5TH SQUARE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER: March 1, 2018

ACTION ITEMS 

Despite over 800 people signing our petition opposing City Council's latest attack on safe streets for biking and walking, we're hearing Council may have the votes to pass bill No. 180134, that would require a City Council ordinance whenever any regular painted bike lanes are upgraded to protected bike lanes, or undergo any other modifications. Sign and share our petition to tell them to rescind the bill. Then, call your Councilmember and log their response on our Whip Count spreadsheet.

Do you want a vote on 5th Square's political endorsements in the 2018 primary elections? Become a member by March 6th to become a voting member and get involved with our electoral work this year. Membership comes with access to 5th Square's Slack channel, members-only events and briefings, and advance registration opportunities for events.


EVENTS

Thursday, March 1, 6:30 pm
Edmund N. Bacon Awards + Talk: Honoring Enrique Peñalosa
This event will honor Enrique Peñalosa for his legacy as Mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, where he used his position to invest in the City’s marginalized communities; building and reconstructing hundreds of kilometers of sidewalks, bicycle paths, pedestrian streets, greenways, and more than 1,200 parks. Winners of this year’s 2018 Better Philadelphia Challenge will be honored at the ceremony.

Sunday, March 4, 11:00 am
Sheila SunShine Day
On Sunday, March 4, Dirty Franks will host “Sheila SunShine Day,” a block party fundraiser to benefit longtime bartender Sheila Modglin. Modglin was nearly killed after a motorist slammed into her as she tried to cross Lincoln Drive the night of the Eagles parade. Costs for medical procedures expected to be required for her recovery are daunting, and the Modglin family has set up a fund to help pay for them. All proceeds from the Dirty Franks block party will go to that fund. This party will have everything Sheila loved and enjoyed when she was healthy — food, drink, kids, arts, music and games.

Tuesday, March 13th, 5:30 pm
5th Square Volunteer Open House
Interested in volunteering with 5th Square to help build Philly’s urbanist political movement? On March 13th, come grab a beer with the 5th Square team and our current volunteers, and learn more about our ongoing initiatives, and the campaigns we’d like to take on if we had more helping hands. Our team has room for everyone, from experienced activists and organizers to energetic newcomers looking to learn more about city government or urbanism politics.

Saturday, April 14, 9:00 am
TransportationCamp PHL2018
The inaugural Philadelphia incarnation of the participant-driven TransportationCamp conference series follows the “unconference” format, lending itself to a more pertinent, thought-provoking, and active event. Whether you work in the industry or simply have an interest, come prepared for an exciting day of ideas situated at the intersection of transportation, technology, and urbanism.


NEWS

Mayor Jim Kenney claims to be committed to a street-sweeping program, but don’t expect to see any cleaners on your block anytime soon. The city declined on Thursday to comment on a specific timeline for a program or a pilot. The news comes on the heels of the release of a new data mapping tool that shows that most of the city’s trash is litter that could be picked up by one person — or more effectively, by street-sweepers. The interactive, geo-located Litter Index maps the heaviest concentrations of litter and illegal dumping in the city’s poorest neighborhoods. But even though the city has better, and more coordinated information about where litter exists, they still aren't ready to commit to sweeping it away, as Mayor Kenney promised during his 2015 campaign. Spokesman Mike Dunn named three major obstacles to bringing back the service: a lack of “citywide buy-in; the impact on parking and overall cost." Read and share this op-ed by 5th Square's West Philly organizer and Not in Philly founder Dave Brindley on why bringing back streetsweeping is a must.

Affordable housing nonprofit Mission First Housing Group and community-oriented services organization Horizon House broke ground on a four-story community services and retail complex at 59th and Market streets on Friday. The $50 million New Market West development promises to transform a trash-strewn lot partially occupied by a parking lot, an abandoned house and a gas station into a 137,700-square-feet, retail-fronted complex that provides space for early childhood education, workforce development, and educational, emergency, behavioral health services. A $15 million second phase of construction will bring 40 units of affordable housing to the site, located in the shadow of the El Station at 60th and Market streets. City and state officials present at the groundbreaking said that the tax credit-subsidized development would revitalize an area that saw businesses close and street life lost during a decade-long renovation of the Market-Frankford line chugging overhead.

The Philadelphia Parking Authority is now exploring the possibility of using cameras already mounted on SEPTA’s buses to keep people from parking in bus stops. Officials estimated that up to 2,000 times a day a vehicle blocks a bus stop in the city including delivery trucks, ride-share pickups, or cars stopped while drivers run errands. If more aggressively enforced, the number of violations could initially generate tens of millions of dollars in revenue for the PPA. Blocking the bus stop, SEPTA officials said, creates problems for passengers who are unable to step into the vehicle, is less safe to board or get off the bus, and also worsens traffic problems. The Philadelphia Parking Authority has the authority to enforce bus stop parking violations, but typically only does when enforcement personnel see the violation. To make it happen, though, would likely require new legislation from Harrisburg to authorize the use of SEPTA’s cameras for enforcement.


OPPORTUNITIES
The Center for Architecture + Design is hiring a Community Outreach and Program Coordinator

The City's Office of Sustainability is hiring an Equity Fellow

Delaware River Waterfront Corporation is hiring a Cherry Street Pier Manager


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. Our work is made possible by generous, passionate people like you. Support our advocacy. 

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