Diane Payne testimony transcript before the SRC on September 14, 2017.

diane payne src 8-17-17

Click the picture to view video of Diane’s testimony at timestamp 1:44:00.

When people shout, chant and interrupt it is often because they are oppressed and ignored. The citizens of this city are oppressed and ignored by this SRC. A blatant example was last month’s meeting when Acting Chair Jimenez just stared at speakers who asked direct questions.

The SRC is the product of racism at its finest. White, mostly male politicians in Harrisburg seized control of this district which is mostly poor and mostly people of color. You are the mouthpiece of a 16-year racist action

Here is only a little of what the SRC has done in those 16 years: privatized our schools and services, undermined the professionalism of teachers, used children as commodities, given free rein to foundations and non-profits who lure with money and promote more of the corporate agenda, test our kids to death to justify, destabilize our schools through the Orwellian double-speak of renaissance, promise, priority, and choice, waste our tax-dollars on frivolous spending thru resolutions voted on unanimously & in huge blocks, leave our city’s schools with NO SCHOOL LIBRARIES and NO SCHOOL LIBRARIANS. Such is the performance of the SRC.

This past week brazenly illustrated the disregard this body has for the corner stone of democracy – our public schools. Dr. Hite, whose contract the SRC rushed to extend, talked about turning our school libraries into cafés and quiet reading spots.  Sounds pretty but research says kids achieve with a library – not a reading spot. Then, last Friday, at the Union League, a bastion of wealth noted for its history of discrimination where SRC Commissioner Jimenez as chairman of PEF hosted an anti-public education author whose shocking insult of Philly teachers likened them to an icon of segregation and racism, George Wallace. Jimenez stepped around and ignored a parent sitting on the floor in protest after she was barred from attending due to a dress code that was never shared and thinly disguised the real reason for barring her – the ideas and information she came to confront.

It is TIME for the citizens of Philly to have their democracy restored. It is TIME for the mayor to publicly take a leadership role in calling for the SRC to be abolished. It is TIME for city council members to publicly take a leadership role in calling for the SRC to be abolished. It is TIME to end the mouthpiece for racism. Chair Wilkerson, will you agree to include a resolution to abolish on next month’s agenda?