The nonprofit Richard Allen New Generation (RANG), whose footprint includes at its center the historic Richard Allen public housing development, was recently designated a Registered Community Organization (RCO) by the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC), according to a news release from the organization.
Addressing the needs of families and individuals within an area that specifically extends from 8th to Broad Street and from Spring Garden Street to Girard Avenue in North Central Philadelphia is RANG’s focus.
“It was a very demanding, one-year process for us, but it’s worth it, now, to be able to represent the interests of the people in the community where we were all born and raised,” said Bernard Gorham, RANG’s president.
Anita Boyd, the community organization’s vice president, added, “In a community with so many female, single-parent households, we’re especially pleased that RANG’s leadership also includes so many strong, neighborhood women, who are anxious to have their voices heard on these issues.”
The news release from RANG noted that RCOs have been established by the city of Philadelphia to ensure that neighbors of proposed real estate developments are notified with regard to zoning decisions that may impact them.
They are notified by the Planning Commission whenever a zoning variance or special exception is requested, or when a civic design review (CDR) is proposed within their geographic boundaries, the group noted.
A RCO, according to the PCPC, “convenes the public meeting that development project applicants are required to attend prior to being heard by the Zoning Board of Adjustment.”
In keeping with other parts of its mission, in its community, RANG’s officers and board members also recently facilitated the hiring of the first neighborhood-based student at the Polo Supermarket, at 10th and Brown streets, according to the organization.
The student, Shareem Thorpe, a rising freshman student at Benjamin Franklin High School, will work throughout the summer at the supermarket.