2011 Board Nominee – Christopher Stromberg
Personal Statement: Why I am interested in being on the Board of SOSNA.
As a resident of the neighborhood for over 7 years, I have a vested interest in enhancing the quality of life in our area. Living, working, and raising our children here, my wife, Emily, and I are always concerned about the level of safety as well as the preservation of diversity in our fast growing and ever-changing community. Through my expertise as an architect, builder, and educator, I hope to provide insight to the Board on development related issues as well as planning and environmental initiatives.
Ways I have participated in SOSNA or the community in the past.
I have been a member of the SOSNA Zoning Committee since the fall of 2010. Prior to this position, I attended numerous Zoning meetings and several community planning workshops. My family and I are active in the neighborhood and have participated in many community sponsored events, festivals, tree plantings, block clean-ups, streetscape competitions (2009 winner), and more. Through my professional work, I have designed and built several custom, sustainable residences in the neighborhood (including my own home on the 1500 block of Montrose) and collaborated with various local developers and contractors. Last summer, I was part of a team that volunteered to help build new planter beds at Chester Arthur Elementary which gave the students dedicated areas to plant flowers and vegetables. On a personal level, I continually support neighborhood businesses whenever possible and thoroughly enjoy attending all the great festivals and block parties we have here!
Skills, experience, energy, relationships, and/or interests I will bring to the Board that will help SOSNA continue to create a positive community impact.
As an architect with over 15 years experience, I would bring my design sensibilities to the Board. Through my hands-on experience as a carpenter, I’ll bring a practical sense of what is feasible and realistic. From the past 6 years as an adjunct professor of Architecture at Philadelphia University, I will bring my ability to facilitate design and construction-related group discussions. Running two businesses, teaching college, and participating in various volunteer groups requires a certain level of energy and commitment but has afforded me many strong and prosperous relationships within the community. My expertise in green building is a common thread throughout my professional work that I also feel would be asset to the SOSNA Board
What I hope to accomplish as a Board member (relate to SOSNA initiatives).
Through my active involvement in the Zoning Committee, I hope to share my expertise with the City’s zoning regulations and their physical implications, as well as encourage high-quality design and development that maintains the fabric and quality of life found in our vibrant neighborhood. When the new zoning code is adopted, I hope to be able to assist SOSNA through this complex transition. I would also continue to support the current Clean & Green initiatives, such as tree planting and maintenance, the Big Belly trash/recycling campaign, as well as expand on more long-term planning goals for sustainable stormwater management strategies, such as green roofs, pervious paving, stormwater planters, bioswales, and rain barrels (all of which I have incorporated in my own home) on a more neighborhood-wide level.
As a small, local business owner, I understand the numerous challenges of running a business and would work to identify ways to further strengthen and connect the South Street business corridor as well as advocate for more corner commercial on Christian St. I’d also be interested in exploring creative strategies to temporarily utilize vacant storefronts, as well as connect existing businesses with resources dedicated to facade improvements. I have attended several SWCC Business Corridor Association meetings and plan on joining the group as we are in the process of moving our office to a new location on South St.
I think that SOSNA as an organization is important to our community because . . .
SOSNA is essential to our community because the organization gives our neighborhood a voice within the larger city of Philadelphia, while at the same time it encourages and empowers citizens to get involved locally—to make their own block a better place to live, work, and play.