View this email in your browser

Featured Image: December 6, 2018 - 21st Century Living Wage vote at Philadelphia City Council

Do you know an exceptional POWER leader?

We’d like to honor the work of exceptional POWER leaders in future newsletter editions. Please e-mail the name and a short description of a leader you admire to to highlight his/her work.

Connect with us on: TwitterFacebook | Instagram

Phone: (215) 232 -7697
Office Address: 1429 N. 11th St., Philadelphia, PA 19121

Economic Justice Victory & Momentum

On December 6 we witnessed the culmination of years of work in the passage of the 21st Century Living Wage bill in Philadelphia City Council. Through our co-leaders’ and supporters’ tireless efforts, City workers, contractors, and subcontractors will earn an hourly wage of $15 by 2022. We celebrate and relish this victory that honors the dignity of workers. It brings us one step closer to creating the "blessed community."

We also move to alleviate poverty not just at the city level, but at the state level. Fueled by our progress, this week we turned our sights to Pennsylvania’s shameful state minimum wage. POWER staff and co-leaders met with Pittsburgh United and the Partnership for Working Families to discuss statewide strategies for economic justice. Among them, we explored ways to address preemption, which allows state law to overrule local law when they conflict, and which continues to affect our minimum wage efforts. We hope that justice continues to rain down as we redouble our efforts to create truly fair wages and conditions for Pennsylvania workers.
Rev. Deth Im engages the crowd on December 11 at the Second Annual Racial Justice Lecture and Conversation.
KYW community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg interviews author Edgar Villanueva at the Decolonizing Wealth book discussion on December 11.
Gathering at the POWER staff retreat on November 29 and 30 at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral.
Presentation on community organizing models at the POWER staff retreat.
Click here to view more POWER images
Economic Dignity Strategy Team: We are so grateful for all of you POWERFUL people who supported our efforts to pass the 21st Century Living Wage legislation! The City Council vote was unanimous in large part due to the efforts of folks who kept showing up: at lobbying efforts, working and negotiation meetings, the introduction of the bill, the Labor Committee hearing, and the Final Vote of 17-0 with the backing of the Mayor! The Mayor's signature is expected soon! But our work is not done. We must make sure there is compliance and transparency, so our next step is monitoring to make sure the workers will get what they deserve.  

Last minute notice for our next meeting tonight at 7:00 PM at the POWER office! We look forward to 2019 when our attention turns more to coalition work with Unite Here and the Marriott workers and overturning state pre-emption that blocks Philadelphia from raising the minimum wage. Come join us!

Happy and blessed holidays to everyone, in every faith tradition, from the Economic Dignity Team!

Education Strategy Team: The Philadelphia Education Strategy team works on both statewide and local education issues. The team’s statewide task force works to develop strategy and implementation plans to locally advance POWER’s statewide goals and strengthen local organizing.

There are three strategies. The first is designed to secure additional legislative co-sponsors from Philadelphia for our statewide fair funding legislation. We are identifying local constituents in congregations within targeted districts and provide support for legislative meetings. The second strategy is aimed at amplifying our message via editorials in local papers, letters to the editor, and op-ed columns. The team will reach out to local constituents to meet with each editorial board and present funding inequity data and stories. They’ll also provide support for the visits and in writing columns and letters. Lastly, the team is working with the local schools sub-committee to coordinate and align our work, especially our outreach to congregations.

This Friday, team members will be joining their counterparts from Metro and Central PA at a retreat to plan 2019 strategy.
Live Free Strategy Team: The Live Free team met December 10 and celebrated the 60th birthday of one of our co-chairs, Elder Melanie DeBouse. We had a big and enthusiastic turnout of POWER members who are working on the following issues:
  • Imagining Philadelphia without cash bail and without a racist algorithm for sentencing or deciding bail.
  • Learning about participatory defense and the Hubs to implement and support it.
  • Familiarizing ourselves with the Fraternal Order of Police contract and preparing to demand changes where necessary when it comes up for renewal next year.
  • Rebuilding the Live Free team – with emphasis on membership and participation of people of color who are most negatively affected by our criminal justice system.  
To that end, we invite all to join us who are interested and committed to implementing the above goals and/or have other ideas to make the criminal justice system in Philadelphia more just and fair, and less racist and destructive.  
WHEN: Monday, January 14, 6:00-8:00 PM
WHERE:  POWER office
CONTACTS: Elder Melanie DeBouse  910-508-2340
                      Gayle Lacks -
                      Sylvia Metzler -   
Climate Justice Strategy Team: Every day there are more devastating reports on the climate crisis hurting people who already face insecurity in basic needs: fires, floods, extreme storms, and rising sea levels. POWER is working with people in neighborhoods burdened by racism, poverty, and environmental distress to create a different future.

Organizers Nora Elmarzouky and Russell Hicks have created a series of Green Economy Chat and Chew dinners over which neighbors discuss problems and hopes, and begin to craft solutions. One idea is to bring more energy democracy to neighborhoods in the form of affordable local solar energy. POWER is exploring ways to bring solar panels to the rooftops of houses of worship in our faith network. To join the good work, please contact Rabbi Julie Greenberg at
For information please contact POWER Metro Community Organizers Lena Glickman ( and Will Fuller (
For information please contact POWER Central Community Organizer Nathan Sooy ( 
Watch Night for Racial Justice Concert: At this family-friendly benefit concert for POWER, music starts at 3:00 PM at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral. The line-up of jazz, gospel, and spiritual artists will include the Intermezzo Choir under director Carrie Lessene, the Philadelphia Community Mass Choir directed by Jay Fluellen, solo vocalists Ruth Naomi Floyd, DeVonne Gardner, and Carrie Lessene, and the Dr. J Trio with pianist Jay Fluellen, Cedric Babb on bass, and drummer Kimpedro Rodriguez. Click to learn more.
Help Us Sustain the Movement - Donate to POWER
We believe in the transformation of our state - its people, its neighborhoods, its institutions, its politics. Your support will help us make this transformation a reality.