Philadelphia NOW is a supporter of Neighborhood Networks. We hope our members will support the Neighborhood Networks conference on September 30. The following post describes the goals of Neighborhood Networks:
Building Democracy Ward by Ward, Division by Division
by Stan Shapiro
So the deed has now been done, our new Councilpeople have been annointed. Some of us from Philly for Change, Neighborhood Networks and others came together at Lucy's Hat Shop and said we won't tolerate this. But as we knew the City Committee would, they did their all in the family thing anyhow.
So what do we do now? We're just 8 months away from the primary election in which the machine will flex its muscles to get its choices ratified.
This is what Neighborhood Networks is doing. We're creating shadow ward organizations throughout the city to take on the machine on behalf of progressive candidates. We choose not to accept permanent rule by this thing that presumes to speak for all Democrats. We ourselves can build and be the organization that the Democratic City Committee ought to be.
NN is having its annual conference Saturday, September 30 at Temple University Law School. The theme is "Building Democracy from the Ground Up." We will have inspirational speakers like Chris Bowers and Anne Dicker to tell us what they're doing every day to build an inclusive politics. And then I hope we will all accept the personal challenge of doing some building ourselves. We'll have the chance to do that starting at 3PM when we break down into small groups organized by ward and division. There we will talk about taking responsibility in the neighborhoods in which we live to be the eyes and ears of the progressive movement. When we have enough of those -- along with boots on the ground that can go door to door on election day right behind the machine pols -- then we will have an answer to City Committee that it has to pay attention to. (And many good but frustrated committeepeople and ward leaders already in place will, I predict, be with us when we deliver that answer.)
And, btw, once we have this organization in place informally, we can make it official by getting waves of us elected committeepeople and ward leaders. We did some of that last Spring and we can do lots more next time. But the next opportunity to elect committeepeople isn't until 2010. In the meanwhile we can practice, practice, practice. And nominate lots of solid progressive Democrats along the way.
So if you're -- as they say -- sick and tired of being sick and tired -- join us on September 30, and meet your likeminded neighbors. Here's the link to our website which will let you register online. http://www.phillynn.org/