"Stand up, fight and protect other people." - Mayor Jim Kenney
When a liberal city faces a conservative presidential administration, the result is a battle similar to David and Goliath.
But as the city bands together to protect it's values and diversity, it's clear that David is pulling back his slingshot.
Today the Philadelphia Bar Association, prominent officials from the City of Philadelphia and a number of prominent non-profit legal aid organizations met at the first meeting of Take Action Philly (TAP or #TakeActionPhilly), an effort that brings together influential lawyers, government, community organizations and residents to protect Philadelphia’s most vulnerable residents.
What is to be a series of meetings from those who can enact change, the first meeting at the Loews Hotel centered on the recent executive actions from the Trump administration centering around immigrants and refugees. Specifically, the President’s executive order banning immigrants from seven countries and state and federal legislation to “defund sanctuary cities.”
Organizations represented at the meeting included American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Pennsylvania, American Immigration Lawyers Association, the City of Philadelphia Office of Immigrant Affairs, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
From the defining and protection of sanctuary cities, to a plea from non-profit leaders for support and donations, the group explored ideas on on how to protect the most at-risk groups as well as the how to mobilize in the future.
The goal of the convening is to educate Philadelphia’s legal community about the anticipated impact of federal and state policy decisions in various topic areas, as well as share clear ways that they can help.
“Acting together, we can design solutions that can truly make a difference in the lives of many,” said Philadelphia Chancellor Deborah R. Gross in a statement. Going on to say she encourages those who can to "take action to be part of our community’s response to state and federal policy decisions.”
“Our immigrant and refugee communities are under attack. The Office of Immigrant Affairs is proud to take part in Take Action Philly. By providing immigrants and refugees information and a way to complete their pathway to citizenship, we are arming them with one of the best defenses against deportation—naturalization,” said Office of Immigrant Affairs’ director, Miriam Enriquez.