We passed along some info a few days ago from our friends at the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance (PACA). PACA also passed along information about some city policy that they are lobbying for. Though the South Philly Food Co-op isn't taking any official position on the legislation referenced below, we pass along this info from PACA for your information.
PACA Public Policy - Call to Action! Historic Land Bank Legislation Needs Your Support PACA has joined the Take Back Vacant Land Coalition to support passage of Philaelphia City Council legislation that will transfer ownership of the 40,000+ city-owned vacant properties to a land bank. The land bank will oversee the sale and distribution of these properties, and PACA along with the Take Back Vacant Land Coalition wants to ensure that community members have a say in this process. We want to ensure that some of the 40,000 properties benefit our communities, so that green spaces, cooperative businesses, affordable housing, and community centers can receive land too. Take a second to write a letter to the Legislation's sponsor, Councilwoman Sanchez. Feel free to use the template below, and personalize it as you see fit. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. María Quiñones Sánchez 7th District Councilwoman Room 592, City Hall Philadelphia, PA 19107 Dear Councilwoman Sánchez: I am happy you have sponsored Bill #120052 to create a Philadelphia “Landbank”. I am pleased that Take Back Vacant Land’s priorities around (a) community representation on the board of directors, (b) public reporting on land sales and transfers and (c) consolidation of vacant land currently held by different city agencies are included. I am also pleased that our coalition is working with you and your staff to make sure that land is used for things most important to me: cooperative businesses that create good-paying jobs and provide essential services to the community, affordable, accessible housing, farming and gardening as well as open space, and that groups accountable to communities and our vision have priority for receiving land.