A block captain is not a politician, but many times they get requests from their neighbors that would make you think that they are. There are over 6,000 block captains in the City of Philadelphia. Here, in the 12th Police District, there are 367 registered block captains out of the approximately 850 residential blocks in Southwest. So yes, there is plenty of room for interested neighbors to sign up.
Philadelphia block captains have been around since 1965. It was once written that “Success has a thousand fathers, while failure is an orphan”, so it’s now hard to know exactly who started this. Eve Asner, the sister of Ed Asner the movie star, can claim credit for starting a group called Philadelphia More Beautiful, dedicated to cleaning up the messes of the slums, and applying social pressures of a loud and effective sort to irresponsible neighbors. This organization is now known as the Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee (PMBC), under the leadership of Ms. Dawn Woods, PMBC Administrator.
For more than 70 years, PMBC has helped bring positive change to neighborhoods throughout our City. Through its network of dedicated block captains, they work to organize events, provide support, and empower residents to come together for a more beautiful Philadelphia. From a few hundred cleanups in the early years, there are now more than 9,000 cleaning and beautification activities each year. Over 90,000 volunteers are involved in assisting Block Captains, neighbors, and community groups to beautify their neighborhoods and our City. Making Philly more beautiful goes beyond cleaning our streets. It’s giving the neighborhood a cause to rally behind and something to take pride in. It’s encouraging neighbors to do their part and inspiring blocks to come together. It’s securing an even greater quality of life for your family.
There are several block captains’ associations throughout the city which allows local block captains to meet and disseminate neighborhood-specific information, and Southwest Philadelphia now has its own Block Captains Association. The first meeting will take place on Saturday, November 9, 2019, from 9 am to 11 am at the Common Place, located at 58th & Chester Avenue. This will be a monthly meeting that will meet every second Saturday of the month in conjunction with the City Lights Network. All block captains and those wishing to become block captains are encouraged to attend.
Don’t have a block captain on your block? Consider becoming one.
If you don’t have a block captain, you’re not alone. Just one-third of Philadelphia’s 18,000 blocks do.
• In order to become a block captain, you need to persuade 51 percent of the households on your block to sign a petition. (Only one signature is allowed per home.)
• Call 215-685-3981 to get a petition sent to your home. When you’re done, you’ll need to send it back to your area’s designated city block officer, the address in on the application.