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The Truth About Philadelphia

Marta Diaz
Social Worker/Teacher/Community Activist, West Kensington


Question #9: What have been the most dramatic moments of your life living in Philadelphia?

Glenn: What is dramatic about every day life here?

Marta: Uh, safe. You know, it, is not safe, these streets, uh, early in the morning when I get up, first thing, I check my car, if my car is all right, you know, I have been blessed, I have been lucky. Uh, the only person that really will do some damage is here, that is a little paranoid person is the lady next door, that she's negative to everything, but there is always one person, you know, in the whole baloney. That's the only person that, umm, will destroy my car. But she did once. But after that, uh, even the, the crooks, or whatever they said that happens here at nights is not that way, believe it or not. But I check my car every morning.

My problem is when I talk to the people around here and they come and talk to me, the poor people that have to walk, uh, walk three blocks with their kids coming to school and face the drug dealers in the corner, that is sad. Not just that street, that street, the other street, the other street. Because we have three schools here. We have one that is Porter Thomas in 5th and Indy, and Indiana, and we have Fern Hill in 6th and Somerset, and we have Julio DeBulgos in 6th and Lehigh Avenue. So these three schools are Philly schools for entire North Philly in this area. Between these schools and the little streets around here is a lot of drugs. And that's, that's, this, our people have to face every single day. People is afraid because the shootings, you know, they, they start shooting early in the morning. What about passing these poor little kids in the morning, going the way to school. You know? Or coming out of school. Because these people don't respect that they're not supposed to sell drugs close to school, they don't care.

And why are they, why are they? Ah, we need more police patrol! Do we have them? Even with the new police commissioner, he's still working and trying to give us 34, 35 new officers. They may be under cover, because I don't see them with a uniform. So, that is what is going on. It's sad to face that.

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