- Why did you choose this topic?'
I wanted to make a song and a music video displaying my ability to exercise my 1st amendment right to freedom of speech. By doing so in the song, I said a lot of things that people would be able to make a discussion out of with their own set of ideas
- What did you like about this project? What was most challenging?
I liked the challenge to go above and beyond the usual history project. it gave us a chance to be creative and effective, and have our own say on why we appreciate certain laws in the constitution
- Describe the most interesting fact or event that you investigated.
"The Freedom of the Press provides little, or no, additional protection than the Freedom of Speech itself, because the Court has worried that a "reporter's privilege" would be too difficult to define" I found this interesting, because I formally thought that reporters could talk about whatever they wanted in stories
- Where did you run into trouble with the project?
Getting the project onto the course blog -_-, that was the most challenging part, because we had internet problems, FLV converter problems, and all of that. Our process was spot on though.
- What went well with this project?
When we got our ideas together, we flew off and finished the project easily. I finished the song, and Tariq & Jason and I filmed and edited the video. It was also successful for us to work with someone who's not even in our class. Jason was part of the D-Band AmGOV class
- If you had it to do over, what would you change about your decisions or your process?
If I could do it over, I woud take more of an academic approach to the project, instead of trying so hard to be creative and to stand out among the other projects. We kind of made a music video surrounding the C-Sband footage
- What did you learn?
I learned that I can be creative when it comes to history projects, and that not all history projects have to be boring, a lot of reading and hard to focus on. During this semester of AMGOV, Ive learned that I can make engaging projects in which people hold interest in, and in which people can really look at and have a lot to talk about with it.
Background Info On Blondell:
Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown has been a long time champion of children and youth, the arts and culture community, and small business development. She is now an emerging leader in energy conservation and environmental matters and is infusing her policy initiatives to reflect this new and important priority.
Some of her Accomplishments Include:
-Persuading the Phillies and Eagles, along with Mayor John F. Street , during the sports stadium negotiations, to establish a “Fund for Children” requiring each team to contribute $1 million annually for 30 years.
-Structured the new Department of Parks and Recreation to reflect national best practices.
-Sponsored resolutions that supported organized labor unions (SEIU – Janitors and 1199C – Childcare Teachers) in their efforts to gain fair contracts and fought for amendments to protect union jobs from privatization (DC33).
-Equipped police officers with a new and stronger curfew law to complement the opening of 11 citywide curfew centers.
-Created and implemented the “Groceries for Guns” initiative, a gun buyback program that resulted in an unprecedented number of gun buybacks, to help curtain gun violence in the city.
She has shown a great deal of involvement in the city of Philadelphia's affairs that have to do with child safety, recreation of homes and sponsoring programs.
I'm Lobbying laws that can possibly help the Youth in Philadelphia become less liable to be incarcerated. I called the Philadelphia Prison System Office (@2156858395) and was transferred to the Criminal Justice Center near 15th St. I was able to get a few statistics from the man I spoke to about the incarceration rate of Philadelphia, some of his thoughts on how the city is run, and how he deals with youth who come through to the trials.
"It's just heart wrenching to see kids who look like they barely got the hang of high school yet, come through here and get processed. I wish I could have possibly saved some of them, because they all just look so angry at the world, or angry at themselves, and it's truly heartbreaking. A lot of us officers do our jobs to keep the streets safe, but we don't always like it. Especially when another young kid is being convicted of a crime that could possibly ruin his teenage years." - Mr. Carl Washington
He didn't give me an exact percentage, but he did tell me that the incarceration rate and drop out rate are higher than the graduation rate of students in Philadelphia. He also said "The more they undereducate, they Over incarcerate." When he told me this, I felt as if he knows that theres a way to save our youth in Philadelphia, and he has hope for the future.
My plan of action is to get Ms. Blondell Brown to come out to my mom's 3rd Annual "Positive Impact: Young Men's Conference" on January 28th and speak to the youth.
Information I plan to send(Flyer from Second Annual)
Positive Impact Motorcycle Events Presents
Young Men's Leadership Conference
Date: January 28th, 2012
This event is for Young Males between he ages of 10-17
Positive Impact has lined up 7 Dynamic Professionals to speak at our event
"Our focus is to change lives, instill integrity and build character so the the next emerging generation of husbands and fathers will take these skills and vision to make a positive difference in the world."
During the First Annual Young Men's Conference in 2010, we've had between 90-120 Young Men come out to learn about different things that can benefit their lives positively, and they got to meet keynote speakers who have taught Anger Management, Making Passions into careers, cooking, and Leadership. Some speakers we're ex cons, some were accountants and relater. I want to Contact Ms. Blondell to be apart of this event, because the purpose of the "Young Men's Conference" is too educate and inform the youth of Philadelphia, Chester, Delaware, and New Jersey on the different opportunities that they have to succeed, and they teach them about the jail systems, and the different extra curricula's that go on around the city they live in. It's important to keep our youth busy, and keep them off the streets and caught up in things that could potentially ruin their futures.
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.
Reflection: (PDF Attached below)
Explain your decision making for choosing the bill.
At first I was just trying to find a bill just to get the benchmark done, but when i saw the bill I found, I was really interested in looking into it. I used to ask my mom and some of my teachers how come some people buy and bribe the voters with money, and how come no one's doing anything to stop it, and I always got the same answer: The laws around that only restrict some of the money being brought in. So when I saw the bill, and started researching, I not only was happy I found my answer to a question I've been thinking about, I also was able to actually be engaged in it and produce a benchmark that I felt was original, creative, and interesting.
- Why did you choose the particular presentation format?
When I was little I used to do nothing but draw in my spare time, but as i grew up I kind of put it to the side, but I've always been interested in animations and cartoons. When Ms. Laufenberg said "don't make it boring" I thought at first, "how can i make it so people would actually be engaged in what i've made", and my first thought was "let's draw some cartoons". So what I did was I wrote each event at the bottom of the page, and on the top illustrated it as best I could, and I tried hard to make it pop out to the reader. I made it so even a kid could pay attention to it, but it could also be presented to adults
- What challenges did you overcome in completing the project?
I didnt find my bill till a week and a half before the project was due. I had so much trouble finding a law, I was gonna just give up, and BS some random bill and call it a day. but when I found the one I liked, it was easy to stick with it and execute a plan for it's completion. The second problem I encountered was getting it scanned. When I was doing the project, I completely forgot it had to be electronically published, and I had hand drawn all my illustrations..
- How would you do the project differently if you had to do it over again?
I probably wouldve done it electronically, or established a plan to actually, draw and get the pictures scanned before the due date. I feel as if that was my fault for forgetting that.
- What did the research and investigation tell you about the creation process... from idea to bill to law?
It told me basically the history of the actually "why" the bill was presented. It showed me that there was a problem going on in Politics, and people not only saw the problem, but moved to fix it. i feel like when people in government positions realize there is a problem that needs attention, they start coming up with ideas to better the law system so they can be in control of each and every problem that has arose over the years
- Was the process easier or harder than you imagined based on your particular bill/law research?
Heres a link to her biography: http://www.phila.gov/cityCouncil/JannieBlackwell.html
Ms. Hogben is in charge of making a newsletter to be sent around the neighborhood to the voters, which contains information on each candidate being voted in, their experience, and their qualifications for the position.
1. How does it feel to know that you have the power to influence who goes into office? Basically how does it feel to know your vote counts?
- To me, voting is a responsibility. I feel as if it's my job to give information, and to pass it on to others, but its also my job to be able to voice my opinion. I feel as if my vote is valuable in a sense. I get to make a decision to be apart of the change that goes in in not only politics, but in Philadelphia as well. Now, my job is also to get voters who don't know their facts or do their research to make the right decision in voting for the right candidates to do their duties to the fullest extent when voted in. So these newsletters go to the houses for promotion towards the campaign, most impotently passing on information.
2. Since you are also in charge of the polling place, what is the process of seeing up the polls and counting the ballots ?
-Ok, so the polls open at 7am and close at 8pm. We as the election board come in at 6:30 to get everything set up and make sure all the machines are working. We usually leave at 9pm after we have meeting and report back on what went right, and what went awry. We used to have a ballot process were we would count the votes, but by 2004 they issued us the machine voting with a computer that basically counts the votes when people go into the booths and make their choices.
3. What is your take on teens going into voting at age 18, and what should they know about voting's "responsibilities"?Well ,I think they should just prepare themselves to have this responsibility by learning their responsibilities as a young voter. They need prior knowledge on politics, they need a little bit of background knowledge on the candidates and they need to know what changes are being made in the community. As young voters, they need to familiarize themselves with all of these aspects so they can have a say in who they vote into office. Some people just vote to vote, but I feel as if they have potential to influence a great change. Especially as young adults
Rice (8-10 serving):
You Will Need:
3 cups of rice
3 tablespoons of olive oil
6 cups of water
2 teaspoons of salt
What To Do:
1. Place water in a kettle and put the fire on high until it boils
2. Start with 3 cups of rice
3. Wash the rice then put in pot (no water yet)
4. Take 3 tablespoons of olive oil and place it into the rice
5. Mix that up on low
6. When water is at a boil, pour 6 cups of water into the rice
7. Add salt and stir
8. Place lid on it and put fire on high
9. When it comes to a boil turn it down low
10. Keep it on low with cover
11. In about 20 minutes check on rice and stir again
12. It should be ready to serve
13. If not let it sit for a couple more minutes and check it again until it is ready
Beans (8-10 serving):
*90 calories in each Bean can
*20 calories in each tomato sauce can
You Will Need:
3 16oz cans of red Goya Beans
1 can of tomato sauce
From personal Garden
Half cup of diced green bell peppers
Half teaspoon of diced Habenero pepper
One tablespoon of ripe diced jalepeno's
What to do:
1. Lightly Cover Pan with Olive oil (thin layer)
2. Heat oil on low until heated
3. Crush 1/2 clove of Garlic, and chop up 1/2 Onion,
4. Place all peppers, garlic, and onion into the olive oil. And stir
5. Sauté vegetables in oil (DO NOT BURN)
6. Add teaspoon of salt to the pan
7. Add 8 oz of the tomato sauce
8. After stirring for a bit add another 8 oz of tomato sauce
9. Add the 3 cans of red beans
10. Stir thoroughly
11. Then add a quarter cup of water
12. Add a pinch of adobo seasoning
13. Stir again then place lid on beans
14. Put fire on low
15. When beans are tender it is done
Plantains (8-10 serving):
*40 calories in a bottle of olive oil (will be less because you will not use a whole bottle of olive oil)
You Will Need:
4 cups of water
2 cloves of garlic (peeled and crushed)
2 tablespoons of salt
some vegetable oil
a bowl big enough to soak plantains in
What To Do (Step By Step):
1. Take three green plantains and peel them (if you prefer sweet plantains then you have to get 3 yellow plantains)
2. After you peel them place them in a bowl full of 4 cups of water
3. Add the salt and garlic to the water
4. Let plantains soak for 15 minutes
5. When done drain them well
6. Take the oil and cover the bottom of the pan at least an half of inch thick
7. Place plantains in pan and fry, flipping over when neededfor at least 7 minutes or until crispy and done
8. Place paper towel on plate
9. Take the plantains that are done and put them on the plate
10. Take a paper towel and place over plantains
11. Hit the paper toweled covered plantains with palm to flatten them
dip them in the salt water and take out IMMEDIATELY
11. place on plate and enjoy
During this project, Anna and I had to make a dish that was not only healthy, but we had to make a dish with natural foods. Our goal was to prove that food can be healthy and taste good. Anna and I made Plantains, Rice, and Beans with freshly grown peppers. Our dish was more natural than organic, because we had freshly grown peppers, and unprocessed beans. The only thing we used that was organic was the tomato paste hat we mixed in with the beans and peppers. Rice, beans, and plantains are kinds of food that depending on how you make them is how much fat and or calories will be in it. We tried to make them with little processed ingredients as we could. But depending on how someone makes these that is how healthy it will be for you. If they add a lot of fatty ingredients to each then eating it every day would not be good. But if you use a lot of natural ingredients and stuff that you have grown from the garden and such then eating this everyday wouldn't be to much of a problem. Especially if you are spanish, rice and beans and sometimes plantains are eaten everyday so they find a lot of ways to make them better so it doesn't make them sick or too fat. So it all depends on what you add. We read the labels and packaging to see where our foods came from, and we learned the rice was grown in Japan, the beans we're grown in texas, and the plantains were originated in Southern Asia. The food that traveled the furthest was the beans from Southern Asia in the Bangladesh area, which was 8260 Miles away. The second longest was Japan at 6762 miles for the imported rice. The processing of these foods are fresh grown, picked, and sent out. None of them are organic, or have any added chemicals except for the tomato paste which was made from organically grown tomatoes. In a regular restaurant setting, the meal we made would cost roughly between $4.99 - $7.99. Compared to fast food, our dish is actually healthy, because it has no added transfat, it wasn't made in grease or a fryer, and it didn't have any unnatural ingredients. The companies that make money from our dish are the Goya Co. (Making the Plantains, and the beans), and Canilla rice, (which gets their rice from 4 different countries, but most commonly, latin america). When growing rice, they usually plow it to collect it and fertilize it and ship it out to factories so they can bag and distribute to the large grocers who produce and send it out. Next, Beans are grown from seeds, and are harvested, picked out of their pods, and packaged to be sent to the grocers who sell them. Plantains are grown exactly like yellow bananas. They are grown on large tree's or tree-like plants, and picked off to be sent to factories in their cells, grown in groups of 5-6 bananas, which are labeled and sent to supermarkets and grocery stores. Chefs and domestic cooks make or use original recipes that involve some of these products which helps make a lot of mixtures and blends form these basic foods. When it comes to a lot of the ingredients it is better to grow them yourself then buy them because you don't have to worry about any of the pesticides and such. But when you are growing stuff yourself you have to know how like you have to make a lot of the crop depending on what you want since weather, and animals effect how many of the crops actually last until you pick them. So for tomatoes and peppers, which were two ingredients we used, I believe these are better and easy to just grow yourself. Now when it comes to plantains I think they have to be in a certain environment so unless you have some top notch garden shizzle going on than that would most likely be better just to buy.
FRUITS: WE WANT YOU TOO
In this Unit, I've learned things from the food industry to the health issues behind it. We've watched documentaries, read about different health diseases, and learned about how the food we eat everyday is processed. The parts that impacted me the most was the documentary section about how they kill and harvest the animals to prepare them to be cleaned and sent out in packages. I never knew how it was done, I just knew it happened. Another thing I found interesting was how much politics were involved, and how many people we're lobbying against all the animal cruelty, and the production of processed foods. A part that left me skeptical was the corn production, and how they kind of forced the animals to become accustomed to certain foods, that made them grow more rapidly and bigger than they were supposed to be. In the end of all this, I think it's caused me to be more aware of what I eat and how much food intake I eat, because not everything thats advertised is good for you
In the city of Philadelphia, the percentage of African American males & females incarcerated is gradually climbing. 70% of the inmates in Pennsylvania on death row are of african-american decent, and there are roughly 85,000 people in this state alone jailed. 50% of them Are african american. The topic I chose to Lobby is the african american incarceration rate. (In the chart below, you can see the incarceration rate by typical race)
The reason I wanted to research, and monitor this topic is because Ive been involved in some of the movements to change it, such as the Saving Our Boys seminar, the Think & Grow Rich conference, Daddy University, and the Young Men's Conference. The purpose of these events/conferences was to reach young boys between the ages of 10-17 to connect them positive adult leaders who could push them in a positive direction, to keep them from becoming lost to the jail system and the dangers of the streets.
So far, in Philadelphia, people have been planning and establishing these events at different locations such as Benjamin Franklin High School, the School District Building, even at the Philadelphia Convention Center. Some of the people involved are Howard John of
Directed by Donna & Ryan Francis
Edited by Ryan Francis
Acting by Martha Robles & Ryan Francis
For our websiteee
Home Owners Loan Corporation
Steve Birkmires and Ryan Francis' Weebly page about Gangsta rap and the battle against censoring hip hop music
Including Music Video's, Photos, Articles and Timelines