Vote for Homes Coalition demands presidential candidates focus on the homeless

April 21, 2008

The Vote for Homes Coalition held a rally today in front of the National Constitution Center to encourage people to vote in tomorrow’s primary, and to pressure the presidential candidates to give the issues of housing and homelessness more consideration.

Roughly 150 people gathered to hear Coalition members voice their concerns. Behind the speakers, other Coalition members stood wearing blindfolds to represent the blinders presidential candidate have on with respect to homelessness.

Vote for Homes Rally”We are here today to call on the presidential candidates to honestly confront the crisis of homelessness and to offer constructive policies to resolve this crisis,” said Sister Mary Scullion of Project HOME.

“We want to hear from our presidential candidates how they’re going to end homelessness today,” continued Sister Scullion. “We want to feel a sense of urgency from our elected officials that they feel the plight of people that are living on our streets. “

Sister Scullion also spoke about the power homeless voters can have in this election:

Thousands of homeless people in Philadelphia are registered to vote. And we’re waiting for some positive, meaningful messages from our presidential candidates. And so far, we have heard nothing. We cannot allow people who are experiencing homelessness to continue to be invisible in this campaign.

Some speakers voiced concern with the Democratic debate held in Philadelphia last week. Reverend Bill Golderer of the Broad Street Ministry said, “We have a problem that’s bigger than the so-called Jeremiah Wright problem. We have a bigger problem confronting us tomorrow than the so-called sniper fire problem. We have a bigger problem than going back and forth about whether Pennsylvanians are bitter or not bitter.”

Others spoke about how federal programs have helped them when they were homeless, and how those programs are still important today.

Hyacinth King, a formerly homeless woman now with Vote for Homes, said, “Thanks to having the right support, I have been stable mentally and have been substance free for a little more than eleven years. My support system, which I still need from time to time, would not be possible without Section 8 vouchers which are made available by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.”

“I present myself to you today,” continued Ms. King, “to show what can happen when federal resources are well invested.”

The Vote for Homes Coalition is a non-partisan advocacy group for the homeless that registers people to vote. It’s part of Project HOME, a major housing and service provider for the homeless in Philadelphia. Call the Vote For Homes Information Line at 215-232-7272 ex.3106 if you need help getting to the polls in Philadelphia.

Bethesda Project, Horizon House, the Mental Health Association of Southeast Pennsylvania, and the Homeless Advocacy Project were also involved in the rally.

Hear Hyacinth King’s full speech (click triangle to hear clip):

Headhouse Farmers’ Market to open May 4th

April 17, 2008

The Food Trust will reopen its popular Headhouse Farmers’ Market two months early, on Sunday May 4th, this year. Located at Second and Lombard Streets, the Market will be open Sundays from 10am to 2pm and will feature 22 vendors (up to 30 by this summer) from local farms selling fruits, vegetables, crafts, and prepared goods.

Weavers Way Produce“The market was so successful last year, we decided to open two months earlier this year,” said market manager Katy Wich. “We were thrilled to see how many customers enjoyed the market last year, and are excited to offer shoppers the opportunity to visit the market again.”

This will be the Headhouse Farmers’ Market’s second year in operation.

This year, you’ll find previous market favorites, such as Griggstown Quail Farm’s chicken pot pies from Princeton NJ, Patches of Star Dairy’s feta cheese from Nazareth, PA, and North Star Orchards famous Asian Pears from Coatesville, PA.

The Market will also feature new products, like African greens from Yoder Heirlooms in Lititz, PA, artisan game sausage and salami from Talula’s Table in Kennett Square, PA, and fresh milk from Birchrun Hills Farm in Birchrunville, PA.

As part of the opening day festivities, Hoots and Hellmouth, a Philadelphia-based band, will be performing at the market.

The Food Trust, a non-profit organization working to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, nutritious food, operates 29 markets–including affiliated markets in surrounding suburban communities that will be opening throughout May and June.

Two of the Food Trust’s markets have been open all winter:

  • Clark Park Farmers’ Market, 43rd St. & Baltimore Ave. is open Saturdays 10am-2pm
  • Fitler Square Farmers’ Market, 23rd St. & Pine St. is open Saturdays 10am-2pm

Find out more at or

Economy League to develop Philadelphia budget simulation

April 7, 2008

The Economy League of Greater Philadelphia recently announced it received a $100,000 grant from the Lenfest Foundation to create, and bring to the community, a web-based city budget simulation that will teach residents about Philadelphia’s budgeting process. Great Expectations, a joint project of The Inquirer’s Citizen Voices program and the Penn Project for Civic Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania, will partner with the Economy League on the project. Read more

Event: State of the City

March 31, 2008

Center City Proprietors Association and the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia Invite you to the Sixth Annual State of the City

Wednesday, April 30, 2008
5:30 to 7:30 pm
Radisson Plaza-Warwick Hotel
1701 Locust Street

A savvy sector of the region’s brain trust will review the past year’s accomplishments, offer a sneak peek of coming developments, and discuss their vision for the city’s future. Panelists: Andrew Altman, Peggy Amsterdam, Camille Cates Barnett, Ph.D., Tom Muldoon, Steven Wray, Executive Director, Economy League

Space is limited and pre-payment is required. For details and to reserve a place, contact CCPA: 215 545 7766.

Source: State of the City Event April 30

Event: Schools and the New Inequality

March 20, 2008

A public conversation held in conjunction with Politics, Activism, and the History of America’s Public Schools: A Conference for Young Scholars.

The causes and nature of inequality in American education have been the subject of sustained historical scrutiny. Using histories of American educational inequality as a backdrop, this panel asks: What aspects of American educational inequality have endured and what is new? Scholars will explore how developments in the past three decades—globalization, post-1960s immigration, the new spatial organizations of American urban areas, shifting regional fortunes, the decline of labor as a political force, the growing service economy—have altered the landscape of American educational inequality. Panelists will address the components of educational inequality in America that continue to demand analysis and will point to the questions that recent trends suggest need further scholarly exploration.

April 12, 2008, 4:30pm
Logan Hall, G-17
University of Pennsylvania

Free and open to the public

James D. Anderson, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Michael B. Katz, University of Pennsylvania
Ira Katznelson, Columbia University
David Labaree, Stanford University
James Leloudis, University of North Carolina
Elaine Simon, University of Pennsylvania (moderator)

Almost Done

March 13, 2008

We’re nearly done building the new design for City Prosper. Expect us to be up and running soon.

Let us know what you think via our contact page.

Working on Changes

March 4, 2008

City Prosper is still a work in progress. We recently got some funding and are using it to update the site. We’ll be making changes, over the next few weeks, to the look and features of the site. Thanks for your patience.