Ideas for the online revolution.

Philly Socialists - Solidarity Network Fights for Fair Housing

I'm a member of the four person organizing committee for the West Philly Socialists.

We have two projects. One is a free GED tutoring program that we're running at a local library on 52nd. The goal is to demonstrate our support for quality public education and to provide a direct remedy to shortcomings in the underfunded public school system (while we also take other actions - like joining a recent protest of the School Reform Commission's decision to cancel the teacher's contract).

The project that I'm most involved is the Solidarity Network. It is based on the Seattle Solidarity Network.

Currently we're on our second fight. We're fighting for a tenant who wants adequate heat, proper maintenance (hole in their ceiling fixed), pest control (flies and bed bugs), and respect for their trans gender identity.

Mapping Philadelphia House Prices

I made a map of Philadelphia housing prices using the 2014 property assessment data. I use value per square foot as the best indicator of housing quality and demand. If you use total property value - you get large differences that are due to property size. For instance, single family properties vary from 600 sq feet to 3000+.



Mapping Homestead Exemption Applications in Philly and Working Towards Socialism

An estimated 30% of Philadelphia residents have not applied for the homestead exemption which exempts the first $30,000 of a homeowner's property value from taxation. This can save you $402/year if you get the full exemption. The city created this program to take some of the bite out of the property re-assessment (Actual Value Initiative) which increased residential taxes and decreased taxes for the large commercial properties.

Why I'm Investing in Bitcoin

This doesn't have anything to do with activism. I don't think Bitcoin has much potential for facilitating progressive social change. It can be used to help fund a small set of groups, like Wikileaks, that aren't allowed to use conventional funding from Paypal. However for funding very radical organizations (say a left-wing guerilla group or a domestic radical left group like the Earth Liberation Front), the lack of privacy in Bitcoin due to its use of a public ledger - makes it unlikely to work. If at any point your bitcoin address can be linked to your identity, then you lose privacy.

Justice Map Released!

Justice Map is finished and ready for public use!

Features include
-Block level resolution of race. You can zoom in as far as you want. No other website lets you do this on census data.
-100 GB+ of generated image tiles. My computer spent days generating and processing image tiles just for you!
-Save as Image. You can save the map as an image or a high-resolution image.
-Drawing tools. You can add a marker, polygon, line, or circle to the map and save it.

Do you want Net Neutrality for Corporations or Real Internet Equality?

I don't understand why many progressives (and even radicals who should know better) are so focused on net neutrality and are doing so while ignoring or downplaying the major causes of Internet inequality.

Justice Map - West Philadelphia

A map of percent black in West Philadelphia from JusticeMap.org.
Block level resolution.



(Larger)

The Cost of Triplexes vs Group Living

I've gone from renting a large house with 5-7 people for the past ten years in Philadelphia to living in a unit of a triplex that I own.

As part of this process, I've been amazed at how more expensive it is to run a triplex than a large home -- with an equal number of people and the same square footage. A lot of my goal of being a landlord is to provide affordable quality housing. This means that I try to keep unnecessary costs low, as our rents are directly based on our costs.

Here are some of the additional costs

1. Philadelphia homestead exemption

Philadelphia Gentrification Relief for Who?

Philadelphia's proposed $20 million/year of gentrification property tax relief fails to target the most deserving low-income residents and may even increase the regressiveness of the local tax system.

Justice Map in development

You can see my early version of Justice Map.

This is for demonstrating what the layers look like, getting feedback on those, and not anything close to what it will look like when it is finished.

It is a set of open map layers based on the 2010 Census and 2011 American Community Survey for race and income. I put census tracts up online, but I plan to add counties (for both) and block groups and blocks (for race) in the near future.

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