Lilac Philly

Monthly News: March

By Lilac Newsletter Team, March 22, 2020
March at International Woman's Day
March at International Woman's Day

Help Fight the Coronavirus!

The coronavirus pandemic has yet again exposed the capitalists’ priority of profit over working people. The Federal Reserve is loaning trillions of dollars to banks with 0% interest, but the problems of working people don’t have answers yet. Will everyone be able to get care? Will people still receive wages if their jobs close down? Will rent payments be paused? Many companies are forcing workers in unnecessary industries to continue working in unsafe conditions. On the other side, thousands of low wage workers are being laid off.

Now’s the time for solidarity! We need to work to keep each other safe. Lots of different organizations around the city are mobilizing in different ways to help people who need it. Below are a few ways to plug in.

Petitions and Forms

Mutual Aid Plugin

Upcoming Events

Help Wanted (reach out here if interested)

  • The Electoral WG needs more volunteers to phone/text bank our membership to turn them out for electoral work this primary.
  • We’re also phone banking for Nikil Saval and Rick Krajewski - contact us for a signup link!
  • The Newsletter is looking for people to write news summaries, provide original content, and take photographs.

Local News Summaries and Links

  • The census is a count of people and demographics in the US which determines government representation and federal funding for public programs. In Philadelphia, many groups including the 5,700 homeless, international students, Hispanic, and Cambodian communities will be undercounted because of lack of information or housing, language barriers, or fear of law enforcement and immigration agencies. Philadelphia is the poorest big city in the US and it relies on federal funding to support these groups.
  • A Philly nonprofit’s attempt to open the first supervised injection site in the country was blocked the day after it was announced when a federal prosecutor appealed a judge’s legal verdict. Constitution Health Plaza (CHP) at Broad and Mckean, where the supervised injection site would’ve been, also backed out the deal on the same day after citing community concerns. Supervised injection sites are a tool to fight against the opioid epidemic which kills 1,100 people in Philadelphia a year.
  • Two charter school applications were rejected by the Board of Education last month. There are already 87 existing charter schools in Philadelphia which get paid tuition for each attending student by the School District, putting pressure on the District’s budget. News has also come out that Philadelphia’s second largest charter school has a $1.2 million budget deficit.
  • Predictive algorithms are being used in Philadelphia by the judicial system to make risk assessments that can determine whether a person is incarcerated pre-trial, their supervision level, and more. These algorithms are a black box that can provide no explanation for their decisions and often contain racial and class biases. Media Mobilizing Project has created a database of these algorithms along with a webinar on how they work.

Solidarity,

The Lilac Newsletter Group