Newsletter: 🚋 Speak Out for Trolleys / 🅿️ Cutting the Parking Tax is a Bad Idea / 🌇 Defending Affordable Units

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 147


We are looking for speakers who would like to give short (2 minutes max) testimonials emphasizing the importance of clean, safe, accessible, and frequent trolley service. Personal stories are a plus!

This Wednesday, 5/26, at 11:30 AM & 5:30 PM, SEPTA is holding virtual public hearings for its FY2022 Capital Budget.

RSVP and we will reach out to you with talking points.


City Councilmember Cherelle Parker introduced a bill that would dramatically lower Philadelphia’s parking tax rate.

This is a move that, in the end, would cost the city millions in tax revenue, to ultimately reward parking lot owners and suburban commuters who choose to drive their personal vehicles to pollute and congest our urban core.

Emma Lee/WHY

WHYY's PlanPhilly covers this news and spoke with 5th Square member and activist Dan Trubman.

“Slashing the parking tax contradicts the city’s goal of addressing climate change, improving air quality, achieving Vision Zero, and encouraging transit ridership,” he said.

Read more about this issue in the opinion piece we published last November with WHYY, Why Mayor Kenney must defend Philly’s parking tax


In an article for University City Review, Chris Doyle covers the ongoing debate over a proposed apartment building at 48th and Chester in West Philly. In it, Will Tung, 5th Square member and near-neighbor of the property spoke in support of the project.

“If you’re concerned about gentrification, and you’re concerned about displacement, we’re going to have to actually build affordable housing, and that requires development.”

This is a moment where we, as neighbors, renters, and homeowners in Philadelphia, need to come together to reaffirm that the goal of affordable housing politics has to be actually creating the affordable units—not just empty ideological posturing, or worse, regular old selfish NIMBYism stealing the rhetoric of social justice movements.

If you agree we need major changes in local housing politics to help more elected officials say YES to quality mixed-income housing proposals, sign up to volunteer with our housing committee, and get involved in this advocacy work in your neighborhood!


Show your support for better city planning, transit, bike lanes and housing with our new T-Shirt designed by Philly-based artist Miriam Singer!

T-Shirts are $20 /// Sweatshirts are $40

Become a 5th Square member today and get 50% off!

Show your support a more livable and sustainable city by becoming a member and rocking this cool shirt TODAY!

Annual Subscriber, $60 per yearMonthly Subscriber, $5 per monthOne Year of Membership, Starting at $60


SEPTA Forward: Bus Revolution Survey - As part of SEPTA's bus network redesign, they will be looking for input from transit riders and community members throughout the process.  Please take a moment to tell them your hopes for the project and early thoughts about SEPTA’s bus services. The survey will take 2-3 minutes to complete. 

phila2035: The 25th Street Transportation Safety Study - The 25th Street Transportation Safety Study will look at ways to improve traffic and road conditions along 25th Street. The study will cover the area from Washington Avenue to Passyunk Avenue. The project will partner with nearby residents and businesses to propose short- and long-term safety improvements for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. The Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC) and Michael Baker Intl., a transportation planning firm, will guide the study and engagement.



WHYY / Opinion: Why North Philly Peace Park is building an Afrofuturist pavillion

The Philadelphia Citizen / Philly made bold moves to make life easier during Covid. Why stop now?

Billy Penn / Why renaming Taney Street is slow going, despite the racist history

Planetizen / Car-Free Streets Benefit Restaurants, Yelp Survey Shows



The Philadelphia Inquirer / First-time homebuyers are losing out in this twisted housing market | Maria Panaritis

The Atlantic / How Parking Drives Up Housing Prices

WHYY / Philly to launch loan fund for Black and brown affordable housing developers

Brookings / We can’t beat the climate crisis without rethinking land use / The Incentives That Might Make Landlords Take Section 8 Tenants

Volunteer with 5th Square


2021 Healing the Planet Grant Program - The Healing the Planet Grant Program, funded by The GIANT Company, aims to build environmental stewardship by connecting people and families to community green spaces, improve community green spaces, support environmental restoration efforts, and support community gardens. Applications will be accepted for $2,500, $5,000, $10,000, $15,000 and $25,000. Interested applicants that have smaller projects that do not meet the minimum grant of $2,500 are encouraged to expand the scope of their project or partner with another organization. Applications for less than $2,500 will not be considered. A list of criteria for eligible projects can be found below. Applications will be accepted online June 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021 at 5:00pm EST.

PHFA - 2022 Housing Policy Fellowship Program Application - The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency ("PHFA") is accepting applications for the 2022 Housing Policy Fellowship Program. The Fellowship will provide an opportunity for the selected recipient to undertake a project/program that addresses a housing issue of significant interest/relevance to the applicant. PHFA is attempting to create a cadre of new leaders that will think creatively and broadly about possible solutions to the ongoing affordable housing needs of Commonwealth residents. Due 6/18

2020 Latinos and Planning Division Student Scholarship - The purpose of the LAP scholarship program is to foster increased interest in the study of urban planning within the Latinx student population at the advanced undergraduate and graduate levels. The program is open to third and fourth year undergraduate students and first and second year masters degree students. One scholarship of $500 will be awarded to be used for fees, books, or academic materials. Due 5/31


Pennoni / Planner / Urban Designer

City of Philadelphia - Department of Commerce / Director of Communications

City of Philadelphia - OIT, SmartCityPHL program / Data Fellow

South Philly Food Co-op / Cashier & Guest Services Associate, Grocery & Wellness Department Clerk, Produce Department Clerk, Bookkeeper + Member Data Manager

The Food Trust / Director of Finance

Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) / Transportation Planner

Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations (PACDC) / Policy Director

The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice in the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University / Practitioner-Researcher, Program Manager, Interim Operations and Human Resource Specialist, Senior Research Associate, Research Associate, Graphic Designer, Manager of Marketing, Office Manager

FMC / FP&A Business Partner – Global Research and Development and Global Regulatory

Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson / Traffic Section Head

ULI Philadelphia / Associate, ULI Philadelphia

Bread & Roses Community Fund / Director of Grantmaking

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation / Summer Jobs

Transit Forward Philadelphia / Transit Fellow

Philadelphia School District / Cooks, Managers, Lead Food Services Workers, Utility Workers, Utility Drivers

Fairmount Community Development Corporation / Executive Director

The Hope Center / Senior Research Associate, Research Associate, Graphic Designer, Manager of Marketing, Office Manager, Summer Internships

City of Philadelphia / Senior Manager for Climate Mitigation

Philadelphia Housing Development Corp / Chief of Staff

PIDC / Navy Yard Community Engagement Coordinator, Navy Yard Project Manager

City of Philadelphia, Department of Commerce / Director of Communications

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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