PRESIDENT’S YEAR-END REPORT
In a year during which we celebrated our 75th Anniversary, CCRA had much more to talk about.
We continued to focus on improving Center City West through our Clean, Green and Safe initiatives. The Tree Tenders program planted numerous street trees throughout the neighborhood in an effort to reclaim the green canopy which has been lost to pollution and development. We pushed developers to do the same and the result is a greener neighborhood with more initiatives to come.
We developed a supplemental trash collection program and are working to implement it in the Fitler Square part of the neighborhood before rolling it out more broadly and in other Philadelphia neighborhoods who have asked for our help.
We continued and strengthened our relationship with the Police Department to work together to keep our streets, corners and storefronts welcoming to residents, workers and visitors. We are actively working to get more beat patrols on the streets to interact with merchants and residents in the pursuit of public safety.
Our membership continued its meteoric trajectory and we are now over 1500 strong! We added new Merchant Partners throughout the neighborhood who offer discounts to our members which are very well received. I am particularly pleased that the Kimmel Cultural Campus has become a CCRA Merchant Partner and offers our members discounts to a full array of its offerings. To have the most significant cultural institution in Pennsylvania as a partner enhances CCRA and raises our profile to a new level. There will be more to announce in this relationship in the coming year.
We also negotiated Community Benefits Agreements for the following buildings: 1901 S. Broad St. (Bankroll), 500 S. Broad St, and 2301 Market St. These agreements make the neighborhood better by harmonizing Developers’ plans with the community's needs and designs that work in context.
To demonstrate our commitment to neighborhood diversity and equity in the broader city, we have embarked on a challenging new initiative to fund minority and women-owned businesses who want to locate in Center City West. We are doing this in partnership with the Enterprise Center of West Philadelphia, using their expertise to manage and deploy the funds we are committed to raising. Again, stay tuned for more details in the coming year. And we strengthened our partnership with the Freire School, collaborating on enrichment and mentoring programs.
And we communicated all of this, and much more, weekly (CCRA This Week) and quarterly (The Center City Quarterly), keeping our members informed, soliciting their opinions and staying in touch with an active, engaged and diverse population for whom we exist—and work.
But no year-end summary would be complete without a reminder of how wonderful it was to reach our 75th year. We celebrated in style and honored our Center City Citizen of the Decade, the irrepressible and renowned Yannick Nezet-Segun, Music Director of the best orchestra in the country (our own Philadelphia Orchestra) and the best opera company in the world (The Metropolitan Opera in NYC). We recorded our history, our present program and our future plans in a series of videos available on our website. And we dedicated ourselves to many years of continued, active service to the residents of one of the greatest neighborhoods in America.