Political Activism

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Political Activism
  • Candidate for City Council at Large in the primary of Democratic Party, Philadelphia, May 2007. Links to press coverage of my campaign can be found at http://www.stier2007.com/marcinthenews

  • Co-Founder, Neighborhood Defense.org

    This group was founded by community activists in the fall of 2006 to fight for repeal of Act 193, which took away the right of community groups to appeal decisions of the Zoning Board of Adjustment to the courts. We are continuing to fight to repeal Act 193 and to protect the rights of communities in zoning disputes.

    I have been coordinating this effort with Mary Tracy of SCRUB. We have created a website (neighborhooddefense.org), have been seeking support for our cause from community groups and individuals, have won support from a state legislator to introduce legislation to repeal Act 193, and have  begun a lobbying campaign among our state representatives and senators to gain their support for the repeal of Act 193.

  • Founding Member, Member of the Steering Committee, and former member of the Executive Committee, Neighborhood Networks

    Neighborhood Networks, which was had its founding conference in June 2005 aims to be the liberal / progressive caucus  in the Philadelphia Democratic party. We have created neighborhood / ward groups in ten areas of the city. As part of Neighborhood Networks, I organized a field operation for Ethics Reform charter changes in November 2005 and May 2006 and a field campaign for progressive candidates in May 2006. I represented the organization in the Raise the Minimum Wage Coalition and helped design the lobbying strategy that lead to passage of the first increase in the PA minimum wage in ten years. I have also represented NN on the Pennsylvania Campaign for Housing Justice, where I am working on our lobbying strategy to secure passage of inclusionary zoning legislation in Philadelphia. I also represent the organization in our efforts to reform campaign finance and to seek wage tax reductions for those with low incomes and on the steering committee of the Next Great City Initiative.

  • Member, Steering Committee, Pennsylvania Transit Coalition

    This group came together in late 2004 to fight for dedicated funding for public transit. In addition to taking part in policy decisions, I helped organize, prepared lobbying material for, and spoke at our rally in Harrisburg on February 14, 2005 and at many other events. I also write our email reports and manage our website, www.patransit.org. We reformed in December 2006 to deal with the latest transit funding crisis.

  • President, Philadelphia Transit Campaign

    I helped organize this group to fight for dedicated funding for public transit in the spring of 2004. We held a rally at the Philadelphia State Office Building in June, 2004 and two rallies in Harrisburg, in October and November, 2004. I also write our email reports and managed our website. The Philadelphia Transit Campaign was folded into the Pennsylvania Transit Coalition in the fall of 2004.

  • Founder, Northwest Campaign for Public Transit

    This group, composed of community organizations from Mt. Airy, Chestnut Hill, East Falls, and Germantown, successfully fought to save the R8 train and C Bus in 2003. We held a well-reported rally on the R8 train on the way to the SEPTA Budget Hearing in spring of 2003.

  • President (June 2002-June 2005) and Vice President for Community Affairs (July 1999 to June 2002) of West Mt. Airy Neighbors (WMAN). In addition to leading and managing an organization with a budget of $175,000, I have been especially Involved in a number of special activities and programs:

             Secured grants from state agencies (Department of Community and Economic Development) private foundations (the Philadelphia Foundation), and local businesses totaling over $70,000

             More than doubled the amount of money raised within Mt. Airy for the organization.

             Lead the fight to secure historic designation for the Presser and Nugent Buildings on Johnson Street.

             Helped bring a new CVS Drug Store to the Lincoln Drive / Mt. Pleasant corner; secured $10,000 grant from CVS and an additional $10,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Urban and Community Forestry Council for the gateway landscaping project at this corner.

             Lead the Mt. Airy ad hoc committee working with ACME Markets to bring a new supermarket to West Mt. Airy. Helped complete successful negotiations in August 2002.

             Negotiated an agreement between the Houston School Playground Raising Project and the Near Neighbors of the Houston School that enabled a new School / Community Playground to be built. Chaired the Houston Playground Committee to continue monitor the playground and its relationship with its neighbors.

             Created the East-West Committee to begin discussions of the future relationship of West and East Mt. Airy Neighbors. Held open community meeting to discuss this relationship.

             Held anti-crime meetings in four different neighborhoods of Mt. Airy; Helped create a Town Watch in the Pelham area.

             Helped Homeowner United to Protect Pelham (HUPP) work with the Cecilian Academy to block an appropriate use for this site and to find a better alternative.

             Worked with neighbors of New Covenant to address issues of noise, traffic and zoning issues.

             In celebration of our 40th anniversary, WMAN honored 40 Good Neighbors at a brunch attended by over 400 people in November of 1999. I wrote most of the biographies of the 40 good neighbors in the program and helped sell advertisements.

             Created the Neighborhood Summit, originally for West Mt. Airy Neighbors and now as a joint project of West and East Mt. Airy Neighbors.

             Created a new program to organize blocks and local neighborhood associations in West Mt. Airy and to link these blocks to each other and to WMAN in a Neighborhood Network. So far, we have organized close to half of West Mt. Airy and, with East Mt. Airy Neighbors, have extended the program to East Mt. Airy.

             Developed and continue to administer the WMAN web site at http://www.wman.net.

             Redesigned and edited the WMAN  Newsletter. (1999-2002)

             Developed a new membership / fundraising database that I programmed in Microsoft Access.

  • Member of the Board of Directors of Mt. Airy USA, since 2002. My efforts have focused on improving community relationships in particular with South Mt. Airy.

  • Member, Charlotte Jewish Pre-School Board of Directors, 1996-1998

  • Member, Temple Beth-El, Social Action Committee, 1996-

  • Member of the Board of Directors of The Miquon School, July 2000-June 2004

  • Candidate for the Democratic Nomination for State Representative in the 198th district, April 2004. I won 43% of the vote against a ten-year incumbent.

  • Elected Member of Ward 21 Democratic Executive Committee from Division 24 in May 2002. Reelected in May 2006

  • Member of the Executive Committee of the Durham-Chapel Hill chapter of Americans for Peace Now 1990-1991. One of the organizers of and facilitators for the Peace Now Forum, After Kuwait: Israel's New Realities, on Sunday November 4, 1990

  • Fundraiser for political campaigns, most recently for Democratic Congressional Candidates Patrick Murphy and Lois Murphy in 2006, Democratic State Representative candidates in 2006 (Brendan Boyle, Olivia Brady, Rick Tayor) and 2005 (Josh Shapiro, Cherelle Parker, and Tammy Gavitt) and as a member of the Finance Committee of Hoeffel for Senate in 2004.

  • Field organizer, consultant, or volunteer for many political campaigns, beginning with the McGovern New York Primary Campaign in 1972 for which I worked as a field director in Liberty, New York. Most recently advised Anne Dickerís campaign for state representative in 2006 and served in 2005 as webmaster and email coordinator for Cherelle Parker for State Representative and as email coordinator for LeAnna Washington for State Senate.

  • Organizer, College-Community Forum, Congress, The Presidency and Democracy: Past and Present, sponsored by the Commission on the Bicentennial of the Constitution of the United States, the Department of Political Science and the Urban Institute. Two College Community Forums were held on November 27 and December 4, 1989.