Watch Philly residents (and us!) on CNN: “Philadelphia residents speak out on politics, budget cuts, jobs”

On Tuesday, June 7, the day the Philadelphia Inquirer ran a second story about the demolition of the blighted houses on Greene Street and W Rockland, Ainé received a very exciting email. The subject read: “CNN Interview Request.” Seriously. The email came from CNN’s All Platform Journalist Sarah Hoye. Sarah was interested in talking with us about our block revitalization project as part of CNN’s In Depth: Listening Tour coverage.

Sarah came out to W Rockland Street in Germantown to shoot the segment that very night. We talked for nearly two hours about what it’s like living in Philadelphia and why we love it, local politics and government, and issues that are important to us. We had a great time talking with Sarah! We took her on a tour of the block, she met lots of neighbors and got to check out the demolition site of the blighted houses (now just a dirt field).

It’s great for Philadelphia to have been included in this series. Politics aside, for us, the biggest statement that we want to share with the public is the importance of being an active citizen. It seems small to say,”Do what you can.” Yet, when you actually do what you can, the results can be tremendous. This reminds me of a favorite quote from Theodore Roosevelt: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Believe it!

The segment aired nationally on Thursday, June 9 during CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin. There are two other Philly voices featured in the piece: Ebony Baylis, a member of Youth United for Change, and Leroi Simmons, a pastor at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church. Hear what we all have to say! ~ Emaleigh

CNN: Philadelphia residents speak out on politics, budget cuts, jobs

June 10th, 2011 | 11:02 AM ET

Editor’s note: As part of its Listening Tour, CNN is reaching out to voters to hear what’s on their mind as the 2012 presidential campaign season kicks off. GOP hopefuls begin to ramp up the race Monday, when they debate the issues in New Hampshire. It all happens June 13 on CNN, and our mobile apps.

Philadelphia is the nation’s fifth-largest city, and just like most other places in the United States, it’s struggling with budget cuts, layoffs and crime.

As the 2012 election nears, Philly residents say their top concerns include political nepotism, joblessness and a struggling public education system:

“With government, it’s like you keep moving up, and you stay and you stay with your old ideas that don’t make sense, and they don’t work,” said Ainé Ardron-Doley, 34, a Philadelphia marketing manager.

Through their grass-roots revitalization efforts, Ainé and her sister Emaleigh persuaded Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter to move up the demolition of dilapidated houses in their neighborhood that have been abandoned for nearly 20 years.

“It’s the politician’s job to work for us, but it’s also the citizens’ job to work for ourselves and with government,” said Emaleigh, 27, a public relations and marketing manager.

Philadelphia resident Leroi Simmons, an associate pastor at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, wants elected officials to make good on their campaign promises and work diligently to assist the working poor.

“What would satisfy me would be folks who are who they say they are,” he says. “We have a lot of folks who are poor folks, who really need help, who really could use the political strength that we worked hard 20 or 30 years ago to build.”

Ebony Baylis, 21, is flexing her grass-roots muscle as a member of Youth United for Change, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of public education.

“Instead of cutting education and putting money into the police force and to military, they need to take the money from there and put in into out schools,” she said.

“Knowledge is power. We need knowledge. And without it, what are we gonna do?”

Find this story on CNN:



  • Pingback: CNN INTERVIEW REQUEST | Emaleigh Doley

  • Keep up the great piece of work, I read few blog posts on this web site and I think that your web blog is rattling interesting and contains bands of wonderful information.

  • Awesome to see you and your block on national news! Your “block by block” approach supports the idea that every success is in fact a series of small steps. Thanks for stepping out to improve Rockland Street, Germantown, and Philly!

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