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.
Case 10-948- CompuCredit Corporation v. Greenwood.
Cheif Justice John G. Roberts
my case is "Whether claims
arising under the Credit Repair Organizations Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1679 et seq.,
are subject to arbitration pursuant to a valid arbitration agreement."
According to http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/compucredit-corp-v-greenwood/?wpmp_switcher=desktop
The decision made
by the courts was that the federal statutes that both create a right to sue
also bar waiver of rights under thee statute are sufficiently explicit to
override the strong federal policy in favor of arbitrability expressed in the
federal arbitration act. The relative language is virtually indistinguishable
from that and the credit repair organization fact that we have before us today
the cases inclide the ADEA and CROA which create a cause of action for
aggrivated parties to bring actions for damages and both statutes explicitly
bar waiver of quote "any right under the statute. Well, that statute
didn't have as this one has a disclosure requirement that says you have a right
to sue. And that's the sole distinction between the two statutes. So the --
first of all the disclosure statute is a -- describes in layman's terms, gives
a quick description of an operative civil liability section which is set out in
1679(g) and which tells us exactly what Congress had in mind in creating a
cause of action. And when you look at the language of the actual operative
provisions in (g), it's almost as if Congress deliberately went out of its way
to use language that would not preclude arbitration.The
Supreme Court's decision will clarify the extent of the federal policy favoring
arbitration and will elucidate how consumers may proceed against credit repair
organizations under the CROA.
The decision the court made is not really clear basically, they were both in the wrong to certain dagree, the wording used in both documents was almost identical, and there was a part in their documents saying that they did not have the right to sue the other party.
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.
- 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.
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
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.
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.
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.