Newsletter: 🗳️ Vote Today! / 💰 Testify Tomorrow on the City's Budget / 🚇 SEPTA Safety

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 276


Today is Election Day! Make sure you show up to your polling place by 8:00 PM.

We endorse the following candidates:

  • Nikil Saval for the 1st Senate District
  • Cass Green for the 10th House District
  • Marylouise Isaacson for the 175th House District
  • Joe Hohenstein for the 177th House District
  • Malcolm Kenyatta for the 181st House District
  • Ben Waxman for the 182nd House District
  • Elizabeth Fiedler for the 184th House District
  • Tarik Khan for the 194th House District
  • Andre Carroll for the 201st House District

5th Square's Steering Committee is also recommending voting "NO" on Question 1. See our 2024 Election Center for more information on our endorsements and this issue.

Looking for more info? Billy Penn has a procrastinator's guide to the upcoming election.

Want to support our efforts to elect urbanist candidates? Become a 5th Square member for as little as $5 per month.

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


Join 5th Square Organizers & Volunteers as we give public testimony on the City Budget at City Hall, TOMORROW, Wednesday, April 24.

We want volunteers to show up to testify so we can show City Council that Philadelphians care about urbanist issues like funding for SEPTA and expanding Vision Zero.

RSVP here and we'll help you with your testimony by sending you talking points.


In case you missed the news, SEPTA is getting safer with a 45% reduction in serious crime.

To further their efforts to improve safety, SEPTA is conducting a survey to gather data so they can better understand how to approach the issue. Fill it out here.

Part of SEPTA's efforts to improve safety depend on addressing its looming fiscal cliff. Read the latest in the Inquirer:

SEPTA wants to spend $2.6 billion to add police and upgrade cars but needs Harrisburg to step up with funding by June 30


Join a state-wide coalition of transit advocates, Transit 4 All PA, for a day of rallying and meeting with state-wide elected officials in Harrisburg urging them to pass transit funding in our state budget so we can avert the fiscal cliff in transit funding.

Tuesday, April 30, 10:30 AM 
State Capitol at Harrisburg, PA

Sign up and they will coordinate transportation from Philly.


Calling all Femme, Trans, Women, and Non-Binary (FTWNB) urbanists!  Join us for a meetup at Indy Hall's 4th Floor Skyroom, May 9th at 6pm. 



✍️ Historic District Petitions

5th Square opposes the proposed historic districts in Washington Square West and Spruce Hill because we believe they will raise rents by restricting the development of new housing as well as increase costs for existing homeowners by making home repairs more complicated, expensive, and time-intensive. We are instead calling to preserve historically significant buildings with individual historic designations. Learn more and sign the petitions:

Several parking lots in Washington Square West that would be protected as "contributing" properties by the proposed historic district

🏫 Support Student SEPTA Passes

The School District of Philadelphia gives SEPTA passes to certain students if they live far enough away from their school. A student concerned that this places an unfair financial burden on some families has set up a petition to call for free SEPTA passes for all students regardless of where they live. Sign the petition here.

🚲 Withdraw the Bike Lane Parking Permits on Spruce and Pine Streets

Ever used the bike lanes on Spruce and Pine Streets on a weekend? You might have noticed that the bike lanes turn into a parking lot due to an arrangement the city has with nearby houses of worship to allow parking in the bike lane. This practice creates a dangerous situation for those using the bike lane, and it may even be illegal. Join Philly Bike Action in signing their petition and calling to end this dangerous practice.

⛲ Fairmount Park Centennial Subdistrict Design Plan Survey

Philadelphia Parks and Recreation is redesigning the Centennial District of Fairmount Park and is looking for feedback. The survey proposes several plans with different road designs and a reduction in road miles through the park, so respond to the survey to indicate your support for the plans which deemphasize the role of cars in Fairmount Park and reorient it as a space for humans.

🚌 Support SEPTA Bus Revolution

Buses are a vital lifeline for getting folks around Philly, with many neighborhoods completely reliant on this service being fast, frequent, and reliable. SEPTA’s Bus Revolution would make buses more useful for more people by redesigning its entire bus network which would result in over a million more people gaining access to frequent bus routes.

Learn more about why we support Bus Revolution and sign our petition in support.

💸 Support SEPTA Funding

Governor Shapiro has announced that he plans to direct $282 million in sales tax revenue to SEPTA and other PA transit agencies. This will cover a significant portion of SEPTA's deficit, but we must keep up the fight ensure Governor Shapiro's proposed funding comes through and to find an additional funding source to cover the remaining deficit.

You can help by signing this petition, and reaching out to elected officials.

🛣️ Stop I-95 Expansion

PennDOT is planning to expand I-95 in Center City and South Philly by adding lanes and new ramps. This will threaten the well-being of our neighborhoods by worsening air quality, increasing noise pollution, and harming our access to the waterfront.

Join us in telling PennDOT that highway expansion has no place in the core of Philadelphia by signing our petition.


City Budget Hearing
April 24, 1:30pm – 4pm | City Hall
Join 5th Square Organizers & Volunteers as we give public testimony on the City Budget. Come join us in advocating for more local transit funding for SEPTA and more funding for Vision Zero initiatives and traffic calming measures

Budget Townhall #3 Hosted by Councilmember Jeffery Young, Jr., 5th District
April 27th, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. | 1100 Poplar Street
A series of Neighborhood Budget Town Halls to review and provide feedback on the City of Philadelphia’s $6.29 Billion Fiscal Year 2025 (FY ’25) Operating Budget

Philly Bike Party Down the Rabbit Hole Ride
April 26, 8:00 PM | TBD
Join us on an Alice in Wonderland-themed ride where we’ll follow Lil Bunny down the rabbit hole. 🐇 Route will be less than 15 miles, casual pace, no drop.

Trails Day At Cobbs Creek Park
April 27th, 8am-2pm | Cobbs Creek Pkwy and Thomas Ave
Join Clean Air Council and Fairmount Park Conservancy for the fifth annual Celebrate Trails Day along Cobbs Creek Trail for a day filled with free activities including horseback riding, a birding walk, plant identification workshop, and raffle.

2024 Temple University Bike Tour
Sunday, April 28, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM | Temple Diamond lot
Hosted by Temple University Ambler, the Temple University Office of Sustainability and the Temple University Office of the Provost, the scenic tour will begin at the Temple University Athletic Field in Philadelphia and end at the Ambler Arboretum of Temple University.

Town Hall #4: Hosted by Councilmember Jamie Gauthier, Third District
April 29th, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. | 4901 Chestnut Street 
A series of Neighborhood Budget Town Halls to review and provide feedback on the City of Philadelphia’s $6.29 Billion Fiscal Year 2025 (FY ’25) Operating Budget

Mo’ Money Mo’ Service Rally+Lobby Day
Tuesday, April 30, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM | State Capitol
Join Transit for All PA in Harrisburg to urge state politicians to connect our communities and pass the first increase to transit funding in over a decade

Wednesday Night Ride: First Day of Bike Month with Indego
May 1 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm | Art Museum

Take the Lane 2024
Thursday, May 2, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM | Center for DesignPhiladelphia
On May 2, StreetBoxPHL, the Community Design Collaborative, and other advocates will high-light three new public space proposals, and three new policy proposals that will bring equity and innovation to city streets.

WEBINAR: City Limits: Infrastructure, Inequality, and the Future of America’s Highways
May 7, 2:00 PM | Virtual
Join journalist Megan Kimble as she shares insights on the freeway fighting movement from her new book, City Limits: Infrastructure, Inequality, and the Future of America’s Highways.

FTWNB Urbanist Meetup
May 9, 6pm – 8pm | Indy Hall, 709 N 2nd St
Calling all Femme, Trans, Women, and Non-Binary (FTWNB) urbanists! Join us for a meetup. We want to create a space that's inviting and safe for non-cis men to participate and chat about Philadelphia's urbanist issues important to you!

Ride of Silence
Wednesday, May 15; Details TBD
A ride to honor the cyclists killed or injured by motorists in and around Philadelphia. This ride happens rain or shine.

Bikeout: Philly to Schwenksville
May 25 - May 26 | Philadelphia Museum of Art
A celebration of Philadelphia's beautiful trails, this ride will travel from the Museum of Art along scenic waterways to a summer camp in Montgomery County.









East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District / Executive Director

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Philadelphia Corporation for Aging / Quality Improvement Analyst

Delaware River Port Authority / Project Manager, Finance

City of Philadelphia

Alliance for Watershed Education

University of Pennsylvania, Housing Initiative at Penn / Senior Research Associate / Analyst

District Attorney’s Transparency Analytics (DATA) Lab / Senior Data Analyst


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.