Friday, March 27, 2015

Sherrie Cohen for City Council at Large

March 26th, 2015 Thursday

From: Mr. Tracy Charles Gibson

213 South 49th Str.

Philadelphia, Pa 19139

Phone: 1 (215) 921-2065

I receive my mail at:

Mr. Tracy Charles Gibson

Post Office Box 42878

Philadelphia, Pa 19101-2878

To: Ms. Siobhgn Reardon

President. & Director of the Free Library

The Main Library of Philadelphia

1901 Vine Street

Philadelphia, Common Wealth of Pennsylvania 19103

Dear Ms. Reardon:

I am a good and qualified researcher and businessman who works and lives in West Philadelphia.  I am also a partially disabled worker and a budding philanthropist as well as a public relations man. I wear many hats. I am on disability, but work hard at establishing my own firm – Brother Tracy Gibson & Associates, Incorporated.  We also do advocacy for the less fortunate in the Black community & the Black community in general.  I want positive and progressive social change, but I want it through TOTALLY non-violent means. All I get is a disability check Social Security to live off of and believe me the $ 1,300.00 plus dollars doesn’t make ends meet at the end of the month each month.

The funny thing is I actually have a dedicated board of directors for my company and I have a vending license with the City of Philadelphia that cost $300.00. It took me ten years to get that license.  I DON’T want to be on disability, or at least I want to work while on it and make a decent earning at a decent wage. Ultimately, I want to GET OFF OF DISABILITY AND BE A BUSINESSMAN WITH A BIG HEART!!

The recent problem is I can’t go to the library without finding out there is yet another book that they say at the West Philadelphia regional library I lost or they can’t find. I returned ``Makes me Wanna Hollar,’’ by Nathan McCall and they have no record of it. I returned the video ``The Philanthropist,’’ and  they have no record of it. And a few weeks ago I returned ``The Art of Selling Yourself,’’ by Adam Riccoboni & Daniel Callaghan. This last book was returned at 40th and Walnut Street. They had no record of it….


NEWS FLASH --  UPDATE.!! In researching this letter I find out that ALL MATERIALS HAVE BEEN RETURNED. Isn’t this strange? I think I’m being harassed and I don’t like it. I deserve better.  Much of my work actually moves mountains and makes things happen.  What I need is for the library to consider giving a special library card to activists and academics who do research and other groups of people who use the library frequently for professional purposes. We should get receipts for our materials when we return things. Do you have any kind of idea what a bill for a $20.00 lost book can do to my entire month’s budget? It throws everything off and causes all kinds of problems with my being able to buy food and medicine and pay my phone bill or internet bill [I don’t have the luxury of cable tv and don’t want it!!] There are people who use the computers to play games and look at pictures of people. When I’m at the library I am almost 100 % of the time doing vitally important work such as researching probable solutions for the Middle East; discovering Ways to relinquish police violence in the Black community; or helping us all take issues like domestic violence and poverty very, very seriously.  I’m not playing games. If I want to look at adult pictures I’ll do that in the privacy of my home.

I don’t want to come off as sounding difficult, out of place or cranky. I just DON’T think things are running as smoothly as we think they are when we come to the library at the Main Branch or at a neighborhood branch.  I know full well that the librarians work hard and are very professional in what they do. A good friend of mine, Mr. Levin Tilghman, is a librarian and I know he works hard in the face of the difficulties of the home challenged people who come in and might not be as clean or smell as nice as some people would like; and in the face of all the changing technologies; and in the face of the security problems & issues throughout the library system; and in the face of the have not’s looking at a person funny when they have a tuna sandwich when other people don’t have one.  I am not trying to blame anyone for the difficulties, but at the same time, I think things could run much smoother and better if certain people who have acted more than polite and use the library in a more consistent manner and for professional purposes was given a special card and was allowed to get a receipt for their returned books & other items.

Another part of this equation is the almost total lack of Black men on the Main Library staff and  among the library pool.  This is not good and causes a real ethnic gap among the people who use the library and the people who work there. [Certainly a Black  ``Brother’’ – not a guard, mind you, would be much better at dealing with the home challenged people and the mentally ill than a rather frail older female librarian who feels threatened by the home challenged People.  I am not saying this to be verbose or catty, I am just stating fact. I look at all the Library Dignitaries & Ole World Administrators on the wall on the second floor of the Main Library and I see the faces of almost totally Caucasian men.  THIS HAS TO CHANGE!!  This is part of the detachment people are feeling when they come to use materials, get a book, use the computers, or just read a newspaper, magazine or get away from the fact that they don’t have a place to relax because they are home challenged. Having an exhibit of art work by incarcerated men just shows us another part of the problem that the Main Library is a part of: exclusion; incarceration; profiting from the victims; elitism bordering on fascism; racism; homophobia; sexism and on and on.  The Main Library and the library system can’t solve all the problems in the world and must not be expected to. But thank GoD we have people like Sherrie Cohen, an out lesbian running for City Council at Large who was a leading organizer for Coalition for Essential Services. She stood up to keep the libraries open, the pools open the parks open and for youth jobs when the City of Philadelphia wanted to cut back on essential services and turn back the legitimate expansion of progress. When the Mayor and the City wanted to close them down; She stood up for the home challenged people and was actually a victim of police abuse Herself when police under Mayor Rizzo actually pushed and shoved Her and other teachers fighting for a Gay Rights bill down the steps at City Hall back in the 1960’s.{I have to admit I was even shocked when She told me this at our church service –Unity Fellowship Christ Church of Philadelphia--last week – March 22nd, 2015 Sunday –when Ms. Cohen actually came to our church, a church open to all, but with several gay and lesbian and transgendered and bisexual members, I was even shocked when She spoke about Her experiences at the hands of brutal police back in the 1960’s.  Some people want our fair City to go back to such law and order and abusive tactics, but thank GoD People like Sherrie are standing up and helping us remember what happens when we don’t stand up. We can’t afford to rest on our laurels!! This is the kind of leadership we need and this is why I’m endorsing Sherrie Cohen for City Council at Large.

Meanwhile, please put some Black people on your administrative boards, some women, some Latinos & Latina’s , Some Asians, Some East Indians, some Arabs & some other left out ethnic groups. This country is NOT and never has been a melting pot.  We don’t want to all become ``Caucasian Americans’’  we want America to respect us for the differences we have. We want to be a tremendous fresh salad that everyone can enjoy like the ones you get from    ``Sweet Greens.’’ Full of a mix of vegetables, lettuce,  fruits, great dressings and so forth—with each ingredient making a whole that is a wonderful healthy  cornucopia of GoD’s creation for all to share, enjoy and experience.

This is also why I advocate for more museums for different communities.  We have wonderful Asian restaurants in Black neighborhoods, but Black people—especially the Grass Roots—know very little about the differences between the Chinese People; the Japanese People; the South Korean or North Korean People; or the Laotian People or the Cambodian People.  There are vast and drastic differences between these Asian groups.  We do a vast disservice to each and every one of  them by not understanding their differences and what they each had & has to contribute to the family of man, humanity,  world culture—music, dance, film the other arts, etcetera, world history and our experience on this precious planet. Too often our Black community only sees Asians as exploiters and people after our money. There are all kinds of Asians who have other goals and aspirations besides just making money.  Where do we learn about them? From them and from our museums and libraries!!!!

Suffice it to say we need more respect of diversity. We all need to be more willing to share more and speak to different People who are not like us. Be kind and courteous.  Be more outgoing and share resources. Be able to accept the fact that to move forward some in high places might have to give a little more. People at the bottom have done without for well long enough. Hey are not accepting such mistreatment and exclusion any longer. We all thought more inclusion and positive development and jobs was going to be a large part of what President Obama was going to do. Many People still feel left out and mistreated. This is why we need People like Sherrie, but we all have to take a stand and demand more in a consistent, ongoing and everlasting—forever kind of fashion. We have to keep the pressure on or this thing will never work. Complacency feeds into the downfall of great nations. Activism, truth, reality, dignity, grace and honor feed into the heart of democracy and true freedom with democratic principles.  This is the undercurrent of the national debate about police violence and community responsibility and this is the undercurrent about the hatred the President of the United States has to deal with every day when He is sometimes doing a better job than anyone else who ever held that position.  I Hope & Pray I have made myself clear without being too much of a nudge.


LOVe, Peace & Blessings,



Brother Tracy Gibson,

Poet, Partially Disabled Worker, Budding Philanthropist, Businessman, Writer, Researcher, Proud Uncle ,





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