If Elected Sheriff, She’ll Go To Jail!

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NO FORECLOSURES, promises Cheri Honkala.

Neither Democrat State Rep. Jewell Williams (D-N. Phila.) nor Republican Joshua West may be aware, and most voters won’t know until the week before Nov. 3, Cheri Honkala, the feisty, nationally renowned crusader for the homeless, will be also seeking the office for Sheriff, on the Green Party ticket.

Yet she opened her campaign office recently as the Green candidate on the ballot and will be listed in column three.

If she is elected, she believes it won’t be long after she will find herself escorted to prison by State Troopers wearing the badge of the County Sheriff. She states that is because she refuses to evict families from their homes due to foreclosure.

“It is understandable,” she says. “The laws, that proscribe what the Sheriff must do, go contrary to what is morally right for the poor, who are being thrown out of their homes, mostly with no fault of their own and without representation.”

She adds, “Few politicians want to challenge the banks. I will immediately cease posting writs of eviction on the doors of needy Philadelphians requested by the banks and other mortgage holders.”

She’s running because she says, “I’ve been working on housing issues for the last 25 years and I feel the majority of politicians are lacking the backbone to insure we have a moratorium on foreclosures.”

Neither of the main party candidates should take her lightly. There is Hollywood, Cal., money coming to her, since her son actor Mark Webber is now very successful and busy in Hollywood. His latest film is Scott Pilgrim Versus the World.

He’s not only contributing to her, but raising bucks from colleagues, who consider his mother a class act herself.

“I expect to see thousands of small contributions from like-minded people throughout the country. We have seen scheduled for us, as of now, 56 house parties across the country. President Obama gathered in millions that way, and though I don’t have national press all the time, I have had enough that I now serve as a symbol for the thousands who find themselves in financial straits,” said Honkala.

She knows the pain, since her “own baby sister, a homeowner of 20 years and a full-time SEIU worker, lost her home. Her husband had been laid off for six months. They applied for all the relief programs, but the bank refused to modify the loan, doubling the mortgage, since she was forced to refinance.”

Honkala has been arrested over 200 times, all for civil disobedience, plus resisting arrest, assaulting police officers. “I was found guilty of obstructing the view of the Liberty Bell, by bringing in a half dozen homeless families and placing them between the bell and the public. I had to report daily for six months to a federal probation officer and I have a stay-away order from Independence Park.”

Her most recent confrontation resulted in her being charged with seven felonies “when I brought 200 homeless people to the opening of the Constitution Center, even though I had a ticket to the event myself.”

Her hearing brought out a packed audience, surprisingly not of supporters but of police officers, who were not cheering her on. The testimony of several officers as to her assaulting them was repudiated by a film taken of the entire event.

“Unfortunately, they needed a fall guy,” she said. “The arresting officer was suspended from the force.”

She lodged a suit against the City for unlawful arrest and settled out of court for $22,000 – $1,000 for each year she would have gotten if found guilty.

Honkala says, “I’ve got a team behind me that swears we can win this one and I’m giving it my best.”

She already has a website promoting her campaign for Sheriff. It’s www.cherihonkala.com. Her office is opening Apr. 1 at 718 Market St. Its phone number is (888) 434-7914.

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