Newsletter: Candidate Events Galore, Block Party Glitches, Making SEPTA Family-Friendly


We are deep into Election Season here in Philadelphia, with less than a month to go before the big day on May 21st

Check out who all is on the ballot using Committee of Seventy's ballot tool and look up your polling place to see where you vote.

This week, we are featuring a huge array of candidate events so you can get involved with supporting our endorsed slate of candidates for a more accessible, sustainable, equitable Philadelphia for all residents! Take a look at the following events, pick a few to check out, and sign up with a campaign to help get out the vote in the final weeks of the campaign! 


Saturday, April 27, 10 am - 12 pm 
** Kingsessing Library - Play & Community Party **
As part of 5th Square's Action Tank series supported by the Emerging Cities Program in partnership with 8 80 Cities and Knight Foundation, will be celebrating community and play in front of Kingsessing Library Branch.  Coffee, donuts & snacks!

Saturday, April 27, 11 am - 3 pm 
Team Vidas Canvass Launch: 25 Days, 2500 Doors
Please join Team Lauren Vidas (a 5th Square endorsed candidate for City Council's 2nd District) for their 25 Days to Election Day canvass. In honor of 25 days to go, they will hit 2,500 doors in a single day and need your help!

Saturday, April 27, 12 - 6 pm 
South Philly Canvass for Justin DiBerardinis
Get out the vote for Justin DiBerardinis and a New Deal for Philadelphia! New to door knocking? The campaign will have canvass trainings at 12 and 3pm.

Sunday, April 28, 1 - 3 pm
Boathouse Row Meet & Greet with Justin!
Please join supporters at Crescent Boat House for an afternoon discussion with Justin DiBeradinis by the river! In his career, Justin has been a champion for our rivers and our parks. As a Councilmember At-Large, he will continue to be that champion in City Hall.

Monday, April 29, 6 - 8 pm
An Evening with Councilmember Gym
Join supporters for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres with Councilmember and 5th-Square-endorsed candidate for City Council At-Large Helen Gym. Hosted by Gretchen Dahlkemper and Judy Wicks in South Philly.

Tuesday, April 30, 9 am - 5 pm 
Vision Zero Lobby Day in Harrisburg
Help the Bicycle Coalition and Families for Safe Streets Greater Philadelphia advocate for four pieces of legislation in Harrisburg: Allow Parking Protected Plazas and Bike Lanes, Radar for Municipal Police, Protect Vulnerable Highway Users, Ban hand held cell phones while driving.

Tuesday, April 30, 6 - 8 pm
South Philadelphia Candidate Forum
Join several South Philly community groups in their candidate forum at Childs Elementary School.  Candidates for Mayor, City Commissioner, and 2nd District City Council will be present.

Tuesday, April 30, 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Meet Adrian Rivera-Reyes Candidate for City Council
Come to a meet-and-greet for City Council At-Large Candidate Adrian Rivera-Reyes at the Thirsty Soul on 16th and Passyunk.

Thursday, May 2, 6 - 8 pm
Fundraiser for Eryn for Council
Join Michael Nutter in supporting Eryn Santamoor for City Council At-Large.

Tuesday, May 7, 6:30 - 8 pm 
** Jamie Gauthier Campaign Fundraiser Co-Hosted by 5th Square **
Join 5th Square for her final campaign fundraiser at Team Jamie Headquarters -- 2 Weeks Out from Election Day!  

Thursday, May 9, 6 - 8 pm 
** 5th Square May Meet-Up at Craft Hall **
We will be hosting a regular monthly meet-up on the second Thursday of the month.  At our May meet-up we'll be talking about 5th Square's 2019 efforts to help elect pro-transit, pro-bike, pro-housing candidates to City Council, and how you can get involved.





BillyPenn covers Philly's new block party permit process and examines its many glitches, quoting 5th Square members James Gitto and Dena Driscoll and featuring their difficulties in navigating the red tape to host block parties on their streets.

Continuing the trend of covering Philly's street sweeping pilot using leaf blowersPhiladelphia Magazine describes this program quite aptly: "It was a vaguely dystopian scene, as the blowers emitted a droning whir on an otherwise calm spring day. Discarded wrappers and leaves shot up into the air — leaving a pungent trash odor in their wake — before vanishing between the rotating brooms of the sweeper trucks."



PlanPhilly covered who gets the most parking tickets in Philly and find them to be from "five gentrifying ZIP codes near Center City." 5th Square co-chair Dena Driscoll is quoted, “"In South Philadelphia, our Council people make it easier to block crosswalks and curb cuts. We ask the PPA to be lenient on them instead of enforcing that and then they think they can do that in Center City... but the rules in South Philadelphia need to be the same rules in Center City."


In welcome news for our region, the Atlantic City Rail Line is re-opening after a hiatus since last September, with added service!  Want to ride it with us?  We are working on a 5th Square event this summer on this line!


Need to travel SEPTA with kids? Then you know that the system doesn't make it easy on you! PlanPhilly reports, "A product that would streamline travel for groups is in the works for next year. It will likely be a card that allows multiple people to ride using the same card, but SEPTA says the specifics haven’t been finalized."  SEPTA needs to step up its game and urgently fix this issue for families using transit our region!


Looking for historical context in combating Philly's Traffic?  The Why looks into Louis Kahn's grand plan for Philly traffic and why it failed (hint: highway engineers).




LandHealth Institute and The Fairmount Park Conservancy are teaming up with The Philadelphia Water Department to present another year of our innovative Philadelphia Watershed Stewardship Program (PWS). This program is an opportunity for High-School age youth from Philadelphia to learn outside. Accepting applicants until the end of April.

Mira Fellowship is seeking Mira Fellows. "If you’re a proven doer and believe you know where the world should aim next you’re a Mira Fellow. We’re looking for mid-career applicants with a proven track record, an undying need to sink their teeth deep into a specific problem, and the openness to reframe their assumptions to find a new solution." Due 6/1.

OTIS has two contract opportunities to support #SafeRoutesPHL: Graphic design & event management (opportunity #21190328145922), Curriculum & evaluation design (opportunity #21190328152509) Due 4/30.

The Global Philanthropy Partnership (GPP) and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) are pleased to offer seven summer 2019 fellowship opportunities with local governments, including the City of Philadelphia. (rolling basis throughout April)

Walk and Bike to School Day wants to encourage walking and biking by celebrating students that walk, bike, and roll to school. This City initiative is looking for schools to participate. Due 4/29.

OTIS is seeking graphic design & event management support for SafeRoutesPHL. Look for opportunity #21190328145922 on eContracts Philly:  (Due 5/1)

The Knight Foundation is seeking applicants for the Emerging City Champions 2019 Fellowship from young civic innovators. Due 5/12.

In Philadelphia every summer, there are over 500 streets designated as “Play Streets”, which are streets closed off to traffic where neighborhood children can receive a meal and play together. In order to make those Play Streets more playful, Fab Youth Philly ( created the Play Captain Initiative (, which is a summer job for teens. Those teens will create and lead play activities on a number of Play Streets throughout Philadelphia. Due 6/17.



The University of Pennsylvania is seeking a Communications & Marketing Manager

The Common Market Mid-Atlantic, a nonprofit mission-driven distributor of local foods to the Mid-Atlantic region, seeks an Executive Director.

PIDC is seeking an experienced self-starter with sound judgment and attention to detail to manage the planning, design, and construction of infrastructure projects at the Navy Yard.

Make The World Better Foundation is seeking a Project Manager and an Office Manager. Make The World Better (MTWB) is a 501c3 organization striving to connect people and inspire stewardship through public space revitalization projects. 

DVRPC is seeking a GIS Application Developer and Transportation Planner

The 2020 Census is hiring for a variety of temporary jobs, including census takers, recruiting assistants, office staff, and supervisory staff

Center City District is seeking the following: Manager of GIS Mapping & Technology, Manager of Retail Attractions, Part-time Staff, Urban Planner/Designer.

Benefits Data Trust (BDT) seeks a Director of Partnerships

P'unk Avenue is hiring an Agile Project Manager

5th Square is Philadelphia's urbanist political action committee.
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