Newsletter: 🥇 2020 Primary Election Wins | 🚲 Support Bicycle Commuter Benefits | ✋🏿 Making 'Safe Streets' Safe for Black Lives

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 116


After an exceptionally long campaign season followed by weeks of waiting for mail-in ballots results, the dust has settled and we finally know the winners in all of the races we endorsed in.

We were thrilled to see the following endorsed candidates for State Representative come out victorious!



  • Malcolm Kenyatta for the 181st District
  • Brian Sims for the 182nd District
  • Elizabeth Fiedler for the 184th District
  • Morgan Cephas for the 192nd District
  • Darisha Parker for the 198th District

The 198th District was close throughout the count, so it was especially great to see a last-minute win by our endorsed candidate Darisha Parker in the last few updates.

We were also excited about Nikil Saval's victory in Senate District 1. His stellar response to our questionnaire and obvious fluency in our issues on our Zoom Q&A won over many of our members and supporters even as we did not make an endorsement in that race. We look forward to working with the Senator-elect on state-level housing and transportation issues next year.

The 5th Square community is also excited about the election of Rick Krajewski in West Philly's 188th District. Rick shares many of our goals with regard to housing affordability and environmental justice and we look forward to working alongside him on areas of shared interest.


Lastly, after an energetic campaign in a crowded 4-way race, our endorsed candidate in the 175th District Vanessa McGrath had an impressive showing, but unfortunately came up short. While we went a different direction in this primary, we look forward to working with returning Representative Mary Isaacson, whose questionnaire responses were also frequently in agreement with our state-level goals. 



We are trying to get the Bicycle Commuter Benefit Act attached to the Transportation bill in the US House of Representatives and we need to act now.

Find your member of Congress and email / call them with this sample message:

Hi, my name is _____ and I'm a constituent asking you to support HR 1507: the Bicycle Commuter Act and to weigh in with the committee. It reinstates and improves on the old benefit that was suspended under the tax cut bill.

Especially right now, anything that can help people get to-and-from work safely and cheaply is really important. Bicycling has been increasing, and for people who don't own cars or rely on transit it can offer a safe and affordable alternative to transit.

We understand the Ways and Means committee is moving quickly on their part of the transportation bill, and they really need to hear from Committee members supporting the Bicycle Commuter Act if it is to make it into the bill. Would you be willing to weigh in with the committee in support of the bill?



We are supporting and sharing a petition to rename Taney Street throughout Philadelphia. 

Taney Street is named in honor of Roger B. Taney, the U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice and the primary author of the Dred Scott v. Sandford decision, considered by many to be the worst decision in the history of the Court.

Recently, both Baltimore and Annapolis removed statues of Taney. Philadelphia is the last major U.S. city to memorialize a Supreme Court Justice who further ingrained the bigoted logic of slavery through federal policy.



CityLab published an opinion piece entitled ‘Safe Streets’ Are Not Safe for Black Lives written by a transportation planner who warns pedestrian-friendly street redesigns that happen without diverse public input can end up harming the communities they serve. We agree, and see a renewed need to overhaul conventional public outreach practices to reach a wider public.

Every day, people across the U.S. navigate transit systems that rely on the criminalization of poverty as a primary source of revenue and walk through streets soaked in toxic industry. If we want to prevent unintended impacts as a result of our planning practices today, our solutions and responses to these crises (and the interlocking systems of oppression that they exacerbate) must be rooted in collective decision-making, with a special emphasis on those who experience and access “outside” from a disadvantaged position in society.

Eris Baradat/AFP via Getty Images



OTIS | Vision Zero Pedestrian Safety Action Plan Survey

The City of Philadelphia would like to welcome you to participate in our Digital Public Engagement for the Philadelphia Vision Zero Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. Please fill out this 5-minute survey if you live, work, or own a business in Philadelphia. Your feedback will inform the Action Plan that will help create safer streets and save the lives of people who walk.

Columbia Journalism Investigations | Pennsylvania Primary Tracking

This will be an election like no other and we want to be sure your vote counts.

Between the logistical hurdles of an expanded mail-in vote, protests that have turned violent and a global pandemic lurking, casting a vote has likely never been more difficult, complicated or, frankly, scary. The potential for problems in this election are tremendous, and this survey wants to know what your experience has been.

This survey is being conducted by Columbia Journalism Investigations, an investigative-reporting unit at the Columbia Journalism School, reporters from the USA Today Network in Pennsylvania and PBS Frontline.

OTIS | Washington Avenue Repaving and Improvement Project

The City of Philadelphia is repaving Washington Avenue in 2021. Repaving is an opportunity to change the roadway and make it safer for people walking, driving, riding transit, and biking. Take a moment to learn and provide feedback about the Washington Avenue repaving and improvement project.





The Philadelphia Inquirer | Under new contract, Indego will expand bike-share in Philly


The Philadelphia Inquirer | Under new contract, Indego will expand bike-share in Philly

The Philadelphia Inquirer | What happens to neighborhood appeal if the coronavirus closes small businesses for good?


A fellowship and micro-grant program for young civic innovators with bold ideas to enhance public space, mobility, and civic engagement. (Due 7/12)

New Guidelines for Outdoor Dining - Restaurants that have patio areas on their properties or already have sidewalk café licenses will be able to offer outdoor seating starting Friday, June 12. Businesses without existing permits, and those who wish to expand their existing outdoor dining footprint, are encouraged to apply for our new outdoor dining options. Registration and approval is required for new or expanded outdoor dining prior to opening.



The Philadelphia Department of Public Health is hiring contact tracers to track and contain cases of COVID-19 in Philadelphia.

Germantown United Community Development Corporation (GUCDC) | Business Development 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. 

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