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.

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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.

Civic dialogue:
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.

Fair competition:
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.

No matter what holiday one celebrates this time of year; Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule etc., most of us recognize year end as a gift giving season. Most of us in the EPX neighborhood are fortunate enough to be looking for extras or luxury items this time of year. However, some area residents are in need of more basic items. To this end the Board of EPX, in keeping with our 501(c)(3) status, has begun to identify some needy families in our neighborhood. We as a civic association, have budgeted $1,000.00 towards giving holiday gift baskets of essential items such as food, clothing, bedding etc and the extra-special gift of toys. Our treasurer Millie Ruffino, along with members of the “Events and Marketing” (Community Relations) Committee, is gathering these items for distribution and she could use some additional in-kind donations as listed below.

Family ONE has 4 boys:

20 months old Size 3 T toys: toddler toys

3 years old Size 5 toys: trucks, cars

5 years old Size 7 toys: action figures

6 years old Size 8 toys: video games, action figures


Family TWO has 3 children

Girl 10 months old Size 18 months

Girl 3 years old Size 4T

Boy 9 years old Size 12 Husky

Also needed are warm clothing, books, Educational toys, towels, sheets (Twin Size)

Items for Christmas dinner in the form of any area Supermarket Gift Cards/Certificates.

All donations are tax deductible and you may contact Millie by emailing or calling 215-271-1529 after 6:30 p.m.
So here is the chance for everyone to play “Santa”

Single Stream Recycling Coming to South Philadelphia & Center City

Beginning December 3, 2007 South Philadelphia and Center City will join 216,000 Northeast, Southwest and West Philadelphia residences in being able to set out all recyclables, including flattened cardboard and #1 and #2 plastic containers into one container for curbside pickup. In other words, you can now put cans, glass and mixed paper out at the curb in the same recycling bin. And, for the first time, add plastic containers and cardboard to the mix! Tell Your Neighbors!

More information about:

singe stream recycling

single stream recycling coming to South Philly

East Passyunk Crossing October Clean Up — Broad Street

Join your neighbors as we tackle Broad Street this Saturday, October 27!

Saturday, October 27, 2007
10:00 am – noonish
Meet at the southeast corner of Broad and Tasker.

We’re thinking BIG this month! So if you have friends who live on South Broad Street, or in any of the ‘hoods bordering South Broad Street, incl. Passyunk Square, Newbold, LoMo, GROUP, bring them along. We’d love have you join us!

EPX is starting on the east side of Broad at the corner of Broad and Tasker, by the subway entrance, and heading south to Snyder. If we make it, and still have some energy, maybe we’ll tackle the other side of the street too!

Bring your brooms and gloves and join your neighbors as we clean up our neighborhood!

Supplies will be available or you can bring your own.

For more information, please go to

In June of this year, at their end of season meeting, members of EPX ‘s Beautification or “Clean and Green” committee identified areas in our boundaries that had potential for greening. One that many members mentioned was the garden perimeter of the Tolentine Community Center. EPX had some of our very first organizational meetings at Tolentine and we have been aware that they have no budget for really maintaining, let alone upgrading, their green space. So EPX to the rescue with a little help from a friend!

Current beautification committee chair Tim Lidiak asked our co-chairs to look into “seed” money from PA State Representative William F. Keller and voila funding for the endeavor was pledged.  As with the other grants we a have received, thus far, this $1500.00 plus purse will be administered by our treasurer Millie Ruffino and co-chair Joseph F. Marino, who secured the funding.

The bulk of the work is scheduled to be completed before the end of this month, as designed by our own “green” sub-committee chair and horticulturist Jeff Goldman with help from many hands at EPX including our “clean” sub-committee chair Sarah Ausprich. The support of the Tolentine Center executive director, Diane Zotti, and staff to adhere to the rigorous watering schedule for new plantings is appreciated. Expect to see other EPX area spaces “greened up” as soon as additional funds become available.

Inquirer Staff writer Jennifer Lin, while writing an article on Philadelphia activism, interviewed many civic leaders including our EPX co-chairs. The article runs in the Local News (section B) of the Sunday, August 26, 2007 edition of the Inquirer. Several other civic associations are mentioned as Ms. Lin examined the relationship of newcomers fueling life-long neighbors to work for a better city. How fortunate for EPX that we have as co-chairs a bright newcomer and a polished “landed gentry” as our co-chairs. The flattering photo was taken by Ed Hille in front of one of the beautiful flower pots EPX’s “Clean and Green” members planted at the entry to our district. Mr. Marino and Mr. Fava are both pleased with the coverage and the focus on all the good works EPX volunteers have done. And of course, as always, our Mr. Fava has the final say, bravo!

EPX was awarded a grant from the Philadelphia Activities Fund in the amount of $2500.00 to be used for support of our ongoing programs. These programs are in keeping with our educational and charitable work as a 501(c)(3) federally tax exempt organization. The grant was awarded on July 1st and we received written notification just this week, however we are still awaiting the check. Special thanks to D’Arcy Webb, our Recording Secretary who edited the application and to Millie Ruffino, our Treasurer who will serve as grant administrator with co-chair and application author Joseph F. Marino.