Meet the Committee Person Candidates: William Knapp (2-24

William Knapp for Democratic Committee Person, Ward 2, Division 24

Bio: William is an investment director for a company that owns and manages apartment communities across the United States. He lives with his wife, an aspiring nutritionist, and a grouchy cat named Roxy. He has a particular interest in planning and zoning
issues, both at the neighborhood and city level. William is running for Democratic Committee Person because he thinks too many people overlook critical primary elections, especially locally focused ones. He would be honored to give back to the neighborhood by serving as one of its representatives to the local party.

Division 2-24

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?

The corner of 6th and Bainbridge is a bit dangerous, since the parking lanes extend quite close to the crossings, limiting visibility.  Simply stating I could 'push' to have the parking area reduced would be pretty facile.  Instead, I would support candidates who espouse urbanist principles in this regard; a ward leader or councilperson who will not intervene to allow curb cuts, for instance.  While this wouldn't address the specific issue, preservation of other street parking in one area would make it easier to push for a reduction in another.  

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

Oftentimes, urban problems go hand-in-hand with other positive qualities.  Therefore, my location is the same; 6th and Bainbridge.  If someone were to stand on a corner and make a full turn they would see restaurants, houses, pedestrians, apartments, shops, showrooms, a fairly attractive streetscape, and even some traffic.  In short, the corner shows the activity, mix of uses, and overall balance that is key for vibrant urbanism.  

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

Committeepeople work to support candidates and increase turnout.  With respect to the latter, more turnout means greater representation to the extent that voters care about neighborhood issues.  With the former, however, gentle nudges can go a long way in local elections where voters might otherwise have little information.  My residence in a diverse urban neighborhood (both in use and tenure), my profession in commercial real estate, and my education in city planning make me well suited to evaluating, and thus supporting, candidates who understand the necessary balance.   

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