Fishtown news in brief: two sisters survive two hit-and-run accidents just days apart; the MoveOn political group opens a council in 19125.
Fishtown girl, and her sister, involved in separate hit-and-runs last week
Two young sisters, one from Fishtown and the other from Wissinoming, were hospitalized by hit and run drivers in two separate incidents last week.
The accidents happened barely 55 hours apart and involved two different vehicles, according to Philadelphia police.
On Thursday at about 2:15 p.m., a 10-year-old girl was walking with a friend on the 2400 block of Memphis St. when a white GMC sport-utility vehicle with white custom rims struck the 10-year-old. The vehicle failed to stop and fled the scene southbound on Memphis Street, police said. No description was available of the driver.
Emergency responders took the victim to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, where she was treated for a broken leg and facial injuries, then released.
On Saturday at about 8:30 p.m., the victim’s 14-year-old sister was walking along Cheltenham Avenue near Torresdale Avenue when a white, four-door sedan with tinted windows struck her. The car stopped about a half-block from the accident.
Witnesses described the driver as a Hispanic man, who exited his vehicle briefly before getting back behind the wheel and fleeing in an unspecified direction.
The 14-year-old was taken to Aria Health-Torresdale for undisclosed injuries and listed in critical condition, police said.
On Sunday, the father of the two victims told news reporters that the younger girl lives with him in Fishtown, while the older girl lives with her mom in Wissinoming.
To report information about either accident, call the Accident Investigation Division at 215-685-3180.
Fishtown resident organizes new political force
A longtime Fishtown resident has asked neighbors interested in progressive political concerns to be part of a meeting to help organize a potential new political force.
“All politics is local,” said Arthur Meckler, who is organizing a local MoveOn council for residents of the 19125 ZIP code. “The grassroots level is where you’ve got to start it.”
Meckler said MoveOn, a non-profit national progressive group, contacted him about setting up a local council. Though not himself a member of MoveOn, he thought it might be a good idea.
“It’s all about being organized. That’s how the Tea Party has made some progress, by being organized and reaching out to people and making small groups,” Meckler said.
Meckler said he has no real agenda with this group, beyond finding people who share his basic values of social justice and progressive politics and helping them to organize about the issues they are concerned with, whether that’s school closings or environmental issues.
“These councils are way of forming groups to work on social issues – environment, healthcare, education, voting rights, all those sort of things,” Meckler said. “I think there’s always people who care about those issues, and I look forward to hearing more from them.”
Meckler said that government cuts to funds for things like schools and environmental issues due to the recession makes a local MoveOn council even more urgently needed.
“When you tighten the belt it probably means … you’re not concentrated on education and healthcare. That may present certain challenges. But it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible, and it doesn’t mean people in government give up,” he said. “That’s a good reason to have a council like this, so that we don’t abandon those important issues of social justice.”
The group’s first meeting last month was attended by five people. This time, Meckler has booked space in the Fishtown Recreation Center, hoping to get a larger attendance.
“The neighborhood’s changed so much, there’s so many younger people moving in. I think it’s probably moved a little bit to the left,” Meckler said.
Meckler is a Fishtown Neighbors Association member, a former member of the now-defunct Fishtown Civic Association, and part of Friends of Fishtown, a group that has tended to Palmer Park for the past 15 years.
Even though MoveOn is a liberal group typically associated with Democratic politics, Meckler said that the group is nonpartisan and open to everyone.
The 19125 MoveOn council will meet Thursday, March 14, at 7 p.m. at the Fishtown Recreation Center, at 1202 E. Montgomery Ave.