East Falls Now Article: It Takes a Village

It Takes a Village

As we begin the New Year, I want to acknowledge the many neighbors and friends who are active in our community and work hard to make it a better place to live. These individuals are affiliated with a variety of organizations, and these organizations are successful because of those who participate and bring energy and fresh ideas to the table.

Today I want to highlight a few groups that make our neighborhoods welcoming and safe places to live, work and play.  Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of the many organizations that help make our community home, but a sampling of the ones I have had the pleasure to work with over the years.

When I think of civic engagement, I think of the civic associations throughout the 194th. Over the years you may have seen me stop in, as I try to participate in at least two meetings a year for each civic. One of the few blessings of virtual meetings, is that my attendance at these meetings has increased.

The folks who coordinate these meetings are volunteers and contribute much of their time to help these organizations operate.  Membership is nominal, yet I find that only a small percentage of those eligible to join are members.  I encourage everyone to belong to their local civic. To see which civic association you live within, check my website at RepDeLissio.com under the ABOUT tab. I list every civic within the 194th.  Civics help to keep our communities safe, navigate zoning matters, keep local parks tidy and deal with a myriad of other issues.

We are also fortunate to have volunteer led farmer’s markets in the 194th.  These volunteers plan for the markets, recruit vendors, and help to ensure smooth operations the day of the market. These markets provide fresh food and support small businesses locally. The East Falls Farmer’s Market is particularly impressive as it runs year-round.  Your support for the famers markets by purchasing the goods sold there, and your consideration of volunteering to help, would be much appreciated.

With parts of the fantastic Fairmount Park system in the area, there are groups you can join to support these green spaces. ‘Friends’ of our local parks advocate for new play equipment, keep parks tidy, ensure trees, shrubs and flowers are maintained and planted. They also coordinate entertainment and host other events that are of interest to neighbors.

Last, but not least, are town watch volunteers who help ensure the safety of our community.  Working together, town watch groups such as the East Falls Town watch, have historically built partnerships that make positive neighborhood change. The police cannot be everyplace, and by being the eyes and ears, and reporting concerns to the district police, they play an important role in assisting with crime prevention.

Perhaps a new year’s resolution for us all can be to get involved in these or other local organizations. Look at your schedule to see if you have a few hours on a weekly or monthly basis to participate.  Joining these groups is a great way to impact your community.

In thanking our community organizers, I remember this classic platitude: “It takes a village, to raise a child". This proverb reminds us that an entire community must provide for and interact positively with children for them to grow up in a safe and healthy environment. It takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a village to make our communities work.

We have so much talent in our community.  I know that if just a few more folks shared their time and expertise, we could make our neighborhoods even better. 

To quote Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”

As always, your thoughts about how to improve our community is most welcome.  Please email me at RepDeLissio@pahouse.net or call 215-482-8726.