5TH SQUARE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER: December 3, 2018

5th Square Holiday Party, Mayor Kenney at Design Advocacy Group,


5th Square is Philadelphia's urbanist political action committee. Our weekly newsletter reaches nearly 12,000 subscribers with the news, events, action alerts, and opportunities that advocates for better transportation, land use, and public space policies need to know about each week. Get involved to volunteer with our 2019 organizing and issue advocacy work, or make a donation to support our 2019 electoral work.

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ACTION

Don't miss the urbanist holiday gathering of the season! Come to 5th Square's 2018 Holiday Party Fundraiser on December 13th at Industrious, where we'll be celebrating another successful year of urbanist advocacy and growth for our organization, and raising funds to support our 2019 City Council campaign with our volunteers, friends, and a few of our favorite Council candidates running in next year's primary. RSVP for our Holiday Party Fundraiser

We're getting ready for next year's City Council primaries, and have already sent questionnaires out to a few candidates we're considering for early endorsements. To have a say on who 5th Square supports for Council next year, sign up to become a member today!


EVENTS

Wednesday, December 5th, 9:30 am
Philly YIMBY at Zoning Board of Adjustment
We're looking for some Philly YIMBY ('Yes In My Backyard') volunteers to attend Wednesday morning's Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting and speak on behalf of several substantial multi-family and mixed-use projects totaling 144 units of housing. Project details at the link. RSVP if you can attend.

Thursday, December 6th, 8:00 am
Mayor Kenney at Design Advocacy Group
Mayor Jim Kenney will be speaking about built environment issues at Design Advocacy Group's December meeting, which also features 
Sarah Clark Stuart, Executive Director of the Bicycle Coalition. Note the 8:00 am start time.

Thursday, December 6th, 6:30 pm
GRASP - December Meeting
Grassroots Advocacy for South Philadelphia's December meeting will feature a guest speaker from Project HOME, and they've also invited both 2nd District City Council candidates, Kenyatta Johnson and his primary challenger Lauren Vidas.

Monday, December 10th, 7:00 pm
Cedar Park Neighbors Transit Committee Kick-Off Meeting
Heads up Cedar Park readers: CPN is launching a Transit Committee to work on transportation issues in Cedar Park. Come to the inaugural meeting to get involved. They'll be discussing a possible Neighborhood Slow Zone application, some University City District projects in the neighborhood, and more.

Tuesday, December 11th, 6:00 pm
5th Square Transit Committee - Transit Equity Day Planning
Our final Transit Committee meeting of the year will be a platform planning conversation about Transit Equity Day, happening this February. 5th Square Transit is working in partnership with Philly 350POWER, and a host of other local organizations to raise issues to improve the lives of transit riders, and advance equitable and sustainable transit policies from SEPTA and City Hall.

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NEWS

5th Square chair Dena Driscoll and PPA Executive Director Scott Petri have dueling Inquirer op-eds debating the merits of the Parking Authority's "free" holiday weekend parking promotion. Driscoll makes the case that the promotion isn't necessary to attract suburban visitors, and is actually counterproductive if we want to make it easier to find parking. The Inquirer Editorial Board agrees

William Bender and Mark Fazlollah found even more suspicious "errors" in the City's paperwork for the city-owned vacant lots that 2nd District Councilman Kenyatta Johnson sold to a campaign contributor, who subsequently flipped them at a $165,000 profit. Johnson is being challenged in the primary next May by Lauren Vidas, an attorney and card-carrying 5th Square member.

Asked what he plans to do about ongoing SEPTA ridership declines, Mayor Kenney chose to blame factors beyond his control like misplaced federal and state preference for highway investment and suburban overrepresentation on SEPTA's board, rather than take responsibility for the important parts of the transit system he does control: namely, streets and zoning, and the City's local contribution to SEPTA—among the lowest per capita of any large U.S. city.

Karl Li calls for SEPTA to embrace a crowd-sourced approach to Service Design to improve the transit user experience. Sign up for our Transit Committee emails to learn more about this initiative and how you can help. 

Are Tom Wolf and PennDOT going to let Harrisburg fix State Street, literally the most dangerous street in America?  

How Mexico City fully eliminated their minimum parking requirements and became the world leader in parking reform

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OPPORTUNITIES

Penn Design announced the new Moelis Urban Scholars Program, a new scholarship and mentoring program for aspiring black and Latinx urban planners

SEPTA is hiring a Manager for Revenue and Ridership Analysis

The City of Philadelphia is hiring a Chief Data Officer and a Chief Geographic Information Officer

Fleischer Art Memorial is hiring a Director of Programs


5th Square is Philadelphia's urbanist political action committee.
 We're an all-volunteer grassroots organization advocating for safe and affordable transportation, abundant housing, and more and better public spaces. You’re receiving this email if you signed up via our website, attended one of our events, or supported one of our advocacy campaigns. Support our advocacy with a recurring monthly contribution of $5.

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