In Point Breeze, Shouting Trumps Democracy

As we mentioned a couple of times in the past few days, a South Philadelphia H.O.M.E.S zoning meeting took place last night. Well, it was supposed to have taken place, at least.

Future cafe

Nine items were on the agenda for the meeting, including a coffee shop at 20th and Federal Sts., a new construction building on Point Breeze Ave., NextFab Studio, and a few one-off residential and commercial applications. By 6:30, the room was full of people, with dozens of residents ready to hear about new development planned for their neighborhood. At about 6:40, as the moderator was preparing to begin the meeting, two women (The famous Tiffany Green and Theressa McCormick) began shouting.

“We weren’t notified!”

“Why weren’t we notified?”

“You can’t have this meeting, you can’t do that!”

“We are protesting because we were not notified, we are not having this meeting tonight, Claudia and Zelda need to notify the community. You need to come up with another date.”

“Look at all of this here, this is not our community, and we’re not having it!”

“If you want to call up the 17th (police district) then go ahead because we’re not doing this tonight.”

“We’re gonna interrupt until it’s done fairly”

“We want a correct vote! We want a correct vote” We want fair representation! We want fair representation!”

After a few minutes of this, the moderator cleared the room except for the parties presenting. After five minutes, the community was welcomed back into the room, at which time further negotiations took place with the presenters and the two women continued to shout. The cops came.

Point Breeze Ave. lot

Unbelievably, the decision was made to postpone the entire meeting for a week. The two people who came into the meeting and started shouting got what they wanted.

Just to recap: An organization that professes to represent the community allowed two extremely loud and disrespectful women with an agenda to derail a community zoning meeting that was completely full of neighborhood residents.

Was this an admission that they did a poor job publicizing this meeting, which takes place every month, onĀ every 4th Monday? Was it a tacit endorsement of their obstructionist views? Or was it, in all likelihood, an unwillingness to confront and cast out the most radical element, even if it means compromising the legitimacy of the organization?

Next week, we’ll be fascinated to see if these women are actually able to gather together the representation that they claim is missing, or whether they stand alone in their views. We’re also taking bets on whether they will peacefully sit through a meeting. And on whether they’ll claim that a week’s notice wasn’t sufficient and attempt to submarine another meeting.

Site of another project that wasn't presented

No matter what happens, it promises to be compelling theater. We’ll be outside selling the popcorn.

The meeting is set to take place on Monday, January 30th, at 6:30pm, at Mt. Zion Pentacostal, at 1232 Point Breeze Ave.

Be there, or be screamed at by some crazy people.