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All That Philly Jazz @PhillyJazzApp (215) 995-5028 
Statement of Faye M. Ande...
All That Philly Jazz @PhillyJazzApp (215) 995-5028 
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Statement of Faye Anderson, All That Philly Jazz, Before Philadelphia Land Bank Public Hearing


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Earlier this year, the City of Philadelphia passed legislation establishing the largest land bank in the country. Today, the Philadelphia Land Bank held a public hearing on its draft Year One Strategic Plan..

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Statement of Faye Anderson, All That Philly Jazz, Before Philadelphia Land Bank Public Hearing

  1. 1. All That Philly Jazz @PhillyJazzApp (215) 995-5028 Statement of Faye M. Anderson Director All That Philly Jazz Before the Philadelphia Land Bank Public Hearing Regarding Draft Year One Strategic Plan October 15, 2014 Good afternoon. My name is Faye Anderson. I am the director of All That Philly Jazz, a citizen-led initiative that is mapping Philadelphia’s jazz heritage from bebop to hip-hop, from Dizzy Gillespie at the Downbeat to the Roots mural on South Street. All That Philly Jazz is a member of the Development without Displacement Coalition. This hearing is being held in the SEPTA Boardroom. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Philly Joe Jones, the drummer of choice for John Coltrane and Miles Davis. Philly Joe was among the first group of African American trolley car operators hired after the transit strike of 1944. I moved to Philadelphia in 2009 for a one-year consulting assignment. Five years later, I’m still here. I lived in Center City for four years. I now live in Yorktown. I am one of the thousands of new residents who have discovered Philadelphia is underrated. Philadelphia is also a tale of two cities. A gleaming Center City and a vast wasteland of more than 40,000 vacant lots and buildings. But Philadelphia is changing. More to the point, Philadelphia is gentrifying. From “Lost Our Lease” signs on Market Street to “For Sale” or “For Rent” signs for new housing in many neighborhoods, the signs of change are everywhere. The changes beg the question: Who will benefit from gentrification? The Philadelphia Land Bank can help address the growing concern that long- time residents will be pushed out of gentrifying neighborhoods. With equitable development, the land bank can be an effective tool to preserve
  2. 2. All That Philly Jazz @PhillyJazzApp (215) 995-5028 affordable and accessible housing, promote economic development that creates jobs for local residents, and provide community open space. The Draft Strategic Plan is a first step. But the devil is in the details. Mike Tyson famously said: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Without clear ground rules on how the land bank will achieve its goals, the Year One Strategic Plan will not survive the sucker punches from developers who want to grab the land. All That Philly Jazz urges the land bank to establish ground rules that will maximize opportunities for community-driven open space and greening projects. A study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that residents who live near greened vacant lots feel safer. It also found that incidents of police-reported crimes may be reduced after greening. During Philadelphia’s jazz heyday, there were three jazz corridors – 52nd Street in West Philly, South Street, and Columbia Avenue (now Cecil B. Moore). Many jazz spots are now trash-strewn vacant lots. Through mobile technology and low-cost public art, All That Philly Jazz wants to transform those vacant places into vibrant open spaces. In doing so, the community will look at the land differently. The transformed open space will be seen as the place where, for instance, their parents or grandparents met. Studies show that people are less likely to litter a place to which they feel connected and a sense of belonging. Finally, transparency in decision-making must undergird implementation of the Year One Strategic Plan. The Development without Displacement Coalition will hold the Philadelphia Land Bank accountable for creating affordable housing options as written in the legislation.