The Death of a City

Psalms 72:4 – He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.

What can cause the death of a city?

Philadelphia is a wonderful place to live.

Philly as we native Philadelphians call it is just a large city with a small town flavor with its diverse ethnic neighborhoods.

I was born and grew up in the City of Philadelphia and have family members and friends who are still residing happily within this ever-changing metropolis.

It is no secret that Philly will always have a special place in my heart and every so often I have found myself defending its reputation by letting my neighbors and friends know that it is not a “dangerous place” to visit.

My response to such nonsense is what a good friend said to me years ago. “Crime knows no zip code.”

But today I am not writing about physical violence that equates to crime itself but a moral crime that is taking place against the youngest citizens of my beloved hometown.

The newly elected mayor of Philly, MayorJames Kenney came into office with a number of plans he hopes to accomplish during his time in office.

One of Mayor Kenney’s proposals is to have universal pre-kindergarten for the children, which in turn, offers them a promising future to have a level playing field when it comes to education and career opportunities.

Of course, his proposal requires that funding comes from somewhere…thereby, he suggested have a soda tax.

The proposed tax also would help plan for fixing up parks, recreation centers and libraries.

This to me is a sensible and noble plan.

However, as soon as he spoke about proposing a sugary tax (hence none as a soda tax), immediately, the lobbyists were ready to do their thing, on behalf of the American Beverage Association.

Right now, it is mind-boggling to see continuous anti-grocery tax commercials aired at the Philadelphia public about how devastating this proposed tax will be on the citizens in the city, namely, the minority community.

The American Beverage Association has even went as far as having members of the minority business community support their position that “taxing the soda will cause a financial burden” to their customers.

Each time they air these commercials from the Latino store owner and two black food establishment owners, being their spokespersons, I find myself shaking my head in disgust.

As Philadelphia’s City Council determines how they are going to vote on Mayor’s Kenney budget proposal the citizens of Philly should not ignore this critical vote.

When it comes to the children future, there must be those who are not intimidated by big business or unions and speak out against these underhanded tactics of trying to convince the poor that this tax will hurt them.

Some of my family members who live in Philly are children and because of their ages they cannot speak on behalf of their own best interest for the upcoming budget to tax soda for funding universal pre-K.

Yet, the adults in each household should be calling and texting their city council person and demand that the children come first! Are you on Facebook? Then share and take a stance!

The American Beverage Association and members of Teamsters Local 830 should be ashamed of their behavior and step to the side and allow the children of Philly to rise above their present circumstances.

And if anything, citizens of Philly should find out who is for their wellbeing and who is not.

Find out just who is financing #No Philly Grocery Tax.

Then get behind Philadelphians for a Fair Future who is fighting an uphill battle to see that the children are first and no longer last.

I am encouraging my family members and friends, and their neighbors to call their city council person and demand that the children come first…not politics or PACs!

And may I also add that this is the time for all those in the faith-based communities to rise up and make a decision.

A dying city is no joke.

Support the children! They are the lifeline and future of Philly and without them…there will be the death of a city.

James 2:6 – But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?

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