Philadelphia Environmental Nonprofits and Community-Based Organizations United to Set Priorities for Safer, Healthier and Environmentally Equitable Neighborhoods
The Green Living Plan seeks to keep quality-of-life matters front and center for the City’s next Mayor
March 9, 2023
With a field of more than ten candidates vying to serve as Philadelphia’s next Mayor, the organizations and neighborhoods represented by The Green Living Plan (GLP) seek to gain the field’s pledge to expand city investment in underserved communities and address top environmental and quality of life concerns, using a citizen-driven lens that differs in focus from the fiscal models currently in place.
The Green Living Plan underscores the strong connection between greening and environmental justice, and racial, health, and neighborhood equity. It also directly addresses the quality of life issues that many Philadelphians recognize as top city priorities, including gun violence and crime, trash collection and illegal dumping, job creation and workforce development, and basic service delivery.
GLP’s Executive Committee is comprised of 13 local environmental and neighborhood organizations, in partnership with academia, who have joined forces to offer environmentally-focused and neighborhood-based policy, programmatic, and investment solutions to Philadelphia’s most pressing quality of life challenges [alphabetically]: Cedar Park Neighbors, Mantua Civic Association, Nueva Esperanza Inc., Overbrook Environmental Education Center, PennFuture (co-coordinator), Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (co-coordinator), POWER Climate Justice & Jobs, Public Health Management Corporation, SEAMAAC, Trust for Public Land, and Young Chances Foundation, with strategic & technical assistance from the Academy of Natural Sciences and The Environmental Collaboratory (Drexel University). To date, more than 30 organizations have signed on in support of The Green Living Plan.
“The Green Living Plan is for us because it is from us,” said Russell Hicks of POWER Climate Justice & Jobs. “We’ve heard from residents across the city about the hardships that they face and this agenda seeks to solve those problems.”
In addition to the organizations represented by GLP leadership, interviews and roundtable discussions have been conducted with a wide-ranging collection of local environmental advocates and community organizers, providing broad-based input on the quality-of-life concerns and challenges being experienced citywide. These discussions also yielded a wealth of shared data that has been collected on the local, state, and federal levels about available funding and legislative efforts to address these issues.
With Philadelphia receiving millions of federal grant funds to combat gun violence and address other significant social determinants of health, the GLP seeks to move the city to the forefront of environmentally-sound solutions for its residents. The GLP platform asks city leadership to exercise the political will to exhaust those funds for their intended use, placing a priority on neighborhoods with the greatest need.
“All Philadelphians deserve clean air, clean water, cooler temperatures, and safe and vibrant open spaces for our children and their families to play,” said Dr. Jamile Tellez Lieberman of Nueva Esperanza, Inc. “The Green Living Plan is a vision of a Philadelphia where our elected leaders work together to make that a reality.”
The environmentally-focused and neighborhood-based priorities of the Green Living Plan include addressing air pollution and urban heat, investing in and protecting parks and green spaces, growing green jobs, improving basic city services, and enhancing water quality and infrastructure.
On Wednesday, March 29 from 6 to 8pm, GLP will host a Mayoral Candidate Forum at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 19th St & Ben Franklin Parkway, moderated by Charles Ellison of WURD-FM. This event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited, so RSVPs are requested. Visit GLPforum.eventbrite.com to register.
Funding for The Green Living Plan has been provided through a grant from the William Penn Foundation.
To learn more about The Green Living Plan and the specific recommendations called for by the coalition, please visit greenlivingphl.com.