Welcome to The 5th Square, Powered By You

Philadelphia needs more and better transportation and housing choices.

We need more transit-accessible housing, and more jobs, retail, offices and co-working spaces close to where people live. We also need more high quality public spaces and green spaces to make our city a more social, healthy, and beautiful place.

To get these things, we need leaders on City Council with the right vision.

Some of our neighborhoods are already some of the most walkable and bikable in the country. But too often it seems like Philadelphia's politicians are doing their best to undermine this key strength with policies that put special privileges for motorists ahead of key goals: housing and transportation affordability, better public spaces, clean air and water, or safety equity on the public streets.

Despite all the talk about the so-called "Greenest City in America," most Philadelphians still own cars and drive to work alone. Every day, almost 40% of Philadelphians leave the city for work in the collar counties, where their greenhouse gas contribution skyrockets.

The first problem is that many of our City Council candidates don't think these are problems, and they don't have a plan to do anything about them.

But some do, and we want to support them.

The 5th Square PAC is asking candidates for Mayor and City Council to pledge to accomplish a platform of policy changes - changes that will be determined cooperatively with your input over the next few weeks.

But politicians only respond to money and votes, and we can only win on our priorities if you help us stock up the PAC with both.

First things first: we need your support to raise our first $5000 as an organization. This money will build the organizational infrastructure to raise even more money: list-building for online fundraising, buying supplies and booking venues for our first round of fundraising events, and investing in an initial round of swag we'll sell to fund the PAC.

Early money is like yeast, as the good folks at Emily's List like to say. Your early donations at this stage are a critical investment in growing our capacity, and helping us create a political climate where City Council candidates compete to be the biggest champions of our priorities.

Second, we need volunteers. We are going to be doing some good old-fashioned shoe leather politics this Spring, and we need a lot of people to help us out. Go to our Volunteer page under the Get Involved header to let us know what you think you'd be good at, and we'll be in touch with you soon about opportunities for action.

We need supporters to canvass the most popular bike lanes, pedestrian plazas, and public spaces, and collect supporter information so that we can mobilize and talk to these voters throughout the 2015 campaign.

We also need supporters to make phone calls, knock doors, host friend-raiser house parties. And finally we need some smartypants policy wonks, civic hackers, small business owners and developers, and neighborhood activists to help us round out our policy wishlist, work on our candidate questionnaire, and fill out our Board.

Enter your email address to take our platform survey and contribute your ideas. The comment period will last through the end of January, and we hope to have our final platform ready by the end of February. Watch your email for updates, and tune into the blog for regular 2015 campaign news and commentary.