Center City Residents' Association activities are coordinated through a number of standing and ad-hoc committees. Getting involved with a CCRA committee is a great way to learn more about your community and meet residents, like yourself, who value civic engagement. Contact us at 215.546.6719 or Info@CenterCityResidents.org
Committees are listed below. Click the link to learn more about the mission of each committee.
Annual Meeting Committee
To plan and implement the year's final general membership meeting, which includes the presentation of awards for community service and historic preservation, and the opportunity to meet board candidates and vote for them.
Past guest speakers have included Managing Director Michael DiBerardinis, Alan Greenberg and District Attorney Seth Williams. At the meeting we provide a recap of the year’s accomplishments & plans for the coming year; present awards for community service and historic preservation; meet board candidates and vote on them; and of course, provide refreshments.
How you can participate
We are looking for enthusiastic people to make this an exciting and memorable event for all.
Center City Quarterly
To publish the Center City Quarterly, which showcases events, institutions, and places of interest across the city, with emphasis on those within the CCRA borders. The newsletter is intended for CCRA members, government officials, related not-for-profit organizations, media individuals, and prospective members.
How you can participate
We always welcome articles and/or ideas for articles that may be of interest to the diverse population living in our neighborhood. See recent editions of CCQ in PDF format here.
Clean Streets Committee
To ensure that the streets and sidewalks in CCRA’s district are clean by working with the Philadelphia Streets Department and
by privately contracting with the Center City District for supplemental cleaning.
We successfully advocated for numerous additional public trash receptacles at specific locations; we received a commitment by the Streets Department to regularly empty the public trash receptacles; we have developed a good working relationship with Streets Department; and have renewed and monitored the sidewalk cleaning contract with Center City District (CCD). We have provided information to the membership and advocated for the introduction of bicycle lanes on Spruce and Pine Streets. We look forward to fostering the implementation of the city’s new recycling program by hosting a special forum about recycling and related topics. We continue to oversee the contract with CCD.
How you can participate
Contribute to our Sidewalk Cleaning Fund that pays for our contract with Center City District. To send us your tax-deductible contribution, click here.
We also welcome you to join our committee.
Clean Streets Committee Co-Chairs: Jeffrey Braff and David Rose
Education and Family Programming
Make CCRA relevant to young families through targeted programming which addresses educational issues and social needs.
Develop a sense of community for young families.
Provide programming and information to address educational issues relevant to families with children in our community.
Foster and maintain relationships with neighboring community associations and elected and administration officials in order to promote quality educational opportunities for our children.
Strengthen CCRA’s partnerships with neighborhood schools.
Educational events: a panel discussion “How to pick an elementary school for your child”; a school fair; and a town hall meeting with the new Superintendent of Schools, Dr. William R. Hite, Jr. These programs also achieved our goals to work collaboratively with other neighborhood associations and strengthen our relationships with elected officials
Family Programs: Meet and Greet for Center City Families with Young Children
To assist the Executive Committee and Board in the creation of an organizational budget and its maintenance throughout the fiscal year and beyond, to ensure the fiscal integrity of CCRA. Track and actively manage the budget. Also, develop a multi-year budget tied to a long-range plan to ensure that there’s continuity between administrations.
Government Relations Committee
To foster and maintain relationships with elected and administration officials, and with neighboring community associations in order to enhance and preserve a high quality of life for residents and businesses in the neighborhood; to promote government accountability, ethics, and transparency; to represent the interests of the membership with written responses and testimony at hearings in response to pending legislation.
We have hosted political events for candidates for office, scanned for ideas in other cities and neighborhoods to improve ours, connected with Common Cause, and expanded the Crosstown Coalition to include Fairmount.
How you can participate
We are looking for people who are interested in keeping up on current bills, who have an interest in crafting written responses to upcoming bills, and testify at City Hall hearings. You need not be able to do all of this, but be interested in working with others to develop responses. We are also looking for people to help organize events, respond to other issues as they arise, and work on the goals for the year.
Harvey C. Sacks, Chair
Historic Preservation Committee
To create a better understanding of historic preservation among the CCRA membership and our community, to encourage sound preservation practices among the building owners in our neighborhood, and to work with the Historic Commission of the City of Philadelphia to our mutual benefit.
We plan to work closely with the Preservation Alliance to co-host educational forums and workshops, provide valuable online resources for those interested in doing historic preservation work, including an FAQ section. Upcoming events may include custom walking tours and insider tours of works in progress. The committee will also write a regular feature for the quarterly newsletter about success stories, how-tos, and interviews with professionals. In addition, the committee will send representatives to meetings of the CCRA Zoning Committee, Philadelphia Historic Commission, Philadelphia Art Commission, and the Preservation Alliance to pass along information and represent the interests of CCRA.
How you can participate
We are looking for people with an interest in historic preservation and architecture with or without professional experience in either of these fields.
House Tour Committee
To invite the public into our homes enabling them to see the various ways that residents in Center City live whether townhouse, condominium or cooperative; whether home ownership or a rental; from efficiencies to mini-mansions, whether historic or contemporary. The tour is an annual event that has been ongoing for 25 years. Interested attendees look forward to the open houses to occur in October, rain or shine.
Each year we must acquire approximately 12 to 15 homes, businesses and points of interest to be open to the public. We also look for advertisers to cover the cost of our brochure.
How You Can Participate
Volunteer your home. Volunteer to be a host/hostess for a 2-hour shift and receive a free ticket for the tour.
How to Contact This Committee
Send an email to email@example.com
or call 215-546-6719
To increase retention of current members and increase the number and improve the cross-section of new members, to increase awareness among the public and government officials of CCRA’s contributions to the community, and to increase the value of our services to members and the public at large.
We held a Board retreat in 2009-2010 to discuss strategic planning for the organization and launched a first-ever online idea forum of all members to measure their perceptions of the organization and ask what they would like CCRA to do and be.
We are working diligently to increase membership levels by 50% and to be more representative of CCRA's resident population with special emphasis on younger members, renters, and high-rise dwellers; to promote greater visibility and committee growth throughout the organization; and strengthen institutional relationships.
To seek qualified and engaged leaders to nominate as officers and directors who will carry out the mission and programs of the organization.
If you are interested in serving on the CCRA board, we invite you to participate in a committee that interests you. Nominations for 2011-2012 will be requested at the beginning of 2011.
Police Liaison Committee
To gather and disseminate vital information from the police district on crime statistics in our boundaries with the immediate goal of providing information and improving safety and the quality of life within CCRA boundaries. To reduce the amount of misleading and incorrect information that is disseminated; be timelier in the reporting t the police of incidents occurring in the neighborhood; and report back to the community any trends in crime and resolutions to existing crime trends.
In addition, this committee can help move your safety or crime issue through the proper channels within the police department. Note: The situation must first be reported first to the police by either the victim or witness.
How you can participate
We are looking for people (especially from high-rises) who can represent CCRA and their buildings at police meetings, and we are also looking for co-chairs and patrollers for the Town Watch group so that it can organize regular patrols to walk through the neighborhood on a nightly basis.
Schuylkill River Park Garden Committee
To manage all aspects of the SRPCG so that plot-owners have a place to garden, to promote community-building, beautification and greening.
Photo by Seth Levi
Beginning in 2008, with volunteer labor and grants, we replaced benches and plot borders and upgraded some plumbing. We also joined City Harvest, a program in which we plant seedlings grown by inmates in the Philadelphia prison system, and provide the harvests to local food cupboards. In addition, we partnered with local schools to support their educational programs and continued our annual ladybug release party. For the past three years, we have won second place in our class across the city for our beautiful garden.
Garden Plots & Waiting List
In addition to the 65 plots allocated by waiting list there are five plots available to non-member residents, awarded each spring by lottery for a one-year term. For more information about the lottery, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to participate
If you are a CCRA Resident Member and would like to be placed on the waiting list for a plot, please contact us at email@example.com. Wait time is generally 1-3 years and new gardeners are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. Plots are renewable for up to six years by gardeners who are CCRA Resident Members in good standing.
Visit http://www.srpcg.org for more information about the Garden.
Tree Planting Committee
Increase tree cover and share knowledge concerning tree care and how to remove dead or dangerous trees within our boundaries.
CCRA provides assistance to the Friends of Schuylkill River Park Tree Tenders (“FSRP”) by helping to gather tree planting volunteers and by finding residents, and businesses, who want trees planted in their sidewalks. This program is part of the Plant One Million program, an ambitious multi-state tree-planting campaign in 13 counties in southeastern Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. FSRP plants between Broad Street and the Schuylkill River and between South and Walnut Streets.
Get a Sidewalk Tree planted
Property owners must take down dead trees. Additionally, tree stumps in empty tree pits often require grinding in order to make room for the new tree. Those costs are on the property owner. We can provide the names of arborists who fell trees and grind stumps. If you do not have a sidewalk tree pit, cutting one open is included in the application at no cost to the property owner.
There is also no cost for the tree itself or for the planting although donations are gladly received to help underwrite the program. Funds are directed to the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, one of the Plant One Million program’s gracious underwriters. Please inquire how to donate!
Tree applications are typically due by mid-May for a Fall planting, and by mid-November for a Spring planting. Completed applications may be faxed to 215.525.4428 or emailed to FSRP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications must be signed by property owners. Most tree applications are accepted, but it depends on site conditions and other criteria.
Volunteer to Plant Sidewalk Trees
The number of trees that FSRP can plant is limited by the number of volunteer planters. It’s simple and it’s fun to plant trees. Please ask how to become a volunteer!
Get a Yard Tree Planted
Alternatively, you may make applications for free private yard trees to TreePhilly, a program of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation. You plant your own tree with this program.