Monday, August 24, 2020
From: John Hemington
There are an awful lot of folks out there who are completely convinced that if Joe Biden wins the election and ousts Trump in November that everything will suddenly be wonderful and the future bright for all. At best, in my opinion, this is Pollyannaish thinking and, at worst, completely delusional bandwagon dreaming. Some of you have also wondered why it is that I have not been at all enthusiastic about the Biden/Harris ticket to the point of almost active despair at the prospect. All of my attempts at explanations seem to have fallen flat in the face of widespread Trump hatred, but I believe that the two pieces by David Sirota in the attached article from Jacobin explain my antipathy as well as anything I might have said. The problems we face in this nation and the world such as global climate catastrophe, healthcare crisis combined with the Covid-19 pandemic, intolerable economic maldistributions, etc., etc. cannot be addressed by more of the same corporate and financial control and fiscal austerity now once again being promised by the Democratic Party establishment represented by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Donald Trump has been a disaster. But the Trump disaster was brought on by the failure of both the Democratic and Republican Party establishments to provide any meaningful programs and policies beneficial to the American mainstream since the early 1980s, during which time wages fell consistently for a majority of Americans and millions of good jobs were shipped over seas due to neoliberal trade policies championed by both political parties. Few today choose to recall that Trump campaigned as a populist promising to bring back jobs, eliminate or renegotiate trade agreements (which he did), get us out of absurd endless wars in the Middle East (which he did not), reinvigorate manufacturing in this country (which he did not). He was hated and despised by main stream Republicans who, however, jumped on his bandwagon once it became clear that he couldn't be stopped. Once elected, however, most of what he campaigned on was blocked by bipartisan efforts in congress, at least to the extent that Trump was ever serious about his promises, which is questionable at best.
The bottom line is that the American people for the most part want change while the political parties in control of the system do not and will do whatever is necessary – including lose elections – to avoid having any meaningful change take place.
Wednesday, August 05, 2020
We know there is a lot of uncertainty and stress during these times, so we've launched a Family Hotline with ARYSE, Lawrenceville United, Latino Community Center, Boys & Girls Club, and Heinz Fellows to answer questions and offer support to families as they navigate the academic and personal needs of those in their household. The hotline will be live until September 30th. For support in Spanish please call (412)335-7446, and for support in English and other languages please call (412)256-8536.
In addition to the hotline, below are a couple of other opportunities we have to offer.
- The TeenBloc Youth Organizing Academy is going virtual this year! As always, it is open to rising 8th-12th graders. It will run all next week (August 10th-14th) and each day there will be 3 different virtual sessions that happen between the hours of 11am-2:40pm. Local and national teachers, artists, and activists (including Write Pittsburgh, Cultivating Resilient Youth, BOOM Concepts, Steel Smiling, The Good Peoples Group, and more) will be guest facilitators for the sessions. For more information or to sign your student up, contact Christa at firstname.lastname@example.org before this Friday (8/7).
- On Thursday, August 20th at 6:00pm Nichole and I will be hosting a google hangout session to cover some tips for entering the new school year. To join that conversation that day, click on the link below or call in from your phone using the number below.
PIN: 166 202 707#
If you can, please take a few minutes to read this powerful blog post, "Looking from the inside out: An educator's insight into the inequities of remote learning", from a local eduator and an A+ Schools board member.
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Director of Family & Youth Engagement
1901 Centre Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15219