News and Notes

1) When we started our Open Records Request fax bank, I thought that 50 people asking for passwords would be enough to send a clear message, and force the City Commissioners' to come up with a commonsense solution to keeping election returns password protected. Instead, it got over 250, from Hallwatch's email, to mentions on Philebrity, the Clog, Clout, It's our City, and elsewhere.

So, 250 people requested to have the same access to election results as connected politicians. There is an easy solution, too: just set up something to spit out the data. How come I think it will not be so simple?

2) There is a story in the Inquirer today about the 10,000 men effort, which has so far not come close to living up to its goals. There is a lot to take away from it, but for people interested in progressive politics and organizing, this piece is instructive:

Outwardly, the organization appears to have stalled. It opened an office at 1501 Christian St. in a property owned by Kenny Gamble, the entertainment mogul and one of the organization's high-profile founders. But with no paid staff, the headquarters is open only by appointment, Bond said.

And the 10,000 Men Web site (www.10000menphilly.com) has not been updated in months. It still headlines an April 5 Community Action Fair to encourage volunteerism, the organization's biggest public event since its inaugural rally.

Lets say 10,000 men were really going to volunteer, for a mix of street patrols and mentorship/ community service. How can that happen without full time organizers? The answer is that barring a miracle, it cannot. And even here, where this is organizing about street violence that directly impacts people's lives in this City.

So, if you/we are instead trying to motivate people for your host of other progressive issues- all of which may be important, but most of which will have less direct tangible effects than violence, how can it be done without actually paying people to do it? Long-term, it cannot.

If we as progressives want change, we have to figure out how to pay for it.

3) I should have added a link to it a while ago, but, if you are not reading SEPTA Watch, you should be.

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