Is the candidate involved? For the members of the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association, Jim Kenney is pretty much the man. Joseph F. Marino, co-chair of the group’s board of directors, said Kenney — a now-former at-large city councilman — attended the group’s first community meeting nine years ago and has had a presence ever since. Marino noted that Kenney often stays in the background and allows the neighbors to make decisions, but Marino recalled that after the association’s first organizing meeting, Kenney approached him and said: “I like your style. You’re like a benevolent dictator.”
What the neighborhood wants from its next mayor: Marino said members of the civic association and neighbors have expressed their biggest concern, and it’s not all that unique: Education.
“I don’t think there’s a Philadelphian who’s not concerned about how our education system is working,” Marino said. “Everything from grade schools and librarians to higher degrees, colleges students, graduates and doctoral degree students.”
He added that neighborhood members are also of course concerned with crime rates, trash, recycling and streets — “the same issues every citizen is concerned about” — but educations falls highest on that list.
Last week EPX happily provided letters of support for two finalists in the Knight Foundation’s “Knight Cities Challenge.” The finalists proposed projects for two significant sites at 9th and Mifflin Streets.
Landscape architecture firm OLIN proposes “The Glass Schoolhouse Project” to reinvent Southwark Elementary School into a “multiuse community center including co-working facilities, makerspaces and recreation.” This project could serve as a model for other city schools. OLIN is currently completing work on a master plan for the transformation of the Southwark schoolyard.
Just across Mifflin Street, Scout Ltd. proposes to transform the vacant space around the former Bok Technical School into a “new community living room that brings community members together, encourages connections and engages people with neighborhood history.”
Winners be announced before April 1st and will share a portion of $5 million. The Knight Foundation “supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts.”
Here’s hoping BOTH of these potentially transformative projects receive funding!
Additional information on the Knight Cities Challenge can be found here.
Strong Neighborhoods make a strong city. Get two things for the price of one – a great experience or item while supporting a great organization!
EPX helps to cultivating clean, safe, sustainable and well-planned streets and shared outdoor space, fosters community partcipation, supports and promotes local education and provids charitable and educational outreach in the community.
Breadmaking class and dinner for 8 at NOORD
Watch the Phillies take batting practice and four 100-level tickets to game
Dinner with a guest and Councilman Mark Squilla on the Avenue
Pasta making class for 4 with Lynn Rinaldi from Paradiso
Eagles Memorabilia and Tour for 10 people of Lincoln Financial Field