A few blocks from the DNC, tales from the city with the highest poverty rate among major U.S. cities
Richard Henry and Robert Jones took a break Tuesday from their maintenance jobs and sat on a ledge outside the Municipal Services Building to watch the protests that had overtaken the plaza.
From a stage, a woman crooned for the cheering crowd a shaky soul song – an original, it seemed: “Feeeel the Berrrnn.”
There was a Bernie supporter in a Superman costume and another in Bernie jammies. There was guy bearing a large wooden cross on his shoulder with the message, “Vote 4 Jesus.”
And there were some “Hillary for Prison” guys who seemed about ready to rumble with a few masked Communists.
Henry, 50, and Jones, 48, finished their cigarettes in the unforgiving heat. They had seen enough. Both work other jobs to survive; Henry works three. Neither has health insurance. They live in violent pockets of West Philadelphia. They had heard enough.
There are two cities in Philadelphia this week.
The one that has moved in for a few days – the media, the delegates, the protesters of all the stripes – and the one we live in every day. The one of contradiction and divide. The one with a downtown bursting with new growth and neighborhoods plagued by thehighest poverty rate of any big city in the nation.
The one where working men like Henry and Jones sit on a bench in a Center City that is becoming shinier by the day and talk about the neighborhoods where they live. Neighborhoods just a few miles away that might as well be a universe away. Neighborhoods plagued by poverty and hunger – the types of issues that have not garnered nearly enough attention during this bizarre and frightening election. – READ MORE