Good morning. Hello. My name is Catherine Blunt. I am a retired educator and I am here to remind us of an agreement that has become a legacy. The great ministers of the Martin Luther king, Jr. era knew that church and community gatherings were the vehicles for a great vision about and for the people to be heard among and realized by the people. Then there were great sermons and meetings and memorable speeches from a pulpit and in community gatherings about the rights and our responsibilities as citizens of a city, a state, and a nation.
A movement sprang from those words, which mobilized the nation to dream and countless other communities around the globe to dream as well. Other movements sprang up around, and from this, and they did not require and did not seek recognition or approval from any power but themselves and God.
Every year we celebrate the man and his dream but do not pursue his legacy of action to keep the dream alive. We need those who will be that leadership to embrace the vision of the old leaders and have the tenacity to move us to battle the remnants of slavery in our own thinking and our acceptance of the status quo and our celebration of only our own individual accomplishments.
We in Philly have aptly asked our giving into the cities the ministry's support of public education, allowing schools to close, the wholehearted acceptance of AVI, which increases our property taxes, while allowing developers and gentry from wherever to get tax abatements funded by the homeowners and money stolen from public education. And now during the week that we remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and two weeks away from Black History Month, this City Council, voted in by the very people being devastated by AVI, is considering legislation that will determine for us, the citizens of Philadelphia, which organized groups will be recognized as the official community organizations and will determine and even limit the information to our communities about who and what developers are planning to do in our neighborhoods. I hope not. I hope not. That these limits to our civil rights were proposed is unsettling, that these limits to our freedom is before this full Council for a vote is unconscionable.
In the name of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the honor of his legacy as well as his dream, I urge this Council of leaders to stand with your communities and vote this legislation down.