We're pleased to announce that FNA will hold its annual elections for the Board of Directors on Wednesday, November 15 at 7pm! Join us in person at the Fishtown Rec.
To learn more about the 11 candidates who are running for 7 open seats, please read their brief statements and bios below.
Olivia Cohen Olivia is an Assistant Professor of Instruction in Communication and Social Influence at Temple University, where she specializes in communication and civic engagement. Her interests got her involved with FNA by serving on the Beautification committee and took the lead on a project drafting a letter to the City of Philadelphia to garner their support addressing the issue of dog waste in Fishtown. She hopes to continue to use her skills and experience to assist FNA through strategic communication initiatives encouraging community interest and involvement in FNA, promoting stewardship and care for the neighborhood, and engaging key members of the public to support FNA's efforts to keep Fishtown a wonderful place to live. She is especially interested in supporting issues around community health and environmental justice.
In her spare time outside of Temple and the FNA, you can find her at Reanimator Coffee getting her daily caffeine fix, supporting artists at one of the many live music venues, or volunteering with the cats at Philly PAWS.
Ashlei Tracy Ashlei Tracy (she/her/they/them) was born and raised in Lenapehoking, in the Coatesville area of Pennsylvania. She is interested in cultivating multigenerational and socially diverse relationships within Fishtown through events. Ashlei is a Black, queer environmentalist with a background in biology, organizing, and nonprofits. She is a happy wife and cat mama of two.
Jen Gow Hi! I'm Jen. My wife and I have lived in Fishtown since we returned to the U.S. from living abroad in 2018. We have two young kiddos and LOVE this neighborhood. During the day I work as a commercial leader/brand marketer at Kenvue (formerly Johnson & Johnson). In the evenings and on weekends we enjoy what our neighborhood has to offer—from parks to restaurants and playgrounds to beer/wine gardens! I have been on the FNA board for the past two years. In the first year I chaired the Safety Committee where I led traffic calming initiatives, 311 Safety Walks, a “light your stoop” pedestrian safety project and three harm reduction narcan trainings. For the past year I have been the fundraising chair where I’ve worked on gaining funds for our initiatives via grants, fundraisers, events and t-shirt sales. I’ve also been a part of the Trenton/Norris mural project, facilitated our back to school supply drive (collecting over $3k in supplies for all Fishtown schools!), monthly Berks Path cleanings and I am currently leading the Art Crosswalk Initiative at Frankford and E Columbia. I am passionate about making sure that the FNA serves all members of the neighborhood: young & old and newbies & those who grew up here! I would like to remain on the board so that I can help to build a stronger sense of community amongst our neighbors, increase safety in the area and help support local businesses/organizations. I’m happy to be an at-large board member but I’d be thrilled to lead the Fundraising Committee again, as there is a lot of work to still be done and fun to be had!
Bob Everett Like last year I’ll just say I wasn’t raised in Fishtown, I moved here in 1982 so have lived here longer than many of you, including several board members have been alive. I came here because it was close to Center City where I worked at the time, easy to use Expressways to North/south west as I needed a car and quick access to roads for work. My career has been varied but always public service. I’ve seen how Fishtown has changed. AND, how in my opinion (maybe some others) how some folks are still trying to do things that they want, but leave others out or try to push personal wish lists / want agendas they like with no concern/understanding of how it impacts others. Especially people who are less affluent than them, less mobile, less tech savvy, etc. Most of you likely have received emails from me when you verified, or voted at a zoning meeting. Or may get my weekly Safety / crime info messages. 2 years is a long time to commit. You either like me or not, know me or not and want me or not. I may not always be able to say yes or what you’d like to hear. I can only promise I’ll do my best to make decisions based on what/how I feel they are best for everyone in Fishtown.
Sarah McAnulty My name is Sarah McAnulty and I am a science educator living in Fishtown! I am running for the Fishtown Neighbors Association board of directors to continue my work in beautifying, educating, advocating for, and connecting our neighborhood. I am the founder and executive director of Skype a Scientist, a nonprofit that lowers barriers for people to connect with science. I bring skills from my “day job” into my work with FNA, including fundraising, marketing, volunteer organizing, and informal education. Over the last year as the Vice President of FNA, I led two major educational mural projects, including one at Trenton and Norris and another at Frankford and Belgrade. I’ve also supported projects like mutual aid, our annual scholarship, long-running events like the spelling bee and March Academic madness, neighborhood clean-ups, our Halloween Block party, and more. I want to continue to build on the momentum we have created going forward with the FNA board in 2024. The 2023 board has more neighborhood-bettering plans that we hope to roll out over the next year. We want to prioritize pedestrian safety using art crosswalks, and increased involvement of community members in creating public art projects. I’ve had a blast leading projects over the last year with FNA, and I look forward to continuing to make our neighborhood a great place to live!
John Casella Hello neighbors! For the past 16 years, I have been a resident of Fishtown and a passionate supporter of our neighborhood and city. I am fortunate to call so many in Fishtown my friend, including long-time neighbors and newcomers alike. I am currently FNA’s Beautification Committee Chair and am running for the board because I want to help our neighborhood become even better. I believe that, together, we can increase public green space and art, reduce trash, and create a safe and welcoming community for all. I’m confident that I have a good bit to contribute to FNA from my career and personal experience. For example, in my career, I have co-founded a division within a nonprofit that has grown to $2 million in annual revenue and have done so through project management, fundraising, marketing, relationship building, and more. My office is in the neighborhood and located within 2424 Studios. In my personal life, I am involved with Adaire’s School Advisory Council (SAC) and am a father to a first grader within the school. I love doing my part to make the neighborhood even better and hope to have the opportunity to work alongside our neighbors as an FNA board member.
Allison Roethke I am a proud Drexel University graduate who made Fishtown my home in 2020. As a Marketing and Sales Director, I've found my niche in the world of business. I share my life with my wonderful fiancé, and together, we're enthusiastic Philly sports fans. Beyond the city's teams, I have a deep passion for travel, exploring new horizons whenever I can. Recently, I embraced a new role in my life as a first-time aunt, cherishing the joys of family and the future that awaits.
John Scott Like many of us, I moved to Fishtown because of its architecture, walkability, proximity to transit, and safety.
Lately, we’re struggling with some of these. We’ve seen some massive investment on I-95, but very little to address the cars coming off of it at high speeds. Girard Avenue continues to be treacherous to pedestrians, the El is barely rideable, and we’ve seen little improvement in the cleanliness or walkability of our sidewalks.
We can play a bigger role here. For example, years ago FNA members recognized both the positive and negative aspects of the casino. Those members stood up. To this day, there are relatively few problems with the casino.
In keeping with that tradition, we can advocate for positive changes in our neighborhood.
We can put more pressure on PennDOT to make Girard Avenue safer, and to clean up the interchange — the only dedicated bike lane we have.
We can bring the police district to our meetings to answer our safety questions.
We can continue to do cleanups, but we can also insist that trash cans on major corners are maintained and emptied.
We have a right to clean and safe streets, and as the FNA, we can ask for this.
In my years of advocating for my neighbors, I’ve gained an extensive understanding of Philadelphia government and politics. My contribution will be my advocacy.
I look forward to earning your support and serving on the board.
Emily Resnick Hi Neighbors! I’m Emily Resnick, ironically dubbed a “new Fishtowner” 35 years ago when I was born and my parents decided to start their family here. Having lived in the Midwest and on the West Coast for a couple years, my market research confirmed what I had always known to be true: Fishtown is my forever home. A bona fide Philly girl, I got my BA in English from Temple and my Master’s in Social Work from UPenn. Over the last decade, I worked in a variety of settings, primarily with individuals who have been impacted by incarceration in some way. During that time I remained actively involved in Fishtown. It became abundantly clear that the work—any work towards real change—has to start at home.
I have been the Director of Community Engagement at Atonement Lutheran Church for the last few years—a place that my family, including my Jewish father, called home for 25 years. In my current role, I focus on growing relationships with local organizations to most effectively identify and meet the needs of our neighbors. This work has ranged from being an Expungement Resource Clinic partner with Community Legal Services, to coordinating the monthly Family Movie Night to bring free/low-cost, fun, and secular events to our neighbors right here at home. I also became a substitute teacher for the 2023-2024 school year to aid the teacher-shortage.
As a neighbor, you may see me at community events, actively involved in Buy Nothing and other mutual aid efforts, hanging out with your neighbor’s dog, or just walking around with pride as the Auntie of 3 young Fishtowners.
Life takes a village, and I am so grateful that Fishtown is ours.
Kate Geitner Hello, my name is Kate Geitner and I am running for re-election to the FNA board. Last year was my first year serving on the board and I enjoyed it immensely. I was able to run 6 neighborhood cleanup events and I wrote a grant to obtain 200 free trash pickers & brooms which I distributed to our neighbors at our Earth Day Event. I have volunteered many times to deliver food to our neighbors in need through FNA and its partnerships with Riverwards Produce and Castellinos. It has been my pleasure to meet with many of our neighbors who are interested in volunteering to share more about FNA and volunteer opportunities. I have also done quite a few behind-the-scenes administrative tasks to help keep the board running. I love our neighborhood and it is my honor to work towards keeping/making our neighborhood clean, safe, creative and friendly. If re-elected, I will continue to do this important work! I live near Palmer Cemetery where you can often find me walking my two dogs — feel free to say hello!
Stacey Mandel Stacey lives with her two teens and husband about a block from Palmer Park where you can usually find her with her dog Big. She moved her family from the suburbs to Fishtown during the height of the pandemic so her children could learn what they simply could not from their previous neighborhood—and for a whole new adventure. Stacey immediately got involved with FNA and created a MLK Jr. service event. She has managed FNA’s Rose Garden Market for three seasons and is a volunteer with Friends of Palmer Park.
Stacey is the Founder of BIG Mindfulness & Meditation and works as a mindfulness specialist in special education for Public Health Management Corporation. She was the mindfulness specialist on a five year project aimed at ameliorating punitive practices in schools. Stacey’s work is featured in the documentary “Divided Attention: When the Children Who Need the Most Receive the Least.” She facilitates for Minding Your Mind, and is a volunteer mindfulness instructor for juveniles held in adult prison.
Stacey is a certified mindfulness teacher (CMT-P) with the International Mindfulness Teachers Association, and a certified Trauma-Competent Professional. Previously, Stacey spent 14 years teaching grades K-8 in CA, NJ and PA, and four years as an instructional coach for Children’s Literacy Initiative. She holds a Master’s degree in Social Foundations of Education from California State University, and a BFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Stacey sits on the board of CMP Radio and is a core member of Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools. She is a volunteer prison monitor for PA Prison Society, and co-hosts a show on Life Without Parole with a nearby incarcerated lifer. Stacey is a Reiki practitioner and aromatherapist who lives for bacon, graffiti and her daughter’s original music!