Letters to the Editor: March 21, 2018

Northeast Philadelphia residents discuss peace vigils, Mayor Kenney and President Trump in this week’s letters to the editor.

Grateful for peace vigil

When racist literature from a well-known hate group was left at our home in Willow Grove several weeks ago, we were shaken. We actually felt a little sick. The literature’s content was an anathema to us, and we weren’t sure what to do about it.

After some consideration, we reported it to federal and local law enforcement agencies and the press. We reached out to our neighbors, some of whom introduced us to an organization called LEARN, the Local Emergency Area Response Network, which works to support people who are targets of discrimination or intimidation in Montgomery County. And we called Tom Murt, our state representative.

As soon as we broached the subject of a peace vigil, Tom was on board. His response didn’t surprise us. We’ve known Tom Murt for a long time; kindness, intelligence and integrity are his trademarks.

Tom took an unequivocal stand to embrace diversity and repudiate hate. He enlisted the help of our township’s administrators, religious leaders of different denominations and civic leaders from both parties. His office designed fliers, and Tom was one of the many folks who canvassed local neighborhoods to get the word out. His actions demonstrated his belief that strong, peaceable communities can be strengthened by encouraging open communication and a commitment to honor each other’s differences without rancor.

On the night of the peace vigil, Tom spoke eloquently about that very thing. Watching him and others who had gathered to send a message of inclusion and tolerance, we felt proud of our community and hopeful for a better future.

As a follow-up to the peace vigil, Tom, the members of LEARN and Upper Moreland Township’s newly elected commissioner, Charles Whiting, all paved the way for Upper Moreland Township to host a community workshop called Interrupting Hate. Conducted by Dr. Amy Cox of Arcadia University, the workshop demonstrated how to peaceably respond when we witness acts of hatred and bigotry.

Thanks to everyone who attended the peace vigil and the Interrupting Hate workshop in Willow Grove. Thanks to the hard-working dedicated folks at LEARN. And thanks especially to state Rep. Tom Murt for helping to make ours a stronger, better community.

Chris North and Ed Kramer

Willow Grove

Kenney is failing our city

Mayor Jim Kenney stopped by Brightside Academy to read books to the children.

Our mayor is reading children books when his city is controlled by drug dealers, addicts and, let’s not forget, harboring illegal immigrants from danger.

What are you doing reading books? Do that on your own social schedule.

We are paying you to be the mayor of Philadelphia, but you want to be paid to spend some time with the children you supposedly care so much about.

The city is dying. Help us, Mayor Jim Kenney.

Valerie Crowley

Somerton

Trump is not that brave

Seventy-one-year-old President Donald Trump stated that he would have gone into that Florida school with or without a gun to try to save the children.

Wow! He has gotten so brave in the past 50 years since he had five deferments (four as a student and one for bone spurs) from the Vietnam War draft.

Mayer Krain

Modena Park

Get rid of the soda tax

It has been more than a month since Gary’s Market, formerly Holiday Supermarket, closed in the shopping center near Rhawn Street and Dungan Road. It is missed in the neighborhood. Many reasons caused its closing, starting with the soda tax. Since we are close to Montgomery County, many people began to go to Giant in Huntingdon Valley. The women who worked the cash register at Gary’s noticed the drop-off in customers.

How many other smaller stores were affected by this tax, which has not brought in the revenue expected by the mayor? Enough is enough, Mr. Mayor. It is time to get rid of the soda tax and get your act together.

Roberta Mitchell

Fox Chase