Create a blog post subtitle that summarizes your post in a few short, punchy sentences and entices your audience to continue reading.
Board elections are here and we want to help you get to know your candidates! We have five (5) open positions that we aim to fill and five amazing candidates (that worked out well, didn’t it?). Read more about them below.
REMEMBER that you have to be a SOSNA Member (live/ in order to vote in our election on Wednesday, October 24 at 7:00p at BalletX. You can register here (it’s FREE). We will have a chance to register at the election but encourage you to be proactive about it! Membership is open to anyone who is at least 18 years of age and whose primary residence, business, or other real estate is within SOSNA’s boundaries
Meet the Candidates
I would like to serve on the Board of SOSNA because…. I am so excited about the prospect of serving on the SOSNA Board because it would mean helping to ensure that our vibrant, diverse neighborhood remains just that – an incredible hamlet of Philadelphia that is a wonderful cross-section of the population, all supporting each other. Years of rapid gentrification and growth mean that this neighborhood needs to continue to work together (as it has to date) to ensure that everyone feels welcome regardless of whether you have lived here for decades or just recently moved. My hope is that my addition to the SOSNA Board would preserve the historic and richly diverse traditions of this neighborhood while embracing its modern place in Philadelphia.
My community service involvement with SOSNA and/or the neighborhood includes… Even before I moved to this neighborhood, I participated in initiatives to support the Friends of Chester A. Arthur, including the annual 5K held each year. I make a point to support local businesses, try to meet as many people as I can, and to clean up as much as possible to ensure the neighborhood continues to look great. While my schedule has previously not allowed me to be more involved in other ways, I am now able to better dedicate myself to SOSNA and the neighborhood.
The skills, experience, energy, relationships and/or perspectives I will bring to the Board are… As an eternal optimist and a methodical thinker (seems counter-intuitive, I know, but I swear it works), I often bring a measured, thoughtful approach to any relationship and issue I face. In my career as a litigator at a large international law firm, I routinely encounter complex questions and strong personalities, both of which require me to remain positive, steadfast in my convictions, and restrained in my responses. Whether at work or home, I am generally happy, usually laughing/smiling, pride myself on being approachable to all, and extremely dedicated to friends, family, and the causes I care about. If I was fortunate enough to serve on the SOSNA Board, I would bring the perspective of a seasoned lawyer, member of the LGBT community, and a passionate resident.
Please tell us what SOSNA initiative or neighborhood issue you are most interested in working on. Why is it important to you? What do you think needs to be accomplished? How will you make a difference?
Community Outreach: The vibrant people (new and old) in Graduate Hospital are the key to the neighborhood’s continued growth and success. While the influx of people – myself included – into the neighborhood is great, we must not forget about those that helped build Graduate Hospital into its thriving region of Philadelphia. Community outreach is critical to ensure that everyone feels welcome, accepted, and continues to love the neighborhood. Local businesses should be supported, schools promoted, and the diversity of Graduate Hospital celebrated. This passion in community stems not only from my desire to serve this neighborhood, but also as a member of the LGBT community who is constantly striving to ensure all persons feel comfortable without fear of adverse behavior.
Zoning: Rapid expansion in our neighborhood is great, no question, but with the influx of new residents and businesses, we must ensure that the culture and history of Graduate Hospital does not change. To be involved with zoning issues – which I would enjoy having a background in law and working on real estate issues at times – would allow me to help balance new construction, new businesses, and housing in the neighborhood. What makes Graduate Hospital so sought after is its aesthetic, location, and people. Without zoning controls and involvement, the neighborhood will lose its backbone and become vapid, lacking both substance and pride.
My favorite type of soup is... Love this question! Gazpacho in the summer (still perfecting my recipe if anyone has one); Split Pea in winter.
I would like to serve on the Board of SOSNA because… I love living in Southwest Center City and want to make it an even better place to live. I believe my passion for neighborhood issues – such as safer and clean streets, and my experience as an analyst working with mapping and data about communities, makes me uniquely qualified to serve on the board. As a resident of Philadelphia for over 10 years and someone who has chosen to purchase a home and put down roots on Webster street, I want to stand up and bring my skills, experience and passion to improve the quality of life in our neighborhood.
My community service involvement with SOSNA and/or the neighborhood includes… I have been a volunteer on the Safety Committee for the past two months. In addition, I have attended neighborhood cleanups organized by the Friends of Julian Abele Park. I also attend most SOSNA zoning meetings. I regularly clean my block.
The skills, experience, energy, relationships and/or perspectives I will bring to the Board are… I’m a Senior Geographic Information Systems Analyst at a software company here in Philadelphia. There, I work with mostly nonprofit organizations and governments to map and analyze data on communities, population and socioeconomic data. My education is from the University of Pennsylvania, where I graduated with a Master’s degree and took classes in City Planning. I believe skills and experience with mapping, data analysis and city planning would be assets to SOSNA. In addition to my skills and experience, I’m passionate about making the neighborhood a better place to live. Specifically, I am strongly interested in and want to pursue strategies towards safer and more equitable streets, cleaner streets and better trash pickup, affordable housing and more economic development, more access to parks and green spaces. I’m a cyclist and responsible dog owner, so I want to make sure our neighborhood has safe bike lanes and places for pets. I’ve been a resident of the neighborhood for over five years and have experience here as a renter and homeowner. I believe it’s important to have both the perspective of a homeowner and renter when representing residents.
Please tell us what SOSNA initiative or neighborhood issue you are most interested in working on. Why is it important to you? What do you think needs to be accomplished? How will you make a difference? My two main priorities for the neighborhoods are safer and cleaner streets. I believe that the neighborhood is a great place to live but can improve on both of those issues. Specifically, I am an advocate for safer streets, especially for the most vulnerable users such as pedestrians, cyclists and persons with disabilities. Working with the Safety committee, I want to push to implement the neighborhood walkability plan to create safer intersections and pedestrian crossings as well as traffic calming across the neighborhood. I would also push for safer bike lanes and spaces for cyclists. I believe that our biggest neighborhood asset is walkability and we need to continue to build on that. Finally, we need to make sure that persons with disabilities are able to use all the same neighborhood assets those that are able-bodied can by making sure our crosswalks are clear. Secondly, I believe SOSNA should advocate for and push our city government to reinstate regular street sweeping — as well as provide more trash cans and more frequent trash pickup so they do not overflow. In addition, I would push for SOSNA to provide street cleaning or trash pickup as a special service similar to the way other neighborhoods (such as Queen Village) have been doing. This could work in lieu of city action. Both of these efforts will take some level of neighborhood organizing as well as advocating to city government, and I plan to work with both SOSNA and city government to advance a safer and cleaner streets agenda.
I would like to serve on the Board of SOSNA because… I have been a member of the community for many years; living in, opening businesses and investing in the development of the area. Unfortunately, I haven’t been as involved with volunteering my time as I’d like. I am recently married and now have a newborn. I’d like to set an example for my son and be more involved with giving back to the community by volunteering with an organization that I believe does great things for our community.
My community service involvement with SOSNA and/or the neighborhood includes… Individually, not as much as I’d like outside of neighborhood clean-ups and participating in SOSNA events. As a business, we have hosted SOSNA events (at OpenBox Athletics) and have contributed to a handful of fundraisers.
The skills, experience, energy, relationships and/or perspectives I will bring to the Board are… My background is in business analytics and management. I own and operate two business in the neighborhood; Founding Fathers & OpenBox Athletics. I have an extensive network of friends and business connections that operate in the neighborhood.
Please tell us what SOSNA initiative or neighborhood issue you are most interested in working on. Why is it important to you? What do you think needs to be accomplished? How will you make a difference? My family raised me around real estate. My mother was a realtor and my father, a structural engineer who invested in projects in the NY area. As a result, real estate has always interested me. Now that my wife and I have a growing family, the development of my neighborhood has become more important to me than ever. We live in a neighborhood that is growing faster than what feels like we can keep up with. As far as what needs to be accomplished, I feel that we have come a very long way and I would love the opportunity to be a part of it’s continued growth.
My favorite type of soup is… Matzah Ball!
I would like to serve on the Board of SOSNA because… Because I would like to assist the community in creating an area in which we can all appreciate and be proud of.
My community service involvement with SOSNA and/or the neighborhood includes... being a pillar of support for any and all endeavors and members in the neighborhood.
The skills, experience, energy, relationships and/or perspectives I will bring to the Board are… broad. I have an abundance of interpersonal and tech skills, 30 years experience in the neighborhood, overwhelming positive energy, many relationships within the community and Philadelphia, and bring a perspective from being a native “Philadelphian” and the African American member of the community.
Please tell us what SOSNA initiative or neighborhood issue you are most interested in working on. Why is it important to you? What do you think needs to be accomplished? How will you make a difference? I would like to work on community outreach and economic development. I believe the area is not as communal as it could be. I would like to put on little events to build camaraderie among the community. I would also like to create more events and programs for our youth. I’m willing to go door to door in order to increase the chances of a high turn out. I would also like to create educational and informational events that meet the demands of the community, for all ages. I have a lot of creative ideas that I think would benefit the community. I will make a difference by going above and beyond to get the job done. This is important to me because my family and I have a lot invested in the community. I have a 10 month old daughter whom I wish to create an environment she is safe and can prosper in. Like my father before me, I believe a strong community must exist to make our residence in the area the best it be.
My favorite type of soup is… Lentil
I would like to serve on the Board of SOSNA because… I’ve served on SOSNA’s board for over three years and as the board’s vice-chair for the last two years. I’ve been an active member of our community since moving to the neighborhood and I’ve always appreciated the energy and collaborative spirit that residents bring to community projects. I’ve love to continue to serve on the board and build on the progress we’ve made. Over the past three years, SOSNA has preserved and expanded our public green space, organized a network of volunteers to combat litter, established a neighborhood grant program to fund projects like the Marian Anderson pool, brought residents and community leaders together to build a common vision for Washington Avenue, and sought the collaboration of developers to build projects that incorporate community input and create vibrant business and residential spaces. We’ve accomplished a lot and there is a lot more work to do!
My community service involvement with SOSNA and/or the neighborhood includes… As the vice-chair of SOSNA’s board, I’ve worked with our amazing board members and volunteers to make SOSNA a model neighborhood organization and RCO. Prior to serving as SOSNA’s vice-chair, I chaired Clean and Green committee and developed and implemented plans to preserve and protect our remaining green space, increase street tree plantings, and strengthen SOSNA’s anti-liter efforts through the Clean Block Campaign. I also support the wonderful work of Friends of Chester Arthur and serve as a Democratic committee person, working to increase voter awareness, turnout, and participation in elections.
The skills, experience, energy, relationships and/or perspectives I will bring to the Board are… My passion is bringing people together and aligning vision, strategy, and resources to collectively solve public problems. My professional career has spanned government, politics, and the nonprofit and private sectors. I’ve directed community-based nonprofit programs, served in Philadelphia’s Managing Director’s Office, managed local and city-wide political campaigns, led a civic engagement focused start-up, and currently work for the Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia. I enjoy a challenge and these different experiences have provided me with a deep understanding of the ways that diverse stakeholders can come together to accomplish goals. I love our neighborhood and would like to continue to use my experience, relationships, and energy on behalf of the residents of Southwest Center City.
Please tell us what SOSNA initiative or neighborhood issue you are most interested in working on. Why is it important to you? What do you think needs to be accomplished? How will you make a difference? I want to continue to create spaces and opportunities for neighbors to come together and strengthen the bonds of community. Whether it’s a public green space, neighborhood cleanup, community concert, new commercial space, or affordable housing opportunity, I want to continue to make SOSNA a model neighborhood organization that other communities can look to and learn from. I also firmly believe that reducing neighborhood litter creates a welcoming atmosphere and highlights the vitality of our neighborhood. SOSNA’s Clean Block Campaign and clean block representatives have done a great job serving as points of contact throughout the neighborhood to address litter on a block-by-block basis and share tactics that have been proven to work. But there is still consistent litter on our major neighborhood corridors and I want to focus more on reducing neighborhood litter through a sustained comprehensive street cleaning program.
My favorite type of soup is… Black bean (I do a version garnished with cilantro, sour cream, and hot sauce that is super good!)
Want to learn more about our Board of Directors? Click here.