Newsletter: ❄️ Help Open Pools with Philly Phreeze / 🍻 Candidate Meet & Greet Events / 👔 Our 2023 Questionnaire & Platform!

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 219


5th Square is willing to dive like polar bears to help Parks and Rec raise money for lifeguards to keep public pools open.

Access to public pools may seem as if it has little to do with gun violence and community safety, but public pools are not just a nice thing or a perk. It and other pools provide a safe place for recreation. Communities with fewer resources — including outdoor spaces, pools, and libraries — are often the communities where gun violence is most prevalent.

The “Philly Phreeze” fundraiser aims to get the largest public pool system in America open again this summer for Philadelphians.

5th Square will match your donation here dollar-for-dollar up to $2,500!

  • Donations $60 and above will get you 5th Square membership for 12 months, which gains exclusive access to vote on our candidate endorsements.

  • The first 10 people who donate over $100 will be invited to join us in jumping into a phreezing Kelly Pool on Saturday, February 25th!


Our Citywide Issue Platform is now out, focused on our core issues:

  • Roadway Safety
  • Public Space
  • Transportation & Transit
  • Housing & Land Use

If you know someone running for Mayor or City Council and would like our endorsement, please reach out to us at [email protected] for more info on our endorsement process.

We are also holding two Candidate Meet & Greet events!

We will be welcoming candidates for the Mayor and City Council running in the upcoming primary on May 16th. This will be a great opportunity to come and get to know the candidates and start conversations around roadway safety, public space, public transit and housing. These events will kick off our membership voting period to determine our endorsements for the 2023 election cycle.

If you are thinking about becoming a member, now is the perfect time to join! Join us and help choose our endorsements in this important election cycle. Become a 5th Square member today!

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


Philadelphia YIMBY mentioned us in a new article about the proposed building at 1100 Wharton. Construction hasn't started yet, but they gave an overview of the project and what we can expect. An interesting stat from Alterra Property Group was that of the 2,000 housing units in central Philadelphia that they own, fewer than 20% of its residents have cars. They didn't feel the need to include more parking spots until residents and Councilmember Mark Squilla demanded more.

Site plan by JKRP Architects

5th Square co-chair Dena Driscoll had this to say at the 2019 meeting: "I’m excited to see different kinds of housing in my neighborhood. [...] Piecemealing every project to force them to take away units and add more parking, and adding expensive underground parking instead of making more affordable housing, is a problem.” Read more...


A friendly reminder that the Neighborhood Slow Zone application deadline has been extended to February 15th. The Slow Zone Project offers residents the opportunity to work with the City to reduce vehicle speeds and improve visibility on neighborhood streets. The City will work with you and your neighborhood to determine the best way to slow things down. You can fill out the application form and get more information on the Neighborhood Slow Zone Program site.

There's only a handful of active Slow Zone sites, so we highly encourage you or someone you know to apply. If you have any questions or want help with the application process, contact Pete DeCarolis at [email protected].


How to Build a YIMBY/Tenant Activist Bridge

Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 3 p.m. ET (via Zoom)

How can YIMBYs and tenant activists work together without stumbling over diverging interests and values? Shelterforce's Shelby R. King facilitates a conversation between tenant organizers and YIMBYs. Speakers include Lisa Bates, professor at Portland State University, Margot Black, founder of Portland Tenants United, Ernest Brown, executive director of Abundant Housing Atlanta, Laura Loe, founder of Share the Cities, Alex Schafran, housing consultant, Cea Weaver, campaign coordinator for Housing Justice for All. Register here.

Opportunities and Insights From the 2022 U.S. Bicycling Participation Study

Wednesday, February 8 at 1pm ET (via Zoom)

Join PeopleForBikes for an in-depth review of the 2022 U.S. Bicycling Participation Study. According to new data published by PeopleForBikes, more Americans rode a bike in 2022 than in any year previously measured. Approximately 108 million people ages 3 and older rode a bicycle at least once last year. This webinar will provide a comprehensive look at areas of growth, challenge, and opportunities for continuing the upward trajectory of ridership in the U.S. Register if you'd like a recording later.

State of the Race, Part 2: What's next in the Race for Mayor?

Wednesday, February 8 at 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM EST

During this free event, 10k Independents' Director of Policy and Advocacy Anne Gemmell will share our latest analysis of the upcoming race, and the status of the active candidates, along with specific strategies for how you can get involved in supporting your favorite candidates.

You'll leave with:

  • ​Helpful context and updates since our first State of the Race in DecemberEarly review of the candidates campaign finance reports
  • Details about the petition process that starts on February 14th
  • An opportunity to ask questions about the election process
  • Guidance and strategies for how you can get involved in supporting your candidates

This event is free and online, but RSVP is required to attend.

Wednesday Night Ride, Feb 8

Meet at 7pm, roll at 7:10pm
Matthias Baldwin Park, N 18th St and Hamilton

Frequent rider Matt K will lead us to a destination we've had our eye on for a long time, Attic Brewing in Germantown (outdoor seating available). It's a 5 mile ride, pretty flat (+128 ft / -49 ft), good for everyone, 2-3 very minor inclines. Route: Ride with GPS

Community Safety by Design: How WE Can Support Safe and Welcoming Trails

Thursday, Feb 9th at 10am (via Zoom)

There are some really amazing advocates and trail managers that will be speaking about trail safety through community-based programming and design strategies on this upcoming webinar hosted by DVRPC's Healthy Communities Task Force. Find out more on the DVRPC website. Register here.

Urban Design & Placemaking in Communities of Color

Thursday, February 9, at 5:00 PM – 5:45 PM EST (via Webex)

The Sustainable Urban Planning Program Student Organization (SUPSO) at The George Washington University presents an online panel on Urban Design and Placemaking in Communities of Color! Hosted by SUPSO Events Chair, Ugo Njeze, who will discuss how social initiatives influence urban design, the importance of community engagement and placemaking projects opportunity' to support economic development initiatives, the importance of planning in environmentally vulnerable neighborhoods, and the history of communities of color in the United States that has been historically distressed by specific climate-generated phenomena.

Meeting link:

Meeting password: 1234

Meeting number: 2623 745 9840

The Future of The Roundhouse

Thursday, March 9th @ 10am (via Zoom)

The former Police Administration Building at 7th and Race Streets, known colloquially as The Roundhouse, was conceived in the late 1950s during the progressive administration of Mayor Richardson Dilworth. Completed in 1962, The Roundhouse soon entered a dark phase due to associations with destructive urban renewal programs and brutal, racist policing. That said, the Roundhouse can and should be repurposed as an opportunity to wrestle with and reclaim the building’s unintended legacy as a symbol of police oppression. Join Design Advocacy Group, Andy Toy, Paul Steinke, and Ian Litwin to discuss more. Register here.

Vision Zero Conference 2023

Friday, March 31st from 9:00am to 3:30pm.
Temple University Student Center South (1755 N 13th St)

Join Bicycle Coalition for the 2023 Vision Zero Conference focusing on approaches to Vision Zero that help move toward an equitable future. The conference will be followed at 4:00pm by the 2023 Better Mobility Mayoral Forum, where the Philadelphia mayoral candidates will have an opportunity to speak about their views on sustainable mobility and Vision Zero. Daniel Pearson, Inquirer Editorial Writer, will moderate the discussion. Tickets are on sale now, ranging in price from $20-$95.




Community Green Grants Program
Deeply Rooted is a community-academic collaborative that uses the healing power of nature to promote
health and wellbeing in Black and Brown Philadelphia neighborhoods. Proposed grant activities and programs must directly benefit one of four initial Deeply Rooted communities - Kingsessing, Cobbs Creek, Haddington or Mill Creek. Priority will be given to applicants located within these neighborhoods.
Proposals should relate to greenspace or nature through innovation, improvement, organizing, or entrepreneurship. Applicants can be individuals or community-based organizations or groups and must be located in West or Southwest Philadelphia. Community leaders and Urban Health Lab staff will evaluate proposals based on impact, creativity, feasibility, and alignment to the goals of Deeply Rooted.
Virtual info session on Feb. 20 from 7-8pm via Zoom. The application deadline is March 3rd at 5pm. Grants will be announced by April 14, 2023.

Vision Zero Conference Poster Application
Postering will take place in the main conference room, where speakers and attendees will have opportunities to explore prior to, between, and after plenary and breakout sessions. Bicycle Coalition will provide poster stands at numbered locations around the room for easy identification by both authors and attendees. Backing boards are not provided. Applications are due by February 17. There is no application fee, but for-profit companies have a $150 fee due if your poster proposal is accepted. (Students and nonprofits are free.) Accepted applicants will receive one complimentary ticket to the 2023 Vision Zero PHL Conference on March 31, 2023. More information is available here.

Community Conservation Partnerships Program Grants
Counties, municipalities and municipal agencies, pre-qualified land trusts, nonprofits and other eligible organizations can apply now for state conservation, recreation, trail and related grants. Administered by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Community Conservation Partnerships Program (C2P2) is funded with a variety of state and federal funding sources including Pennsylvania’s natural gas Impact Fee. Applications will be accepted through April 5. Online tutorials are available on YouTube to aid organizations in the application process.


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 or more.