Newsletter: Protecting a Walkable Italian Market, 2nd Council District Debate, Weekend of Action for Jamie Gauthier


Pedestrian priority is under threat in Philadelphia's iconic Italian Market, if Midwood Investment gets its way.

Will you sign the petition opposing driveways in the 9th Street Market?

South 9th Street currently enjoys uninterrupted sidewalks, without a single curb cut from Wharton to Christian. This otherwise handsome project badly mauls the streetscape on 9th Street, inexplicably citing its parking and loading access along the Market's commercial corridor. Rather than using the vehicle-centric Washington Avenue, the Midwood project would set a dangerous precedent and threaten any hopes of bolstering the pedestrian corridor. 

We had an AMAZING TIME at last week's fundraiser party to support our endorsed slate of urbanist candidates! Couldn't make the party, but still want to contribute? Right now is the time where your contribution can make the greatest impact on the future for a more sustainable, accessible, and inclusive Philadelphia.

Bonus: Please enjoy this photo of Council candidates and kids in the ball pit at Concourse.


Tuesday, April 2, 6 - 8 pm 
Lauren Vidas for the 2nd District: Volunteer Appreciation Party
Join Lauren for a volunteer appreciation party to cap off a successful petition period and help kick off the rest of the campaign. Didn't get a chance to help out with petitions? No Problem! Come by and meet other volunteers and sign up for future volunteer opportunities.

Wednesday, April 3, 6 - 7:30 pm 
Jane's Walk Meetup - for walk leaders + would-be walk leaders
Walk leaders, would-be-walk leaders, and interested volunteers are invited to the Center / Architecture + Design (1218 Arch St) for a meetup to talk about this year's Jane's Walk weekend - May 3-5, 2019. They'll discuss what makes a good Jane's Walk, have light refreshments, and get to know each other. Especially recommended for those new to Jane's Walk - this is a chance to learn more!

Wednesday, April 3, 7 - 8 pm 
2nd Councilmanic District Debate, Hosted by CCRA
Center City Residents' Association is hosting a debate for the 2nd Councilmanic District's Democratic primary between challenger Lauren Vidas (a 5th Square endorsed candidate) and incumbent Kenyatta Johnson. 

Thursday, April 4, 8 - 9:30 am 
Design Advocacy Group of Philadelphia: The Mayor and More
Mayor Jim Kenney and Anne Fadullon, Director of the Department of Planning and Development, will speak about the built environment with topics ranging from neighborhood design to transportation and historic preservation.

Thursday, April 4, 6 - 8 pm 
City Council Candidates Forum - 3rd District & At-Large
Hosted several West Philly RCOs, this forum will give city council candidates running for the 3rd District seat (including 5th Square-endorsed candidate Jamie Gauthier) and At-Large seats an opportunity to share their vision, strategy and enthusiasm for political leadership.

Thursday, April 4, 6:30 - 9 pm 
GRASP Hosts Candidates for City Commissioner
GRASP will be hosting an event for candidates running for City Commissioner. They will be having a meet-and-greet style format along with Q&A sessions throughout the evening.

Friday, April 5, 6 - 8 pm 
Lauren Vidas for the 2nd District: Pints and Policy
Please join Lauren Vidas, Democrat for City Council Second District, for a pint and a policy discussion. Bring friends, family, and neighbors for a chance to engage with Lauren at a small gathering about the issues facing you and your community. We look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, April 6, 10 am - 1 pm 
Weekend of Action/Team Jamie Official Office Opening
Please join the Jamie Gauthier campaign for City Council's 3rd District for the kick-off of their field program in their new office on Baltimore Ave in West Philly.  They are gearing up for their first Weekend of Action, and training volunteers to phone bank and canvass.

Thursday through Saturday, April 4 - 6 
Mid-Atlantic Greenways & Trails Summit
The inaugural Mid-Atlantic Greenways & Trails Summit will bring together leaders and advocates of active transportation and greenway and trail development to advance bicycling and walking innovations across the region.

Wednesday, April 10, 5:30 - 7:30 pm 
Green Economy Town Hall
In partnership with Temple University's Office of Sustainability, Defend Our Future invites you for an evening discussion about the future of the Green Economy in Temple's Walk Auditorium.

Tuesday, April 16, 7 - 8 pm 
11th Street Repaving Project Open House
South Philly neighbors & commuters are invited to an open house to learn more about an upcoming Streets Department project to repave S. 11th St, from Bainbridge to Reed St. This proposed roadway redesign includes new traffic calming measures and a two-way protected bikeway!




Thanks to a four-month traffic enforcement surge in some of Center City's most traveled bus routes, SEPTA buses that served thousands of riders a day ran faster! This goes to show that traffic enforcement is a key component in moving our city along. The Inquirer writes, "One solution could come in the form of a new class of traffic enforcement officers Philadelphians will consider creating via a ballot question May 21. Automated enforcement is also a possibility."  We could not agree more!

SEPTA is hemorrhaging bus riders. The transit agency has seen a decline in ridership for four straight years. SEPTA's bus rider count is at its lowest level since 2002. This, despite an increase in Philadelphia's population and employment numbers. SEPTA and elected officials need to acknowledge this as the huge problem it is and take concrete steps to begin reversing it like: a bus network redesign, ending the transfer penalty, and automated traffic enforcement, to name a few.

"Philadelphia is now considering congestion pricing for the first time, closely watching New York’s move, 'to see how this can help improve equity, safety, sustainability and mobility,' said Kelly Cofrancisco, a spokeswoman for Philadelphia’s mayor, Jim Kenney", who recently spoke to the New York Times. This comes after news that New York State is nearing approval of congestion pricing for Manhattan—a first for the United States!



A bill is before the Pennsylvania State Senate to create a state housing tax credit to incentivize private investment in new and existing affordable housing.  Daily Local News reports, "Pennsylvania has an affordable housing crisis because there is a shortage of units available for the people who need them. For every 100 very low-income households in Pennsylvania, there are only 73 affordable rental units, and for every 100 extremely low-income households, there are only 42 affordable units available." 

Another junkyard in Kensington / Port Richmond is poised to sell to developers who wish to turn the land into housing for people. It needs zoning approval first.  At least 10 percent of the proposed housing would be classified as affordable based on the regional median income. We believe this will be an improvement over a lot of literal junk, with zero percent affordable housing.



Our nickname, "Filthadelphia," has made national news!  As the AP reports on how some of our neighborhood groups have been forced to fill the gaps left by our city government's unwillingness to provide a basic service and properly clean our streets. Also noted, is the absurdity of Philly's street sweeping pilot that does not involve residents moving their cars. Why can't we have nice things other cities have... like normal street sweeping?


Get Involved


The City of Philadelphia’s Managing Director’s Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, & Sustainability seeks eligible applicants to support two distinct categories of services for Safe Route Philly. Look for opportunity #21190328152509 on eContracts Philly: Due 4/30.

The Association for Community Design's Annual Conference is seeking proposals for presentations and workshops. Due 4/15.

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.

The AARP Community Challenge grant program is part of the nationwide AARP Livable Communities initiative that helps communities become great places to live for residents of all ages. The grant program will provide funds for community-based “quick-action” projects related to housing, transportation, smart cities and public spaces. The grant application period is open now and closes on April 17.


DVRPC is seeking a GIS Application Developer and Transportation Planner

United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey’s (“UWGPSNJ”) is seeking a Managing Director of Talent, Culture and Organizational Effectiveness

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

Scout is leading the redevelopment of the Bok building and is looking for a Administrative Coordinator

P'unk Avenue is hiring an Agile Project Manager

The Common Market Mid-Atlantic, a nonprofit mission-driven distributor of local foods to the Mid-Atlantic region, seeks an Executive Director to lead them through an upcoming period of growth.

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation is hiring for a variety of seasonal jobs.

KATZ Media Group is hiring an account coordinator

Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation (PHDC) is a quasi-city agency that provides major home repairs, energy conservation and accessibility modifications to low-income Philadelphia residents.  They are currently hiring.

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