In a year during which we celebrated our 75th Anniversary, CCRA had much more to talk about.
continued to focus on improving Center City West through our Clean,
Green and Safe initiatives. The Tree Tenders program planted numerous
street trees throughout the neighborhood in an effort to reclaim the
green canopy which has been lost to pollution and development. We pushed
developers to do the same and the result is a greener neighborhood with
more initiatives to come.
developed a supplemental trash collection program and are working to
implement it in the Fitler Square part of the neighborhood before
rolling it out more broadly and in other Philadelphia neighborhoods who
have asked for our help.
continued and strengthened our relationship with the Police Department
to work together to keep our streets, corners and storefronts welcoming
to residents, workers and visitors. We are actively working to get more
beat patrols on the streets to interact with merchants and residents in
the pursuit of public safety.
membership continued its meteoric trajectory and we are now over 1500
strong! We added new Merchant Partners throughout the neighborhood who
offer discounts to our members which are very well received. I am
particularly pleased that the Kimmel Cultural Campus has become a CCRA
Merchant Partner and offers our members discounts to a full array of its
offerings. To have the most significant cultural institution in
Pennsylvania as a partner enhances CCRA and raises our profile to a new
level. There will be more to announce in this relationship in the coming
also negotiated Community Benefits Agreements for the following
buildings: 1901 S. Broad St. (Bankroll), 500 S. Broad St, and 2301
Market St. These agreements make the neighborhood better by harmonizing
Developers’ plans with the community's needs and designs that work in
demonstrate our commitment to neighborhood diversity and equity in the
broader city, we have embarked on a challenging new initiative to fund
minority and women-owned businesses who want to locate in Center City
West. We are doing this in partnership with the Enterprise Center of
West Philadelphia, using their expertise to manage and deploy the funds
we are committed to raising. Again, stay tuned for more details in the
coming year. And we strengthened our partnership with the Freire School,
collaborating on enrichment and mentoring programs.
And we communicated all of this, and much more, weekly (CCRA This Week) and quarterly (The Center City Quarterly), keeping
our members informed, soliciting their opinions and staying in touch
with an active, engaged and diverse population for whom we exist—and
no year-end summary would be complete without a reminder of how
wonderful it was to reach our 75th year. We celebrated in style and
honored our Center City Citizen of the Decade, the irrepressible and
renowned Yannick Nezet-Segun, Music Director of the best orchestra in
the country (our own Philadelphia Orchestra) and the best opera company
in the world (The Metropolitan Opera in NYC). We recorded our history,
our present program and our future plans in a series of videos available
on our website. And we dedicated ourselves to many years of continued,
active service to the residents of one of the greatest neighborhoods in
CCRA News and Events
Community News and Events
Failure to Communicate? Nope.
was more than enough to discuss in the year 2022 – ya think?? -- and
more ways than ever to do so. The issues were many, and they were
complicated, and through it all, our social media followers continued to
Communications Dept. Chair Richard Vaughn breaks it all down here.
CCRA Is No Island
man is an island, and likewise for neighborhood organizations, a fact
well demonstrated by Community Relations Chair Barbara Halpern here.
Under Development? Of Course
Non-profit money don’t grow on trees, the saying goes; ya gotta develop it. Managing Director Travis Oliver tells all here.
Meanwhile, Back in the Back Office...
organization can function very well, or at all, without a sound
accounting, financial and yes, legal footing. It’s far from nothing to
keep abreast of all the rule changes and still make sure that the
numbers add up. Finance Committee Chairman Rick Speizman lays it all out
for 2022 here.
Going, Going... Green!
It’s unfortunately easy in the urban metropolis to be distracted from environmental concerns. Here to re-focus us is Green Committee Chair Susan Kahn.
is nothing if not the most historically robust of cities, and CCRA’s
Historic Preservation Committee works hard to keep that top of mind. Jim
Duffin and Irina Wight go deeper here.
The Fight for Equality Continues
JEDI taskforce (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) was born amid
changes brought about in the summer of 2020. COVID and the civil rights
protests prompted CCRA to examine our role in the larger city. JEDI
chair Maggie Mund goes deeper here.
Membership Has Its Privileges
Has there ever been a better time to be a CCRA Member?
If it’s not the socials, it’s the volunteer opportunities, or it’s the Merchant Partners Deals & Discounts, or it’s…
Read all about it from Membership Chair Michelle Ettinger here.
Working Arm-in-Arm with the Gendarmes
First, as the saying goes, which is why CCRA is part of the Police
District Advisory Council, a/k/a PDAC. Working together can work
wonders, as is detailed hereby CCRA PDAC Reps Gina Ceisler Shapiro and Bill Lent.
Streetwise in the Big City
is nothing if not a City of Streets, and no year goes by without lots
of churn and change in making the streets work better for pedestrians,
bicyclists, and motorists. Let CCRA Streets maven Bill West take you on a
tour of 2022’s journey here.
Zoning Makes for Better Partners
competing interests in Center City West make zoning critical. CCRA
Zoning Co-Chair Veronica Aplenc tells how it went in 2022 here.
Go Birds, for All the Birds
are the world's birds doing? Join volunteers around the globe to help
find out. Philadelphia’s annual Christmas Bird Count will be held on
December 17 at Pennypack Environmental Center. Register here. Last year's participants spotted Bald Eagles (3), Great Blue Herons (5) and Great Horned Owls (3).
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