At his first general membership meeting for the South Philly Food Co-op, Anthony was asked to join the Real Estate Committee because of his technical expertise as a mechanical engineer. However, it turns out being a Citizen Planner came in handy! He describes:
As we’ve been searching for a location [for the Co-op] and dealing with developers, I’ve been able to use my CPI knowledge.
As for the location, it is still to be determined; Anthony and the Real Estate Committee are actively engaged in the site search. Beyond understanding what defines a commercial corridor and other related zoning issues, CPI also helped Anthony in this role in another way:
CPI taught me to be less of body to attend meetings, and more of an active and engaged individual who can offer advice and help the group figure out what the right questions are.
Anthony’s CPI planning and zoning knowledge also helps him in his role as member of the Lower Moyamensing Civic Association (LoMo) Zoning & Planning Committee. He describes how CPI has empowered him to “research more effectively the issues that relate to zoning for us…we’re primarily a residential neighborhood—RSA-5 with a sprinkling of CMX-2 which are mainly corner stores, dry cleaners, and the like.”
(Don’t know what RSA-5 or CMX-2 are? That’s one of the many things participants learn from the CPI course: zoning! Sign-up for our email updates to learn when applications are being accepted next).
On top of being a part of Zoning & Planning, he is also a member of the board and works with LoMo’s Environmental Committee. Since LoMo doesn’t have a park within its boundaries, the Environment Committee helps out at the parks nearby: Mifflin Square and Marconi Plaza.
One of the ways they do so is through volunteering at the Mifflin Square Alliance Festival; Anthony spoke on a panel about vacant lots and development pressure at the 2015 Festival.
Anthony is also involved with the Environment Committee’s educational storm drain mural project, along with fellow Citizen Planner Albert Girard. The project aims to educate neighborhood residents about where storm drain water (and items thrown into the storm drain) end up, through paintings on the pavement surrounding storm drains.
Anthony explains why he is passionate about the project: “One of the things I find frightening is the number of people who live here who don’t know about the combined sewer system.”
The CPI network has also been beneficial for Anthony:
I’ve managed to befriend a number of Citizen Planners from the cohort after mine, when I was taking electives. We share information about neighborhood issues we’re dealing with and pick each other’s brains.