Newsletter: Our 2020 Candidate Endorsements | 🌰 Permanent Changes to Chestnut St | 🚲 Free Bikes for Essential Workers | 🎤Zoom Q&A with Nikil Saval

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 111


5th Square is pleased to announce our 2020 endorsements for PA State House! The primary election is coming up on June 2nd and we are encouraging everyone to maintain social distancing by requesting their mail-in ballot today.

We believe these candidates will best represent our mission to make Philadelphia a more sustainable, accessible, transit-friendly city for everyone. Candidates were chosen based on a membership straw poll and the quality of their questionnaire responses, and 5th Square's membership overwhelmingly voted to approve these endorsements.

📸 Read more about why we chose these candidates in our Press Release.

🗒️ Read candidates' responses to our 2020 state legislative questionnaire and get vital election information at our 2020 Election Center.

🙋 Interested in helping us work (from home) on getting these folks into office? Sign up as a volunteer and check the 'Organizing and Elections' Box!



While many of us are spending more time at home, here's one way we can still participate in local politics: vote from home in the upcoming election. Primary day is June 2nd.

Any registered PA voter can request a mail-in ballot for any reason: either online (need PA ID) or by mail.

You can also register to vote or update your voting address online.

The mail ballot request must be in by May 26th. 



Wednesday, May 6th, Noon - 1 PM
⭐ 5th Sq | Q&A with PA-1 State Senate Candidate Nikil Saval ⭐
Join us in a lunchtime Q&A with Nikil Saval on Zoom. Read his response to our questionnaire and hear him discuss topics surrounding urbanism, planning, mobility and land use.  We will also be fielding audience questions.

Thursday, May 14th, 6 - 7:30 PM
⭐ 5th Sq | May Monthly Meet-Up - Join Your RCO Event ⭐
At our first Join Your RCO event, we’ll be introducing 5th Square members and interested community to Philadelphia’s Registered Community Organization system. We will hear from neighborhood leaders like Matt Ruben, Andy Toy, and more, as well as guest moderator Inga Saffron, about how local neighborhood leaders have made progress on urbanist goals through volunteer leadership, and how you can too.



Great news for Chestnut Street in Center City! The City just published the findings from its Parking and Loading Pilot, and concluded their 6-month pilot to be a success in combating illegal parking and loading with a noticeable improvement to bus travel times.

The City is making these changes permanent! 👏👏👏 Additionally, the report recommends bold next steps which we wholeheartedly support -- automated enforcement of bus lanes and parking violations, dynamic meter pricing, and smart loading zones.
Image Source: Chestnut Street Parking and Loading Pilot Evaluation Report

Patricia Madej from the Inquirer reports on a great local effort to get bikes to essential workers.

Neighborhood Bike Works this week launched Bikes for Neighbors, which gives free refurbished bicycles to workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The group is also accepting donated bikes on a limited basis. Details can be found on its website.


The stay-at-home orders due to the pandemic has at least one positive effect: reductions in air pollution across the globe and in our region.

Philadelphia Magazine interviewed Christine Knapp, Director of Philadelphia's Office of Sustainability, who explains that we can use this time to analyze just how damaging our car dependence is on our local air quality.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke



TransitCenter | CARES Act Funding Will Last Half as Long for Large U.S. Transit Regions Compared to Other Areas

CityMetric | Post-pandemic, the risk to public transport is that it might never be the same



The Philadelphia Inquirer | Philly delays plastic bag ban until January amid coronavirus pandemic

Vice | Coronavirus Is Not a Good Reason to Abandon Cities



The Philadelphia Inquirer | Chestnut Street changes, aimed at reducing traffic congestion, made permanent

WHYY | Pedestrian deaths on the rise in Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Inquirer | Many essential employees are relying on SEPTA. A new effort aims to give them another option.

Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia | Philadelphia Pedestrian Traffic Deaths Surge

Vox | Why you’re unlikely to get the coronavirus from runners or cyclists






Harris CDO is proud to support unpaid summer internships in the non-profit and government sectors.

Community organizations providing support to our most vulnerable neighbors are facing unprecedented strain on their resources with COVID-19. The PHL COVID-19 Fund will rapidly and equitably deploy solutions and resources to help our nonprofit community navigate near-and longer-term challenges from COVID-19 and ensure that critical resources remain available for those in our community who need it most.

The Philadelphia Emergency Fund for Stabilization of Early Education (PEFSEE) aims to ensure that Philadelphia’s early learning sector can weather the COVID-19 crisis. PEFSEE will provide grant funds to minimize the loss of capacity and expertise in the sector so that children and families continue to have access to high quality early learning opportunities once this crisis has passed.Tiered grant awards of up to $20,000 will be made available to provide immediate relief to eligible organizations with operations located in the city of Philadelphia.

All 50 states, the District of Columbia, five territories, and numerous tribes are working directly with FEMA under President Trump’s March 13, 2020, nationwide emergency declaration for COVID-19. Under this emergency declaration, and subsequent major disaster declarations, certain private non-profit (PNP) organizations are eligible to apply for funding through FEMA’s Public Assistance program. This fact sheet provides guidance for determining the eligibility of PNP applicants and work performed in accordance with the COVID-19 emergency and major disaster declarations.

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. (Due 5/29)



City of Philadelphia | The Department of Planning and Development (DPD) | Citizens Planning Institute Program Manager

Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) | Contract Program Manager, Navy Yard Workforce Development Initiatives

Share Food Program | Temporary: COVID Response Team Member (warehouse assistants & truck drivers)

City of Philadelphia | Office of Reentry Partnerships | Director for the Neighborhood Resource Center (NRC) initiative

Resolve Philadelphia | Executive Assistant (Part Time)

Dot Connector Studio | Operations Associate

Azavea | Software Engineer

Center City District | Corporate Partnership Coordinator, Manager of Retail Attraction, Part-Time Staff, Marketing Coordinator

The William Penn Foundation | Program Officer - Creative Communities

Strawberry Mansion Community Development Corporation | Project Coordinator

Community Design Collaborative | Executive Director 

JEVS Human Services | Careerlink at Suburban Station | Youth Navigator

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia | Communications Manager

The Pew Charitable Trusts | Senior Officer, Pew Fund in Philadelphia

TRA | Project Analyst

South Kensington Community Partners | Greening Programs Coordinator


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. 

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