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The Philadelphia Society of Small Streets Message Board The Philadelphia Society of Small Streets (PSSS) Discussion Forum › NID gone, surveillance system in our future?

NID gone, surveillance system in our future?

Lynn L.
user 6046027
Group Organizer
Philadelphia, PA
Update on the NID (Neighborhood Improvement District): As many of you already know, there is no more NID. In the face of growing opposition and to a crowded room, Rick Spitsborg announced at Tuesday’s meeting that the Wash West Civic has retracted any support for a Neighborhood Improvement District. Many cheers followed. Meg Berlin, president, also acknowledged that many people had justifiable complaints about the Civic, but that this would be a new day. She asked for people to join in supporting their efforts.

However, things did not get off to a smooth new start. Apparently, there’s a group in Society Hill that want to install a surveillance system and have a considerable amount of money to fund it (I think it was $50,000). They are asking Wash West Civic to hold the funds in an account for them until they get their 501c3. It appeared that the Civic was more than ready to go along with this request because they too want to install a surveillance system in Wash West!

Some of you may agree with that idea, but I was stunned. I raised my hand, but Meg made it clear that she really didn’t want any comments. At which point, myself and others raised our voices to object on grounds of civil liberties and violations of privacy. Finally, Meg tabled the subject. But, clearly, things have not changed that much. We were treated very dismissively.

This afternoon I spoke with Matt de Julio, director of The Society Hill Civic. He told me that the Society Hill Civic is not involved nor endorsing the surveillance system (which is to be located between 2nd and 4th Streets, and Delancey and Spruce Streets) for the same reasons that we were objecting to.

So, the lesson seems to be that we all need to go to our local civic meetings and speak up, if for no other reason than to protect our constitutional rights against any more well-intentioned, but misguided actions by the boards.

Lynn Landes
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