City officials address Take Back Your Neighborhood civic association

The Take Back Your Neighborhood civic association last week welcomed City Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez, 2nd Police District Lt. John Craig, Northeast Regional Library manager Peter Lehu and Common Pleas Court Judge Dan Sulman.

Here is a rundown of what they had to say, along with other news from the April 17 meeting:

• Sanchez (D-7th dist.) encouraged people struggling to pay real estate taxes and water bills to sign up for a payment plan, so they can stay in their houses. The plans are based on household incomes.

The councilwoman invited the community to her Block Captain Boot Camp on Saturday, May 20, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at First Philadelphia Preparatory Charter School, 4300 Tacony St. Participants will meet with representatives from city agencies and learn about keeping their blocks clean and organizing a block party. Register at 215–686–3986.

• Craig spoke about crime statistics in the past month in Police Service Area 1, which includes the Castor Gardens area covered by the civic group.

Robberies increased, mostly along Castor Avenue. Craig urged people to not use their phones while walking to avoid being targeted. Thefts from autos also increased.

Declining were residential burglaries. There was just one aggravated assault with a gun, and that was a road-rage case.

The lieutenant can be reached at

• Lehu welcomed feedback from the community about ways to better use space at Northeast Regional, 2228 Cottman Ave. (near Bustleton Avenue). Email him at

The librarian mentioned that Northeast Regional will soon open a passport renewal office. He’d also like to bring back a Friends group to raise money.

Library hours are noon to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays; and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Lehu promoted two upcoming events.

Cookbook author Tara Mataraza will discuss easy, nutritious snacks on Saturday, April 29, from 1 to 3 p.m. There is no cost or registration required.

A job fair is set for Friday, June 2, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Companies will be recruiting for customer service, retail, sales, administration, manufacturing, security and warehouse.

• Sulman, who grew up on the 700 block of Glenview St. in Lawndale, is one of 27 Democrats running for nine openings on Common Pleas Court.

Gov. Tom Wolf nominated him last year, and he was unanimously approved by the Senate, but must win election for a full 10-year term. He is assigned to Family Court.

Sulman attended J. Hampton Moore Elementary School, Fels Junior High and Northeast High School.

Sulman is recommended by the Philadelphia Bar Association and endorsed by the Democratic City Committee, local AFL-CIO, AFSCME District Council 47, International Association of Fire Fighters Local 22, Teamsters Local 830, Plumbers Local 690 and Teamsters Joint Council 53.

• The Philadelphia Zombies 14-and-under travel baseball team is having ongoing tryouts at Max Myers Recreation Center, 1601 Hellerman St. Call 215–626–1474 or email

• Plans are being made for the civic group’s annual Northeast Celebration, scheduled for Aug. 12 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Max Myers.

• Take Back Your Neighborhood will meet again on Monday, May 15, at 7 p.m. at Max Myers. A representative from the School Reform Commission will address the group. ••