Meet the Committee Person Candidates: William Gross (2-26)

William Gross for Democratic Committee in Ward 2, Division 26 (Queen Village)

Bio: As an owner of OX Coffee, William Gross is on the ground everyday problem solving with the people of Queen Village. He is committed to the ideals of social justice and equality and firmly believes that everyone deserves a voice. Coming from a long line of Philadelphians, he cares deeply about the people of this city and will work to ensure that we are an inclusive, forward-thinking community

(Ward 2, Division 26)

1. What street in your neighborhood is most in need of improved conditions for pedestrians and people on bikes? What would you do as committeeperson to make it better?

With the bike lanes on Spruce and Pine streets close to our neighborhood, it would be great to see lanes in place on a northbound street along with a southbound street so people on bikes could safely and confidentially travel to and from those lanes. In order to make this change I would propose three things. First, I would meet with local bikers in the community to gain their input on their needs and opinions on whether this project would help them the most. Second, I would meet with groups like 5th Square to work through the process utilizing their skills and expertise on this specific issue to concentrate community concerns and ideas into a proposal. Third and lastly, once a clear proposal has been written, I’d reach out to local officials and the department responsible for the streets we are looking to improve (Streets Dept., PennDOT, etc). I believe with all groups working together in an organized way, with many voices as one, we will bring the change we desire for the sake of safety and a city that benefits everyone.

2. What street, public space, or building in your neighborhood has the best urbanism? What makes this space successful, however you define that?

The improved street lighting on 4th Street and crosswalks at each corner where Bainbridge and 4th Street meet have been improvements that I think have helped improve pedestrian visibility for drivers, helped beautify the neighborhood and have helped businesses, once in literal darkness, gain a new sense of determination and identity.

3. How would you use this neighborhood leadership position to advance urbanist political causes in Philadelphia?

By harnessing the strengths of this platform, I would make it my mission to connect those with issues specifically regarding safety for pedestrians and bicyclists with the officials and departments responsible for making the physical changes needed to meet the demands of the people. Beautifying our streets and making them safe for all who use them will make this city a place where people choose to be and will benefit everyone.

Visit our blog for more candidate Q&A's and our map of the 100+ urbanist candidates on the ballot for committee person.