Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 7 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
General News    H2'ed 7/25/16

Green Party's Stein Walks With Poor While Democrats Party

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     (# of views)   6 comments
Author 48774
Message Linn Washington
- Advertisement -

On the day before the opening of the 2016 Democratic National Convention, as top Democratic Party members settled into swank hotel suites around Philadelphia, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein spent much of that day interacting with the homeless and others in one of Philadelphia's poorest communities.

Stein, a physician, walked the streets of Philadelphia's Kensington section, hosted by anti-poverty activists in that community.

Kensington is a community where poverty in certain sections exceeds 57 percent. The unemployment rate in Kensington averages 19.1 percent, a figure that is nearly five times the current national average. Kensington is also a community with high levels of drug addiction and numerous drug sale locations. Stein stopped at an intersection in Kensington known as one of Philadelphia's top drug sale/use locations.


(Image by Linn Washington Jr.)   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

"Kensington is what too much of America looks like," Stein said. "In America today most people either live in poverty or are near poverty. This must change! Government today works for the wealthy special interests and not in the interests of most people."

Stein's trip through the impoverished Kensington was not a photo-op. Stein has spent time in that predominately Hispanic community on previous visits to Philadelphia. Further, none of the hundreds of mainstream media reporters in Philadelphia for the DNC showed up to shadow Stein. The mainstream media has failed to extend coverage to this third party candidate remotely comparable to coverage given to presumptive Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump.

- Advertisement -

The time Green Party candidate Stein spent in Kensington constituted a stark contrast to top leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties. Top Republicans disparage areas like Kensington pillorying poor residents for causing their poverty. Top Democrats, on occasion, express empathy for those living in severely impoverished communities like Kensington but do very little to address the structural inequities that keep people mired in poverty.

"I live here 365-days a year. I see the problems of this community everyday and it seems that no one cares," Kensington resident Bernard Gur told Stein as she walked through a notorious drug area. "Police will lock up a person for having a small bag of dope but they can't arrest the person who has killed two women down here recently."

Stein started her day in Kensington at 'Clintonville' -- a tent encampment of homeless on a vacant lot that was erected largely to shame the Democratic Party for spending more than $60-million on DNC functions while over one quarter of Philadelphia's residents struggle in poverty. Philadelphia has the highest poverty rate of any large city in America. The Philadelphia-based Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign erected the 'Clintonville' encampment.

"This city will spend millions on parties during the DNC yet there are people living in Kensington today that have no jobs, no food and no running water in their houses," Poor People's Campaign coordinator Cheri Honkala said. She noted that many Kensington residents live on $2 per day.

"I know of one man who died because he needed a new heart but couldn't get on the transplant list because he didn't have health care and he couldn't prove that he'd had enough money to take care of himself if he did receive a new heart," Honkala recounted.

Galen Tyler, a member of the Poor People's campaign, said Kensington is "somewhat symbolic of the U.S." because it was once an area filled with factories that provided good paying jobs for low-skill workers.

- Advertisement -

"Those manufacturing jobs have left America and are never coming back," Tyler said. "Welfare payments and drug sales are the Number One source of income in this area."

Problems related to maltreatment of the poor are not exclusive to Kensington said Connie Burton, an anti-poverty activist from Tampa, Florida who was at 'Clintonville.'

"In Tampa we have a Democratic mayor who is trying to attract Millennials to the city by building new housing but he's demolishing five public housing developments to accomplish that new housing," Burton said. "We see this as a form of genocide. We are being pushed out as if the poor can't live with the middle class. We can't rely on the Democratic Party to save us."

Wisconsin-based activist/educator George 'Paz' Martin, founder of the Green Party's Black Caucus, said greed -- from corporate greed to the two party system essentially shilling for the wealthy -- is the problem behind persistent failures to address America's poor.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 4   Valuable 3   Well Said 2  
Rate It | View Ratings

Linn Washington Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Linn Washington is a weekly columnist for the Philadelphia Tribune and This Can't Be Happening. Washington writes frequently on inequities in the criminal justice system, ills in society and failings of the news media. He teaches multi-media urban (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Mass Incarceration Creates Big Mess Across America

Green Party's Stein Walks With Poor While Democrats Party

American Justice on Trial: Gratuitous Police Violence, False Testimony by Police, and a Rush to Bad Judgment

Donald, Hillary and Cannabis: Stoned Stupid On Legalization

Fed Wrist-slap for Wachovia Shows Drug War Farce

These 9/11 Heroes Fought Against Terrorism a Century Before 2001