#soundthehorn People’s Emergency Center’s Hosts Another Great Panel: Gentrification

On Thursday, April 24, 6-9pm, at PECO’s Energy Hall (2301 Market
Street) five (5) prominent Philadelphia thought leaders took part in
‘Sounding the Horn: A Crossfire Discussion on Gentrification.’ Over the
course of three (3) rounds, these leaders covered everything from the
history of gentrification and its effect on identity formation, to
tackling whether gentrification is a necessary step in urban
revitalization. Structured in a debate format, the audience was given
the opportunity to choose which speaker gave the best arguments, after
each round, via tweeting

Brian Howard, Adam Leiter, and Otis Bullock
Moderated by Brian Howard, News Editor at Philadelphia Magazine (or as I like to call him, my boss),
the discussion was modeled after the rapid-fire pace of ESPN’s ‘Around
the Horn.’ Panelists included: Otis Bullock, Executive Director of
Diversified Community Services; John Chin, Executive Director of the
Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation; Maya Francis, freelance
writer on gentrification topics; Penelope Giles, Executive Director of
the Francisville Neighborhood Development Corporation; and Gilberto
Gonzalez, author and noted designer.
Joe Willard and Caitlin Park-Davidson both of the
People’s Emergency Center.
The event was hosted by The Emerging Leaders of People’s
Emergency Center, a volunteer group of young professionals who are
committed to PEC’s mission of nurturing families, strengthening
neighborhoods, and driving change in West Philadelphia. 
‘Sounding the
Horn: A Crossfire Discussion on Educational Outcomes’ was the second in a
series of conversations around global issues that affect our
communities. The first ‘Sounding the Horn’ took place in the Fall of
2013, and focused on educational outcomes, the ongoing conversation
regarding public vs. charter schools, and how we prepare our young
people to compete on a global level.
 John Chin and Rachel Mak.

is no one neighborhood’s problem. It’s a city problem.” John Chin

Penelope Giles, Executive Director of the Francisville Neighborhood Development Corporation and Maya
Penelope Giles: started at the beginning of our history. Look at what happened to the Native Americans.

Panelist Gilberto Gonzales.
Is the answer to mixed-income housing, tax protection for the poor and increased involvement in policy?

Panelist Otis Bullock.

Why are ‘luxe units being built on Lancaster Ave and University High students displaced?

 Panelist John Chin, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation

Penelope Giles stresses that For a neighborhood to stay vibrant, it must have economic diversity.

Panelist Maya Francis doesn’t believe that gentrification deserves the negative reputation that it is sometimes connected with it. Gentrification should be something everyone is involved with, the community at large should be involved in any of the changes that go on in the neighborhood.


 To learn more about People’s Emergency Center,
Tiffany Tavarez and Megan Smith, Brownstone PR Thanks to Philly Chit Chat photographer Mike Hirata for capturing this event for us.