In August, members of Disabled in Action stormed the Hyatt in Philadelphia. They presented Governor Rendell with a list of demands to give people with disabilities the power to make decisions about what services they need. The governor agreed to everyone of their demands. Cuts in services will be re visited and a Consumer Workforce Council was established to give people with disabilities more control over their services.
Signs of progress in the Youth United for Change (YUC) campaign for smaller and better high schools: the new Kensington Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) High School opened in September. The school will serve 400 students and was designed with input from YUC’s Kensington chapter student organizers. It will offer courses in drama, writing , visual art, music, and more. It’s also the first school in the city to use geothermal wells for heating and cooling.
With the support and guidance of Asian Americans United (AAU), Asian students at South Philadelphia High School organized a boycott last year protesting racial violence and inaction by adults . As a direct result of their actions, including a U.S. Justice Department investigation they initiated, this school year began with a new principal, a welcoming center for immigrant students, and Chinese language classes added to the course offerings. Along with students at South Philly High, AAU is continuing to monitor the situation and establish dialogue between different groups of students to make lasting change.