Friday, February 11, 2022

CCRA Newsletter

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This Week: February 10, 2022

Editor - Barbara Halpern

Lead Writer - Richard Vaughn

Design/Layout and Writer - Travis Oliver

“Done With Covid”?

We took notice a few weeks back when several notables announced that they were “Done with Covid”.


Done with Covid? How can that be?


But upon further review…

· Case counts remain down

· Omicron symptoms are mild

· Being fully vaxed appears to be good protection


Maybe it’s time for a re-think.

Maybe with all best practices the risks can be managed, and a prudent return to normal life is now a reasonable option.


Individual circumstances permitting, of course, but “Done with Covid”?

Yeah. May just be. At least for now. And that’s enough.

CCRA News and Events


On Tuesday, Feb 8, the Boards of both CCRA and LSNA (Logan Square Neighborhood Association) met jointly with Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw and new 9th District Captain Colleen Billups. Also attending were many of the senior officers in the department responsible for both the Center City West and Logan Square neighborhoods.

Following a PowerPoint presentation by Commissioner Outlaw, the discussion focused on five topics which both boards had developed:  gun violence, unsafe street behavior, police funding, police staffing and ATV and motorcycle disturbances.


Members of both organizations were invited to join by Zoom and, between the in-person and virtual attendees, over 80 people participated.  The discussion was informative and candid.  The entire team outlined intelligent plans for making and keeping our neighborhoods safe and user-friendly.

The video of the presentation can be found here.

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Sense in the City - Homelessness and Humanity

On Wednesday, Feb 9, Hugh Taft-Morales led CCRA members and others on a discussion of the thorny issues around Public Schools, Equity and Democracy.  Although the US talks about the importance of public education to democracy, how is that actually operationalized? Other countries guarantee public education in their constitutions; ours is silent. Here, school funding is unequal, resulting in wide disparities in facilities, teacher student ratios, and extra-curricular activities. How can we develop a more equitable system?  In large and small group discussions, these issues were addressed and debated. All agreed community support for education by the provision of mentors, internships, guest speakers and field trips to students in underfunded schools is key. CCRA is actively exploring partnerships with Friere Charter School, located at 2027 Chestnut Street, so the opportunity to move from talk to action is coming soon.

Please join us for our next discussion in our Sense in the City series, which will be about Homelessness, on February 23 from 12:00 noon until 1:30 PM For more information and to register, see below.

Homelessness and Humanity

The term “homeless” is often used in contexts that blame and demonize people who are “unhoused,” a term many advocates for those living on our streets and in our parks prefer.  How do we sort out our complex personal reactions, from compassion and concern to fear and frustration? How can we humanize this issue? After a brief overview of some municipal and charitable services available to unhoused people, Hugh Taft-Morales explores the personal ethical quandaries that confront us every day. Consider watching the 40-minute Netflix documentary Lead Me Home prior to attending. 

Please Register Here

Public Campaign Funding

A bill in city council provides for public election funding to candidates for city office (Mayor, DA, Controller, Council, Commissioner). The general principle is that qualifying candidates in primary or general elections will receive a $5 match for each $1 the candidate raises from Philadelphians who give $100 or less, with total matching funds capped at $1 million for Mayor, $300 thousand for DA and Controller and $100 thousand for everybody else. In exchange, the candidate must agree to limit contributions to $100 from each person whose donations are matched with public financing. To qualify for funding, a candidate must have raised $50,000 (Mayor) or $15,000 (all other offices) from $1,000 or less contributors.  

CCRA is monitoring this bill and invites members’ comments, which can be submitted here.

So Much Crime; So Little Time

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On Jan. 31, David Oh, a Philadelphia City Councilmember, spoke to the Crosstown Coalition, a group of community organizations focused on increasing the quality of life in Philadelphia.

Councilmember Oh detailed the City’s efforts to address the serious violent crime problem, including coordinating efforts between the police, the business community and various ethnic communities.

According to Oh, this outbreak appears to be fueled by conflicts related to the drug trade and by feuding on social media. Hindering crime-fighting efforts are a shortage of police officers, city residence requirements, the failure to emphasize the hiring of veterans and friction between the police and the District Attorney.

Are you using the Merchant Partner 'Deals and Discounts' Program?

We would like to hear from our members! Please take this very brief survey and let us know your thoughts, so that we may improve on this popular membership benefit program. Thanks much!


CCRA’s Merchant Partner program is a true Win-Win: It provides smaller local businesses with complimentary advertising and exposure while giving CCRA members generous deals and discounts. This week we spotlight Merchant Partner Eye Candy Vision.

The Eyes Have It at Eye Candy Vision

What do people look for in an eyeglass emporium? They want it all, of course: Regular glasses, progressives, contact lenses, sunglasses. Great Selection, great Style, great Service. How about an on-premises Optician and Lab? Eye Candy Vision on S. 20th St. just off Rittenhouse has all that and more. Their display window alone is to die for. (Disbelieve? Just ask Yelp.) What could be better? Well, how’s this: CCRA members receive a 20% discount.

(Discount cannot be combined with other sales, discounts or insurance programs.)

Clean, Safe and Green

It’s Not For the Birds: Creating Friendly Habitats


The phrase “Go Birds” most certainly has one meaning in these parts, but those words also apply to making the planet more sustainable by creating bird-friendly habitats. It’s in this month’s feature from the Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel, and it can be found here.

My, What Big Feet You Have!

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Want to lower CO2 emissions? To measure your household’s carbon footprint and get tips on how to lessen your load, click here

And….while you’re there, check out some really different events that Green Philly sponsors.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

SEPTA Honors Rosa Parks With Roses and a Special Seat


In honor of Rosa Parks, for the month of February,  SEPTA is featuring a special seat on the Route 38 bus. For the entire month the bus will feature a cardboard cutout of the civil right champion who refused to move to the back of the bus in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955.

More on this courageous woman can be found here.

Dancin’ In the Streets: It’s Motown in our Town

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Folks, we finally got a bite of the Big Apple. The NYT features how we (and four other cities) celebrate Black History Month. Yes, there’s food, history, and high-brow “readings”. But we’re Smokin’ about hearing all our old Motown favs. Here’s the spin.

Community News and Events

Hybrid Work is Here to Stay


While much of the future of work remains in flux, one thing seems fairly certain: The ‘hybrid’ work mode is here to stay.


The Center City District recently surveyed 114 companies employing roughly 24,700 workers across Center City and University City, and found that 25% were now fully remote, 15% were fully in-person, with the remainder fully somewhere in-between.


The main reason for hybrid or remote work was, of course, Covid-19.  Second-most given was to retain current employees and attract new employees.  Third-most was uncertainty regarding schools and childcare.


Results of the CCD survey can be found here

V-Day with That Special Someone

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Check out some romantic ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your main squeeze. Here’s some unique ideas for food, fun and frolic, Philly style. Go way beyond chocolates here.

Geek Alert: Philly Tech Week is Back, and IRL


Like far too many other events, Philly Tech Week found itself either canceled or gone virtual only, due to Covid.

But no more.  As of now, Tech Week is On, both in-person and virtual, starting May 6 and running through May 14.  As presented by Comcast, PTW is a curated series that celebrates technology, entrepreneurship and innovation.


Plan now to get your geek on by visiting here.

Wanted: Public Input on Police Review


If you’ve wanted to take part in a review of the Philadelphia Police Department, now is your chance.


City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart is accepting applications to join the office's Community Advisory and Accountability Council, which will support her review of the police department, including how it spends its $725 million budget.


Submissions can be made on the Controller’s website through Feb. 16.

Greenfield Adopts an Inclusive School Vision


Greenfield’s School Advisory Council (SAC) worked with parents, teachers and staff, and Mr. Lazar to develop an updated Vision statement to reflect what Greenfield wants to achieve. A huge thank you to the SAC members and all aforementioned members who worked hard to develop this!

Greenfield's Vision Statement:

We believe in an inclusive, equitable, just, kind, and academically excellent learning experience for Greenfield students that engages all community members and honors intersectional identities, among them race, age, gender and cultural expression, ethnicity, family composition, ability and disability, learning styles, religion, and spirituality. As we witness and disavow systems that advantage some and disadvantage others, Greenfield strives for all members of our school community to actively engage in excellent teaching and learning that inspire and celebrate student curiosity, wonder, and belonging.

Useful links

Merchant Partners "Deals and Discounts" Program

Would you please support our local merchants and save money too? These local merchants will provide a deal or discount to any member who shows a current CCRA membership card and personal identification.

Astral Artists - Use promo code "CCRA" to receive a $10 flat rate on all tickets to their virtual concerts.

Blue Sole Shoes, 1805 Chestnut St, (215-496-9244)

Branzino Italian BYOB, 261 S. 17th St (215-790-0103)

Di Bruno Bros., 1730 Chestnut St. (215-665-9220)

Dom's Shoe Repair, 203 S. 20th St (215-972-0098)

Excursions from the Square (215-732-8487, 215-738-4500)

Eye Candy Vision, 218 S. 20th St (215-568-3937)

Frameworks Studio and Gallery, 2103 Walnut St, (215-567-6800)

Good Karma Cafe, 331 S. 22nd St, (215-546-1479)

Liberty Pet Vets, 265 S. 20th St (888-458-8587)

Nature's Gallery Florist, 2124 Walnut St (215-563-5554)

Photo Lounge, 130 S.17th St. (267-322-6651)

Rittenhouse Hardware, 2001 Pine St. (215-735-6311)

Seafood Unlimited, 270 S. 20th St (215-732-3663)

The Bake Shop on 20th, 269 S. 20th St. (215-644-9714)

The Rounds, Use code CCRATHEROUNDS to receive free membership.

Ursula Hobson Fine Art Framing, 1528 Waverly St (215-546-7889)

Veda Modern Indian Bistro, 1920 Chestnut St, (267-519-2001)

William Schwartz Jewelry, 1831 Chestnut St (215-665-8115)

Alimentari Restaurant at Di Bruno Bros., 1730 Chestnut St, 2nd Floor

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Center City Residents' Association | 1900 Market St, FL 8, Philadelphia, PA 19103


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