What Helen Gym really wanted

Philadelphia’s favorite harridan, City Council member Helen Gym, was arrested Wednesday — according to her plan — in Harrisburg as she put on a show of demanding more money for schools from the Republican-majority legislature.

Mouth always open, Helen Gym’s dream comes true — arrest. (Photo: Philadelphia Inquirer)

As she knew going in, there would be no more money, and disrupting activities — as she promised — destroyed any remote possibility of increased funding ($1 billion proposed by Gov. Tom Wolf.)

Seattle’s tainted gift to Philadelphia, Gym didn’t really want more money, she wanted more publicity, which she got, casting herself as the Joan of Arc of Philadelphia schools. Alas, no stake was available.

Protest organizers and Gym said that they would engage in “civil disobedience” and “disrupt business as usual in the General Assembly to make sure lawmakers in the Capitol hear this call for justice.”

They heard, but shrugged.

Gym and several members of the interfaith group POWER had been outside the Senate chamber for about 15 minutes, banging on the doors and demanding they be let in. They were handcuffed, and taken into custody for trespassing. Their actions were shameless, and pointless.

On the internet, there were outraged cries for her to resign, coming mostly from Republicans who completely misunderstand the dynamics.

They say lawmakers should not be lawbreakers (in a city that breaks the law by shielding foreign felons), and hope to shame her. Shame? That’s like trying to shame a maggot for eating garbage. 

Gym’s arrest photo probably will be used on her campaign website when she runs for mayor, to replace the hapless Jim Kenney. 

How would she react if someone interrupted Council meetings, some asked?

Most likely, she would do nothing because progressives like her have an entirely different idea about law and order than do traditional Americans. 

In 2017, Mayor Kenney and Council President Darrell Clarke let a couple of disorderly goofs break up a news conference. I wrote about it, including some other disruptions.

To be clear — nonviolent civil disobedience is legitimate.

So is the response — arrest and jail time.

But when you have spineless leaders, don’t count on it.

15 thoughts on “What Helen Gym really wanted”

  1. I read the comics and obits and some sports and not necessarily in that order, digitally. I’m a Sunday print subscriber only, except holidays. Why I got one on my doorstep this morning, no idea?
    So I read about Helen… WHATSHERNAME?

  2. What bothers me most about a Helen Gym is not her staged arrest and her religious props but the gullible system of beliefs prevalent in the city that will buy the facade. I notice prop-one is a gigantic Reverand in full Sunday garb to paint religious support for her stunt. A photograph at the ready shows an Oriental woman being placed in handcuffs just seeking more funding for Philadelphia Schools. I venture she has very little knowledge of the failure rate to produce graduates who can read but are still allowed to leave to enter a job market or sadly college without the skills to succeed. Since the sixties and seventies, Philadelphia’s legislative leadership has traveled to Harrisburg to lobby for more funding for our schools and have to wait for the rest of the state to fund their own schools before throwing another bone into a system that continually changes political appointees on the Board of Education and bends over backward for the support of the teachers union. I give her credit for using theatre-type antics to gain status as a fighter for more school funding yet the Harrisburg process of funding will respond as always with the lowest per-student rate possible. There is a court case to increase the amount per student but won’t be heard until next year and an increase in funding will take place years from now. The often-used phrase “political whore” seems appropriate as a by-line to your column.

  3. She’s a carpet-bagger. Not unlike PA Gov. Tom Wolf. But she’s a deranged, unhinged, obnoxious ass-hole. Wolf’s merely an ass-hole.

  4. A true PITA. More money for schools? Read: more money for unionized teachers. Understand this: there will NEVER be ‘enough money’ for schools, nor will there EVER be small enough class sizes. It’s all a grift, and people like this PITA are the grifters..

    As you and most of the bloggers here know. There is so much wrong in the Commonwealth, that it will take more than a broom to clean things up.
    As was pointes out. The teachers need to learn a few things. Mostly, the bottomless money pit does indeed have a bottom. Doing the job that they were hired to do would be a pretty good idea as well.
    Money. That’s that thing that most people don’t have. The city, through poor management, drives business OUT of the city, not welcomed INTO the city.
    Can it be fixed. Sure. Will it be fixed ? Nah.

  6. After reading some articles on BIG TRIAL, the real question we should be asking ourselves is if Helen Gym has any talent in singing, dancing or playing a musical instrument. She sure can act.

  7. Whatever you think of Helen Gym, and I’m not a fan. She’s not wrong. The GOP in Harrisburg had been holding out on Philadelphia Schools for years! Contrary to popular opinion the city provides more than their share of revenue to the Commonwealth. Regarding this issue Helen Gym is the broken clock that’s sometimes right.

    1. And when Kenney “took back” control of the schools, as Gym wanted, the city lost leverage over the state. (This analysis courtesy of John Street)
      Shouting “shame, shame” is utterly meaningless.

    2. Mr. Yusem,
      I respectfully disagree. The PSD is among the poorest run businesses on the planet. With an annual budget exceeding $3 Billion they make every excuse in the world why they can’t provide a quality education & constantly rail for more money. If their budget was doubled they would still sing the same song.

      As suggested by Mr. Bykofsky, Councilwoman Gym’s performance was strictly theatrical.

      I hope you & all readers have an exceptional weekend!

    3. Spend spend spend. For what? Let’s see a forensic audit from an outside firm with no ties to anyone in Philadelphia or the state. Can you imagine what that would look like?

  8. Will someone please ask Helen, exactly how much funding per annum, per student is adequate? I think you would get a smarmy evasive answer. This issue is, and has always been about funding teachers, administrators, school suppliers etc….

  9. Mr. Bykofsky,

    The most pressing maters for City Council today are:

    1. Reduction of their salaries. Five years ago each Council Member raked in $130K each year- I’m certain it’s higher now. These pay scales are reserved for those who deliver results.

    2. Invoking term limits. These overpaid do-nothings should be shown the door after two terms (note: I could easily be persuaded to set it at one).

    p.s.- I am still not receiving email notifications of your posts.

    1. The notification problem, the result of apparent sabotage, is corrected.
      Per term limits, we have them — every four years. I don’t believe in mandated limits.

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