PRWCAN keeps Port Richmond informed

Port Richmond West Community Action Network facilitator Michael Blackie said he hopes to see PRWCAN become the most recognized and active community group in Port Richmond.

And with representatives in attendance from the Philadelphia City Commissioners office, the “government watchdog” group Committee of Seventy, and the education management organization American Paradigm Schools, last week’s PRWCAN meeting provided some pretty powerful information.

The monthly meeting was held last Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Memphis Street Academy Charter School at 2950 Memphis St.

The school was formerly John Paul Jones Middle School, before American Paradigm Schools took over.

Those in attendance discussed the positive changes they’ve seen since school began two weeks ago.

“Kids are talking about their teachers in a positive way,” Blackie said. He is a member of the School Advisory Committee.

Also at the meeting were Port Richmond neighbors, block captain Sandi Delusant, Angela Taurino, a representative of fellow community group New Kensington Community Development Corporation, president of the Port Richmond Town Watch Maryann Trombetta and crewmembers from Kensington Community Television.

First to speak was Tracey Gordon from the City Commissioners office. She discussed with attendees the controversial Voter ID law and the importance of voting.

“We really need people to vote twice a year, every year,” she said.

“Your vote is your voice,” Blackie added.

She provided two websites,, where people can check to see if they are registered to vote, and, the Committee of Seventy website. She also said to visit to become familiar with poll workers’ guidelines and other voting information.

Luke McKinstry of the Committee of Seventy addressed attendees and provided additional voter information and reiterated the importance of voting and visiting the committee’s web page.

Though the Voter ID law is controversial, Gordon said, it’s important because it’s making people talk about the importance of voting.

Acceptable IDs that will be required on Election Day are a Pennsylvania driver’s license or non-driver’s license photo ID, a valid U.S. passport, a U.S. military ID, an employee photo ID, photo IDs from institutions of higher learning, or photo ID cards issued by a state care facility.

Gordon said provisional ballot would also be available to those who don’t have acceptable ID listed above. She said free transportation is also available for seniors to get a photo ID for voting. The transportation will bring individuals to PennDot centers throughout the state. To arrange an appointment, call 215–464–7775.

Blackie said most PRWCAN meetings will be held on the third Wednesday of each month going forward, and encouraged residents to spread the word about the group and the meeting.

“Tell five people to tell five people,” he said.

Check out PRWCAN on Facebook at and on twitter at

Managing Editor Mikala Jamison can be reached at 215–354–3113 or at