Sunday afternoon January 27th saw 60 concerned citizens gather for the second of four such forums and EPX co-chair J.F. Marino was in attendance. This forum, sponsored by Penn Project for Civic Engagement (PPCE) and Kimmel Center, Inc. is the first step in a process that will culminate in a report from Penn Praxis after it meets attendee’s approval in March.

Nearly 100 Million dollars worth of tax money from the city and state went into building the Kimmel and the public has yet to reap any significant return on their investment. Although the two main halls of the complex are privately owned, the remainder of the space, including the roof top garden and a VAST array of halls, rooms and wall space belong to the public.

In addition to an extensive “behind-the-scenes” tour, a posh luncheon, and power-point presentations from the Kimmel, Penn Praxis, and PPCE , round-table discussions ensued. Ideas for all manner of free educational, cultural and ethnic events and exhibits flowed. A detailed report will be published in the Philadelphia Inquirer and at www.pps.org this Spring.

Know, that as always, the needs of EPX residents were expressed and ideas which benefit Philadelphia City dwellers were highlighted!

February 4th’s General Membership meeting will see the introduction of two special issues requiring active members to vote. The Board of Directors, through the Governance Committee, has reviewed EPX’s incorporation documents and have made several adjustments to our Corporate Bylaws. These changes are in keeping with the actual practices EPX has followed in the first 18 months of our existence. When the bylaws were written in Summer of 2006 many of the actual functions of EPX had not yet occurred. Templates, provided by the city and other civics, we used as “boiler plate” and tailored to what was expected at EPX. Now having lived with the document for a while we see where a few simple changes would facilitate clearer understanding of the bylaws and truer reflection of the officer’s and association’s actions.

In addition, to the minor bylaw revisions, which will be presented in February and voted upon in March, the boundaries of the association have come under review. The Board is requesting the membership expand our borders east to eighth street. Details of both issues will be provided at the February meeting and online, through links to the Governance Section of the web site. Both items will be discussed at length in February and March and votes will be cast at the March 3rd meeting.

The February EPX General Membership meeting will be held on Monday February 4th from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Everyone is welcome.

The meeting will be held at the St. Agnes Continuing Care Center (Broad and McKean) in the auditorium. Ask the front desk for directions.

Again this month we will be giving away a limited supply of the large sized blue Philadelphia Recycle containers. They will be available on a first come, first serve bases.

This General Membership meeting will see the introduction of two special issues requiring active members to vote. See the “EPX Special Elections” post below for more information.

This month’s presentation will be given by Beneficial Savings Bank.

There will be a limited supply of printed agendas available at the meeting. It is encouraged that you download and print an agenda here and bring with you.

Please review December’s General Membership meeting minutes here for approval at this month’s meeting.

Questions or what to get involved e-mail us at www.epcrossing.org

“But, baby its cold outside…” might be an understatement this year in Philadelphia where many are in need of good winter coats. EPX, through its standing committee chairs, is sponsoring a “gently worn, but clean” coat drive in conjunction with Philadelphia Cares. So if Santa, or whomever, brings you a new coat for the holidays please consider giving your slightly used old one, donated through EPX, to our January General Membership meeting. If you can’t make the G.M. feel free to bring the coat(s) to any standing committee meeting between now and then. However, if the season has you so swamped you can’t attend any EPX gatherings contact our “Clean and Green” chair Sarah Ausprich , through this site, and she will help you make arrangements to donate your garment. Remembering the less fortunate is always a good way to “ring in ” the New Year!

Weather can be a bother this time of year, so as incentive to attend the EPX GM meeting on January 7 we have a few freebies. Sun and Earth products will be the featured presenter for all you “Earth-ers” out there. They will be providing free samples of some of their environmentally safe and friendly cleaning and laundry products. In addition there will be free large sized Philadelphia Recycles containers so that we may all have room to add plastics and cardboards to the heap. So if you’re a regular EPX-er or you have a friend or neighbor in our boundaries, who is interested in becoming a member, bring them along and you will most likely will be walking out with a hand full! Items available on a first come, first served bases and while supplies last.

While most South Philadelphians are gearing up to watch or participate in the New Year’s Day Mummer’s parade, I thought I would take a moment and reflect on how EPX successfully spent our first full calendar year. In addition to the routine functions of our standing committees such as zoning & planning attending ZBA hearings and “clean & green” holding monthly street clean-ups or public safety’s regularly scheduled town-watch walks. Our committees and Board of Directors have accomplished herculean feats, some of which, are listed below.

Clean and Green saw 20 plus volunteers spend a weekend in September “re-greening” the Tolentine Community Center and in spring placed planters at the E. Passyunk BID gateway!

Public Safety won the local police precinct’s award for “Outstanding New Town Watch” of 2007!

Membership sponsored several summer meet and greets at area watering-holes and staffed an EPX info table at the St. Nick’s Italian Festival.

Community Relations [AKA Marketing and Events] with the full support of the Board hosted our extremely successful Spring Fair and a very profitable Avenue Art Auction in November.

Planning and Zoning sponsored our September Book-Swap with help from a Scholastic Books grant award.

The hardest working non-profit board in Philadelphia won a PAF grant, established EPX as a 501(c) (3) tax exempt organization, attended no less than 12 different city improvement forums including “Great Expectations” and “IMAGINE Philadelphia.” For detailed and additional information regarding our varied accomplishments see the archives of this very website.

Beyond our own borders EPX has worked to create the South Philadelphia Central Civics, a group of 8 local civics working quarterly to address common concerns on a larger scale. EPX has also been instrumental in working to establish the Friends of the Free Library chapter of the South Philly branch.

On the horizon for 2008 EPX office space, DCED grant approval, and heaven knows the limits. So keep your eyes glued to this site for breaking news. To all who helped and will continue to make EPX great, thank you and EXCELSIOR!

The January EPX General Membership meeting will be held on Monday January 7th from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Everyone is welcome.

The meeting will be held at the St. Agnes Continuing Care Center (Broad and McKean) in the Neumann Room. Ask the front desk for directions.

This month’s presentation will be given by Sun and Earth Products. They will be providing free samples of some of their environmentally safe and friendly cleaning and laundry products.

We will also be giving away a limited supply of the large sized blue Philadelphia Recycle containers. They will be available on a first come, first serve bases.

In January EPX is sponsoring a winter coat drive in conjunction with Philadelphia Cares. Donated coats must be new or gently worn and clean. Bring your donations to the general membership meeting and see Sarah or any Board member.

There will be a limited supply of printed agendas available at the meeting. It is encouraged that you download and print an agenda here and bring with you.

Questions or want to get involved? Email us at contact@ epcrossing.org