Thursday, December 15, 2022

CCRA Newsletter


2022 Year-End Review



In a year during which we celebrated our 75th Anniversary, CCRA had much more to talk about. 


We 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. 

We 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. 

We 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. 

Our 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 year.

We 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 context.

To 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 work.

But 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 America.



CCRA News and Events

Community News and Events

Failure to Communicate? Nope.

There 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 grow.


Communications Dept. Chair Richard Vaughn breaks it all down here.

CCRA Is No Island

No 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...

No 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.

History Lives!

Philadelphia 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

CCRA's 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

Safety 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 here by CCRA PDAC Reps Gina Ceisler Shapiro and Bill Lent.

Streetwise in the Big City

Philadelphia 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

Numerous 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

How 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).

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