Dear community partners, friends,
Happy Lunar New Year and hope everyone is doing well!We would like to share with you the following event that has good information for Asian and new immigrant community organizers.
Chinese Community Online Town Meeting
Special guest speaker： Dr. Louis Brown,
President of Rising Sun Business Association
( Conduct mainly in Chinese Mandarin with English interpretation)
Date: Saturday February 20, 2021, 10:30am - 11:15am
ZOOM.US, Meeting ID: 7398157993
Join online: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/
(No registration is required)
Dr. Brown, will be sharing his three decades of experience and efforts in bringing services and improvements to the Rising Sun Avenue Commercial Corridor in Northeast Philadelphia, in how he gains public resources and support from elected officials, and unites the community stakeholders to improve the streetscape, public safety, sanitation, parking issues, etc.
Hosted by the Philadelphia Chinese Chamber of Commerce (PCCC)
with the support of the Northeast Philadelphia Chinese Association (NEPCA)
【Dr. Brown 分享争取公共资源故事】
街景，治安，卫生，停车问题等是新移民需要吸取的知识， 请来听旭日商业协会会长路易斯· 布朗医生分享他二十多年在费城东北区为旭日大道商业走廊带来服务 和实际改进的心路旅程。请商家和社区组织者不要错过. 有中英翻译.
特别嘉宾：Dr. Louis Brown, President of Rising Sun Business Association
Transcript of Dr. Louis A. Brown
Speech to the Philadelphia Chinese Chamber of Commerce on February 20, 2021
It is with both an honor and with great humility that I have accepted this opportunity from my dear friend, Mingchu Pearl Huynh to present to the Philadelphia Chinese Chamber of Commerce regarding my efforts to help revitalize the Rising Sun Avenue Business Corridor, where my dermatology practice has resided for over three decades.
Before discussing these revitalization efforts, I will first tell you a little about myself and then tell of the profound respect I have both for history and accomplishments of Chinese people in Philadelphia and beyond.
I was born and raised in New York City where in my first eighteen year I resided in a low income housing project called the Washington Houses, in East Harlem, in the borough of Manhattan. My divorced mother Henrietta Brown raised my two older sisters and me in a cramped two bedroom apartment on the fourteenth floor of a high rise building. From this humble background, the caring guidance of a loving mother and supportive sisters I embarked on my academic journey. I excelled academically through the New York City Public School system, ultimately graduating from the prestigious Stuyvesant High School. From there I attended Princeton University from which I graduated with a degree in chemistry. I then entered the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. While there I did research on a skin condition affecting Africian-American males who shave their faces, called pseudofolliculitis barbae. Following a one year internship in internal medicine at Lankenau Hospital on Philadelphia’s Main Line, I commenced my dermatology residency at Howard University Hospital in Washington D.C. which historically has trained legends of Africian-American physicians. While at Howard I published research on both previous research on pseudofolliculitis barbae and research at Howard for another condition affecting African-Americans called keloids.
Following this academic journey, I started practice in Philadelphia. From initially renting space in the office of my dermatology residency mentor, Dr. Harold Pierce, I transferred my dermatology practice to the Lawndale Community Hospital, which at the time was one of the first hospitals in Philadelphia to have obtained a laser to use for dermatologic purposes. While building my dermatology practice in the Lawndale community, I consulted for the Philadelphia Health Department where I attended to the dermatologic diseases and conditions of people of all races and ethnicities at clinics in North Philadelphia, South Philadelphia, West Philadelphia, Southwest Philadelphia, Northeast Philadelphia, and Germantown.
When Lawndale Community Hospital closed in the early Nineties, I moved my dermatology practice to its current location just south of Levick Street on Rising Sun Avenue. As this community went through a demographic change, as many ethnic whites such as the Irish, Germans, Poles, and Italians moved out the suburbs; they were replaced by a more diverse population including African-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Middle Easterners, Indians, Pakistanis, Haitians, Brazilians and a multitude of other racial and ethnic groups. I had the opportunity to treat all of these individuals, including the white patients who continued to stay in the community, or who had returned from the suburbs for my dermatologic care.
As this demographic change was occurring, I was approached by stakeholders such as community leaders and local politicians to see if I would be interested in helping to revitalize the Rising Sun Avenue Business Corridor. I leapt at that opportunity and initially worked on a Project called the Rising Sun Avenue Revitalization Project created by Mark Orehowsky. That ambitious project sought to transform the streetscape of Rising Sun Avenue through sponsorship of both the City of Philadelphia and the State of Pennsylvania. I even redesigned my medical office building to conform with the facade design recommended by the consultants for this Project. The City was helpful in paying for this office renovation through its grant program within the Commerce Department called the Commercial Building Facade Improvement Program.
I then endeavored to work with community stakeholders to bring services and physical improvements to the Rising Sun Avenue Business Corridor. The election of Councilwoman Cherelle Parker in 2016 to the Ninth Councilmanic District where my office resides, started a long and successful process of revitalizing our Business Corridor. Knowing Councilwoman Parker from her days as an assistant to Councilwoman Tasco, she approached me to organize the business owners on Rising Sun Avenue to help improve the Business Corridor. Since most commercial property owners did not actually live in the area, and the business owners did not own their buildings, I found it hard to convince either parties to make physical improvements to their properties.
To overcome this impediment I commenced on a one man strategy to bring about change for issues that would have universal acceptance such as public safety, clean streets and aesthetic improvements of the streetscapes.
One of my first projects was to deal with the problem of public safety for pedestrians at the intersection of Rising Sun Avenue and Levick Street, a major East-West, North South crossroad in which motorists paid little heed to the safety of pedestrians attempting to legally cross the street. In fact, after having been almost hit by cars personally, while crossing at this intersection, I sprang to action to campaign to have a Red Light Camera installed at that intersection. By requesting legislative support from Councilwoman Parker, petitioning local businesses and residents, obtaining traffic studies, and finally testifying at City Council, I was able to win approval from both the Philadelphia City Council and Mayor Kenney. That Red Light Camera costing in excess of five million dollars was installed in 2019 and made a dramatic improvement in pedestrian and motorist safety.
On another matter of public safety, I fought to get police surveillance cameras for the Rising Sun Avenue Business Corridor. I followed the accepted protocol of requesting that the Police Captain at that time, for the Second Police District, Thomas McCain, send a formal request for a camera at the Rising Sun Avenue and Levick Street intersection. That request was rejected by the Police Department, however I was assured that funds from the Commerce Department would cover such an installation. When it did not appear that that funding would come through, I almost gave up in despair, when miraculously, a camera appeared one day. Neither the Police nor the Commerce Department was aware, so I sent a thank you letter to Mayor Kenney.
Subsequent to that minor victory, I became incensed to find that Castor Avenue Business Corridor had received fourteen police surveillance cameras funded by the Commerce Department. I expressed my displeasure to all of the governmental stakeholders I could think of. I then circulated a petition requesting more police surveillance cameras on Rising Sun Avenue, Levick Street, as well as a police substation on the 6000 block of Rising Sun Avenue. Lo and behold Rising Sun Avenue was bestowed with twenty one police surveillance cameras. The request for a Police station has previously been rejected by the highest Police Department officials, however recent homicides have made that need more pressing; and I am still campaigning to have a local Police Substation run by either the Philadelphia Police Department or the Pennsylvania State Police.
On another front I became incensed by the number of parking tickets that my patients were receiving from faulty parking meters despite putting in the proper coinage. When I received a ticket for the same reason my anger was transferred to requesting that the Pennsylvanian Attorney General investigate the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) for fraud; for knowingly issuing parking violation tickets at spaces where the parking officers knew the meters were malfunctioning. In response to that threat, PPA sped up their plans to bring the parking pay by phone option to not only the Rising Sun Avenue Business Corridor, but to all similar business corridors throughout the City of Philadelphia. That effort was followed by a petition I circulated the following year to request the installation of parking kiosks instead of the notoriously malfunctioning mechanical meters since many people did not use their cell phones to pay. In August of 2019, PPA agreed to replace the faulty parking meters in the City of Philadelphia with more reliable kiosks starting in the fall of 2019. Our Northeast area is slated to get these more reliable kiosks by the Fall of 2021 according to a high ranking PPA official.
As for clean streets, I have supported both Representative Jared Solomon and Councilwoman Cherelle Parker in their initiatives to bring State and City funding to routine Business Corridor street cleaning. To show my support for these initiatives I contributed financially to early street cleaning efforts, and more recently I have regularly swept and removed trash and debris from both the 6300 Block of Rising Sun Avenue where my office resides and the adjacent residential side streets to augment the wonderful efforts supplied by the governmental street cleaning contractors.
One last civic endeavor has been to enhance the appearance of the Rising Sun Avenue Business Corridor. Along these lines I have worked very closely with Mural Arts Philadelphia to create a mural to be placed at the Rising Sun Avenue and Levick Street Intersection. This is an ongoing effort and one which I would very much appreciate the Chinese Communities assistance in both financially and artistically in bringing to fruition. Such a mural and many more like it would help to visually enhance the appearance of our Business Corridor. These murals along with the street banner program planned for Castor and Bustleton Business Corridors supported by both Representative Jared Solomon and Councilwoman Cherelle Parker would go a long way to defining our Northeast neighborhood and give it a “Pride of Place”.
In closing I would be remiss if I did not recognize the hard and dedicated work of the standouts within the Philadelphia Chinese Community such as Mingchu Pearl Huynh, Dr. Yingzhang Lin, Dr. Allan Wong ，Mr. Richard Li and Mr. Jason Lam to name just a few. Unlike many of our citizens of Philadelphia, I have been something of an historian of the great strides of Chinese people dating back to over 5000 years ago. I am aware of the outstanding inventions which the Chinese people have brought to the world’s civilization. But also, am also aware of how Chinese were humiliated by Western and Japanese Civilizations in recent centuries; and how your indomitable people have fought back and reclaimed their righteous place as major contributors to society. As an African-American, I too look to see the realization of Dr. Martin Luther King's message of social justice for people of all race, creeds and ethnicities.
That said, I can only advise the Philadelphia Chinese Chamber of Commerce to continue to do what you are doing. Specifically, continue to reach out to your fellow citizens of all races, ethnicities and religions and continue to build coalitions. Continue to invest and maintain your businesses. Continue to nurture and educate your children as you have so able done. Continue to vote and support politicians who have your interest, and the interest of the City of Philadelphia at heart.
I have shared my experiences with you, but I too hold much respect for what the Chinese community has done to revitalize our Great City of Philadelphia. I have no doubt that your hardworking and generous community will continue to make its mark by adding your talents and investments in helping Philadelphia, the birthplace of American democracy, maintain its righteous position as one of the greatest Cities in America, if not the world.
Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to address such a distinguished and honored organization as the Philadelphia Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
Louis A. Brown, Jr., M.D.
(Translated by Felicia Liu)
我很荣幸也很谦卑地接受了我亲爱的朋友黄明珠提供的这次机会，向费城华商会介绍我为振兴我的皮肤病科诊所所在的朝阳大道（Rising Sun Ave）商业走廊所做的努力。我们已经在这里经营了三十多年。
在这次学术之旅之后，我开始在费城实习。从最初在我的皮肤病住院医生Harold Pierce的办公室租用空间，到后来我将皮肤病学工作转移到了Lawndale社区医院，当时这是费城第一家获得了将激光技术用于皮肤病学用途的医院。在Lawndale社区建立皮肤病学实践的过程中，我为费城卫生部提供咨询服务。在那里我为来自北费城，南费城，西费城，西南费城，东北费城以及German Town的各个种族和族裔的病人提供皮肤疾病和症状方面的咨询。
九十年代初当Lawndale社区医院关闭时，我将皮肤科诊所搬到了旭日大道（Rising Sun Ave。）Levick街以南的当前位置。随着该社区人口的变化，爱尔兰人，德国人，波兰人和意大利人等许多白人移居郊区。他们被更加多样化的人口所取代，其中包括非洲裔美国人，波多黎各人，墨西哥人，中国人，越南人，柬埔寨人，中东人，印度人，巴基斯坦人，海地人，巴西人以及许多其他种族和族裔群体。我于是得到机会治疗所有这些不同种族的人，包括继续留在社区中或从郊区返乡接受皮肤病治疗的白人患者。
我的第一个项目之一是处理旭日大道(Rising Sun Ave。)与莱维克街(Levick St。)交汇处的行人公共安全问题。这是贯穿东西、南北的主要十字路口，驾驶者几乎无视试图按次序过马路的行人的安全。事实上，当我自己有一次在穿越这个十字路口时几乎被汽车撞到后，便立即采取了行动，要求在那个十字路口安装一个交通摄像头。通过向女议员帕克寻求立法支持，替当地企业和居民向街道部门请愿，要求进行交通调查并最终在市议会作证，我得以赢得费城市议会和肯尼市长对此项目的批准。超过500万美元成本的交通摄像头终于于2019年被成功安装，因此大大改善了行人和驾车者的安全。
关于公共安全我所做出的另一项努力，是为旭日大道商业走廊购买警察监视摄像机。当时，我按照规定向时任第二警区的警察局长托马斯·麦凯恩（Thomas McCain）发出正式请求，要求在旭日大道（Rising Sun Avenue）和列维克街（Levick Street）的交叉路口安装摄像机。当时警察局拒绝了该请求，但是我确信，商务部的资金将用于此类安装。当资金似乎没有能够到位时，我几乎绝望地放弃了。但有一天摄像机竟奇迹般地出现了。警察和商务部都不知道它们从何而来。我注意到这一点，所以我给肯尼市长发了一封感谢信。
在那次小小的胜利之后，我很生气地发现Castor Avenue商业走廊收到了由商务部资助的十四部警察监视摄像机。我对我能想到的所有政府利益相关者表示不满。然后，我散发了一份请愿书，要求在Levick Street和Rising Sun Avenue上安装更多的警察监视摄像机以及在Rising Sun Avenue的6000街区建立一个警察分站。现在你们可以看到旭日大道上被安装了二十一部警察监视摄像机。以前，警察局最高官员拒绝了建立警察分站的要求，但是最近的凶杀案使这一要求更加迫切。目前我仍在努力让费城警察局或宾夕法尼亚州警察局运营一个本地警察分站。
最后，如果我没有意识到费城华人社区中杰出人物的辛勤工作，我将难以推托我的忽略。例如Mingchu Pearl Huynh，Lingzhang Lin博士，Allan Wong博士和Jason Lam先生，他们只是众多代表中的几例。与费城的许多公民不同，我一直是大步追溯中国人五千多年历史的历史学家。我知道中国人民为世界文明带来的杰出发明。而且，我也知道在最近几个世纪中，西方和日本文明对中国人的侮辱；以及你们顽强的人民如何进行反击并重新获得应有的地位，因此为社会做出的重大贡献。作为非裔美国人，我也希望看到马丁·路德·金博士为所有种族、信仰和族裔的人们所倡导的社会正义的信条得以实现。