posted Nov 8, 2015, 7:03 PM by Wash West
updated Jan 23, 2016, 7:23 AM
I have been a resident of Washington Square West since 2006 and have worked in Washington Square West since 1997. While there are several desirable neighborhoods in our great city of Philadelphia, what brought my wife Katie and me to Wash West was its unique blend of residential, commercial and public spaces. We love that within a 3 minute walk from our house are 2 grocery stores, several restaurants, 2 parks and a variety of shops owned by individuals. In 2011 my friend a former board member, Mark Audiger, suggested that I run for a board positon. I took his suggestion and was elected to the board to a 1 year term which filled the vacancy of a former board member. I was re-elected in 2012 and am now seeking my 2nd re-reelection. Since joining the board I have served on the zoning committee, executive committee and was elected president of the board this past year. I have greatly enjoyed serving this community and helping to improve it through the numerous activities of the civic association. I look forward to the opportunity of spending another 3 years on the board.
Since becoming a neighbor, I have attended the Civic's monthly board meetings and zoning and governmental affairs committee meetings. Also, I have assisted membership recruitment and efforts to raise the Civic's profile at a community open house at McCall Elementary School and a city-wide civic engagement fair. I would love to do more, and contribute to the efforts that make this community great by drawing on my legal training and experience and prior service on nonprofit boards. I currently serve as a clerk for a federal appellate judge. Previously, I worked for a large law firm and practiced commercial litigation. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the members of the Civic's board and other neighbors, and hope to have the opportunity to serve our community.
Andrew Freedman is nominated for a second term on the Board. He is currently serves as membership chair and organizes many community activities for the civic including the fall cleanup day. Andrew is actively involved with Seger Park Dog Park and community relations with the McCall School.
I have lived in Washington Square West since 2008. I have been on this board for 13 months and currently serve as Treasurer. While on the board, I have also worked on the membership committee. In addition, I am working with board member Andrew Freedman to forge a partnership between the board and McCall School. My husband and I love Wash West and we both feel that it's been an amazing place to start and raise our family.
I have served the Wash West community, both on and off the WSWCA board, for the past 6 years. During that time my focus has been environmental stewardship: the preservation, protection and enhancement of our neighborhood.
As chair of the WSWCA Greening Committee I have brought about changes that have long term benefits for the Wash West community:
About 75 new trees have been planted in the neighborhood, thereby substantially restoring the tree canopy in Wash West. This was accomplished by a partnership that I initiated with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to revitalize WSWCA as a Tree Tenders organization, with the help of neighbors who I organized into a volunteer corps, and the support of developers which I encouraged.
We can now be confident that our 3 community gardens will be protected from development, and will remain as open spaces and public areas for our residents to enjoy. Through a collaboration that I initiated, City Council passed an ordinance which authorized the City to accept title to the lands, place the parcels in the inventory of the Department of Parks & Recreation, and enter into a long term lease with the WSWCA. Our gardens are the sole beneficiaries of the new law.
Public art will soon be installed in 29 intersections in Wash West. About a year and a half ago I approached the University of the Arts and the Philadelphia Streets Department, asking their help to enhance the streetscape of Wash West. Fast forward to today - there is an infectious enthusiasm for the brown utility box project, the first of its kind in Philadelphia.
Additionally, I manage the community gardens and am contract manager for the Civic's street cleaning and graffiti abatement efforts.
By reaching out to foundations, non-profits, corporations, local businesses and neighbors, I have raised more than $25,000 to support Civic initiatives.
I have been a resident of Wash West for 20 years, currently residing at 249 S Quince Street with my partner Blaine Bonham.
If I am elected as a director of the WSWCA I would have more opportunity to forge partnerships, enhance the environment, and give back to the neighborhood I so dearly value.