Sunday December 2nd will see hundreds of neighborhood activists throughout the city gathering at the close of the Great Expectations: Philadelphia the Next Great City study process. Over a year ago, The Philadelphia Inquirer and the University of Pennsylvania began asking citizens what the next mayor and city council should look like. In addition they wanted our thoughts about the hopes and fears, pluses and minuses of the city. EPX, along with dozens of other civic groups, has participated in this study and now the final agenda is set to be presented to Mayor-elect Micheal Nutter and others. Several crucial items are to be discussed including taxes, poverty, education, crime, the environment etc., BUT the one that most effects EPX, and perhaps South Philly as a hole, may be Neighborhoods in Flux. So here is that part of the agenda and note that members of our Board of Directors will participate in the creation of this final component of Great Expectations and in civic concerns beyond it.
For more info go to www.greatexpectations07.com.
Ideas from citizen forums
Council of neighborhoods:
Convene, with foundation help, a citywide coalition of civic group leaders. This would serve as a vehicle for these leaders to exchange tips, expertise, concerns and warnings – and to mobilize jointly to lobby city government about opportunities or threats. A particular focus would be on established groups from well-off neighborhoods sharing resources with groups in challenged neighborhoods.
Convene forums where newcomers and long-time residents can discuss concerns in a non-crisis environment, and get solid information about taxes, policies and trends affecting their neighborhoods.
Set up a fair, transparent system for civic groups to compete for federal, state and city grants and aid for community improvement. Don’t let politicians groove grants to favored groups without real competition. Have city staff help neighborhoods with limited resources or expertise write applications.