Cheri Honkala runs as Robin Hood to become Sheriff of Philadelphia
By John Grant
Some men rob you with a six gun.
Some do it with a fountain pen.
“Pretty Boy Floyd”
We hear a lot about what democracy is about in America. Some of it is true and some of it is the usual boilerplate crap. Whatever you hear about the Cheri Honkala Green Party campaign for Sheriff of Philadelphia – and of course there’s a lot of crap going around -- one thing is true, it’s real democracy in action.
Honkala is a well-known poor people’s activist in Philadelphia who, over the years, has organized large street demonstrations and even gotten herself arrested a good number of times occupying homes and doing other actions to call attention to the plight of the poor. Some say Honkala is out to destroy decency and good government. One writer in Philadelphia referred to her in his headline as an “outlaw” and in his lead as “Philly’s most famous embodiment of grass-roots guerilla protestdom.”
I prefer to use one of the most famous sheriff references in world literature. I see Cheri Honkala as Robin Hood. Instead of running around in green tights and using swords and arrows to engage the wicked Sheriff of Nottingham, she's using the ballot box to take the Sheriff of Nottingham's job.
The central plank of Honkala’s campaign is a determination to stop the evictions of poor and middle-class homeowners whose mortgages have been foreclosed on by banks and lenders. There’s no mystery or sleight of hand; anyone who votes for Honkala knows what he or she is voting for: A revamped Sheriff’s Office with a new mission to counter the pirate-style economics of the moment.
Making the race even more interesting, one of her potential opponents – John Kromer – is running in the Democratic primary to eliminate the office. On his first day in office, he says he will begin the process of transferring all the Sheriff’s Office tasks to the mayor’s office and other city agencies. Those tasks include evictions and sheriff sales of foreclosed homes, as well as transport of inmates to and from court appearances and courthouse security.
When Kromer was the city’s housing director under Mayor Ed Rendell, he actually had Honkala arrested a couple times for holding vigils outside his office. Mayor Rendell referred to Honkala as “a pebble in my shoe,” a references that makes Honkala smile...
For the rest of this article by JOHN GRANT in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent alternative online newspaper, please go to: ThisCantBeHappening!