.”

But it’s hard to combat the violence when there’s no funding for grassroots organizations.

“It’s completely self-funded,” Brooks said. “Each one of our organizations, each one of our members — we fund all of our meetings, all our programming is out of pocket.”

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Organizing to end 10-year tax abatement, coalition releases new report

November 15, 2018
 – 
Greg Windle

“[The report] sheds light on the impact that these abatements have on starving our schools and our city of the public resources and services we need,” said Kendra Brooks, an organizer with the coalition. “We must push City Council and the mayor’s office to end these unjust tax abatements for luxury developers and provide that money to teachers, nurses, janitors and students to teach, learn and thrive in our city.”

The coalition is collecting petition signatures to support ending the abatement. Members of the coalition delivered copies of the report to Council members on Nov. 15. They plan further visits to Council offices on Nov. 29, Dec. 6, and Dec. 13.

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Philly gives $700k to neighborhoods orgs to help reduce gun violence

April 10, 2019
 – 
Michaela Winberg
stand up nicetown circle pic

Nicetown residents attempting to take pride in their North Philadelphia neighborhood were interrupted by a round of gunfire over the weekend.

As families gathered together to spruce up their blocks during the annual citywide spring cleanup on Saturday, a shooting broke out. A 26-year-old man was killed and a 17-year-old was wounded — right in front of everyone’s eyes.

“Kids saw that. Kids were outside,” said Kendra Brooks, a mother and founder of Stand Up Nicetown. In the aftermath of the incident, she tried to secure a meeting space to host a community discussion, but without funds to back up the reservation, it took nearly a week to find a good spot.

To make a difference, Brooks needs more resources. And now she might actually get them, thanks to a new initiative from Philly’s Office of Violence Prevention.

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Education activists call on Penn to pay ‘fair share’ to support city schools

March 25, 2019
 – 
Aaron Moselle

At this point, the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University are the only Ivy League schools that don’t contribute PILOTs. That should change, said Kendra Brooks, an activist with the 215 People’s Alliance.

“We are the poorest city in the country, so pathways out of poverty are created through education and opportunity,” Brooks said. “Penn should pay their fair share to make sure kids have that pathway.”

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Flashpoint: Philly's toxic schools, Controller Rhynhart's bombshell audits, and youth healers of PEC

August 12, 2018
 – 
Cherri Gregg

Philadelphia has more than 300 school facilities and with an average age of 70 years, and many are in disrepair. Scores of school buildings have toxic levels of lead paint, mold, asbestos and other unsafe conditions. Students will head back to class in the School District of Philadelphia on Aug. 27. This summer, thanks to $7.6 million in state funding and an additional $8 million in local funding, the district is in the process of dealing with toxic lead paint in more than 40 of its worst schools.

This week, the district released its fourth report on the progress of the clean-up. Guests for this debate include Lee Whack, spokesman for the School District of Philadelphia; Jerry Roseman, director of Environmental Science and Occupational Safety and Heath for the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers Health and Welfare Fund and Union; Lisa Haver, co-founder of Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools; and Kendra Brooks, coordinator of Our City, Our Schools and an active school district parent.

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