Our Organization: 1990’s – 2000’s

Zoning issues in the early 1990’s included negotiations with the owner of a lot next to the Trolley Car Diner (formerly the Roy Rogers site) on Germantown Avenue to keep its development in scale, and with SEPTA over a spray paint booth it had proposed for the SEPTA Depot on the Avenue. EMAN also worked very hard with WMAN and attorney Tom Johnson to conclude a legal agreement with the Northwest Center so that it would initiate no change of any sort in services or facilities without first coming to the community organizations.

A positive development in the 1990’s was the increasing cooperation with the Chestnut Hill Community Association (CHCA). One joint project was the fiscal crisis at Spring Garden College, at the very corner where EMAN, WMAN, and CHCA meet. Unfortunately, Spring Garden College eventually closed. This property is now the site of New Covenant Church.

In the wider Northwest, EMAN was a major player in forming the Northwest Leadership Council to represent every neighborhood organization in Northwest Philadelphia. The council works on common problems such as drug dealers, student alienation, school safety, hidden racism, and trying to create a sense of well-being for every person and every neighborhood. Building broad coalitions has been a major emphasis in the past decades. In addition to the Northwest Leadership Council, EMAN has participated in the Northwest Task Force on Drugs, the Fourteenth District Police Advisory Council, the Northwest Interschool Council, and the Central Germantown Council. EMAN is represented at the Northwest Victim Services. It also cooperates with the Friends of Lovett Memorial Library and the Neighborhood (formerly Northwest) Interfaith Movement.

In the past ten years EMAN has been involved in a myriad of projects. These include the Chew Avenue Corridor Project, “We Bloom Where We Are Planted,” which focused on businesses on Chew Avenue from Washington Lane to Mt. Airy Avenue. The project is concerned with the viability of the businesses, reduction of nuisance behavior, and encouraging the businesses to offer services and products desired by the residences. Pleasant Playground is also on Chew Avenue. EMAN board members are active on the playground advisory committee. EMAN has supported efforts to keep the playground staffed, and to build a new recreation building for the playground.
The Mt. Airy Schools Committee was formed in 1997. Its mission is to support the four public elementary schools in Mt. Airy, Emlen, Henry, Houston, and Linglebach, by providing volunteer, fund-raising support, and supporting activities planned by the schools. EMAN has also been an active participant in Mt. Airy Neighbors Against Drugs (MANAD). MANAD holds vigils aimed at reducing drug activity in Mt. Airy.

EMAN’s Housing and Land Uses committee over the past several years has focused on two goals: 1) addressing vacant properties, and 2) encouraging home improvement. Through these goals EMAN can enhance the neighborhood by removing blight while simultaneously improving the housing stock. EMAN has surveyed vacant lots and properties, and worked with Mt. Airy USA to achieve these goals. EMAN has also been active in fighting take-out liquor licenses in the neighborhood.
EMAN, now in its fifth decade, is ready to respond to problems and to think creatively about the future of East Mt. Airy. Although there are new challenges, EMAN has never forgotten its central vision that people are the most important part of the community, and that everybody can always help to “Make a Good Community Better.” EMAN’s commitment to justice, fairness and a better Mt. Airy has never wavered. EMAN continues to work daily on behalf of the residents of this richly historic community.