Thurs, 7/26/18 Philly ADAPT Housing Protest on Mayor
Last Thursday, on the anniversary of the ADA, at 10:30 in the morning, 25 members of Philly ADAPT stormed the back entrance of our City Hall and it took over – Business As Usual, Is Not Gonna Happen! At first the new city’s ADA coordinator, Daniel Lopez (some of you may recognize the name) came to try to appease, but we came to demand: Mayor Jim Kenney, any money coming into the City for housing, at least half need to go to people living at and below 30% AMI, which is around $33,000 a year, and below – which is most of our community living on SSI and SSDI, where people live on $9,000 – $15,000 a year. We came to see the Mayor and no one else, this administration has ignored our community since they came to power – We came to demand for Affordable, Accessible, Integrated Housing, and we weren’t going to leave without a commitment!
After two deputy mayors and a few staffers came to try to, “hear your (our) demands,” and “this is the first we ever hear about this,” we saw an opening an took over every door in sight! A few hours of back and forth with Mayor Kenney’s staffers and bump ups, including a city staffer flashing his phone’s light inches in one of our members face, Michelle McCanddless, who gets seizures, and violently jerking her powerchair out of the way as she was blocking the door to this guy’s working space (video link below), we took off, NOT! Philly ADAPT chanted, We’re ADAPT, We’ll Be Back! left and went around to the main entrance, squeezed by security without them noticing -go figure- and took over the four elevators and the stairway.
We chanted for 7 hours all together, Who Do We Want, Mayor Kenney, When Do We Want Him, NOW; and What Do We Want, HOUSING, When Do We Want It, NOW!
Philly ADAPT has been demanding for Affordable, Accessible, Integrated Housing for decades! And, now we have more than 88 thousand people on waiting lists in our city. Mayor Kenney never came to see us, even though in the street he’d shake our hands, and instead had his police arrest 11 of us. Germán Parodi was the first they arrested, and instead of directing him where to go, two tall cops just grabbed him out of his chair and carried him away, then held him up in the air for a while, until they figured out Germán kinda really DOES need his chair, so they brought it and put him back on it. Obviously, they did not know what they were doing at first, but they told the other 10 ADAPTers that they were under arrest and asked them to move toward the processing area one by one. Outside, the folks that had camped by the entrance of City Hall for three weeks demanding AbolishICE welcomed us out, cheering us on.
Mayor Kenney has now arrested Philly ADAPT for demanding Affordable, Accessible, Integrated Housing – stay tuned ADAPT, more arrests coming from our Chapter, or a commitment from the Mayor for Affordable, Accessible, Integrated Housing!