I want to
thank the President for allowing me to
interrupt this process, but I cannot tell
you how much my heart is touched by the opportunity to express what I saw as a child, and, that is, not politicians, because frankly there were not a lot of African American or Latino or frankly Asian politicians at that time. There were people who were huddled in communities across the City of Philadelphia who felt it most appropriate and fair that all Philadelphians should have an opportunity to participate in the economic climate and activity of the City of Philadelphia.
Certainly while I'm proud of my father, Bill Gray, there's a whole legacy, Wilson Goode, there's a whole generation that participated. Lucien
Blackwell singularly designed, fought,
struggled -- and, by the way, Council did
not look like it looks today -- and
struggled with Council with its
conscience and drove them to the point of
when they signed a document that frankly
many in the public didn't understand at
The older I get -- I'm 55 years old -- the more history is no longer distant memories, but frankly a blueprint for the activities that provide a course of action. And I will tell you for as far as you've come, for every time an unfortunate set of circumstances where a young boy is shot down in the City of Philadelphia because he may be doing something that he doesn't know anything else, a young girl decides to make an inappropriate decision about her life or an ex-offender comes home, they look to one body; that is, government, maybe fairly or unfairly. But they look to the body government to define how the course
of their life can change to become
This piece of legislation has
done multiple levels of good for
generations of people that have gone in
the past, but frankly for generations who
will not get the opportunity to meet Lu
Blackwell in person but only will feel the benefit of his good and blessings through the work that he has done on this earth.
God bless you and God bless Philadelphia.