On Saturday, June 13, 2019, I discussed a $50,000 grant that I obtained for SEAMAAC, Inc. to expand their Mifflin Square Park SOPhiE Food Truck Program. The SoPhiE Food Truck Program helped four chefs improve their culinary skills. We had a chance to hear from one of those success stories. Zarzo Lian spoke about how the program has helped her start her own business and is now giving back to the community. The additional grant funding has also fostered partnerships that brought, and will continue to bring healthy, SNAP-benefit accessible foods to Mifflin Square Park. Thank you to Andy Toy, the folks at SEAMAAC and the neighborhood for making our community space better for everyone. Learn more about the SoPhie Food Truck by clicking here.
Fight to Save Hahnemann
On Thursday, July 11th, we were out fighting to save Hahnemann! In this city, we work together as a community and our voice will be heard. I am thankful to everyone who came out to lend their voice and join together to put patients over profits. The 2,500 employees, nurses, and doctors of Hahnemann provide such critical and compassionate health care to Philadelphians including my father who received two bone marrow transplants from Hahnemann. The nurses and doctors helped my family through some tough times. We must work together as a community to save this crucial health care facility. Thank you to Senator Maria Collett, Senator Christine Tartaglione, the Philadelphia House Delegation, members of PHL Council, advocates, nurses, doctors, and patients fighting for our community.
Low-Income Housing Funding Approved for Multiple Philadelphia Projects
Philadelphia’s growing population is always in need of more affordable housing opportunities. I am pleased to see numerous affordable housing projects receive critical state funding to help many residents in need. The variety of these projects demonstrates the great need to ensure that all Philadelphians are able to access safe and affordable housing.
The approved projects include:
- 1301 North 8th Street - $1,201,738 of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits for the construction of one four-story building that will house 40 efficiency units for formerly homeless individuals;
- Holy Trinity Baptist Church Enterprises, Inc.’s Fitzwater Homes Preservation Project - $200,000 of PHARE funding to rehabilitate and preserve 22 existing units of low-income family housing in Philadelphia’s Graduate Hospital Neighborhood;
- City of Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services’ Philadelphia Co-Living Program - $200,000 of PHARE funding to turn seven properties into affordable, co-living units and assist landlords with necessary repairs to eliminate property maintenance code violations;
- Women Against Abuse, Inc.’s Rapid Re-Housing and Case Management for Survivors of Domestic Abuse - $100,000 of PHARE funding to enhance affordable housing for low-income domestic violence survivors and their families and provide comprehensive case management services thorough the Safe at Home program;
- Philadelphia Housing Authority’s PhillySEEDS First Time Homebuyer Closing Cost Assistance Program - $50,000 of PHARE funding to assist approximately 37 low-income households in buying their first homes;
- Ceiba’s Free Income Tax Preparation Services – Gateway to Housing Counseling - $50,000 of PHARE funding to connect an additional 300 low-to-moderate income families to PHFA financial coaching and housing counseling;
- Community Legal Services’ Pilot Project to Assist Seniors Facing Loss of Homes - $300,000 of PHARE funding to continue the program that provides housing counselors and legal services to assist low-income seniors vulnerable to losing their homes at property tax foreclosure sheriff sales;
- Philadelphia Energy Authority’s Solarize Philly Special Financing - $200,000 of PHARE funding to ensure that low-to-moderate income households can access utility savings through solar energy;
- Action Wellness’ Action Wellness Reentry Housing Project - $75,000 of PHARE funding to provide permanent housing for vulnerable young adults and provide case managements, housing counseling, housing establishment grants, and rental assistance to reduce risk of criminal recidivism.
- Urban Affairs Coalition’s Philadelphia Home Buy Now - $100,000 of PHARE funding to engage Philadelphia-based employers in offering homeownership incentives for low-to-moderate employees and expand financial education opportunities;
- Philadelphia Association of Community Development’s Health & Housing Partnership Program - $50,000 of PHARE funds to develop models that will foster financing and investment opportunities by health care institutions to support affordable housing options for low-income residents;
- Philadelphia Council for Community Advancement’s Mortgage Retention Fund - $15,000 of PHARE funding to assist homeowners in danger of foreclosure; and
- United Communities Southeast Philadelphia’s Housing Agency Enhancement - $15,000 of PHARE funding to continue offering financial assistance to residents in need of settlement, foreclosure, eviction, and tax support.
On July 3, 2019 I was honored to welcome new citizens of the United States during the naturalization ceremony at the Museum of the American Revolution. I can’t think of a better place for the Oath of Allegiance than the birthplace of our nation! Congratulations and welcome to the American family!
Keystone Shops – South Philadelphia
The Pennsylvania Department of Health announced on Friday, July 12th, that a medical marijuana dispensary known as the Keystone Shops – South Philadelphia has been deemed operational. The shop is located at 300 Packer Avenue, Philadelphia PA 19148. It will open on July 26, 2019 to dispense medical marijuana to Philadelphia residents.
Environmental Education Grants Awarded to Philadelphia Programs
Environmental stewardship is one of the most important things that we can do for our communities, and I am very happy that two Senate District 1 education programs were funded.
The Philadelphia Solar Energy Association received a $3,000 grant for their Solar Education program, and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary received a $24,700 grant for their Freshwater Mussel Education program.
The grants are used to develop new environmental education programs and expand those already in place.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) distributes over $10 million in Environmental Education Grants annually. Revenues for the program are generated through an apportionment of five percent of all fines and penalties collected by the DEP.
We need to continue funding programs like these so that future generations have clean air, clean water and our natural resources are protected.
For the article, please visit my website.
Grants Now Available for Transportation Projects
Happy to announce that applications are being accepted now through July 31 for CFA Multimodal Transportation Fund grants. This program provides funding for projects that enhance transportation assets and promote economic development in our communities.
For more information, click here.
Property Tax/Rent Rebate
Applications for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program are now available for eligible Pennsylvanians to begin claiming rebates on property taxes or rent paid in 2018. The deadline to apply for a rebate is June 30, 2019.
For more information and details, please contact my district office at 215-952-3121 or click here.
PFT Healthy Schools Tracker App
The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers has launched the PFT Healthy Schools Tracker Mobile App which is available for Android and iPhone. This app allows users to identify specific problems with building conditions in schools and includes the ability to submit photos. The app can be downloaded for FREE from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. For more information, click here.
The Oval+ on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway – Opens July 19th, 2019
The Oval+ on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway opens for the season on July 19th. Throughout the season, the Oval+ will present interactive programming and activities from power yoga classes, movie nights, dance classes, quizzo, and dance parties for kids.
For more information and the full schedule of events for 2019, click here.
Summer Fest Live! 2019 – Saturday, July 20, 2019
XFINITY Live!’s annual Summer Fest Live! will be held on Saturday, July 20th from 2-6pm. More than 175 summer beers, and some fall beers, from breweries all over the country will be showcased at the festival. The event will include unlimited samples of beer along with live music and pay-as-you-go food from on-site food trucks.
For tickets and more information, click here.
East Passyunk Car Show & Street Festival – Sunday, July 28, 2019
East Passyunk’s annual Car Show and Street Festival will be held on Sunday, July 28th from 11am-4pm between Broad and Dickinson Streets. The streets will be lined with dozens of impressive classic, vintage, and sports cars for a day-long showcase and competition. The festival will also include shopping from local crafters, food from avenue eateries, and drinks from local bars.
For more information, click here.
Franklin Square Fountain Show – GRAND OPENING - July 31, 2019
The Grand Opening of the Franklin Square Fountain Show will be on Wednesday, July 31st. This 180-year-old fountain is the centerpiece of one of Center City’s original public squares. After a dramatic $2 million update, the fountain will now feature dancing water, lights and music from Philadelphia artists, both day and night.
For more information and details on the fountain updates and of Franklin Square park, click here.
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