Wednesday, July 16th, 2014
by Karley Cohen
@ftpforthepeople on instagram
Every neighborhood in Philadelphia is different. Their differences span architecture, denizens, thriving businesses, and just a different zip code. Within these various neighborhoods there are neighborhood and civic associations improve communities, help citizens network, and facilitate communication with the city government. Most of these associations hold weekly meetings that are open to residents who are encouraged to attend.
Some meetings are held in neighborhood homes, others are held in a community or public space so it is welcoming and inclusive to everyone who wants to attend. Each of the associations have an agenda per meeting, along with a board to keep everything in order. All of the people who are involved are volunteers because they want to better the neighborhood, but do it in a collective way.
Community Associations are extremely powerful. They able to approve or deny all building projects within the neighborhood. They also create a voice to advocate for resources to be allocated to the designated neighborhood. On a more fun note, during Christmas time, many associations have meetings to talk about hanging lights and decorating (very common in South Philly). Others discuss welcoming new businesses to the area, and new neighbors in the community! Civic Associations also have the power to start a community garden in the neighborhood, and let the residents take care of the garden. Having a community liaison to the rest of Philly really helps the neighborhood overall.
On the Philadelphia Government Website they have a giant list of all of the registered community organizations throughout the city, which includes neighborhood and business civic associations. Make sure to go to their website and find when and where your neighborhood association meets and get involved!