firstmeeting1st Meeting, Monday, July 10, 2006

The turnout was wonderful last night at the first organizational meeting. Upwards of 100 people turned out: long time residents, newcomers, young families, and seasoned south philly-ers.

Darren and Kathy opened the meeting by outlining our goals for the evening and briefly summarized activities to date–including townwatch training.

They then turned the floor over to Art Potts from the city’s Operation Town Watch offices. He reviewed what Town Watch is, how it helps, and opened the floor for folks to raise particular concerns in our area. There followed lively discussion of current specific problem areas, general concerns, and questions about what next steps might be to resolve some of the issues. Art offered to follow up on some specific concerns raised, and stressed the importance of Town Watch and local oversight to help address local crime/safety/trash problem spots.

Darren then steered the discussion back to the goal of this meeting: namely to get folks funnelled into groups of interest, initially to be:

  • governance/bylaws,
  • block captains,
  • clean streets/beautification,
  • townwatch, and
  • zoning.

He encouraged folks to sign up according to interest, and individual committees could follow up and start planning next steps and activities.

Katie briefly talked about efforts underway to pull together email list for the group and get this website up and functional. She passed around printouts of the website as is, stressing that it’s a placeholder space pending official name and content outlines. Main thing is to get an identity and presence established on the web and via phone/membership lists, so that folks can find out what’s happening when and get involved.

Next steps: set up contact lists (email and phone tree), set next meetings, find venue, and work out goals/plan for next six months.

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