Newsletter: Meet-up This Thursday with 2020 Candidates 🗳️ | SEPTA needs Transparency 🚇 | Candidate Questionnaire Responses 📋

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 103


We are gearing up for the 2020 Election Season!  Pennsylvania's primary is early this year on April 28th because of the Presidential election, and candidates running for state office will be on the ballot too. Learn about the state of the primaries and meet some of the candidates running at our monthly meet-up.

On Thursday, February 13th, we'll be in our new home base at Kismet - Spring Arts, and will be welcoming candidates for PA State Senate and House.

This will be a great opportunity to come and get to know the candidates running in your district, hear their takes on urbanist topics, and sign some petitions to help them get on the ballot.

Check out the candidates' responses to our state legislative questionnaire on our new Election Center page.

These meet-ups are casual social gatherings, and are intended as a fun way for new and existing supporters to connect with other people involved with 5th Square and urbanist issues in Philadelphia, either professionally or in a volunteer/activist capacity, and learn more about what our all-volunteer organization is up to.

If you've been meaning to check out one of our events or meetings but haven't made it out yet, this will be a good first one to come to. And please bring a friend or two!

We are holding our process for 5th Square endorsements over the next few weeks. 

Join us as a member for as little as $5 a month to help us decide who to endorse for this election cycle!



Tuesday, February 11th, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Walk 52nd: Community Design Meeting
The Enterprise Center is working to make 52nd Street an easier and safer place to travel to and on, and a more attractive and vibrant place to shop and do business. Join them Tuesday to hear what they’ve learned so far, and comment on initial design concepts.

Tuesday, February 11th, 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
2020 Edmund N. Bacon Urban Design Awards
Join the Center for Architecture and Design in honoring Majora Carter and the student winners of the 2020 Edmund N. Bacon Urban Design Awards.

Wednesday, February 12th, 5:30 - 7:30 PM
oTIS - Improvements for the Intersection of Cottman, Rising Sun and Oxford
You're invited to join the conversation with City of Philadelphia Government to discuss a new design for the Five Points intersection to create safer conditions around the Honor Square War Memorial.

Thursday, February 13th, 6 - 8 PM
*** 5th Square's February Monthly Meet-up ***
Join us at Kismet Cowork Spring Arts (448 N. 10th St), where we will be welcoming candidates for the upcoming PA State legislative races ahead of the upcoming April primary.

Friday, February 14th, 5:30 - 7:00 PM
Winter Bike to Work & Wherever Day
Join the Bicycle Coalition as they celebrate this day.  Whether you’re on a bike or not, coming from work or wherever, stop by Yards Brewery on February 14th to hang & make valentines with your favorite local bike advocates.

Saturday, February 22nd, 1 - 3 PM
Transit Equity Day Town Hall
The Philadelphia Transit Equity Coalition invites you to our second annual Transit Equity Day celebration. Join for a two hour town hall-style discussion on how we can create a more equitable transportation system in Philadelphia.



Thank you to everyone who responded to this week's action alert from the Bicycle Coalition that we promoted to prevent Senator Sabatina's poison pill amendment from derailing SB565, the parking protected bike lane and pedestrian plaza bill. Because of you, Senators on the transportation committee received over 1,500 communications overnight and Senator Sabatina withdrew the amendment!

The bill passed the PA Senate Transportation Committee thanks, in large part, to your calls and emails. It now heads to a full vote, so it's not time to pull back yet. If you haven't let your elected officials know where you stand, please call or email them today.

Thanks to the Bicycle Coalition for heading up this effort and moving quickly! Read more about it at their blog post here.


Check out our latest Inquirer opinion piece from 5th Square Transit organizers Michael Noda and Daniel Trubman calling for more transparency from SEPTA in light of the surprise news of a defect affecting Market-Frankford Line subway cars and the recent Route 15 stumbles.

The riding public expects better.


Illegal median parking is popping up in more places thanks to the lack of city enforcement, according to Inga Saffron's latest piece calling attention to the city vehicles still parked in the middle of Ben Franklin Parkway.

The Kenney administration's decision to let car owners park illegally wherever they want with no consequences leads to toxic transportation politics and unreasonable expectations from motorists that the city will always bend to their will. That bleeds over into all kinds of other important issues related to the city's Vision Zero commitments, street cleaning, and more. The City harms their own ability to deliver these things politically by bending the knee to illegal parkers.

(Image Credit: Inga Saffron / Philadelphia Inquirer)



At SEPTA's capital budget open house, the public had a chance to comment on the transit agency's priorities for future spending. WHYY covered this meeting, and found support for trolley modernization, accessibility improvements, restoration of rail service beyond Elwyn and more.

(Image Credit: CRRC Corporation Limited)




The Philadelphia Inquirer | Kenyatta Johnson’s indictment is serious bad news for City Council | Editorial

WHYY | Why Philly Council still backs the tradition at the center of Kenyatta Johnson’s FBI case

The Philadelphia Inquirer | Kenyatta Johnson has new sway over zoning powers — which the feds just accused him of abusing


The Philadelphia Inquirer | Philly spends $48 million a year to clean up litter, Pa. report finds

Pennsylvania Capital-Star | With eye on climate future, Pennsylvania makes allowances in cap-and-trade proposal for fossil fuel past | Pennsylvania Capital-Star


Billy Penn | New Philly cafe and restaurant coming to 200-year-old ammunition factory


The Philadelphia Inquirer | Tickets alone won’t solve Philly’s parking woes | Editorial

The Philadelphia Inquirer | E-bike setback shouldn’t detour Philly cycling | Editorial

WHYY | No farecard, no problem: PATCO moves to let riders pay with their phones

University City Review | Will SEPTA Save, Sell or Scrap the Last of our old Trolleys?




The Board Prep Program hosted by Young Involved Philadelphia (YIP) is a 7-week intensive training program supporting young professionals who are interested in being nonprofit board members - or who already serve on boards - and are seeking an education in thoughtful, engaged, and dedicated board service. (Due 3/6)

TransportationCamp PHL is pleased to present the first ever TranspoCamp academic award for undergraduate and graduate students! Please prepare a response to the following prompt.

The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals Delaware Valley Chapter is now proud to announce the first edition of regional APBP Delaware Valley Awards, including the first ever APBP Delaware Valley Professional of the Year and the first ever APBP Delaware Valley Project of the Year. Applications will be reviewed by the APBP Delaware Valley Board of Directors, as well guest judges to be announced soon. Please submit all nominations to [email protected]. (Due 2/21)

Clean Air Council wants to hear from you about your vision for the former refinery site, tell you about how to provide input into the remediation planning process of the site, and discuss how to advance policies that would promote public health and safety at the refinery site and the entire city.

Serve Philadelphia is holding its Civic Engagement Academy.  The Civic Engagement Academy is about inspiring local community change through training and skills development.

Nominations are also open for the Clean Air Commuter Award. Do you or someone you know brave snow covered sidewalks, rainy bike rides, or early morning small talk to get to work each day, reflecting your commitment to the environment? Enter the most dedicated sustainable commuter you know in our annual Clean Air Commuter of the Year award! Fill out this form to nominate a Clean Air Commuter! Nominations for the Clean Air Commute Awards close on March 15, 2020.

Nominate a Clean Air Commute Employer! The Clean Air Council is looking to honor the most sustainable-commute-friendly, Philly-based employer!

SEPTA Citizen Advisory Committee - Membership Application - this group is made up of transit riders representing Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties. There are currently a number of vacant positions and we are seeking transit riders, from across the SEPTA service region to apply to become a CAC member.


Treephilly: Become a Community Partner - Apply for the Community Yard Tree Giveaway Grant. (Due 2/13)

DVRPC's Competitive Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) seeks to fund transportation projects that will improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion in the DVRPC Region. CMAQ eligible projects will demonstrably reduce air pollution emissions and help the DVRPC region meet the federal health based air quality standards.

Grants for play in PhiladelphiaKaBOOM! and William Penn Foundation invite you to apply for Play Everywhere Philly, an exciting new program awarding $1M to support child development and literacy skills through play installations in Philadelphia.  Idea Form due 3/6/2020.

DVRPC is accepting applications for the TCDI grant program through February 21, 2020. The program is available to all municipal and county governments, as well as transit agencies within the Greater Philadelphia region. Up to $1,800,000 may be available for TCDI grants: $1,200,000 in Pennsylvania and $600,000 in New Jersey. Visit to read the program guidelines and application schedule. Due 2/21.

PWD’s Soak It Up Adoption program. This grant-based green stormwater infrastructure (‘GSI’) monitoring and engagement program is actively seeking new partners for 2020. The bottom line is that civics and nonprofits who are eligible can receive small, annual grants to care for constructed GSI within their borders. The program is built upon a two-prong approach of weekly GSI site visits, and reporting, as well as community engagement.

PHDC is pleased to issue this Request for Proposals to owners and/or property managers (on behalf of owners) of affordable housing properties with income-restricted rental units that were built or substantially renovated with federal, state or local subsidies.  PHDC is seeking Respondents who are interested in participating in a new program (Shallow Rent Pilot Program) designed to provide monthly rent vouchers, not to exceed $300/month, to tenants who are leasing units in the City of Philadelphia at rent levels that exceed 30% of their gross income. (Due 3/9)


Philadelphia Parks & Recreation is seeking an RSI - Swim Philly Coordinator

When We All Vote is seeking a National Regional Organizer

Conservation Voters of PA - Chester County Coordinator

WHYY - Multimedia Content Producer

PolicyMap seeks a Data Analyst to contribute to the Data and Content Development Team by sourcing, acquiring, maintaining and curating data for our online data and mapping services.

JMT - Studio Director/Principal - Architecture

Benefits Data Trust (BDT) is seeking a Policy Analyst to help develop and advance solutions to improve access to critical benefits and services so that people can live healthier and more economically secure lives.

The Office of State Senator Art Haywood is looking for a Full-Time District Representative.

City of Philadelphia - The Office of Performance Management - Performance Management Analyst

City of Philadelphia - Rebuild - Assistant Financial Manager

University City District - Manager, Transportation and Economic Research

City of Philadelphia - Office of Diversity and Inclusion - Director of ADA Compliance

The Office of Corridor Planning at DVRPC seeks a thoughtful and organized planner or engineer to participate in and lead regionally significant multimodal planning projects.

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia - Research Assistants

Pennsylvania Voice - Field and Program Associate, Operations Manager, Western PA Civic Engagement Manager


The Office of Mayor William Peduto is undertaking a nationwide search to hire a City Planning Director for the City of Pittsburgh. 

The Office of the Philadelphia City Controller is seeking a General Counsel

The City of Philadelphia's Department of Planning and Development, Division of Development Services is seeking a Project Coordinator

The Office of Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District) seeks a motivated individual who is committed to public service to serve as a Legislative Aide.

The Office of Budget and Program Evaluation is seeking an Assistant Budget Director for Analysis & Communications in its Budget Office.

The Connelly Foundation is seeking a Program Assistant

US General Services Administration is seeking a Fine Arts Specialist

The City of Philadelphia's Law Department is seeking a Director of Professional Development, Diversity & Inclusion

AFSCME is seeking a Political Action Representative

United Way of Greater Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey is seeking a Private Philanthropy Officer, Leadership Giving & Women United

American Rivers is seeking an Urban Stormwater Associate Director

The Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation is seeking a Director of Institutional Giving

Now hiring crossing guards: part-time job with benefitsThe City of Philadelphia is now hiring crossing guards to help students walk safely to and from schools.

South Philly Food Co-op is hiring managers, clerks and cashiers.  Hiring deadline extended!

City of Philadelphia, Dept of Public Health - Fiscal and Project Tracking Manager

Capital Access Project and Grants Management Services (CAPGMS) seeks to engage a programmer on a contract basis to help establish as many automated functions as possible within the Office 365 platform of programs and applications to make the user-experience as secure and efficient as possible for CAPGMS Clients and CAPGMS staff.

Philly Startup Leaders (PSL) is hiring a Community Engagement Coordinator

CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia seeks a full-time Finance Coordinator to join the Finance & Operations team.

Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is hiring the following positions: Associate Director, Trees; Associate Director of Volunteers and Competitive Classes; Program Manager, Gardener Engagement; Field Coordinator; Horticulture Intern; Human Resources Intern

The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) is seeking a Software Engineer

The Lenfest Local Lab is looking for a community-focused email newsletter editor to oversee a series of exciting neighborhood newsletter pilot projects in collaboration with The Philadelphia Inquirer in 2020.

The Philadelphia Chapter of AIA (American Institute of Architects) and the Center for Architecture and Design are seeking a communications and social media coordinator for both the Chapter and the Center.

Neighborhood Bike Works is seeking a Youth Program Director and Mechanic/Sales Manager.

Transportation Management Association of Chester County (TMACC) seeks a creative, reliable and well-organized Office Administrator

The Economy League of Greater Philadelphia is seeking an entrepreneurial, team-oriented professional with program management experience to direct the Philadelphia Anchors for Growth and Equity (PAGE) program.

Delaware River Port Authority is seeking a Sr. Engineer - Grade 12

LISC Philadelphia seeks a self-motivated individual to fill a Program Assistant position.


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.