Right to Thrive

Whether we live in neighborhoods with trees, skyscrapers, open fields, or freeways, we all want our families to grow up healthy and thrive for generations to come.

But today, certain politicians and greedy lobbyists are trying to make us fear those turning to cars and tents for shelter, dividing us while they make it impossible for many of us to afford any place to live. Meanwhile, a handful of corporate developers rig the rules to jack up our rents, build only for the wealthiest few, and hoard even more profits for themselves.

When we go all in for every one of us, we can win commonsense solutions that ensure we all make rent while having enough to care for our families, no exceptions. Joining together, we make the future, and we will ensure all of us have a home to raise our kids, pursue our dreams, and make our memories.

2019 South Philly oil refinery explosion at night

“Oil refining at the [South] Philadelphia site began in 1870, 100 years before the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Gasoline, once a worthless byproduct of heating oil, was routinely dumped by the refinery into the soil, according to historians and researchers.” – Reuters

150 years ago the Atlantic Refining Company place a poisonous fossil fuel plant in the middle of a black neighborhood thus deciding to murder hundreds working people and children with cancer and other diseases.

But after it exploded in 2019 the community organization Philly Thrive took action and closed it for good. Instead of being reopened, the land was sold to Hilco Redevelopment partners. A global corporation worth $3 billion in assets that buys polluted lands, builds warehouses on them, and rents them to the likes of Home Depot, Amazon, and Target. Over the past two years they have ignored and disrespected Thrive’s efforts to start a dialogue about how they want the land to be used. Instead they are moving forward hastily with a plan to increase flooding, continue poisoning surrounding air and soil, and kick residents out of their homes through gentrification. The land the own is the same size as center city, but they don’t want to let residents have a say of what happens there,

We are joining forces with Philly Thrive to create a better south Philly. Here are our demands for Hilco:

  1. Negotiate a Community Benefits Agreement (a legally binding document) with residents that includes
  2. – Staying Power so that residents are kicked out of their neighborhoods. For example, create affordable housing, repair people’s homes, give vacant land to community orgs instead of developers
  3. – Transparency so that residents know exactly what you are planning and the levels of toxins at your site
  4. – Environmental justice. For example, restore wetlands, youth job training program, new parks and river access, building green space.
  5. Have regular meetings with residents of South and Southwest Philly and implement their ideas about what is built on the land and how
  6. Use ZERO fossil fuels in the construction, operation, and maintenance of the land and buildings on it. Instead use geothermal supplemented with solar and wind.
Screenshot from the Intercept’s A Message From the Future

We will win by taking direct action. Going to Hilco’s 29th street office, their 28th street site, and events around the city making our demands heard. We will also be blocking roads around the city, risking arrest and bodily harm to make our demands impossible to ignore. Hilco will be able to stop us as soon as they come to the table to meet our demands.

And in order to take action we need people power. That’s why we are talking to South Philly residents every week about our demands and about voting. That’s why everyday people attending and hosting meetings all over the city to spread the word about what’s happening.

If you are ready to stand up for yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow brothers and sisters in life and love. Sign the form on our home page and we’ll get back to you shortly with how you can win this fight. See you soon 😀