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We have 18 Amazing #YoungPhillyLeads Finalists. Meet them on October 5.

Tickets - #YoungPhillyLeads - Square

 In partnership with Forbes Under 30 Summit, YIP will be highlighting the people, projects, and organizations whose ideas and work are remaking Philadelphia.

This coming Monday, October 5, #YoungPhillyLeads Awards will recognize the young Philadelphians that have taken their #whyilovephilly game to the next level. Those people will have the opportunity to share how they are shaping, creating, and supporting their communities.

We are pleased to announce the group of finalists who will be recognized during the awards program.

#YoungPhillyLeads Finalists

Education 

Government 
  • Isaiah Thomas, Dir. Community Affairs, Office of Controller
  • Julie Wertheimer, Deputy Dir. for Policy, Programs & Admin, City of Phila.
  • Kellan White, Community Engagement & Special Events Manager,  Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown

 

Start-Up / Entrepreneurial 

 

Nonprofit

 

Civic Engagement 

 

Media

 

Join us next Monday, October 5 at the #YoungPhillyLeads Awards to hear from all of the finalists above on how they are moving Philly forward.

All finalists will address the audience by giving a short pitch as to why they deserve to win their respective category.  Each audience member will be able to vote in a live text poll to choose the winner in each category.  You helped us nominate, so now is your chance to help us pick the winners!

Tickets are $30 per person, ticket price includes beer, wine, and refreshments.  Discounted 10-packs of tickets are available for $250. Get Your Ticket Today!

January 14th | Posted In Philadelphia

YIP Picks: Six Ways to Spend Your MLK Day  

MLK

 

The MLK Day of Service is coming up on – you guessed it – Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Monday, January 19th, 2015). There is no better way to honor Dr. King’s memory than to make a plan now. You think Martin Luther King, Jr. woke up, had a couple eggs, and thought to himself, “You know what, I did have one heck of a dream last night…” Of course not! Making real change requires a little planning.

Thankfully, you don’t need to write one of the most memorable speeches of the past century to participate in MLK Day. All you need to do is head on over to www.mlkdayofservice.org. There, you can register a volunteer profile and search through dozens of local MLK projects listed by county, neighborhood, and organizational mission.

And if you need a suggestion, here are a few of YIP’s favorite volunteer opportunities:

 

Saturday, January 17th 2015

Children’s Scholarship Fund Philadelphia

Volunteer ID 8515

Description: “CSFP distributes needs-based scholarships to low-income children living in Philadelphia, awarded by random lottery. Families may submit applications to CSFP’s scholarship lottery from November through March 1, 2015. In order to reach more families needing support, volunteers will help distribute applications and posters to local businesses to help spread the word about CSFP’s free scholarship application.”

Start time: 1:00pm

Sunday, January 18th 2015

Repair the World & Philly Farm Crew at Urban Farm

Volunteer ID 8526

Description: “Join us as we partner with the Jewish Farm School, Philly Farm Crew, and Urban Roots Farm to work on an urban farm right here in Philadelphia! Volunteers will be needed to assist with tending to various aspects of the farm’s winter season. Contact Bridget at bridget.flynn@werepair.org for more information. Register at bit.ly/RTWPhillyMLK”

Start time: 12:30pm

 

Monday, January 19th 2015 (MLK Jr. Day of Service)

Stenton Family Manor

Volunteer ID 8346

Description: “Travel to Stenton Family Manor, a homeless shelter, to participate in arts and crafts activities.”

Start time: 8:30am

 

WePAC Hamilton Elementary Library Reopening

Volunteer ID 8767

Description: “The Andrew Hamilton Elementary School Library has been closed for over four years and has been underresourced for 10-15 years. Join The West Philadelphia Alliance for Children (WePAC) as we put on the finishing touches for its grand re-opening on January 27th, 2015, which will bring library services and access to books to over 600 public school students in West Philadelphia! Project components include cataloging books, organizing and shelving books, decorating, cleaning, and more!”

Start time: 9:00am

 

Living Water Baptist Church

Volunteer ID 7761

Description: “We will have a “Sunday Supper” for the Seniors in the community. We will serve seniors lunch and have conversation on a topic regarding the
civil rights era.”

Start time: 11:00am
Through January 30th

The African-American Resource Center at Penn is hosting a series of
community beautification projects, volunteer opportunities, and panels over the course of two weeks. All events can be found on www.mlkdayofservice.org, or by visiting the African-American Resource Center website:
http://www.upenn.edu/aarc/mlk/calendar_mlk.htm

 

December 29th | Posted In Philadelphia

New AP poll confirms what YIP’s been saying, doing for years & explains what we’re doing next

Ward System 110

YIP’s Ward System 101 event on Feb. 5, 2014 sold out – young Philadelphians want to challenge the status quo.

A recent Associated Press-Gfk poll confirmed something we’ve been saying for a while now: young people care and want to get involved. According to the poll, Americans under 30 are more likely than older Americans to consider volunteering a very important civic duty. That’s something YIP knew intuitively: we’re shamelessly proud of having helped hundreds of young Philadelphians connect with the area’s best nonprofits. That’s the core of what we always have and always will do.

But, unfortunately, that same poll showed that young Americans cared less about other important obligations as citizens, such as voting and staying informed.

As the AP notes: “The share who call volunteering very important has climbed 10 percentage points, while staying informed dropped 13 points. The importance of voting, jury duty, reporting a crime and speaking English as obligations of citizenship also declined among young adults.”

While that last finding would make many of us smile (and Joey Vento spin in his grave), the rest are troubling, though understandable.

Read more

December 23rd | Posted In Philadelphia

The Kids are Alright: This Year in Young Involved Philly

yearend

As 2014 comes to a close, we here at YIP are busy crunching the numbers – and getting nostalgic just thinking about the last twelve months.

The biggest State of Young Philly yet. Monthly happy hours and run clubs. Two Board Prep cohorts. Coffee chats with some of Philly’s finest leaders. Seventy-five events (yes, you read that right – 75). Over 50 nonprofit partners. And oh yeah – advocacy efforts like our #YoungPHLVotes campaign, Ward 101 event, and civic engagement guide.

Let’s break it down, shall we?

Read more

October 30th | Posted In Philadelphia

Your Official YIP 2014 Ballot Questions Guide

Vote Badges

On November 4th, Philadelphians will elect a governor, congresspersons, state legislators, and more. They’ll also vote on three ballot measures.

So what’s a ballot measure? What do they do? How can I be an informed voter when it’s my turn to vote “yay” or “nay” on these things?

Being an informed voter on ballot measures is surprisingly difficult. Even I, YIP Advocacy Vice Chair, had to call some seriously knowledgeable people to get anything close to real information on this. Google, sadly, fails voters sometimes.

Below is the text of the ballot initiatives, as well as a plain-text statement and a YIP-provided translation.  Happy voting!  [Disclaimer: YIP takes no official position on any of these questions.]

 

Question 1

Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to establish and define the functions of the Office of Sustainability, headed by a Director of Sustainability?

 

Plain English version:

 

The City’s current Office of Sustainability was established by the Mayor in 2008 to set sustainability targets and to evaluate the City’s progress in meeting those targets. The proposed Charter change would make the Office permanent by formally creating, in the Charter itself, an Office of Sustainability. The Office would be headed by the Director of Sustainability, to be appointed by the Mayor. The Office would be responsible for developing and coordinating the implementation of policies and programs to meet the City’s sustainability goals. These goals will relate to matters such as energy use, air and water quality, tracking of greenhouse gas emissions, solid waste management, access to open space and local and healthy food, tree canopy coverage and climate change preparedness planning.

 

What does it mean?

 

The Office of Sustainability was created in 2009 by an administrative order by Mayor Nutter. According to the Office’s website, it strives to set “15 sustainability targets in the areas of energy, environment, equity, economy, and engagement to make Philadelphia the greenest city in America by 2015.”

&nbps;

Is Philadelphia the greenest city? Maybe a bit ambitious. Portland, Oregon still exists, after all (and the Maine one, too). But, as of now, this office is subject to the whims of the current mayor. Our next mayor could disband the office entirely.

&nbps;

This ballot measure would prevent that from happening by making the office permanent by adding it to the City Charter. Not much about what the Office does would be any different; it would just be permanent.

 

Question 2

Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to transfer responsibility for managing and operating the City’s jails from the Department of Public Welfare and the Board of Trustees of Philadelphia Prisons to a new Department of Prisons and Board of Trustees?

 

Plain English version:

 

Currently, the City’s Home Rule Charter assigns the responsibility of operating the City’s prisons to two entities. The Board of Trustees of Philadelphia Prisons is responsible for the direction and control of the management of the City’s prisons, which includes selection of the Superintendent of the City’s prisons, who administers the City’s prisons. The Department of Public Welfare (commonly referred to as the Department of Human Services, or “DHS”) has general supervisory responsibility in connection with the City’s prisons.

The proposed Charter change would create a new Department of Prisons, responsible for operating the City’s prisons. The Department would be headed by a Prisons Commissioner, who would supervise the management and operation of the City’s prisons. He or she also would be responsible for maintaining a program for facilitating the reintegration of individuals returning from incarceration. The Prisons Commissioner would be appointed by, and would report to, the City’s Managing Director. The Board of Trustees of Philadelphia Prisons would be responsible for adopting standards and guidelines to be considered by the Prisons Commissioner when making policy relating to the City’s prisons.

 

What does it mean?

 

If you thought Question 1 was getting deep into the bureaucratic weeds, boy does Question 2 have a surprise in store for you!

Right now, City jails are run by the Department of Human Services (DHS) – the same Department that’s responsible for abused and neglected children, as well as for employing your humble author.  Foster care and prison probably don’t go together, but this is how things were set up for some ancient reason.

Technically, then, the Department of Prisons is subordinate to DHS. Functionally, it operates pretty independently.  This ballot measure would pull Prisons out and make it its own, full-grown Department. In addition, the Mayor’s Office of Re-entry would join the new Department of Prisons, putting all of the City’s prison eggs into one concrete-and-barbed-wire basket.

This would also allow the new Prisons commissioner to appoint his/her own deputies (each commissioner gets a certain set number). In theory, this would allow the commissioner to have greater control over the department by allowing him/her to install employees that will best work towards whatever vision the commissioner sets forth.  Right now, deputies are either pre-existing civil-service employees or appointments generously bequeathed by the DHS commissioner.

There doesn’t appear to be any pushback on this by the labor unions.

Just to clarify: this initiative will not result in the building of more prisons.  It’s a common misconception.  This is just a bureaucratic shuffle.

 

Question 3

 

Should the City of Philadelphia borrow ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-SEVEN MILLION TWO HUNDRED NINETY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($137,295,000.00) to be spent for and toward capital purposes as follows: Transit; Streets and Sanitation; Municipal Buildings; Parks, Recreation and Museums; and Economic and Community Development?

 

Plain English statement:

 

This ballot question, if approved by the voters, would authorize the City to borrow $137,295,000 for capital purposes, thereby increasing the City’s indebtedness by $137,295,000. Capital purposes means, generally, to make expenditures that will result in something of value with a useful life to the City of more than five years, for example, acquisitions of real estate, or construction of or improvements to buildings, property or streets.

The money to be borrowed would be used by the City for five identified purposes, namely, Transit; Streets and Sanitation; Municipal Buildings; Parks, Recreation and Museums; and Economic and Community Development, all in specific amounts identified in Bill No. 140511 (approved September __, 2014). City Council would have authority, by ordinance, to change the intended allocation of these proceeds.

What does it mean?

 

OH MAN IT SOUNDS LIKE SO MUCH MORE MONEY WHEN YOU PUT IT IN ALL CAPS!  Alright, here’s the deal: The City has decided that it needs more money to fix stuff or buy stuff that it needs. To get the cash quickly, it wants to borrow that money in the form of a bond.  Any such debt would have to be paid off in the future.

Governments do this sort of thing all the time. Maybe you think this is a good thing, maybe you don’t. I’m not an economist, so I can’t help you there.

The practical implications are important but relatively limited. The only real danger to the City is if we fail to pay the bond back. That would hurt our credit rating (which is pretty good right now, a reflection on the City’s good track record of paying back loans). A poor credit rating would make future borrowing more expensive, or even could prevent the City from borrowing altogether.

 

Special thanks to Patrick Christmas, Senior Policy Analyst at the Committee of Seventy, for his insight and advice

October 15th | Posted In Philadelphia, Policy

Recycling Right

628px-Recycling_symbol.svg

Every day seems to bring another good piece of “green” news in Philadelphia: new parks in underutilized spaces, bike share, and the success of City initiatives like Green City, Clean Waters, TreePhilly, and the new energy benchmarking program, to name a few.

One success story you might not know as much about, however, is the City’s recycling program. So let’s look at the facts:

Since Mayor Nutter took office in 2008, Philadelphia has seen a 155% increase in tonnage of materials recycled

New materials have been consistently added to the City’s recycling program, including cartons and cardboard

The Philadelphia Streets Department has distributed tens of thousands of recycling bins to residents in every corner of the City

195,000 households have signed up for the Recycling Rewards incentive program, where Philadelphians can earn points for recycling and then redeem those points for coupons and discounts (Eligible, but not signed up? Sign up here! Signed up already? Make sure you’re logging in to your account and collecting your rewards!)

And if you’re a business owner, the Streets Department has you covered with their new Business Recycling Toolkit

All of this has made a measureable impact, too. According to the City’s Recycling Office and the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, Philadelphia’s recycling efforts in 2012 alone helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions equal to 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide. Not to mention, the City actually makes money from recycling (to the tune of about ten million dollars a year).

So, great, right? We’re doing a really awesome job at recycling in Philadelphia. Go, team!

But that’s not quite the end of the story.

Increasing participation in Philadelphia’s recycling program can too often lead to (innocent) recycling mistakes. As we approach America Recycles Day (a national holiday for us recycling fanatics), it’s important to remind ourselves of what you should and shouldn’t throw in your blue bin.

First and foremost, no plastic bags! They tear easily and end up damaging processing equipment at recycling facilities. Return your plastic shopping bags to specially-marked drop off locations at supermarkets or big box stores. Better yet, figure out a trick to remind yourself to bring that reusable bag along with you to the grocery store, and cut down on your usage of plastic bags. And in no circumstances should you put your recyclables in an opaque or black plastic bag. They’ll be mistaken as regular trash.

Other common “problem items” found in Philadelphia’s recycling stream include:

Food waste (consider composting!)

Garden Hoses

Wire and Christmas Tree Lights

Small appliances

And if in doubt, consult the Streets Department’s comprehensive list of what is and is not recyclable in the City.

With so many exciting things happening all over Philadelphia, it can be easy to forget about every-day municipal functions like our recycling program, and how they impact the health of the City. So we leave you with a call to action: keep up to date on what you can and cannot recycle in Philadelphia, and urge at least one friend to do the same. Then ask that friend to tell someone else. And so on, and so on, and so on.

Phil Bresee is the City of Philadelphia’s Recycling Director, where he oversees and supports programs and policy planning for the City’s recycling program, one of the largest in the country.

Michelle Feldman is the Executive Director of Keep Philadelphia Beautiful, and Outreach Chair for YIP. You can reach her with questions about recycling at michelle@keepphiladelphiabeautiful.org, or find her on twitter at @michelle92486

October 6th | Posted In Philadelphia

Know a great Philly public servant? Nominate them for the Dilworth Award

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It’s always nice to get a little recognition for a job well done. Most of us can enjoy the simple pleasures of hearing a “thanks” or “good job” when we do something well at work.  But if there is a group of people who toil unnoticed at best, and under the hyper critical scrutiny of complete strangers at worst, it’s city government workers.

More often than not, their work goes unnoticed. When it doesn’t, its usually because something is screwed up.

That’s why Mayor Nutter established the Richardson Dilworth Award for Distinguished Public Service a few years ago.  It’s to say “Hey, usually anonymous bureaucrat – I noticed that you did a great job here, and made Philly better, so let me say thanks.”

This year, the award program has expanded and includes two new award categories, honoring Innovation in Government and Excellence in Public Service.

You can help give your favorite civic servant the attention he or she deserves by nominating them for the Dilworth Award.

If you know someone who has helped make your city a better place to live, work, or play, please submit a nomination at www.dilworthaward.org. Nominations are accepted through November 14th.

September 12th | Posted In Philadelphia

Football’s Call to Action

football

Monday was a hard day for football fans.  Between the publication of the security footage showing former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice beating his then-fiancée into unconsciousness and the NCAA’s surprising decision to rescind the penalties that it had imposed on Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal, it’s fair to say that everyone who follows the sport was left with mixed emotions at best.

It’s not YIP’s place to comment on whether the NFL’s handling of the issue of domestic violence is right or wrong; nor is it our place, as an organization, to comment on whether the NCAA was right in reversing its sanctions against Penn State.  There are plenty of arguments to be had about any number of points, and reasonable people can disagree about many of them.

But there are two points that are not in dispute: (1) domestic violence is abhorrent, it needs to be stopped, and its victims need all the help we can give them; and (2) child abuse is abhorrent, it needs to be stopped, and its victims need all the help we can give them.

Please take Monday as a call to action.  There are many great organizations in and around Philadelphia that do amazing work in the fields of domestic violence and child abuse.  A handful of them are listed below.  If you want to make a difference, you could try boycotting the NFL or NCAA football.  But if you want to change a victim’s life, you should donate to or volunteer for these organizations.  This list is far from exhaustive, which just shows you how many opportunities you have to do the one thing we hope all of you will do: get involved.

Domestic violence organizations:

 

Child abuse/child welfare organizations:

July 28th | Posted In Philadelphia

Nick Foles – Sports Media Kryptonite?

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Nick Foles. Man. Myth?

On Friday, members of the Philadelphia Eagles alit at the NovaCare Complex to commence preparations for their 2014 NFL campaign. The Eagles begin their second year under the stewardship of head coach Chip Kelly and boast one of the most dynamic offenses in the NFL. Returning to pilot the offense is Pro Bowl quarterback Nick Foles, who led the league in passer rating while tossing 27 touchdowns and throwing just two interceptions. Last season, the team overachieved to the tune of a 10-6 record, an NFC East Division title, and an unexpected playoff appearance. Despite the pressure of a stronger schedule and the burden of heightened hopes, the Eagles appear primed to continue their success and compete for the Super Bowl.

Read more

July 7th | Posted In Philadelphia

The Dept. of Records Has Some Awesome Videos for Your Procrastination Needs

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The Dept. of Records has a handful of videos on YouTube from the 60s and 70s that are absolute time vampires. Most are your standard, made-for-school film strips. My personal favorite is “Design for a City”.  Produced in 1963, the video is a fascinating peak at a time just before cities across America would see massive population declines.  Philadelphia, like most other north eastern cities, was primarily concerned about how to deal with surging populations and increased traffic from cars. Few realized that the rise of automobiles and the development of large highway systems would literally drive urban populations into the ‘burbs.

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July 7th | Posted In Philadelphia

INVISIBLE RIVER – The Intersection of Dance, Sustainability, and the Schuylkill River

river

As a young Philadelphian and a former YIP Board member, I love Philadelphia, and INVISIBLE RIVER encapsulates everything Philadelphia that I love. It is unique and home-grown, and it takes place in, on, and above the Schuylkill River. The show combines dance, art, boating, and love of sustainability in a celebration of the Schuylkill River. It will be performed twice this weekend, on Saturday & Sunday July 12th & 13th.

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July 2nd | Posted In Philadelphia

UPDATED: A Tropical Flavor for this Year’s PHS Pop Up Garden – Opening July 8!

popup

The PHS Pop Up Garden has become synonymous with urban oasis. And this year’s design, location and menu will have an island-getaway ambiance in the middle of the city.

The fourth PHS Pop Up will transform a vacant lot at 1438-46 South Street into a beautiful gathering place featuring tropical drinks, beer and wine, a rotating array of food trucks, and Caribbean dishes served by the Jamaican Jerk Hut, the Pop Up’s next-door neighbor. The site, owned by Philadelphia music legend Kenny Gamble, will also feature live acoustic performances and other special programs and events.

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June 30th | Posted In Philadelphia

Takin’ a Stroll Down the Frankford Commercial Corridor

JBs

A little over a week ago, Young Involved Philadelphia held the first of what will be a three-part series of Commercial Corridor Tours. With the help of Joanna Winchester from the New Kensington Community Development Corporation, we got an intimate look into some of the businesses along Frankford and Girard that are really helping the neighborhood make a strong comeback.

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June 12th | Posted In Events, Philadelphia

Après moi, le déluge de Tastykake – Bastille Day at Eastern State

Bastille Day 2011 Eastern State Penitentiary 536 copy

Who doesn’t love to eat butterscotch krimpets, drink beer, and watch men in drag? (Ed. note: No one I ever want to meet, that’s who.) On Saturday, July 12th, Eastern State Penitentiary will bring the French Revolution to life for its 20th annual Bastille Day festival, where spectacle goers will have a laugh, snag some free Tastykakes from the sky, and enjoy a night on Fairmount Avenue at one of the largest free theatrical events in Philadelphia. The Bearded Ladies, an experimental cabaret troupe, will retell the storming of the Bastille through song and dance (and with the help of a rather realistic guillotine). The performance will feature familiar faces such as Napoleon, Joan of Arc, a 6-foot-tall French Baguette, and Philadelphia’s own noted Francophile, Benjamin Franklin. But perhaps the character that will bring the most applause is Marie Antoinette, played by Terry McNally, co-owner of London Grill and Paris Wine Bar. (Pro Tip: Be on the lookout when she cries, “Let them eat Tastykake!” It’s every man for himself when more than 2,000 Tastykakes are flung from the prison’s towers!)

Après-beheading, Fairmount restaurants will feature French-themed entertainment as well as food and drink specials, and the penitentiary will reopen for rare twilight tours. Twilight tour admission is $10 for adults and $5 for seniors, students and kids (ages 7-12).

The performance begins at 5:30 pm in front of Est Pénitencier de l’État, at 22nd and Fairmount. Did we mention this event is free and open to members of the Third Estate (i.e. the public)? For more information, visit the Bastille Day website.

About the Bearded Ladies

Bearded Ladies Cabaret is a troupe of artists who insist that art can be both intellectual and accessible, entertaining and meaningful, stupid good and just plain stupid. They fuse cabaret and theater to tackle the politics of gender, identity, and artistic invention with sparkle and wit. Bearded Ladies are always live, always smart, and never quite what you expect. Bearded Ladies are currently the cabaret company in residence at The Wilma Theater. Shows include No Regrets: A Piaf Affair, Wide Awake: A Civil War Cabaret, Beards Are For Shaving: A 007 Cabaret, and Marlene and the Machine.

About Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site

Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. Known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, this was the world’s first true “penitentiary,” a prison designed to inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of convicts. Its vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America’s most notorious criminals, including bank robber “Slick Willie” Sutton and Al Capone.

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site is located at 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue, just five blocks from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The penitentiary is open seven days a week, year round. Admission is $14 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $10 for students and children ages 7-12. (Not recommended for children under the age of seven.) Tickets are available online at easternstate.org or at the door, subject to availability. Admission includes “The Voices of Eastern State” Audio Tour, narrated by actor Steve Buscemi; Hands-On History interactive experiences; history exhibits; and a critically acclaimed series of artist installations.

Carly Harris is a Marketing & PR Intern at Eastern State Penitentiary, a Penn State Student and a full-on Francophile. She tweets @CarlyHarrisPSU.

 

 

May 19th | Posted In Philadelphia

Why We Need to Vote

cityhall

Philadelphia is in trouble. Buildings are collapsing, our education system is failing and we are the poorest big city in the United States. People are scrambling to find solutions and are quick to demand reform through our city’s literal and figurative infrastructure. As the public narrative goes, the solutions to these problems are completely out of the hands of the average citizen. We point the finger at the powers that be, our elected officials, union members and whatever demographic is different than our own, whether it is based on socioeconomic status, race or age.

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May 8th | Posted In Philadelphia

I Love Your Park and You Should Too

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Have you ever taken a super cool picture of Boathouse Row at night, or gone for a jog along the Schuylkill Banks? Does your pup thoroughly enjoy romping around with the rest of the pack at Pretzel Park? Have you taken the long way home just to walk through one of the squares? Do you live the Secret Life of Fairmount Park? (We wont tell). You’ve gotten the gang together to for a game at Edgeley Field, haven’t you?

You probably said “yes” to at least one, if not all of those. (And if you didn’t, I’m terrible sorry about your tragic medical condition.)

Read more

May 8th | Posted In Philadelphia, Politics

One infographic, all of the election issues

Check out this awesome info graphic from Jon Kostesich, a talented (at least we think so) graphic designer in Philly. Unless you are blind or illiterate, you now have no excuse to not know where the candidates stand.  If you ARE blind or illiterate, how the heck are you reading this right now?   governor

Check out Jon’s website

May 7th | Posted In Philadelphia, YIP

Check out YIP’s New Citizen’s Guide!

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In case you haven’t heard, Young Involved Philadelphia is all about promoting an engaged, active citizenry. Like “Call me Maybe” circa Summer 2012, it’s totally our jam.

That’s why we’ve made this brand spanking new Citizen’s Guide. Check it out under our Resources tab. YIP’s Citizen Guide is a detailed compendium of online resources related to political and civic engagement in Philadelphia – use it to learn who your elected representatives are, who your local neighborhood associations are, how to join a Young Friends group or where to get your news. Basically, if you want to get more involved but aren’t sure how, it’ll point you in the right direction.

The Citizen’s Guide is brought to you by YIP’s Advocacy Committee – special thanks go to Samantha Pearson, Mike Thomas and Dave Laegen for putting together pretty much all of it. Kyron Banks and Curtis Blessing also deserve kudos.

Remember – this is a work in constant progress, so let us know if we missed something or have something wrong. Please keep in mind we can’t post everything up there – your local cornhole league ain’t gonna make the cut, bro – but we will try to respond to every legit request.

April 24th | Posted In Ideasmiths, Nonprofit, Philadelphia

YIP Ideasmiths Podcast – Episode #002 – Katie Monroe of Women Bike PHL

Last month we introduced the YIP Ideasmiths Podcast, where we explore the stories of the young people behind some of your favorite projects, events, and organizations in the area. 

Women Bike PHL

Women Bike PHL

This month I had the chance to sit down with Katie Monroe, founder of Women Bike PHL, a program of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia working to encourage more women to bike. During the interview we discuss her 2012 research revealing the major gender gap in Philly’s bike culture, key changes that would make Philly a more bike-friendly city, and tips for anyone interested in biking more as a way to get around Philly. I need to thank Katie again for taking the time to meet with me, having led a ride for a related group, Gearing Up, just prior to our talk. Katie really lives and breaths her vision for a better Philly.

In her own words:

Katie Monroe

Katie Monroe

At this point when we think of the bike scene and the bike culture it’s people who really identify with their bikes for one reason or another… What I envision for Philly and for the US in general is a world where having a bike is like having a toaster. It’s just the best tool for the job. You don’t have to identify with a toaster or be a toaster person; you don’t have to be a bike person. You just ride your bike because that’s the easiest, cheapest, fastest, happiest way to get where you’re going.

Listen to the interview now by subscribing to the podcast in the iTunes store (no headphones while biking!).

For more info on Women Bike PHL and a calendar of events, visit www.womenbikephl.org. While you’re at it, tab out your browser with Bicycle Coalition and Gearing Up.

Final notes and disclaimer: This is an experiment we’re trying – if you like it and want to hear more, let us know by subscribing, commenting, and rating on iTunes, and by sharing on Twitter and Facebook. If you don’t like it and don’t want to hear more, troll us unmercifully on reddit–we don’t usually look there. Honestly though, we want to hear those comments too. We’re a volunteer team, new to this podcasting game, and we want to get better at sharing these stories. And here’s the number one thing you can do: if you know a local young leader with a great story to tell, send us an email at ideasmiths@yiphilly.org. We’ll be capturing these in both the podcast and in written posts.

April 20th | Posted In Nonprofit, Philadelphia

Arts Supporters urge City Government to #RestoreArtsFundingPHL

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Approximately 0% of Penn students know this by its real name.

Philadelphia is often celebrated as one of the premier destinations for arts and culture in America. We boast world-class museums, countless festivals and wonderful performance arts. With all that the cultural sector contributes, I sometimes wonder what our city would be like without it. I know – it’s scary. What would the Parkway look like without the Art Museum (just don’t mention that Rocky statue), the Rodin and the Barnes? What would Philadelphians do on First Fridays if they couldn’t gallery hop? What would Claes Oldenburg do if we returned his Clothespin, Paintbrush, Three-Way Plug and Split Button? Sure, they’re ordinary household items, but something tells me he couldn’t fit them in his garage.

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