Thank you, Mr. President. I rise this morning to also talk about education. The first is just an announcement and a reminder that on March 4th at 9:00 a.m., Dr. Adrienne Jacoby, Executive Director of Philadelphia Reads, will brief Council on Philadelphia Reads and discuss related issues.
The second thing I'd like to talk about deals with the closing of schools. My colleague just mentioned four schools. Well, as you know, I have University City High School, and that includes Charles Drew School and Walnut Center, in addition to Wilson School next to the University of Sciences on the same block and Shaw School at 54th and Warrington, which is the Hardy Williams School. And there is print in the paper, but I'd like to mention we all love WURD, my favorite radio show, but certainly I had some issues today with a moderator. I don't really know him, but a new moderator who called me a liar today and who said that I made a deal and that the schools were being sold for a pittance. This is what happens when people don't do their homework. That the schools were being sold for a pittance because I made a deal to get a community room in the Youth Study Center or the Juvenile Justice Center at 48th and Haverford in my district. I tried to tell him you don't mix those kind of fundings. And a community center in the building and selling schools, totally different entities. We don't control the School District land or the buildings. You don't mix that funding. And if I have that kind of power and authority, the schools wouldn't have closed in the first place.
Having said that, they said I knew about it. And we all know we heard about it yesterday. Like people tell us things like they're doing us a favor the day before. And we heard about these sales certainly the day before I did as well. And so I suggest that if this gentleman would check his records, he would see that when the Juvenile Justice Center was built, it was in the papers, they accused me of holding it up for three years and they had my picture on the front of the Daily News calling me Jannie Blocker. Now it was funny, but it's not funny when it's you. They call me Jannie Blocker, not Jannie Blackwell. And we went through -- it's working out fine. We love the leadership there. It's working out fine, but my point is and I told them, you know, I know that I represent the community, some of you think, on certain issues to a fault, but Lucien Blackwell taught me a long time ago that you have to honor the people who elect you. And so sometimes maybe it is considered that I do it to a fault, but I try to stay true to what I think I should do. Pray first to God and then try to do what the people who elect me want me to do.
So I suggest to this gentleman a community center -- my goodness, we got a community room in that center. Sure, I fought for that. A community room versus selling a school, three schools right in that area and all that it entails?
I would suggest that when someone goes on the radio, any moderator, that they be fair. You do your homework if you want to attack people, and you should at least be honest about what you're saying.
I have no reason to call a station and lie and make up things about the sale of schools in my area. I wish we weren't here in the first place. We all wish we had more money. I wish I controlled that as well. I mean, the gentleman said that I know everything that's going on in my district. I have power, but I'm not quite that powerful.
So, again, we ask that -- we challenge them to come back, do the right thing, say the right thing, and I challenge you to be honest, because I know I am.
Thank you, Mr. President.