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April is Jazz Appreciation Month. The City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection got the party started early with the Philly Celebrates Jazz kickoff on March 28th.
Mayor Jim Kenney proclaimed April as Philadelphia Jazz Appreciation Month. He also honored Philly native and Grammy Award-winning bassist and composer Christian McBride who was given an inscribed Liberty Bell, the equivalent of the key to the city.
Christian McBride is an ambassador of Philadelphia to the world, not only through his music, but also through his work as an educator and advocate for music education. “Christian’s story and accomplishments demonstrates the power of arts education, in our schools and communities, and the impact it can have on a person’s life and how we can encourage and build the next generation of musicians, artists, and creative thinkers.
The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts was also recognized on its 50th anniversary. The Clef Club was the social arm of Union Local 274, the black musicians union.
Philly Celebrates Jazz includes live performances, film screenings and art exhibitions. Now on view at City Hall are two photography exhibitions, Live Philly Jazz – Through the Photographic Lens and The Clef Club at 50, a retrospective curated by Don Gardner, Managing Director of the Philadelphia Clef Club, and Artistic Director Lovett Hines.
For a full calendar of Philly Celebrates Jazz events, visit http://bit.ly/PhillyJazzMonth.
Thursday is Data Privacy Day, “an international effort held annually on January 28 to create awareness about the importance of privacy and protecting personal information.”
I’m an open data advocate who’s equally concerned about privacy. So on Saturday, I nearly spilled my coffee when I read that Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt disclosed that two critics of his office missed voting in some elections. Schmidt shared the data in retaliation to their calls to abolish the elections commission which is “led” by a chairman who doesn’t vote and seldom shows up at the office.
As a longtime voting rights activist, I want people to vote. I also want them to stay engaged beyond Election Day because that’s how you bring about change. That said, I believe one’s voting habit is no one’s business unless that person is receiving a taxpayer-funded six-figure salary to oversee elections.
Indeed, at last year’s Code for Philly Apps for Democracy Hackathon, I expressed my dismay that a team had developed an app, Social Voting, which would allow users to check to see whether their neighbors voted. Vote-shaming is of a piece with slut-shaming and fat-shaming.
Disclosing voting data sows distrust of government. If private citizens believe their voting record will be open to public scrutiny, they will be reluctant to register to vote.