Dear To Whom Ever it may Concern,
Hello, my name is Jasmine Gladden and I attend Science Leadership Academy. I am writing this letter as a civilize student and young adult to inform you that I don’t believe that the curfew law is reasonable or fair. I understand where you’re coming from with your reasoning but I don’t think your looking at things from all perspectives. I believe if you would’ve look at things from the parents perspective and other young adult who not into flash mobs perspective then you wouldn’t have came to the conclusion with the curfew law that has been presented to us. I believe it’s not fair to the parents because some parents for one don’t have much control over there children to have their kids listen to them and be in the house at a certain time. Another reason I believe it’s not fair that a parent has to pay if their child gets caught; they have pay with their hard working money for the nonsense.
However, I am 18, so the curfew doesn’t really bother me, but I when I was 17 and younger I was never the type to vandalize and do bad things to mess up or harm anyone. I was reading this article that was about Mayor Nutter speech and I didn’t really agree with what he was saying. I don’t believe that every child is bad and can’t control themselves in a crowd. I don’t think it’s okay to categorize everyone into one category and it’s not everyone.
All I’m asking is for you to look into consideration of what I am presenting to you. I think this could work if you only include or show that you took in consideration everyone’s perspective. I think once you look at things fully and attempt to understand whom others are coming from, things may rule in a positive favor. Thank you for your time! Please if you find more time, can you reply with your thoughts base on what you think about my ideas.
From looking at my previous blog posts, I feel like a letter is best because I could compile everything I need to say in one document to get my point across. I can then be able to point out the certain aspects of each blog post I thought was important in each. I think the blog post that influence me the most was the 3rd blog post because this had points from actual people feeling towards the who situation.
To Whom This May Concern,
Hello, my name is Chelsea Starks and I am a senior at Science Leadership Academy. I have been working on a lobbying project in my American Government class to help me learn more about how the legislative system works. For my lobbying project I chose to lobby aiding the non-profit organization Philly Youth Poetry Movement (P.Y.P.M) which promotes youth to use power of their voice through spoken word and literary expression. PYPM is more than just a group of poets rhyming together, it’s like a family. No mater how long you’ve been there 6 months or 6 minutes, they will show you love regardless and will make you feel welcome. This organization was originally founded in 2006 by Greg Corbin, and really gives at-risk youths aged 13-19 a safe environment to express themselves, explore and find their identity as well as advocating for themselves in such a way that is creative but building better social skills at the same token. A program like this has been an inspiration to many including myself. My first time being at a workshop was very intriguing and I was interested to come back again and get to know everyone. The environment overall had so much love there even though they didn’t know me and I felt accepted by these people whom I didn’t even know. Programs like these need to exist around the city, but until the city can fund all of those projects, starting off with PYPM will help start it. This organization has been doing very well and has gained support of many politicians holding office in the city but now it’s calling on it’s community, i.e the city to help them continue to grow and flourish. With this funding this organization could be so much more, we could finally get a main building and hold workshops there, have youth night as well as open mic there as well. But that also cuts down on the unintentional segregation that sometimes happens when young people can’t go as far as others in terms of traveling outside the city. By having one building it will actually put some parents at ease because that allows them to know this limits how far some kids are traveling and are in one specific place. PYPM is an inspirational, innovative, uplifting organization committed to helping the city’s youth. So in closing, I hope that you will take this into consideration and help this organization prosper. Thank you.
Science Leadership Academy
Basically what I’ve done so far I can’t even begin to believe I’ve done honestly. I didn’t think I could get this far on my own nor did I really think I could make a true difference in the system of politics. I always thought most of them really didn’t care about what the young people had to say as a lot of politicians don’t but those whom I am working with to get PYPM more funding are definitely in favor of the young people in the city and really want us to be all we can be. I think that once the issue of money is settled for Philly, this will be a great investment because we are investing in our future via the young people that participate in these programs. This only the beginning of something that could change this city for the better. We already have the “Unlitter Us” campaign to help keep the city clean and it seems to have something of an impact. With proper funding I believe this could really help put the city’s youth into a better place as well as the city itself.
Right now I could use help with the letter before I send it off because I want to make sure this makes sense and is professional enough. Please feel free to leave constructive criticism below.
Dear Mayor Nutter http://www.phila.gov/mayor and City Council, http://www.phila.gov/citycouncil/
As a Teen I’ve read different commentary on how the curfew law should be stricter. I support what has been done, however there should be other methods then public speaking. For example other methods that can be used are advertisement campaigns, and public service announcements these other methods could more effectively target everyone and hopefully reduce what is going on. These other methods will include images and videos of teens harming and injuring innocent people. After watching these videos this would make teens realize that they should not be doing what they are doing and become a better person latter on in life. It could also help them understand why the curfew in place.
Link to Video:
Some teens may still disobey the rules no matter what is said to them. Some of them may feel that this law is unfair and have a no care attitude and that they would do anything that they want to do in life. The curfew law needs to be more enforced then what it is now since some teens are still getting out of hand. However with the changes in the law things have improved. It is unfortunate because people who don’t commit the crimes are also being affected. The curfew law can affect an average citizen, parents, teens, and City Council. For example how curfew can affect the average citizen is that they are worried whether their environment is safe to go out for a walk. The curfew law affects city council because they have to keep up on the teen’s behavior and if the curfew law is working when they have much important issues to work. The curfew law can affect parents because it reflects on the way they raised their kids and whether they can be trusted or not. This also affects the amount of effort the parents must make to make sure they kids follow the rules. The main purpose is to decrease the opportunity for people to do things that would get them in trouble and hopefully reduce crime.
- Dominate something.
The way I decided to communicate with my representative about my lobbying topic was to call the office at the same time everyday. I thought that by being consistent with how I handled my situation they would know that I was serious about this issue and that sooner or later they would have to address me.
- Do a few things well
They never called back and very seldom did they even answer the phone. I was upset and almost outraged at the fact the office of the man that was elected to represent my interest was never available to actually listen to my needs. I was persistent in calling but I started to vary the times. I didn't want to change my strategy because it was a good one it just wasn't as effective as I would've hoped.
- Make the strategy personal.
The strategy became very personal as I felt my voice wasn't being heard. I think now I will change my strategy looking back because there was no progress with calling. Now I will draft one letter addressed to the representative and ask that every senior in the school email it to him. Or invite him to the school so that we could have a group discussion on how to move forward.
In 2001 Billy Joe Reynolds was convicted of a sex crime in Missouri and served four years in prison. Then when he was released, he registered as a sex offender in Missouri, but he didn't do it with authorities in Pennsylvania when he moved there in 2007. A couple of months later Reynolds was charged with violating SORNA's requirements. When he went to go argue his case in the lower court they refused to even consider his challenge. Now Reynolds is being held in violation of the federal constitution. The court was divided on that issue. The U.S. Solicitor General urged the Court to deny review of Reynolds' petition.
The most effective way to get this on the radar is randomly placed (but still awesome) flash mobs. I have several ideas for how to organize these flashmobs. All of them start with couples (girls with girls/boys with boys) dressed in grooms outfits and bride’s dresses.
1. Couples waiting for bus stops and taking over the trains.
2. Spontaneous fake marriage ceremonies in malls. Complete with music over the loud speakers.
3. “Registering” for gifts in their costumes in stores.
Then we introduce shirts into the mix. We make shirts with sayings like “Here comes the bride…..and the other bride.” And other cool stuff. And I’ll distribute enough of them so they’re everywhere you look but not so many that they’ll be a mob of people wearing them.
1. Gather willing participants
2. Dress up said participants
3. Partner them up
4. Assign them areas
5. Watch the fun
6. End watching of fun
7. Make shirts
8. Assign shirts to much less people
9. Watch confused people
This will definitely be effective because for one thing, flash mobs have a way of getting around. It’s not that this will get support for gay marriage right away but it will get people thinking about it.
Everyone will want to know what its all about and that gets me in the door to explaining my cause.
The shirts are just a fashion statement to keep the issue from losing publicity. Plus the money made from possible sales of the shirt can fund more lobbying of my issue.
There hasn't been much this year for my issue so there isn't really any status as of now. But in 2008, seven states were records to "consider proposals" that would lower the LEGAL drinking age from 21 to 18 years of age.
In Kentucky, Wisconsin and South Carolina legislatures are working on for military personnel only. In Missouri, the citizens are working on a ballot to lower the age. A lawyer in South Dakota is working on a campaign for young adults (ages 19-20) to buy alcohol with a low level (3.2% and under). Minnesota citizens are trying to work on a bill that allows restaurants and bars to serve alcohol to people ages 18 and older but not liquor stores.
Although I'm not sure who's working on this other than myself, I can figure out who is and try to work with them and collaborate on our issue. Not only myself, but we (anyone besides myself and I) can influence our community and district leaders to look into the issue more in depth for reason that can show evidence and good reasoning as to why the drinking age should be lowered.
As of now, there aren't any meetings or committee hearings (presented to the public) but there may be more to come in the near future.
the fourth part of this lobbying assignment I decided to
contact, Council Woman Joan L. Krajewski. She is the one that represents
my district, district 6. Council Woman Joan L. Krajewski
Council Woman Joan L. Krajewski is one of the people that is directly responsible to me. I was hesitant in contacting her, for I was unsure of the method to use. I then decided on writing a letter, I came to the realization that it takes a long time for the letter to get through. In order to inquire regarding my topic I contacted her through phone, and email as well as the letter. I also forwarded the email out to the governor and our city's mayor; they have yet to reply to me.
In the letter I wrote, my reason for contacting them, along with links and a summery of my previous blog posts. In the letter I explained the safety in schools problem and how much education reform is needed, along with statistics on the high school drop out rates. And proposed several changes in order to better a students school life. I am still waiting for a reply from any or all of my representatives and am hoping for a positive response.
The letter I wrote:
My name is Elona Myftaraj, I a senior at Science Leadership Academy. I am working on a project, and lobbying for education reform is my main point. I am contacting you because you are my representative and I hope it wont take too much of your time to reply to me. I am contacting you in order to discuss, and make aware a few serious problems in our school system. "Across United States public schools, just 74.9 percent of students who were freshmen in the fall of 2004 graduated from high school on time in 2008, according to a report from the National Center for Education Statistics." There have been many school related incidents that I fear has many students feel that they are not in a safe environment. This is a link to a blog post I wrote on education reform, and suggestions for change. http://www.scienceleadership.org/blog/Lobbying-_Education_Reform:2
A perfect example of my lobbying topic is the violence erupted at South Philadelphia high school where off-campus and lunchrooms attacks targeted about 50 Asian students, injuring 30, primarily by African-American students. The Asian students boycotted classes for more than a week after the attack, stating that they had endured relentless bullying by African-American students while school officials did nothing about their complaints. I want there to be a change in education and in schools because there are many kids that come from "The Hood" or bad neighborhoods, and I believe that schools should be a safe haven as much as a place of learning, kids need to have a place or person they trust and I believe that this is a part of a teachers job.
I feel that it is incidents such as this that make students loose faith in schools and the school system. Therefore I am asking for your help to actively join me in taking action for education reform and an accurate schedule along with locations for public meetings regarding education reform.
Thank you in advance
~ Elona Myftaraj
Prometheus vs Mayo is a case whose controversy stems from the limits of patent laws that have been debated for over the last 10 years. Prometheus is a company that produces metabolic blood tests. Prometheus believed that they could patent correlations between results from their type of blood test and how doctors could diagnos of the tests to give make judgement on prescripcion dosages.. Mayo is a company that also produces blood tests. Prometheus saw that doctors were using other blood tests to make these same correlations and instead of going after the doctors attacked the blood test they patented their the correlation. The state of California didn't allow the patent to stand becuase they believed it was not patentable. Soon after the patents was allowed again under the Federal Circuit.
Mayo didn't believe this patent was legitimate and brought it to the Supreme Court. They were challenging the court ruling that the Federal Circuit passed. Mayo believed that the patent didn't fall under of the catagories required under a patent, "any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof". This problem also arose earlier in the decade when computer algorithms were trying to be patented. Does a correlation fall under a patentes requirements?
The supreme seems to be siding on the side that it doesn't. From the proceedings in december, it was evident that patent was way too broad. In opposed to patenting actual correlations in dosage number, which the Supreme court said would have passed, they patented the idea that their is a correlation. The problem is that it is just an idea. If the Supreme court makes a definitive decision on what a patent actual is, it will eliminate cases like this. I think the Supreme court will probably vote against the patent. I also hope they make specifics as to how their patents would have actually qualified I hate seeing cases where the ideas so general are patented so that a company can exclude competitors.
So far I’ve made the outlines for the first commercial and I plan to release it over Christmas break. Basically I want to use ethos and pathos for the commercial which is essentially appealing to the consumers emotions and I want to use stats with it. I will use some of the commercial tools that I have been learning in Ms Rami’s class. The commercial set up will start off viewing the lands of Pennsylvania then switch to drilling in the earth. Then I want to see if I can have some powerful background music and with that some speech being made by a government official. From there I have many idea’s that would be too much to convey.
I hope to one day meet the guy who made gas lands and see if I can get him involved, because that would be great. As far as the anti-fracking rally is going I need to collaborate more with Alaya White and Julia Boyer
Minneci vs. Pollard
According to http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/minneci-v-pollard/ this case is about whether the inmates of a federal crime can sue the employees of a private prison company if they violate the Constitution. This case asks: if an employee of a private prison system violated anything that is stated in the Constitution, which harmed or violated the prisoner, would the inmate be able to sue the employee?
According to http://www.americancriminallawreview.com/Drupal/blogs/blog-entry/lafler-v-cooper-attorney-mistakes-plea-bargaining-and-remedies-09-25-2011 basically what happened was a prisoner (Richard Pollard, serving 20 years for drug trafficking and gun crimes) at a federal prison in California was working in the prison's butcher shop and he tripped and fell over a cart landing on his elbows, which both broke. He claimed, in his lawsuit, that prison guards made him do painful, physical work after they refused to provide him with splints after a doctor had even suggested he has them. The prison guards put him back to work before his injuries were better. His lawsuit was a Bivens claim for damages. His lawsuit claimed to have violated his 8th Amendment Rights. His lawsuit is to be decided within the next year.
In this case there was forensic evidence that was tested by a lab but the expert witness that testified in court had no association with the original lab that did the test. The Williams' defense claimed that because the original lab that did the test did not testify that the confrontation clause was violated. They also claimed that the expert witness could not know if the lab test of the evidence was conducted correctly.
Dear Ms. Brown,
My name is Briana Stroman. I am a Senior that attends Science Leadership Academy high school on 22nd & Arch. I am writing you for my history project.
In my American Government class, each student had to choose a topic to lobby about. We write blog post on our school website about the topic research, how we feel about it, and actively taking an approach to it. The topic I chose to write about is curfew. I read in a document about curfew that you’re one of the council members that are in charge of it (if I’m correct). Why am I lobbying about curfew? It’s probably a question you are wondering as you read this letter.
It’s not that I disagree with minor curfew. I understand the reason why it was set in the first place. I also agree that teens need to understand the danger they put citizens into by causing “Flashmobs”. The problem I do have is that how are officers going to tell who’s a flashmobber and who isn’t?
For example, I wouldn’t want to be accused of being a flashmobber type person, when really I’m just a teenager rushing to get home from work. In my situation, my mother doesn’t have a car right now so I would have to take Septa basically anywhere I have to go. Or if I’m doing a digital video project somewhere and it ends at a late time.
What I’m wondering is, do they want a note? Would they like some type of proof? I just think that the city government were fast about setting the curfew law, without having thought of the outcomes of teens having fines because of accusation of being a flashmobber, the reactions of parents becoming super angry because they have to pay for something they know isn’t true. I’m only taking it in from how my mother would react because she knows I do positive activities.
So, I was wondering if I can meet with you one day to discuss more of this, or if you have the time, you can write back. I would love to have a response from you. Thank you for taking the time out to at least read this letter.
I won't sit and say that I knew what I was going to write, because I had to think. Because I usually write things down, it doesn't always come out in order. So I had to write how I wanted it to come out (in order), so it could be clear to Ms. Brown. I tried to set a certain tone for this letter also. I wanted to show that I'm a nice high school student, and at the same time I wanted to show how serious I am to figure out this information.
I tried to provide examples on situations that could happen to me, or any other teenager. I already sent it out but I realized that I should have added more to this letter. While I was in poetry club we were talking about different topics, so I brought up what I was lobbying about. And one of my club mates asked me, "why are the police trying to be the teenager's parents?" It was such an interesting question. I felt that I could've added an extra paragraph on that topic, also go more in depth about why parents get angry when someone tells them they're not doing their job right.
I did not get a response yet, but I look forward to one very soon. If not, I can always contact someone else. I also want to ask the extra thoughts I was thinking about. I thank my clubvmates, because without them I wouldn't have thought to want to ask more questions about my topic.
The first step in writing the letter was to figure out who i could write to that could make a difference, when I did research one people who could make a difference that I could get into easy contact with and the first person I thought of when I decided was Mayor Nutter he is the Mayor of Philadelphia and he has also vetoed a bill for it so that made it even more easy I knew that in writing to him about the issue that he would care because he was already involved with the situation. The next step in making contact with the the mayor.
The second step is sending out the letter and hoping that it gets to the right person at the right time. The whole point in trying to make contact with someone directly in the system is to get some sort of result on the issue that you found interesting or hopefully someone can contact me back letting me know specifics on what is to come with the sick leave bill in the future so that I can be more updated on my topic.
What I hope will come from m contacting the mayor is for him to know that there are people that are outside of legislation who do pay attention to what is happening in our congress and our government and there are people who know the importance of the future things that are going to take place today for tomorrow. I hope that when he gets this letter he responses with positive feedback and is more then impressed with the project that we have been working on for the past months.
a. Sexual Orientation
i. What is Sexual Orientation
ii. What is a Homosexual
iii. What is a heterosexual
The environment that one grows up in has an affect on one’s sexual orientation.
Tie in: Sexual orientation is how one identifies themselves sexually. Homosexuality also known as gay is a sexual orientation in which one has a sexual and/or romantic attraction/behavior to members of the same sex or gender. Heterosexuality also known as straight is a sexual orientation in which one has a romantic and/or sexual attraction/behavior to members of the opposite sex or gender. This ties into my topic by giving information of what my thesis is about.
a. Puberty source: http://www.healthyminds.org/Document-Library/Brochure-Library/Lets-Talk-Facts-Sexual-Orientation.aspx
b. Gay or Strait Source:http://www.psychology.org.au/publications/tip_sheets/orientation/
c. Signs at a youngage
d. Coming out
Tie in: Puberty is the process in which a child's body begins to mature. In this process the body goes through physical changes which allows the body to go through sexual reproduction. After puberty from the acts of the child and others around them should be able to tell their sexual orientation. This ties into my topic by giving information on the identification of sexual orientation at a you age when it is usually determined.
III. Nurture vs. Illness
i. Family source: http://news.change.org/stories/nature-vs-nurture-debates-over-sexuality
ii. The Physical Abuse
iii. Sexual Abuse
d. Mental Disorder
Tie In: This section in about the causes of sexual orientation. It goes through information of child abuse and neglect and its effect on the child's growth. It also goes through statistics tying family's sexual orientation to the outcome of a child's sexual orientation.
I’ve decided to come into contact with Ms. Maria Quiñones-Sáncez for this particular assignment. She is my district council member and felt that since she is connected to me in that since I should be comfortable enough to go to her. As well as being my council member for the 7th district, (The district I reside in) she is the Vice-Chair of the Committee on Streets & Services, which goes hand in hand with my lobbying topic.
My plan for communication, initially was to send a letter to her office, but then I realized that a faster way of tackling my issues and concerns with sending my letter through a personal e-mail. I’ve pieced together the information and data that I have came across my past blog posts and made more sense out of it. I wanted to let Ms. Quiñones-Sánchez that I am up on my research as to what is going on and ask her for her help hands on. I noticed that for one, where the city council meetings are posted there isn’t an updated calendar for the year of 2012. Which concerns me, I want to know when I am able to stop by and one on one meet her and have the pleasure to talk things out to help the Philadelphia community.
Within the letter, I wrote about how the city of Philadelphia, according to resources is the second dirtiest city and the third most unattractive city. Which is not at all good. I figured that we should come to an agreement on that. So what I am proposing to Ms. Maria Quiñones-Sánchez is that we come up with some legislature to prevent this statistic to happen again.
I’m honestly not sure how the reply from her is going to be but I am sure that it will be good. I believe that what is said in the letter is fairly reasonable and manageable to do. Even if helping our community requires us to go out of our own pockets I feel like it should get done. Simply because. Finding the courage to even get my thoughts and opinions out to an authority figure/representative was a bit intimidating but I figure that not saying how I feel won’t help the situation that we are currently in with the trash accumulation in Philadelphia.
(Letter that was actually Sent to Council Member of the 7th District, Ms. Maria Quiñones-Sánchez)
Dear Councilwoman Maria D. Quiñones-Sánchez.
My name is Johniera McClain, and I attend Science Leadership Academy. I am writing you today because I am aware of you being the Vice-Chair of the Committee of Streets & Services, and also you are my Council member for my district. I feel like I am more personally attached to you because of that. However, I am very concerned about the trash that is produced in Philadelphia and I honestly need your help. Would you be willing? Within the next few business days I will be coming into contact with you also about the scheduling of the city council meetings, where you may attend so that we could be in the pleasure of meeting one another. Actually, can you post that to http://legislation.phila.gov/calendar/Search.aspx being updated for the year 2012? You see I am an active lobbyist, although I am active it will be of great help that you join me. I know that you care about what is going on in the city of Philadelphia but there is always room for more improvement. As you may or may not know, according to sources, Philadelphia is the second dirtiest city in America, and as well as the third least attractive city in America. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/08/most-attractive-people_n_780402.html#s177269&title=Least_Attractive_People
I am on a great strive to change that. There are too many people who reside in Philadelphia for us to live and continue on like this. Making a different approach on clean up days and actually getting more parts of the city to be active on changing their bad habits will indeed be hard, yes I know. However, excluding the fact that I am young and only of the age of eighteen I still want to be the one who helps out and turn this situation around. I suggest that we get legislature passed that will enhance growth in this weakened area. I do know about the programs that go on such as “Philly Spring Clean Up” and etc, but there should in my opinion be more forced and authorized versions of this.
For example, in the city of Minneapolis there are monthly fees for solid waste and recycling for the people who reside there. (http://www.minneapolismn.gov/solid-waste/index.htm) That actually sounds like a great idea. If Philadelphians were actually to pay for their trash, there may be a huge reduction of the trashed that is produced here. Which will positively benefit our city in ways more than one. I know personally a friend that has started a non-profit organization that was generated and runs on these goals to help the Philadelphia community. These very important goals are: Community Development, Community Clean-Up, and Community Empowerment. My fellow peer whom only is in the senior class, as I am of Science Leadership is the co-owner of a business. That definitely proves that as he is capable of helping out the Philadelphia community by setting up a whole organization, you in particular are capable of helping out the Philadelphia community in a legal view stance.
I want to thank you so much for taking the time to actually sit and read about my concerns and thoughts on the Philadelphia community in a perspective pertaining to trash. I encourage you to get back to me. It will be greatly appreciated.
Sincerely, Johniera McClain.
**Updates will be posted on subject.
1. What is the status of your issue at the legislature? Is this a "good" year?
2. Who is essential to the outcome?
Of course I would need to contact Mayor Nutter somehow, because he would be the deciding factor in all of this. But to start small, I could get in touch with Ms. Blackwell again and talk to her about whom I should be contacting to get the information I need on my lobbying topic.
3. Who else is working on this? Can you coordinate?
Blondell Brown is currently helping Mayor Nutter clean up the streets of Philadelphia with recreation, educational offers, and different laws to keep not only our citizens safe, but our youth. She has also is known for revising “childcare” definitions through legislation, authorizing childcare facilities to operate and function within commercial districts and neighborhood shopping centers, equipped police officers with a new and stronger curfew law, and introduced legislation that amended the City Charter to create a Youth Commission for young people in Philadelphia. She's the person I really need to get in contact with.
4. Who can you influence?
Most likely Ms. Blondell. She has a strong background of being involved in keeping our city streets safe. At all the ward meetings and council gatherings she's always had ideas that became actions to help our youth stay out of trouble. Some of those acts included the curfew laws, and a lot of fundraising for some of the schools who needed books and supplies. Recently on December 12th, she and Mayor Nutter passed the Equal Benefits bill which requires certain city service contractors to offer the same benefits to the life partners of their employees as are offered to the spouses of married employees. Councilwoman Blondell: “For 13 years, City employees have been eligible to receive benefits for their life partners. The Equal Benefits Bill is a natural extension of that recognition,” said Mayor Nutter. “The City of Philadelphia is an ally to the LGBT community and will continue to show support against issues of inequality.” - Blondell's reason for wanting the law. This action shows me how active she is in the community, and how much influence on change she has in Philadelphia.
a. Whom I can get in touch with?
One of my mom's friends Lynn Hogben has access to each Ward Meeting that takes place around Philadelphia. In earlier months, she's helped me interview Jannie Blackwell, and sit in on the election meeting. My plan is to call Mrs. Hogben, and ask her to let me tag along with her to meet Ms. Blondell Brown, and discuss with her her plan of action to cure Philadelphia's streets, and to help Children further lives without getting caught up in drugs and lose them to the streets
5. What is the time frame?
The time frame will be from after the Holidays until February 14th
6. When are key dates - meetings, committee hearings, deadlines, etc.
After I am done with those emails to the council I plan on getting teenagers who are 17 and work to sing a potation that shows that they work. This can help in a lot of ways because if get enough people to sing this potation maybe something will be changed in the law. I also plan on getting a rally of Philadelphia residents to come out and protest against this law since the money can be going to something else, such as after school programs. Also if you want to be a member and fight for your rights sign up here.
Unlike some others, I am standing behind my issue: that is, the Philadelphia curfew that is widely popular among those in charge and astoundingly unpopular among so many other people. I don't entirely agree with the curfew (mostly that it pretty much forces police to judge people based on appearance), but it's still better than nothing - in my decided opinion, at least. The interesting thing about the curfew is there is no actual organization in support of it, just a few against it and curfews in general who are far too adamant and far too large to be convinced otherwise (amusingly, everybody else lobbying against the curfew here is turning to this site for support). As fun as it would be to start my own organization to show support of the curfew, I have neither the time nor the resources to go about doing this. Furthermore, I'll be leaving Philadelphia behind me hopefully forever in under a year, and passing the nonexistent torch to another person that early in the game would not be unlike Kim Jong-un anticlimactically succumbing to diabetes three minutes into his rule as the new Dear Leader.
Before I horrendously derailed the topic train, I was talking about the curfew being pretty popular among the Philadelphia government (despite its potential unconstitutionality, as shown by other cities trying the same thing). It makes my job that much easier: if they're already in support, there is far less work to do than if I had to convince a bunch of people to see things my way. Some of the district representatives have made their opinion clear. Unfortunately, Darrell Clarke is not one of them. His position on the curfew is ambiguous (though, since he was not singled out as someone against it, I will assume he is either in favor or neutral). That said, it's a fantastic idea to send him an email to find out his stance on it, if he would be so kind as to respond. Upon receiving a response, I can decide on the appropriate next steps, whether it is convincing him to rethink his position or supporting him all the way.
The problem with most methods of influencing important people is that these methods tend to be highly situational: you need to be in favor of something people actually like. Lots of people are opposed to the curfew, so rallying and petitions would likely go over about as well as growing most crops in the middle of the Sahara. That wouldn't go over very well, by the way. Social media is a new and exciting way to raise awareness and gain support. Unfortunately, most avid users of these sorts of sites definitely would not think what I think. As I said in a previous blog post, the mayor is my most powerful ally here. He was recently reelected, which means the curfew is likely here and here to stay. At least, it'll be here until I'm gone. And that's great. I only need to find out Clarke's stance.
That said, my plan is obtaining a response from Darrell Clarke and then seeing how I should respond after that. I'll be able to find out a few things, like if he supports the curfew and, if possible, which parts of the curfew he supports and which parts he does not. I will then choose my course of action based on his opinion. If he is opposed to the curfew, I will need to convince him that he should support it. If he supports the curfew in its entirety, I will stand by that. If he supports the curfew but opposes stopping people based on how old cops think* they look, then I will support him on that. I'm not too picky, just so long as the curfew is a thing that continues to exist.
Quick Overview of Mr. Fattah:
-Represents 2nd District of Philadelphia
-Represented Philly since 1995.
Quick Overview of What I'm Lobbying For:
-More gov't funding for Stem-Cell Research
-More overall support for SCR
-Less gov't restrictions for SCR
-Overall advancement of SCR for medical purposes
So, how does a high-school student get the attention of a famous Congressman, that's usually bombarded with work and many faces throughout the day. You take the necessary steps, doing/making things that he will see. Such as; letters, emails, petitions, and personal visits. (Too name a few).
Now it is safe to say that Chaka Fattah, is on-board with stem cell research because he has voted with 6 different Stem-Cell Research Acts:
But, how can we get him more involved and lead him to become more of an advocator towards gaining almost total support for SCR. Well, on his site there shows two ways of getting in contact with him, which I suggested:
You can have a personal meeting with him, or email him.
Now, once you finally do get a personal meeting with him, what's the plan?
Let Chaka Fattah know that you are highly impressed with his work throughout the entirety of his career, show him that you know a little about him. Also, one of the most important points is to show that you have knowledge of his votes in-favor for SCR throughout the years and that you highly respect and agree with his votes. Then, you can discuss how SCR will benefit many humans in the near-future. After you bring to light all the pro's to SCR, let him know that you want more people to know the pro's and see the beauty behind it. This is one of the main roles of Congressman, to be a voice of and TO the people. Then, you can work with Fattah on starting a campaign of advertisements towards widespread approval of SCR. Brainstorming with a powerful figure such as Fattah, can get things done. Since, he agrees with what you agree with, and you already know that for a fact; you can go into the meeting confident that you can seal the deal.
Unfortunately, I didn't have a meeting with Fattah, but I was able to express most of this plan through a email using his website. (http://fattah.house.gov/)
Response is still pending, but I believe this is a very solid plan. Since he already supports SCR, I'm sure he would be on board with helping to make other people support it simply by showing them the light to the benefits of SCR. Also, how embryos that were going to be thrown away could solely be used; without wasting human life, which is a huge reason why people don't support SCR. If you start an ad-campaign with Fattah, showing people that you're technically saving human life from the trash-can now to save human lives in the future, then there will be more widespread approval towards SCR, which is a huge step in the whole rolling ball of SCR.
In my opinion, this is a pretty good plan, and I can't wait to see how it turns out. It would be nice to work with Congressman Chaka Fattah to bring something to light that we both have in common, the support for SCR. Results are pending, I'm both excited and confident.
More on Fattah here: http://bit.ly/cCa1cM & http://1.usa.gov/aI4IFi
With strength in numbers, my thoughts are that the more organizations that seem to be unified in their approach serving youth, the louder their collective voices will be in encouraging this movement. The two components to FLASH, the initiative and the program, are simple.
We are ENTREPRENEURS who understand the value of community advancement as a necessity for the future of the people in our neighborhoods, our city, our nation and our world.
We are ACTIVISTS, standing, walking, and running for righteousness, equality, and justice under a united front that we build together through peace and love.
We are STUDENTS who know how important and equitable true education is, and that learning should stretch beyond the classroom.
We are PARENTS, showing our children virtue, morality, respect, and love through the construction of the mind, body, and spirit.
We are CITIZENS, consciously taking interest in our environments, ensuring universal safety, just legislation, and equity for all.
We are EDUCATORS, teaching the importance of history, HERstory, YOURstory and MYstory so that THEstory is less of a mystery.
We are HUMAN BEINGS and we treat each other as such.
We are FUTURE LEADERS ADVANCING SELF HELP.
The FLASH Initiative will gather more proactivity among youth, influence service, make community engagement easy and rewarding, and provide more productive citizens to the city.
- Get organizations to pledge to be to be Future Leaders Advancing Self Help
- Create online database for citizens to get involved to civic and service based organizations in their city
- Empower people young people through making resource connection easy
- Become a nationwide movement
The FLASH Program will instill leadership, collaboration and early community creation, citizen development and early involvement, and educate outside of the classroom.
- Educate kids on local, national, and international past and current events
- Allow kids to generate conversation and research information
- Challenge kids to make a difference through creating projects, business ventures, bringing awareness, etc.
- Have kids pitch their ideas as a group to Philadelphia officials, public figures, and organizations to gather support for their cause.
As of now, FLASH is only a few organizations short and a website away from reaching the mayors office. This is important because through gathering the support of the city's mayor, reaching to other organizations, the Philadelphia school district, and the many departments of the city won't be too much of an issue. The goal is that through the support of the city's officials, FLASH can gather Philadelphia's public figures, celebrities, greatest influences, and more to be supporters. The hardest part of this process will be to gather youth involvement, but if we can successfully gather the support of public figures, that shouldn't be an issue.