Every Monday we round up a handful of fun ways to get involved throughout the week to make your city better. Have ideas for upcoming events? Email tips here. And find more evergreen ways to get engaged—from helping local schools and fighting homelessness to greening up your neighborhood—in our Do Something guides.
Photo: Jim Pennucci/Flickr
The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia (BCGP) hosts a panel of experts for its second—and expanded—Vision Zero Conference. The purpose of the forum is to discuss ways in which Philadelphia can effectively reduce traffic-related deaths for bikers in the city. The advocacy work BCGP has done since last year’s conference paid off. Since then, Mayor Kenney established a Vision Zero Task Force and pledged to reduce traffic-related deaths to zero by 2030. Now it’s time to come up with a solid action plan to make sure the Task Force stays on its toes and sticks to its pledge. The speaker panel includes Complete Streets Director Kelley Yemen and Roy Gothie, PennDOT‘s Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator, who will discuss ways in which the city and agencies are working to make the city safer for bikers. Stick around for the afternoon session to check out a display of recommended street designs created in response to “walkability audits” of three city intersections. Wednesday, March 1, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., $60, Alumni Hall of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, 1020 Locust Street.
We’re all waiting with bated breath for the ribbon to be officially cut on The Rail Park, the expanse of abandoned railway that’s in the process of being renovated to become a green community space crossing 50 city blocks and 10 neighborhoods. Ground has been broken on Phase 1 of the project, a cool elevated section of the park plan, but a $700,000 spending gap needs to be met before construction can be completed. To bulk up that funding, Trestle Inn, along with Center City District and Friends of the Rail Park, hosts a Build The Rail Park Happy Hour. The night includes a special Rail Park Quizzo game with categories like “Callowhill Neighborhood,” “Parks,” “Trains,”and “Songs About Trains” (which will almost surely include this one). Twenty percent of the evening’s proceeds benefit the Rail Park, so slug back a couple $7 Ryed The Rails cocktails to donate money directly to Phase 1 construction. Let the organizers know you’re coming by RSVPing here. Wednesday, March 1, 5-8 p.m., pay as you go, Trestle Inn, 339 N. 11th Street.
A few weeks ago we attended an informational session hosted by political organizations Philadelphia United for Progress (Philly UP) and Philly CLUW that encouraged and instructed local women to run for seats on their local Elections Board—offices that will ensure our elections are run more smoothly and fair going forward. Since then, those interested in running have been charged with collecting signatures from community members on a petition that will actually allow them to run. On March 7, those bad boys are due, but they have to be notarized before they can be accepted. To help with the process—and make it a little more fun—Philly UP hosts a notary party at Field House in Center City, where notaries will be on hand to streamline this final step in the starting-a-campaign process. When they get the official notary stamp on their forms, attendees can stick around for drinks and appetizers with others running for office to plot the next step—securing votes. If you’re interested in running, there’s still time to get started. UP has compiled a handy website where you can access all the materials, including street lists, division maps and Election Board handouts, here. Good luck! Thursday, March 2, 7-10 p.m., $5 per notarization (cash preferred), Field House, 1150 Filbert Street.
Perhaps to make a statement that black history is something that should be celebrated 365 days a year, local apparel company Thrift Element launches its latest collection all about the forgotten female heroes of the civil rights era mere days after Black History Month comes to an end. The line makes its debut at Thrift Element’s first-ever pop-up shop, taking place, appropriately enough, at the first black-female-owned comic book shop in the country, Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse. The spring/summer collection comprises a series of T-shirts depicting rarely talked about women who propelled the Civil Rights Movement, like poet Audre Lorde, political leader Fannie Lou Hamer and cartoonist Tarika “Matilaba” Lewis, as superheroes. Each tee is $25 and is available in limited supply. The launch party also includes light bites and a raffle giving guests a chance to score one of the designs for free. Saturday, March 4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, 2578 Frankford Avenue.
Photo: Penn Law
We all run into little tiffs from time to time—whether it be a noisy neighbor, a meddling landlord or a community member who’s piling junk on his front stoop and it’s pissing you off. Calm down. Take a breath. There’s a way out of this—and it’s free. Throughout the academic school year, the Mediation Clinic at Penn Law offers gratis conflict resolution services for everything from family disputes and landlord-tenant woes to workplace conflicts and roommate problems. The mediators on staff are trained to listen to all types of issues in a neutral space, and then guide them to a reasonable compromise. You don’t have to get lawyers involved. You’ll save yourself a lung by not having to scream at someone on the street. And it won’t cost you a dime. It’s a great service that many people don’t know about, and they’re accepting clients through May. Apply here. Now through May, free, Gittis Center for Clinical Legal Studies at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, 3501 Sansom Street.