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+ Board Meeting Minutes: January 2018
WEST PASSYUNK NEIGHBORS ASSOCIATION BOARD MEETING January 24, 2018
A public board meeting of the West Passyunk Neighbors Association was held at 6:30PM at the 1st District Police Station, 2301 S 24th St, Philadelphia, PA 19145. In attendance were the members of the board: President: Elizabeth Crutchley Vice-President: James Gitto Secretary: J.G. McMillan Treasurer: Patricia Forcina Committee Chairs: Katie Wade (Green), Emily McMillan (Clean), Amelia Wiggins (Arts and Culture) At-large Board Members: George Philips, Tomika Anglin Also in attendance were two members of the public.
Ms Forcina updated the board on our account balance of $1084.00. We discussed possible expenditures of our funds, including a storage shed for tools. Ms. McMillan will look into prices for a shed. It was also suggested to go to ReStore to look into a discounted shed as we are a non-profit. Mr. McMillan asked if we need to file taxes this year. Ms. Forcina will check into this and use GuideStar to help. Ms. Forcina and Ms. Crutchley will work on activating the Amazon Smile account.
Green: Ms. Wade said there will be a tree planting at a date to be determined. Clean: Possible locations for the tool shed were discussed, including by St. Edmonds, by the school, and in the rec center at the playground. Ms. Wiggins alerted Ms. McMillan to a Philadelphia More Beautiful Summit on Feb 6th. Mr. Gitto nominated himself to serve as co-chair of Clean Committee. Ms. McMillan seconded. The motion passed without objection. Zoning: Mr. McMillan had no updates. Events: Ms. Crutchley mentioned the S’Mac Down to discuss later in the meeting.
Ms. Crutchley said the S’Mac Down will be held in early or late March, hopefully at the ARS Brewery. Last year the budget was $72.74, and returned several times that amount. Although she anticipates it being less this year, Ms. Crutchley requested authorization for up to $100 for materials for the S’Mac Down. Ms McMillan seconded. The motion passed without objection.
Ms. Anglin suggested a flea market in the Fall, and volunteered to take the lead in organizing that event.
A shredding event for household documents as well as possible special recycling/collection is suggested for Spring with a suggested donation of $5.
Mr Gitto suggested emailing the general list asking for a donation. Ms. Crutchley volunteered to do this shortly.
Ms. McMillan mentioned the T-shirts and sweatshirts. Ms. Wiggins has the name of someone who may be able to print free T-shirts for non-profits. She will provide details for the board to consider, and then the board may decide the timing, vendor, quantity, and design or designs that should be purchased, if any.
Mr. Gitto suggested Not In Philly, where individuals adopt their block and clean it up, documenting trash collected.
We could look into getting a student (Temple, Drexel, etc) to be a grant-writing volunteer for us. It would give them hands-on experience with grant writing and save us time and effort.
Bark Park wished to alert WPNA that they are looking into turning the large open area at 20th and Snyder into a pop-up dog park.
Mr Gitto suggested having summits for businesses, schools, and faith to get our name out into the community and figure out ways to help them.
Moving our meeting location to the Dixon House could be beneficial, but their operating hours is a concern as Ms. Anglin said they close at 6PM.
Ms. Crutchley wanted to bring to the board’s attention the various Newbold CDC festivals that will be held in the coming months: Cinco de Mayo (May 5th at Cafe y Chocolate), Newbold Blues Fest (June 16th, 1-6PM), and South Philly SausageFest (September 29th, 12-7PM).
The board having no further business, Ms. Crutchley adjourned the meeting.
+ General Meeting Minutes: February 2018
WEST PASSYUNK NEIGHBORS ASSOCIATION GENERAL MEETING February 12, 2018
President Elizabeth Crutchley discussed the WPNA annual holiday party was held on December 19 at La Mula Terca. A good time was had by all and the food was great.
She then discussed details of upcoming events. The annual Smac Down macaroni & cheese competition will be held on March 25 or April 8 at BreweryARS. The Spring tree planting will likely be held in April in coordination with Newbold civic groups. No date for this event has been set. The board is currently looking into hosting a shredding event, likely in May or June, as well as a flea market, likely in September or October. Details will follow as plans materialize.
Emily McMillan reported for the Clean Committee. She stated that the committee is open to suggestions for areas to clean. Some suggestions were made to target the 25th street corridor and behind the police station.
J.G. McMillan reported for the Zoning Committee. There are no pending appeals currently on the slate. He reminded people to please report any unpermitted renovation or repurposing of neighborhood lots, either to the committee or to 311.
For Events, Charlene stated that the Smith Playground Ribboncutting will be held soon. Shirley reported that the 6th Annual Sweethearts Dance for seniors will be held at the Yesha Fellowship Hall on February 14 from 6-8 pm. There will also be a community meeting at the police station at 24th & Wolf on February 20 at 6pm, and that Jordan Harris will be in attendance.
For Arts & Culture, Patricia Forcina noted that the Center for Architecture & Design hosts walking tours. She also suggested that art from local artists could be added into the proposed flea market (see inliquid.org).
Ms. Crutchley stated that WPNA is now available for donations through Amazon Smile and PayPal.
Shirley stated that her office at 2103 Snyder Ave. takes pictures for the Senior Citizen SEPTA ID on most weekdays except for Tuesdays.
Rebecca Fagan from PWD gave an update on Warriner Park and the proposed stormwater improvements in the neighborhood. Construction on Warriner Park is tentatively scheduled for the late Summer or Fall.
Captain Campione and Community Relations Office Tolstoy presented information from the local police district. They heard a private complaint regarding local drug activity and agreed to pursue it further. Chris Grandeson introduced himself to those present and provided his contact information for any questions or concerns (ph.: 267-240-2875 email: firstname.lastname@example.org).The police representatives addressed the issues of “Sit and Go” establishments and said to call the state police or PLCB for liquor license violations. In response to a question, the police stated that they would look into police calling surveillance camera hosts rather than approaching the house directly. Other issues that were discussed included the ongoing Illegal dumping at the vacant lot at 20th & Snyder, the litter of 211 cans at 23rd & Snyder, and nighttime sidewalk parking on the 2100 Norwood block among others.
All business being concluded, Ms. Crutchley stated that the next meeting would be March 12 and adjourned the meeting.
+ General Meeting Minutes: March 2018
WEST PASSYUNK NEIGHBORS ASSOCIATION GENERAL MEETING March 12th, 2018
President Elizabeth Crutchley began the meeting by discussing upcoming events. The Philly Spring Cleanup for WPNA will be held on April 7 from 9:30am-1:30pm. The meeting spot will be at the corner of 25th & Snyder. There will also be a cleanup held by the Friends of Warriner Park at the same time, meeting at the park. The annual Smac Down contest will be held on April 8 from 4-6pm at Brewery ARS. Entry is $10 at the door, except for contest entrants. Please email email@example.com to enter the contest. There will be a tree planting on April 21st meeting at 9:30am at Girard Elementary. All are welcome. Initial planning is still underway for a possible shredding event in May or June, and a flea market in September or October.
J.G. McMillan discussed the potential creation of a Safety Committee to organize a neighborhood watch. If anyone is interested in either a walking neighborhood watch or an Eyes & Ears program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. He also mentioned that persistent issues that need police attention can be requested on the police roll call at phillypolice.com.
Community Relations Officer Tolstoy addressed the recent accident that involved a vehicle travelling south along 23rd Street. Vice President James Gitto asked Officer Tolstoy to look into handicap parking hangers, and why no ticketing of sidewalk-parked vehicles along Norwood had occurred after the last meeting. He also mentioned that there had been no results from complaints directed at the Streets Department, SWEEPS program, or 311 regarding persistent illegal dumping at the 20th & Snyder vacant lot.
A representative from the Department of Revenue discussed several programs targeted at assisting residents with real estate taxes and other property costs, including the Homestead Exemption, RTIP & LISCRETFP (for seniors), OOREPAP (for delinquent payment plans), tax credits for active duty reserve and national guard members, water bill assistance, and real estate tax assistance for catastrophic loss and disabled veterans.
Shirley stated that there will be a Shared Prosperity Roundtable at Transportation Equity at 1234 Market Street from 9-11:30am.
Tomika stated that she is on the SEPTA citizens advisory committee, and to direct any complaints to the customer service comments box on website. She added that there is the SEPTA CAC Monthly Public Meeting on the last Tuesday of Month.
Ms. Crutchley stated that Amazon is tripling Smile donation amount to 1.5% from March 12 to March 31.
Ms. Crutchley stated that the next meeting would be held on April 9, and then adjourned the meeting.
+ General Meeting Minutes: April 2018
WEST PASSYUNK NEIGHBORS ASSOCIATION GENERAL MEETING April 9th, 2018
President Elizabeth Crutchley began the meeting by discussing the S’mac Down that occurred on April 8. Proceeds to WPNA amounted to $980, and the event was regarded as a resounding success. The Winner was Chad Roy, and the runner-up was Janelle Price.
Ms. Crutchley then discussed upcoming events. The Philly Spring Cleanup will occur on April 14 from 9:30am-1:30pm. Volunteers should meet at 25th & Snyder, and the cleanup will address the 25th Street Corridor from Snyder Ave. to Passyunk Ave. There will be a PHS Spring Tree Planting on April 21 at 9:30am. Volunteers should meet then at Girard Elementary. The goal is to plant 23 trees. There will be an Alleyway Grant Information Session with State Representative Jordan Harris on May 4 at 6pm at the Dixon House Gymnasium. Potential future events including a shredding event and a flea market are still in the planning stages.
J.G. McMillan stated that there will be a zoning meeting held on May 16 at 6:30pm at the AME Zion Church at 20th & Reed. This meeting will be hosted by the Concerned Citizens of Point Breeze, who are the coordinating RCO. The only appeal on the schedule is for 1853-55 Hoffman Street, which is looking to construct a 3-story residential building on a vacant CMX-2 lot. The reasons for refusal include omitting the commercial first-floor requirement, a short setback for a pilot house, and insufficient lot area for 3 proposed units in the structure.
Ms. Crutchley then provided information on the upcoming Cinco de Mayo celebration at Cafe y Chocolate. She stated that the event is not a WPNA event, and that Newbold CDC is only involved with the marketing.
Amelia Wiggins from Arts & Culture noted that Liliana had closed her art store on Passyunk. She also stated that participation is open for a trip to the Mall in Washington, D.C., by the National African-American Women in Higher Education, leaving from the Ross store on June 18. Tickets are $55.
Mr. McMillan asked who present would be interested in joining the proposed neighborhood watch under a Safety Committee. Ms. Crutchley and Shirley stated that they would be interested.
Captain Campione and Officer Tolstoy of the First District Police then gave an overview of recent activity and crime prevention tips. They stated that there had been a spike in thefts of mopeds, motorcycles, and scooters. A silver van is suspected in these cases. There is a proposal to host an information session for delivery people related to theft of unlocked and unattended vehicles. There continues to be an epidemic of phone fraud. The police will host their awards banquet at Galdo’s on May 31; tickets will be $30. There is a burglary alert for the 19th street corridor; these typically consist of entry from the back alley with a front lookout. There are four additional bicycle police targeting illegal parking, specifically along Jackson and Wolf Streets. The South Division will host a Memorial Bike Ride on April 28 at 9am beginning at 1900 Washington Ave. There is a $20 registration fee, and the first 25 registrants will receive two Phillies tickets. There will be a barbeque after the race. After their discussion, the police fielded various personal complaints from residents.
Jim from St. Edmond’s stated that there will be a blood drive at the church on April 25 from 2-7pm.
Ms. Crutchley reminded residents to donate to WPNA through PayPal or Amazon Smile.
Ms. Crutchley stated that the next general meeting would be on May 14, and that there would be a WPNA board meeting on May 1 at 7pm at the First District Police Station. She then adjourned the meeting.
+ Board Meeting Minutes: May 2018
WEST PASSYUNK NEIGHBORS ASSOCIATION BOARD MEETING May 1st, 2018
A public board meeting of the West Passyunk Neighbors Association was held at 7:00PM at the 1st District Police Station, 2301 S 24th St, Philadelphia, PA 19145. In attendance were the members of the board: President: Elizabeth Crutchley Vice-President: James Gitto Secretary: J.G. McMillan Treasurer: Patricia Forcina Committee Chairs: Katie Wade (Green), Emily McMillan (Clean) At-large Board Members: Tomika Anglin, Jimmy Marshina Also in attendance were Robbie Marsden (a US history teacher at Universal Vare Charter School) and one of his students.
Ms Forcina updated the board on our account balance of $2207.
Clean: A new cleanup should be scheduled for June. We want to target the northwest area of our boundaries. Since Jon Jacobs expressed interest in spearheading a cleanup, he could be the point person for this cleanup. A secure location for storing cleaning supplies was discussed again, with the thought that one of the secure courtyards around St Edmond’s would be a good location, and Ms Forcina said she would ask the church officials. Ms Crutchley has a wheelbarrow that can be used to transport supplies. Alley Cleanup Information meeting at the Dixon House has been rescheduled from May 4th at 6pm to May 10th at 6pm. Zoning After several attempts, including discussions with Councilman Kenyatta Johnson’s office, Mr McMillan has been unable to get in touch with Concerned Citizens of Point Breeze (CCPB), the coordinating RCO for an upcoming zoning appeal within our boundaries. After discussion of the issue, Mr. McMillan proposed a resolution that Mr. Gitto coordinate with other RCOs in the area to ensure that neighborhood zoning appeals are only assigned to active and qualifying RCOs, and push the City Planning Commission to inquire into the activity and compliance of CCPB as an RCO. The board approved this resolution unanimously.
Robbie Marsden and his student from the Universal Vare Charter School will work on getting a historical marker to identify the former site of Octavius Gatto’s grave. Students will get the project rolling and pass onto us at the end of the school year. There was a discussion on managing feasibility of other proposed Arts & Culture-related events In light of budgetary and manpower constraints.
Before any town watch activity can occur with a safety committee, we need to get insurance. Mr McMillan is seeking quotes for both Directors & Officers insurance and General Liability insurance.
The Crutchley household will sponsor a business membership at BJ’s for the WPNA organization. This will enable us to make tax exempt purchases for things such as cleaning supplies.
BJ’s also has an annual budget to give local organizations project supplies. There is a 6-week application process. but due to the limitations of their budget there is no guarantee that we will receive supplies.
We discussed a minimum meeting attendance for board members to encourage active participation in organization. If adopted, the change would require an amendment to the bylaws. Before taking any action, the board decided to discuss the possibility at the upcoming general meeting. Suggestions: Must attend ⅔ of general and board meetings in the year (10 of the 15 scheduled meetings) Exceptions to be made for religious observance and extreme health problems, and any other exceptions required by law A missed meeting can be made up for by help at 2 events or other approved activities An evaluation should occur at each board meeting of the past 12 months
The S’Mac Down event was a success, raising $980, less the cost of supplies ($36.50), prizes ($30 in Brewery ARS gift cards), and Square fees for credit card use.
Having a shredding event is looking less feasible due to costs. The vendor ProShred charges $300/hr for 2 hours or $250/hr for 3 hours. Penn Medicine Urgent Care could be a possible sponsor, but we are waiting to hear back. The Streets Department can do a pick up of electronics, but we are waiting to hear back about an estimate of those costs. We need to investigate further before deciding.
We are discussing a fundraiser of a Dog Costume Contest at Brewery ARS and co-sponsored by Bark Park. If an entry fee is charged, it will be small. Votes will cost $1, with no limit on the number of votes a person can cast. We will solicit supplies from PetSmart and Bark Park. Proceeds will go to WPNA.
Having an office location somewhere in the neighborhood was proposed as it would give us a location to store supplies and have neighborhood visibility. There was discussion about if real estate or rent could be considered an in-kind donation. Ms Forcina would want a year and a half of rent available in the bank account before we did this.
The board having no further business, Ms Crutchley adjourned the meeting.
+ Alleyway Cleanup Information Session: May 2018
Alleyway Grant Information Session with State Rep Jordan Harris May 11th, 2018 at Dixon House, 1920 S 20th St, Phila, PA 19145
Minutes courtesy of Kevin Devine, of East Point Breeze Neighbors
This session was to answer questions about the grant and the work being done in the neighborhood. There were a few neighborhood groups as well as concerned neighbors. There was a large contingent from Jordan Harris' office, representatives from NSA Education Network and a representative from the state Department of Community & Education Development (as well as probably some I'm missing). Here are the basics:
- Jordan Harris became aware of the grant and reached out to NSA Education Network (which is based in the 186th district) and who he had worked with previously.
- NSAEN applied for and was approved for the grant, which was just shy of $250k. Dr. Cassandra Jones lives in the neighborhood and represented NSAEN, she did much of the presentation. (JH wanted to be clear that his office doesn't receive the money nor is he involved in the evaluation process for the cleanups).
- NSAEN had identified neighborhood businesses Ready Willing & Able and SURGE who would actually be doing the work of the cleanups. NSAEN would be providing education and guidance to RWA & SURGE. The money that NSAEN receives counts toward the "administrative fees" the grant allows for (which Jordan Harris believed was allowed to be 5% of the grant). Otherwise RWA & SURGE are paid from the grant as they complete projects.
- RWA & SURGE evaluated 151 "neighborhoods" (blocks) in the 186th district and reported in the meeting that they evaluated all alleys and empty lots. There was a tool used to grade these areas into three levels; Good, Fair, Poor. (we are supposed to receive a copy of the tool to see the criteria used). Out of the 151 "neighborhoods" 8 were evaluated as "good", 110 as "fair", and 33 as "poor". If the organization received notification (by a private individual or organization) those alleys/lots were also included in the evaluation process. The evaluation took place in August/September of 2017.
- RWA & SURGE began cleaning up in phases beginning with the areas evaluated as "poor" first. However some things (locked alleyways, large debris for example disqualified an area for clean-up. They originally had planned to include removal of alley trees in the cleanup but that was quickly taken off the table as it was cost prohibitive and presented legal issues. Also, RWA & SURGE only clean up the debris, the city is then supposed to remove the collected items. NSAEN is trying (this is a new process) to coordinate with the streets department to arrange for these pick-ups, as apparently some of the pickups haven't happened in a timely fashion. Nearby neighbors are supposed to receive a letter informing them of the cleanup and an estimated date the cleanup will happen.
- As of April 30, 2018, the 33 "poor" areas had been cleaned,
- They then plan to move onto the "fair" area in ongoing phases, the project is planned to continue until Feb. 2019
On the community organization / neighbor side there was a fair amount of frustration that much of this information has been difficult to get and it is seven months after the project began that now there is some visibility. It was suggested to NSAEN that if they had simply reached out to a few neighborhood groups and made this information transparent it would have gone a long way in addressing some of those issues. JH and team felt they had been wrongly maligned on the Facebook groups. JH and NSAEN agreed that there could have been better communication about the project. There were some heated moments but I think eventually everyone tried to focus on the benefit this grant was bringing to the neighborhood...although I'm sure other attendees might have a different perspective (I'm trying to present this information neutrally).
The Outcome: NSAEN confirmed they have a list of areas to be cleaned in the upcoming phases. They have agreed to make that information available with the caveat that sometimes things change. Dr. Cassandra Jones agreed to send the information to Nakia Carr in JH office and she would communicate out to the various groups. (email@example.com). I spoke directly with Nakia after the meeting and made sure she had my e-mail and asked that she send me the pertinent information. What they agreed to send:
- The list of upcoming sites to be cleaned with anticipated dates (subject to change)
- The power point they reviewed in the meeting
- The letter nearby neighbors will receive
+ General Meeting Minutes: May 2018
WEST PASSYUNK NEIGHBORS ASSOCIATION GENERAL MEETING May 14th, 2018
President Elizabeth Crutchley began the meeting by discussing past events. The Philly Spring Cleanup was rescheduled to April 21st, and targeted 25th Street from Snyder to Wolf. Volunteers collected 30 bags of trash and debris. The PHS Spring Tree Planting successfully planted 23 trees. The recent WPNA board meeting resulted in the creation of a Safety Committee, and there was also discussion about attendance requirements for board members. Minutes for the board meeting and alleyway grant information session are available on the website.
Ms. Crutchley then discussed upcoming events. The Community Ambassadors Program will meet at the Wharton Square Recreation Center at 2300 Wharton St. on May 24 at 6pm. State Representative Jordan Harris will attend. WPNA will be participating in the citywide Illegal Signs Roundup on June 9. Volunteers can meet at 10am at St. Edmond’s, or drop signs off at the June 11 general meeting. WPNA will receive $0.50 for each sign collected up to $250. WPNA will host a cleanup event targeting the 2000 and 2100 blocks of McKean Street on June 23 at 9:30am.
Patricia Forcina stated that a shredding event is likely not possible due to the expense.
Tomika stated that consideration should be made of the recent flea market at Donatucci Library, who offered 50 spaces for $15 each and did not sell out. She and Ms. Forcina also suggested a possible artist theme to the flea market.
Mr. McMillan stated that there were two zoning meetings upcoming on the schedule. The first meeting will be at the AME Zion Church at 20th & Reed on May 16 at 6:30pm. This meeting will be regarding a CMX conversion property at 1853-1855 Hoffman Street, and the meeting will be hosted by Concerned Citizens of Point Breeze as the coordinating RCO. The second meeting will be hosted by WPNA at the First District Police Station on May 24 at 7pm. This meeting will be regarding CMX conversion of the vacant lot at 2047 S 23rd Street, located behind the Lee Lai Deli. All residents are encouraged to attend both meetings.
Ms. Crutchley stated that a Board Meet & Greet with East Point Breeze Neighbors Association will take place later this year, most likely in June. More details will follow as they become available.
Meeka Outlaw, NAC coordinator for Diversified Community Solutions, then gave a presentation. She hosts community meetings related to housing and community issues; distributes assistance info to homes in tax debt or foreclosure; and provides resources and clearances for criminal and child abuse for free (not including FBI checks), good for 5 years. On May 18 at xFinity Live, a Feed the Children event will be hosted by the Eagles ‘Malcolm Jenkins. Ms. Outlaw can provide vouchers for free checkups, haircuts, GED services and counseling, and giveaways of food and useful items (up to 70 lbs). Intensive Prevention Services (IPS) is an after-school program for at-risk kids. The program gives them meal, trips, and counseling. The Dixon House is a neighborhood resource that offers housing-related assistance for issues like shutoffs & home purchasing advice. There will be a career fair on June 2 from 10am-1pm at the Pennovation Center at 3401 Grays Ferry Ave. The Dixon House also offers a variety of services and programs, including the Career Readiness Workshop, Housing Retention Program, Basic Skills Training Program, Parenting Program, Parent Anger Management Program, and Community Legal Services for housing/landlord issues. The Community Advisory Board with DA’s office will meet on May 24 at 6pm at Finnegan Playground on Wharton St. The Office of Risk Management deals with torn-down party walls and related damages.
Captain Campione and Officer Tolstoy of the First District Police then discussed crime in the neighborhood. They stated that overall crime is down lately, but thefts from vehicles are up. There is now a device that mimics a car’s key fob (buttons). They recommended keeping keys in a tin or far from the front door (the range is about 50 feet). They reminded residents to request free credit reports to avoid identity theft. They also reminded residents to secure windows and air conditioners. They also alerted residents to monitor seniors with the upcoming summer heat, and to call the police to check on individuals if there are any concerns. The First District Policy Awards Banquet is May 31 from 5-7pm at Galdo’s. Tickets to the event are $30. Deacon Jim from St. Edmond’s will be receiving the Dibiase Award, among other deserving recipients. Vice President James Gitto thanked the Captain for ticketing cars parked in the crosswalks. The curfew for neighborhood children was discussed. Officer Tolstoy recommended calling the police for any youths wandering the streets after 9:30pm and letting the police determine if action is appropriate.
Ms. Crutchley stated that the next meeting would be on June 11, and adjourned the meeting.
+ General Meeting Minutes: June 2018
WEST PASSYUNK NEIGHBORS ASSOCIATION GENERAL MEETING June 11th, 2018
Zoning Meeting on 5/14/18 1853-55 Hoffman St Committee narrowly voted to support
Zoning Meeting on 5/24/18 2047 S 23rd St Residents strongly opposed as proposed Residents would like to see ADA-compliant unit Applicant is reworking their proposal to accommodate community requests Another meeting is likely to occur
Illegal Sign Round-Up Members met up on 6/9 at 10am at St Edmond’s Groups went around and removed 54 illegal and predatory signs from around the neighborhood
Send off for JG McMillan 6/22 at 7pm at Brewery ARS (1927 W Passyunk Ave) JG is stepping down from the board and leadership positions but will still be an active member Order food from Cafe y Chocolate
Neighborhood Cleanup 2000 and 2100 blocks of McKean 6/23 at 9:30am Meet at 21st and McKean We will provide cleaning materials (gloves, bags, brooms, shovels)
South Philly West Civics Meet and Greet 6/24 at 4pm at 2nd District (1939 S Bancroft St) For people who are on the board or want to be on the board of your local civic organization (or be on a committee) Join us for more information about being actively involved and to network
Possible Future Events Cleanup on the block of Bucknell behind the police/fire station Shred event: the cost may be prohibitive, but we are still looking into it Flea Market: September or October
Arts and Culture Committee Update Amelia Wiggins (chair) is working with Mike, the supervisor at Smith Playground They’re looking to bring in a drum and percussion teacher for 1.5-2 hours for a cultural event with the children, but this will need board approval A resident offered to connect Amelia with other individuals that could contribute to this
Speakers: PGW Francesca Laroche (Director of Public Affairs at PGW) & Melanie McCattry Distributed a PGW customer handbook (safety and information) Call 911 if you suspect a false PGW worker (PGW works with police dispatch to verify where there workers are in the area) Call 811 prior to digging for utilities to be marked Text WORK to 75308 for a map of current and scheduled work on gas main replacement
Speakers: First District Police Capt. Campione & Officer Tolstoy Accident on Lambert St: still need camera footage to verify what happened Lock your car doors! All vehicles stolen in the past 30 days in our area had unlocked doors. People will try door handles as they walk by They have increased ticketing of people parking to block crosswalks and curb cuts in response to resident complaints of these obstructions Seniors are increasingly being targets of identity theft since they are not actively checking their credit reports Resident questions/concerns People often seen in the alley between Mercy and Emily Sts. If someone is in an alley, call 911 to report Shooting on 2000 block of S Norwood: drug related, not an ongoing threat Nuisance house at 2207 S Bonsall: noise and drug activity in the middle of the night, likely the adult children of the owner
Miscellaneous Support WPNA using Amazon Smile or donate using PayPal James Gitto announced the opening of Bark Park (doggie day care, play area, and grooming) on 6/19 Amelia Wiggins asked about banners around the neighborhood (on light poles)
+ General Meeting Minutes: July 2018
Intro & Greetings
It was announced that Jameson Gitto is now Zoning Chair and Stephanie Hasson is now Interim Secretary.
The zoning meeting which took place at 2031 South 20th street was discussed; the meeting resulted in a vote of 22 opposed vs. 16 not opposed. In response to the vote, the Zoning Committee ruled to support a variance with 1 opposed vs. 5 not opposed. In response to these actions, the management company in charge of the property will sign a Community Benefits Agreement which will result in them contributing 3 hours per month and up to 50 hours per year of community service and one ADA unit below listed value ($850) to the West Passyunk community.
Over 40 bags of trash were collected at the 2000-2100 McKean Street clean up on June 23rd.
Review of the South Philly West Civics Meet and Greet on Sunday June 24th at 4pm at 2nd District Brewery; the event was well-attended and showed community interest in the WPNA and other civic organizations.
Officers Harte and Campione reported that elderly residents are being targeted for scams and have been the victims of heat related health issues; the police department requested that members of the community call 911 to report elderly residents in danger of heat related illness or who they feel have lost money to scam artists.
There has been an increase in the number of break ins and auto thefts in the area, residents need to be reminded to not leave windows open, doors unlocked or to leave cars running. The officers stated that that locks on alleyways reduce thefts; these locks should only be removed/broken in the event of a fire.
Jameson Gitto drew attention to illegal dumping occurring on 21st street. The officers informed the group to try and get the tag numbers of illegal dumpers and the time of day of the illegal dumping in order to help the officers identify perpetrators. Mail can also be used to identify perpetrators.
There has been an increase in abandoned cars and debris on 25th street.
The need for a curfew for young people was discussed due to the spike in violence between the hours of 12:00am-1:00am.
Katharine Wade Trap and Release
Ms. Wade distributed information about the ACT and PAWS cat relief fund. She explained the benefits of these trap/neuter and return programs. Ms. Wade then explained that animals put into this program would be released with an identifier on the left ear to show they have been spayed or neutered.
Elizabeth Crutchley gave an update on parking permits. Ms. Crutchley stated that in order to instate permit parking on a block, the majority of individuals who live on a block need to sign a petition that, when completed, must be submitted to the Philadelphia Parking Authority.
Jameson Gitto added that vehicles over 250 pounds cannot park in residential area and will be ticketed.
Ms. Crutchley also stated that disability parking does not belong to an individual, to which Ms. Johnson added that doctor regulations for obtaining handicapped parking have changed. The maximum amount of handicapped spaces per block is 3.
Any interested party can order a WPNA hoodie on the Facebook site.
The Franklin Institute will be holding special events at the Donatucci Library.
There is a possibility of future fundraising events at the Dixon House and the Smith Playground.
+ General Meeting Minutes: September 2018
We had two cleanups: Second McKean on agenda was Jackson Street Plants will go in on Jackson Street Large School Supply Drive: was a big success Movie Night went well: Police Advisory board
Mifflin 24th-Point Breeze - weeds Norwood: 2200 block - alleyway issues 25th Street Playground -
$20 donation for street sweeper
Zoning 23rd Street 7pm Community Room
Reach out to Sweep and DCRE
Chinese Restaurant: Health Department follow-up
PDAC: 3rd Tuesday 6pm 1st District Police Station National Night Out School Fundraiser Movie night Clean-up event Helicopter at Front & Snyder Back to school: Anti-drinking anti-drugs anti-bullying Senior Project: Bring resources to the community
Police Shootings have people of interest Block Party - Rule Change
Updates: The block of 20th and Mercy is eligible for the “Most Beautiful Block”.
Applications are trees are due on 9/27 Fall tree planting is scheduled for Nov. 17 at 10:00am All information about the tree applications and planting will be on the WPNA Facebook page.
Voting Members were reminded that felons are eligible to vote once they are released from prison. Jameson Gitto reminded all of the members about the Homestead Tax Exemption Act's upcoming deadline to apply.
Mr. Gitto went onto state that he is in the process of getting a grant from the water department to clean the storm drains in a 5 block area in the neighborhood. Mr. Gitto is currently looking for student volunteers to help out with this project. The project will lead to individual water bills costing less. Mr. Gitto urged the WPNA members to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
To find out about work opportunities for high school kids, members were urged to call Work ready.
+ General Meeting Minutes: October 2018
Intro and Greetings Meeting commenced at 6:33pm Past Events
Ms. Crutchley went over Mr. Gitto’s cleaning efforts on the 1900 block of Passyunk.
Mr. Gitto gave the association an update on the past and upcoming zoning meetings.
- Last zoning meeting, no vote occurred.
- Upcoming zoning meeting regarding 2047 S 23rd St.
Ms. Crutchley encouraged members to dial 311 if they see construction happening with no permits posted.
Mr. Gitto informed all members that WPNA wants to make sure that all corner properties remain residential.
- Ms. Crutchley asked the committee if they knew of any streets that need to be cleaned and asked members to email email@example.com if they think of a street that needs cleaning.
- Mr. Gitto reminded that application for trees through PHS are due on November 17th
- The city or PHS are responsible for the pruning of trees once they are planted. Mr. Gitto added that an organization called CLIP can assist with pruning as well.
- Ms. Crutchley informed the committee about the partnership with Bark Park for the Howl-O-Ween event. The dog costume contest costs $1 and all proceeds go to WPNA.
- 1st District
Credit reporting – Scams targeting the elderly IRS Scams – The IRS will send 3 letters to you directly if you are not in compliance.
Package theft – Register with UPS or USPS to track packages and communicate with neighbors to ensure theft reduction.
Warm weather encourages crime – be careful regarding open windows.
Ms. Hasson inquired with the offices about a shooting on 10/6.
Officers informed members that they should give as much information as possible to the dispatcher when dialing 911 to help identify the perpetrators.
Ticketing policies were discussed. Officers said if any community members have any issue with ticketing policies not being enforced, call the district and ask for a supervisor.
Ms. Crutchley inquired about a local shooting at a gas station at 24th and Passyunk.
Anton Moore gave an update about the 48th Ward and the power that committee members are being given. He spoke about repeat offenders that are being left out onto the streets. He also spoke about how employment opportunities are needed in the 48th Ward. Mr. Moore spoke about the importance of communication. Mr. Moore informed members that there is a possibility of a rally with the governor in Ward 48. It was added that anyone who wants to be a committee person should contact him because committee people can be appointed.
- Daniel Ramos Philly 311
Mr. Ramos talked about the Philly 311 mobile app. Mr. Ramos talked about how the app works and what information it provides. Mr. Ramos talked about the mapping system atlas.philadelphia.gov and the information that that service provides; all public information is combined on this service. Mr. Ramos informed the community that 311 is working with L&I. Mr. Ramos informed those in attendance that the validity of the data is tracked by data received from feedback surveys which tracks if services performed were completed.
Mr. Gitto reminded those in attendance that complaints could be filed via 311 anonymously.
A neighbor in attendance asked if the repeated service requests are prioritized; in response Mr. Ramos informed committee that comments and pictures can be added to a case to give more detail, but cases that have been reported multiple times are not prioritized.
Mr. Ramos informed the committee about the neighborhood liaison program. A neighbor asked about troublesome trees, Mr. Ramos and Mr. Gitto informed the committee that several utility services might need to be contacted prior to the tree not being tended to.
Neighbors were encouraged to contact CLIP; they will provide materials to clean alleys if you have the volunteers.
- Parking related forms
- T shirt Fundraiser
- Support on Amazon
Next Meeting Dates
- November 12, 2018
Meeting adjourned at 7:53pm
+ General Meeting Minutes: November 2018
WPNA General Meeting Minutes 11/12/2018
The meeting began with an update from the First District Police Department. The officer informed those in attendance that the department was supporting Cancer Awareness Month and had also just held their Annual Cookies with Rookies community event. The officer went onto state their had been a recent spike in burglaries. In order to prevent burglaries, residents are urged to put air conditioners in the back windows of their homes, have a pet dog, keep children’s objects visible and to install a door bell cameras. These suggestions by the police department are all things that have been proven deterrents to theft. The First District Police also asked the residents in attendance to make sure their properties were indentifiable from the back of the property by posting their house number in the back as well as the front of the home.
Ms. Crutchley discussed the positions for which elections needed to be held in the new year and mentioned the need for a Safety Committee to be formed. The positions for which elections will be held in the New Year are detailed on a spreadsheet developed by Ms. Crutchley that will now be maintained by Ms.Hasson. The past events that were discussed were the Zoning Meeting that occurred on October 25th, the Howl-o-ween fundraiser and the t-shirt fundraiser. At the zoning meeting, all voted in favor to make a commercial property a 2 unit residential dwelling. The fundraisers raised $88 and $132 respectively.
The upcoming tree planting was discussed which will take place on November 17th. 32 trees are going to be planted starting at 9:30am. There will be another tree planting in April; applications for the trees will be accepted until 11/28.
The Clean Committee updated everyone that trash pickup will be delayed the week due to a federal holiday.
Mr. Gitto spoke about the Not in Philly program, which is an alternative to the city’s block captain program, and urged those in attendance to sign up. Mr. Gitto mentioned that his business, BarkPark, has invested $2000 to the Not In Philly program and can provide trash pickers to anyone in the community who would like them. It was added that combatting the trash problem in the community is vital to keep up property values and to keep businesses investing in the community. The Clean Committee had a successful clean up at Vare Elementary where 27 students participated and 2 city blocks were cleaned. Mr. Gitto stated there will be a January clean up date and asked for interested members and students. The lack of leaf removal by the city was cited as an issue and residents stated that they were paying for this service out of pocket between clean ups by the city.
Ms. Crutchley opened the floor up to suggestions in regards to the holiday party. In lieu of a holiday party, the possibilities of a Christmas tree give-a-way or a community potluck were suggested. J.C. McMillian stated that WPNA would like to organize alley clean ups during the winter and to contact him for more information.
Ms. Crutchley reminded all in attendance that they can give to the WPNA on Amazon Smile and Paypal.
The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 10th at 6:30pm.
The meeting adjourned at approximately 7:40pm.
+ General Meeting Minutes: December 2018
WPNA General Meeting Minutes 12.10.18
President Elizabeth Crutchley commenced the meeting at 6:32 pm. The meeting began with the First District Police Department discussing their annual children’s’ party coming up Monday, December 17th at 7:30 on 24th and Wolf Streets.
President Elizabeth Crutchley went on to discuss the past board meeting on 11/27 where it was decided that WPNA would give donations in lieu of a holiday party. It was decided that $200 would be given to the Stephen Girard School Project; Ms. Crutchley stated the suggested individual contribution was $20 each. In addition, 2 $25 gift cards would be given to St. Edmund’s food pantry and WPNA member Daniella, who tends to the trashcans outside of St. Edmunds, would receive a $25 target card.
The First District Police Department presented next and discussed school partnerships that they run which are designed to make sure needy children are given things during the holidays. The First District went onto discuss another one of their initiatives, Code Blue, which is a program designed to get the homeless off the streets in dangerously cold temperatures. WPNA members were instructed to call police if they see homeless people on the streets that need to get inside and that officers will get them to a homeless shelter. To contact police for Code Blue, WPNA members were instructed to dial 911. If homeless people do not want to go to a shelter, the officers will take them to a public building with heat. If there is a mental health issue, police will bring those in crisis to the hospital. The officers went onto discuss the increase in thefts during the holidays and encouraged everyone to be extra vigilant. WPNA members were encouraged to let a neighbor know about deliveries to prevent theft, to exercise caution when using ATMs, and to be aware of home phone scams.
Vice President Jameson Gitto was next to speak and he raised concern about drugs being sold in front of a local business. Treasurer Patricia Forcina was next to present and discussed the issue of illegal parking and encouraged those in attendance to conduct welfare checks on their neighbors; Ms. Forcina stated if mail is piling up at a residence, call the police to evaluate. The First District Police stated that they would be able to conduct a welfare check without disturbing the property. 40% of the residents in the area of WPNA are 65+ and welfare checks are vital for their safety especially if they live alone.
President Crutchly went onto discuss upcoming events. Ms. Crutchley discussed the West of Broad Holiday Pub Crawl and the Harm Reduction Event with Mental Health Partnerships at Dixon House that her and Vice President Gitto will be organizing in the near future.
Next, Green Committee Chair Katharine Wade gave an update on past events; she stated that the Fall Tree Planting resulted in 32 trees planted.
Vice President Gitto stated that he had been working with 8th graders at Vare Elementary School, and in the near future, he and the students were going to clean the lobby of the First District Police Station.
Vice President Gitto and Secretary Hasson then updated those in attendance in regards to Councilperson Johnson’s bill to overlay the community – or remapping bill – which will change multifamily properties to single family properties. With this bill, CMX1 properties will be converted to CMX2 so they can be converted to residential, keeping 2 story homes from becoming 3 story homes. Vice President Gitto pointed out that many residents are displeased with the bill and many civics attended the meeting about it. JG McMillan added that corrective zoning makes sense for our neighborhood because we are the only neighborhood with multi family properties. The problem with Councilperson Johnson’s bill, Mr. McMIllan stated, is it is trying to do everything in one bill. Mr. McMillan stated the bill is not accurate with what the Planning Commission is suggesting.
T close the meeting, President Crutchley added that Chairs are still needed for several committees. Ms. Crutchley talked about changing the by laws in regards to Board membership and meeting attendance. WPNA members filled out ballots for Board positions and results were announced directly after.
The meeting adjourned.
The next General Meeting will take place on 1/14.
+ General Meeting Minutes: January 2019
President Elizabeth Crutchley commenced the meeting. Vice President, James Gitto began the meeting with some general announcements. Mr. Gitto brought up some general zoning updates and said that there will be a neighborhood leaf removal. Next, the First District Police gave some updates; Lieutenant Brian Aldridge was introduced to those in attendance as the new Crime Prevention Officer. Officer Aldrige gave a review of local crime trends. Green Chair, Katherine Wade asked questions about the scooter thefts and about theft prevention efforts the First District are employing. The Crime Prevention Officer from the First District recommended storing all vehicles in a garage if possible. The Officer was asked about gunshots between Dulfor and Fitzgerald streets and they reported that an arrest was made. Katherine Wade also asked with the cold weather, what to do when residents see an animal has been left outside? The officer recommended dialing 911 for Code Blue. Ms. Wade then inquired if Philly 311 does anything about abandoned cars, to which the First District confimred the residents should dial 311 for this. Mr. Yorgy-Girdy then inquired about procedures for daycare centers during lockdowns. The First District stated that daycares should be in contact with the School District regarding what they should do during a lockdown. Officer Aldridge reminded those in attendance that the Supreme Court has ruled names must be given when dialing 911 due to the fact that only verified calls will be pursued; you must give a name for the call to be verified. No one’s personal information will be shared with the public. 22 parking spaces are not currently available due to the installation of water purification systems in the area.
Ms. Crutchley presented Daniella a gift from the WPNA for her care of the St. Edmound’s property.
Ayse Unver from the Department of City Planning and Development was next to present. Ms. Unver is assigned to the South and Lower South District, she previously worked with the Horticulture Society. Ms. Unver stated that duties in the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter, City Wide Vision have been updated for the first time in 50 years. This charter was first one developed by Kevin Bacon’s dad. The Department is trying to implement what is in the City Wide Plan. Remapping is part of the City Wide Plan as well as tree planting and traffic safety. The Citizen’s Planning Institute is available through her department and is a great resource to anyone who wants to find out more about zoning. All of the information for the institute is available online.
Ms. Crutchley updated on the Slow Zone Application. She discussed the borders of the project and the motivation for the project. All WPNA members should check their emails for updates. One of the goals is to protect the children in the local schools. Mr. Gitto gave an update that WPNA is one of 23 NCOs to apply for slow zones and only 2 will be excepted. Mr. Gitto reviewed the high injury network. Mr. Gitto explained that the Visionzero Plan, put together by the city with the goal of having no more cyclist and pedestrian fatalities. In the WPNA area, illegal parking is a major cause of traffic injury. Mr. Gitto has been working with Feet First Philly to document illegal parking occurrences. The First District Police Department has had over 300 reports of illegal parking in a calendar year. Mr. Gitto stated the need for performance parking, or finding the perfect rate of parking for businesses; performance parking switches to residential parking at night. In center city, loading zones are becoming free. Taking away barriers for loading zones and permit blocks are the goal. WPNA members stated the many of the problems with parking are due to lack of enforcement. Mr. Gitto responded by saying we are not trying to bring more layers to the regulations, we are trying to being more resources. Ms. Hasson added there is a need for more resources to convince neighbors to get permit parking, such as maps of areas that already have permits. Mr. Gitto replied that that information is on the PPA website. Mr. Gitto ended the meeting by announceing that OTIS will take place on Jan 29 at Yards Brewery at 2:00pm; OTIS is a meeting about street repaving through Streets Dept. Mr. Gitto suggested WPNA should make a neighborhood budget recommendation when it goes before City Council.
Next General Meeting 2/11 Zoning Meeting 2/24
+ General Meeting Minutes: February 2019
The meeting opened with an announcement regarding upcoming events. Mr. Gitto announced that there will be a West Passyunk Ave Cleanup in conjunction with South Philly Green on Saturday; the event is listed on the events section of the WPNA website. The spring tree planting is coming up in April; there is no definite date yet. The S’mac down is also coming up; there is no definite date. Mr. Crutchley then continued with committee updates. The WPNA spring cleanup is scheduled for April 6; members can email area suggestions to Emily by March 1. The illegal sign roundup will take place either late spring early summer. There will also be a tire roundup in the near future. Mr. Gitto added that the zoning committee discussed proposed changes to properties at both 1920 S 19th and 2051 Snyder Ave.; both were approved.
Ms. Crutchley reminded those in attendance that chairs are still needed for both eh events and safety committee.
The First District Police then gave their update. They reported that there was a homicide at 21st and Snyder. Park and walk is being instituted in this area to protect residents. There is still a rise in car thefts due to the weather because of cars left running unattended. Officers recommended Lifelock to protect from identity theft. Officers reminded members that they must give their names when dialing 911 because anonymous calls cannot be verified.
Emily and Bridget from The Food Trist were next to present. They gave background information on The Food Trust (night markets, improving access to SNAP, grocery development and food access, etc.). Bridget let everyone know that The Food Trust is a national organization that does this work in many areas and was formerly known as the Farmers Market Trust. Expanding to nutrition education in the public school system is one of the organization’s focuses. Heartsmarts, a nutrition education and health screenings program, is another initiative by the organization; they happen on the same day every month at various locations throughout the city. The Food Trust also offers EBT card incentive programs; in these programs, Philly Food Bucks are earned by consumers that they can spend towards produce. Participating consumers can also get cash back for a certain amount spent at various retail locations to use towards produce at participating locations. The Food Trust will help any store that does not sell tobacco to offer healthy options. The Food Trust is looking to partner with Rowhouse Grocery to offer incentive programs to low-income residents. All of the information that the representatives distributed during the meeting can be found on their website.
Ms. Crutchley reminded all those in attendance to please support WPNA on Smile.
The next general meeting will be on March 11.
+ General Meeting Minutes: March 2019
The First District Police gave their update. There has been violence on Wilson Street due to retaliation for previous homicides. The First District is trying to get illegal guns off the streets via several initiatives. There was an introduction of new officer, Lt. Granziano. There will be a curfew enforced due to the change in weather. The officers reminded those in attendance to lock cars and to not leave keys in cars while they are running. Mr. Gitto commented on the rash of Toyota break-ins. Officer Campione suggested trying to park in a lighted spot. Ms. Forcina commented on the rash of parking in front of hydrants and cars not parking on an angle on certain streets where that is required; Mr. Gitto added that Jackson Street is particularly bad. Mr. Gitto also added that 729 Jackson Street had 2 car break-ins recently. The officers went onto suggest that residents hide handicap placards, they are worth money on the black market and are being stolen and sold.
Mr. Gitto gave an update on past events. On 2/17 there was be a block clean up along Passyunk Ave, approximately 28 bags were collected. In regards to upcoming events, the Spring Tree Planting date is to be announced. The S’mac Down fundraiser at Brewery ARS will take place on 4/7 12:00pm. The Green Committee gave an update, Ms. Wade informed those in attendance that she reached out to the Stray Cat Relief Fund and is organizing a neighborhood roundup to trap, spay and neuter feral cats. The Clean Committee then gave their update; there is to be an illegal sign roundup in the near future, but in the meantime residents are encouraged to tear them down and turn them in for money. There will also be a tire roundup in the near future. The Spring Clean Up will take place on April 6th. Ms. Hasson requested the clean up focus on 19th Street between Passyunk Ave. and Mifflin Streets. Ms. McMillan stated that Kenyatta Johnson employs Ready, Willing and Able to help with neighborhood cleaning. Mr. Gitto added that the organization won’t go under or around cars to move trash. 25th Street will be on the May cleanup if Ready Willing and Able does not cover before then. The Spring Clean Up starts April 6th at 10:00am. On March 28th there will be a zoning meeting for 2102 Beechwood Street that is being converted into 2 residential units. Mr. Gitto added that we are still looking for board members for various committees.
Vicky Riley from the Department of Revenue presented. She stated that the Department of Revenue is responsible for collecting real estate taxes and water bills. She highlighted assistance programs offered by the department. Ms. Riley informed those in attendance that 96.1% of real estate taxes collected; Philadelphians on average pay their taxes. The Homestead Act was mentioned in regards to the fact that it only needs to be applied for once. Senior citizens are offered a tax-free program if they are 65 years or older. Applications are due March 15th to get taxes frozen at 2018 tax rates. Real estate tax exemption program allows you to pay your taxes monthly. The Owner Occupied Payment Agreement Program is for those behind on their tax payments. In the case of a property owner becoming deceased, the individual inherits the property is grandfathered in. Local water bills are managed by 2 agencies: Philadelphia Water Department and the Water Revenue Bureau. Ms. Riley urged those in attendance to call before you receive a shut off notice if you are behind on your payments, you may have a defunct meter or a leak. You may have also received an estimated bill. Landlords have the right to charge for the water; renters have the right to get the bill in their name if they are afraid of water being shut off. Deeds are checked by the Department of Revenue in regards to the Homestead Act. Ms. Riley also mentioned American Water Services, which helps homeowners protect infrastructure they are responsible for, not the city. American Water Services costs $97 a year. Ms. Riley mentioned if you can’t find your AWS membership card your councilman can help you with that. The Department of Revenue’s weekly hours are until 7:00pm. Reference pages were given out. Ms. Riley also mentioned there are free income tax services through the city. Mr. Gitto mentioned there will be by law changes made to update board member attendance requirements. Those in attendance were reminded that they can support WPNA on Amazon Smile or Paypal.
+ General Meeting Minutes: April 2019
During their update, the First District Police informed those in attendance that recently there had been a series of thefts of cars left running with their keys inside. Package theft continues to be a concern in the area and residents should use cameras that can communicate to cellphones in order to prevent theft. The First District also reported that their park and walk efforts at 20th and Snyder have helped considerably with lowering crime levels.
Mr. Gitto then gave updates for the various committees and events. Last week there was a Zoning Committee meeting for the Beechwood Street proposal. Mr. Gitto reported that the proposal was turned down. Mr. Gitto reported that the committee felt that the owner needed to invest more in the property. The proposal went against not turning commercial properties into residential on Snyder.
The S’macdown event raised $1321.47. There was a successful community cleanup on Saturday. The spring tree planting is occurring on April 27th at Stephen Girard Elementary at 9:30am. The Clean Committee will pay for people to take down illegal signs for cash. Those in attendance were asked to inform the Clean Committee in regards to possible future clean up locations.
At this time there are no upcoming events. Mr. Gitto suggested the possibility of future meetings taking place outdoors meetings to increase visibility.
Mr. Gitto also informed those in attendance WPNA is looking to form a safety board, which is different from a town watch.
Ciara W from the Office of Sustainability was the first speaker to present. Ciara described the 8 different vision areas. She went on to explain The Power Purchase Agreement, which makes city buildings more energy efficient. Ciara stated that the Office of Sustainability also works with the Office of Community Preparedness, and TreePhilly to improve communities. Ciara also described the Beat the Heat pilot project that combats urban heat islands. The Neighborhood Heat Plan is an initiative to combat extreme heat via education. The Office of Sustainability also works with OTIS to better understand inequity in transportation and to remap transit. Another partnership is with Zero Waste to improve recycling. Solarize Philly is another partner and helps the Office of Sustainability connect youth with jobs and educating the public. Ciara stated that there is a need for recycling enforcement like SWEEP. Ciara closed by saying social media is the best way to stay updated in regards to the Office of Sustainability.
Lance Lee form the Christian Street YMCA was the next person to present. He stated that on April 27th there would be a special event at the Christian Street YMCA. He informed those in attendance that scholarships are available for 7th graders for YMCA memberships. Mr. Lee distributed material about current programming to those in attendance and stated that the YMCA is always looking for youth volunteers.
Mr. Gitto closed the meeting and stated that May 13th is the next meeting.