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. ••