Northeast Times

Improvements to Frankford discussed at PhillyRising meeting

Phil­lyR­ising’s new Frank­ford co­ordin­at­or San­ya Brown last week asked res­id­ents what they wanted to see in their neigh­bor­hood.

The an­swers wer­en’t un­usu­al:

Bring in more busi­nesses. Find uses for aban­doned build­ings. More reg­u­la­tion of day-care cen­ters. Help find­ing jobs for area res­id­ents. More after-school pro­grams. Get drug sellers off the streets and out of some loc­al stores, and pare down the num­ber of drug-treat­ment fa­cil­it­ies in the area. A gym. A grant-writ­ing class to help res­id­ents find funds for loc­al non­profits.  

Brown stressed that Phil­lyR­ising had no money for any of these things, but said what she could do was find out what agen­cies — private or gov­ern­ment­al — can help and put them to­geth­er with res­id­ents.

Some an­swers were found dur­ing the meet­ing in the com­munity room of the Frank­ford branch of the Free Lib­rary.

Tim Sav­age, chief of staff for state Rep. James Clay (D-179th dist.), said the state reg­u­lates day­care cen­ters, but cer­tain as­pects, in­clud­ing the amount of chil­dren at a cen­ter, could be ad­dressed by the city.

Jason Dawkins, who is run­ning against Clay in this year’s Demo­crat­ic primary, said Aria Health has a gym that is open to the pub­lic.

“Then we need in­form­a­tion from Aria,” Brown said.

One res­id­ent com­plained about drug sales at a neigh­bor­hood Laun­dro­mat.

“I’m see­ing drugs all day,” the res­id­ent said, adding a loc­al drug deal­er star­ted do­ing busi­ness in the Laun­dro­mat after he got pushed off a corner. “Some­body’s go­ing to get killed,” the res­id­ent said.

Later in the week, Brown took that com­plaint to a neigh­bor­hood meet­ing with po­lice.

Lib­rar­i­an Betsy Bax­ter said the branch’s com­munity room is avail­able for use and that any­one in­ter­ested should stop by and see her about it.

Daniel Ramos of the city’s 311 sys­tem en­cour­aged res­id­ents to be­come neigh­bor­hood li­ais­ons for Phil­adelphia’s none­mer­gency call-in sys­tem. Li­ais­ons are trained to use the sys­tem to re­port neigh­bor­hood prob­lems that re­quire city ser­vices. They are giv­en ac­cess to bet­ter track how those re­ports are be­ing handled.

Ramos stressed that 311 em­ploy­ees don’t handle those prob­lems dir­ectly, but, in­stead, refer them to the prop­er city agen­cies and keep track of how those agen­cies act on the re­ports.

The li­ais­on train­ing “gives you a sense of own­er­ship,” he said.

Li­ais­on train­ing ses­sions are held fre­quently, he said. One was con­duc­ted last Sat­urday at the Frank­ford branch lib­rary.

People also can use Philly311.phila.gov, Ramos said.

Brown said she was happy with the turnout at the Jan. 13 meet­ing, and en­cour­aged at­tendees to come to Phil­lyR­ising’s reg­u­lar 5:30 p.m. meet­ings on the second Monday of each month at the lib­rary.

“We need every­one to get to­geth­er,” she said. ••

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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