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Message from the Director

Dear Friends,

The theme for this biennial report is “Navigating Crossroads,” which fittingly reflects the state of our community. Since last we shared our accomplishments with you, we have carefully steered through a tough economy, challenges to our neighborhood, and the prospect of new opportunities. Chinatown and PCDC are truly at a critical juncture in deciding how we want our community to be going forward.

In the past two years, PCDC has focused on bringing the three key tenets of our mission to life: protecting our neighborhood, preserving our heritage, and promoting the businesses and residents of our community. Perhaps the most visible sign of our success has been the restoration of the Chinatown Friendship Arch—a gateway to our culture and community, a sparkling symbol of international cooperation and welcome, and a beautiful architectural monument that is once again a source of pride and distinction for Chinatown and the broader Chinese population who view our neighborhood as the hub of Chinese culture in the region.

PCDC has sought to ensure that everyone who wants a home in this community has one. From increasing resident understanding of financial matters such as budgets and benefits, to helping others find and purchase homes, we have made housing our neighbors a priority issue. PCDC also organized tenants at Dynasty Court, to help them find their voice and exercise their right to stay in their homes when faced with the loss of the low-income designation of their apartment building.

We brought our community together in support of AsianAmerican students who were mistreated by fellow students at South Philadelphia High School, and rallied against the installation of slot machines by Foxwoods Casino on the edge of our neighborhood. PCDC helped bring City-wide attention to these issues. We also partnered with the City and NBC-10 to commemorate the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics. More than 5,000 people celebrated in the heart of our commercial district.

PCDC also secured significant resources during this time—more than $3.7 million in grants for a range of projects that will enhance our public and commercial spaces. In the coming year you will see the changes that these grants support—from the upgrade of the 10th Street Plaza, to the streetscaping improvements on the 10th Street Corridor, and traffic calming around Vine Street. These enhancements will make our community more attractive, livable, and distinctive.

Lastly, we want to recognize the overwhelming support we have received in these difficult economic times. Our mission is a collective goal, and the journey has truly been a partnership. Behind each of these pages is the work of not only PCDC staff and board members, but countless other community members, volunteers, and supporters. Thank you.

These activities and plans have brought our community to a crossroads. Now we must take decisive action in shaping our future to ensure that Chinatown continues to thrive. We know it will take all of us to be successful. We hope you will join us in making great strides forward for a great neighborhood.

Sincerely,

John Chin
Executive Director

Thomas Betz
President

Download PDF: Navigating Crossroads: 2008-2009 Biennial Report