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ADVOCACY UPDATE:  Act Now to Support an Increased Budget for the Philadelphia Historical Commission

Despite being one of the oldest such offices in the country (established 1955), in an American city as historic as any other, the Philadelphia Historical Commission (PHC) has one of the lowest per capita budgets in the United States.

Philadelphia City Council is considering the city’s FY22 budget RIGHT NOW, and the PHC is only allotted eight employees in the Mayor’s proposed budget (an “increase” of one to replace a recently retired staffer). Now is the time to advocate for increased staffing and resources, so the PHC can more proactively and effectively fulfill its mandate. Increasing the office to a staff of at least 12 would greatly improve the office’s performance, and it would require a level of funding that is a mere fraction of the city’s $5 billion operating budget.

A better equipped PHC could devote more time to expanding the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places; more quickly and efficiently process permit reviews (a benefit to homeowners and developers alike); devote increased attention to the preparation of a Citywide Survey of Historic and Cultural Resources; and better serve residents and their historic neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia.

More FY22 budget details are available here: https://phlcouncil.com/budget2022/

For those who wish to make public testimony before City Council, a public testimony session is scheduled for Wed., May 26 at 3pm. Speakers interested in making public testimony virtually should call 215-686-3407 or email Budget.Hearings@phila.gov by 3 p.m. on the day prior to the public testimony session at which they wish to speak and submit the following information:

  • Full name
  • Callback telephone number where you can be reached
  • Identify the bill number or resolution number or numbers that will be addressed.

Council Members and their office contact information is available here: https://phlcouncil.com/council-members/

Contact your District and At-Large Councilmembers today and help us make the ask for a better funded PHC. And read our Executive Director Paul Steinke make the case for a better-funded PHC in the pages of The Philadelphia Inquirer this week.

Questions and guidance, contact us at info@preservationalliance.com

June Preservation To-Do List

This month enjoy the early summer weather outdoors and visit the flea market at Elfreth’s Alley or check out the Juneteenth Festival hosted by the Johnson House. 

Don’t forget to join us for our annual Preservation Achievement Awards on June 9th!

Click here to view more preservation-related events around town this month.

Donate or Become a Member Today

Your support is vital to ensure that the Preservation Alliance can promote the appreciation, protection, appropriate use, and development of our region’s historic buildings, communities, and landscapes.