Say “Yes!” to Local Jobs

by Dana Robinson

“Give people in Philadelphia’s neighborhoods a reason to say yes!” said community organizer John Bowie at yesterday’s Teach-in. The moving lessons focused on the role of hope in surviving deep poverty, and the pressing need for opportunities.

The pressure is building on PECO. Yesterday’s Teach-in was covered by two newspapers and our local NPR station! At the same time this campaign is fundamentally hopeful and there was so much positive energy in the West Lobby of their headquarters.

During our December occupation of the West Lobby we filled the large space with our voices in song.  This time we filled it with voices from POWER, North Philadelphia and EQAT laying out the role we need PECO to play in addressing economic and racial injustice in the city as well as global warming.  We turned the West Lobby into our classroom and there was no doubt that we would be returning.  

Much as we would like to come back in May to celebrate a PECO decision to start sourcing its solar energy needs from North Philadelphia solar panel installation, comments by the utility’s spokesperson suggest they are making a different choice and that we will be returning to turn up the heat on May 10.

During the Q&A we had a question about the fear that plays out in our country’s thinking, inactions and reactions. It doesn’t feel scary any more to invade PECO’s plaza (which we’ve done five times already) and its lobby (this was our fourth time inside).  We’re empowered by a campaign that really puts forth a bold answer to unemploymnent, racial injustice, global warming and corporate irresponsibility.  During the teach-in we talked confidently about these issues, emboldened by a feeling of solidarity among members of diverse faith communities.  Coming home, the feeling was, Yes, we can do this!

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