Monthly Archives: January 2017

Fired Up? Consider throwing your hat into the ring…

Fired up?  Consider throwing your hat into the ring…


Do you care about how taxpayer tax dollars are being spent?  Do you want to be a voice for citizens in your community?  Holding public office is a way to make things happen in your community, bringing your voice to your vision and ensuring accountability.

Have you ever considered running for public office?  If you been appointed to a board or commission, chaired a committee for a community organization, helped to organize an event — or just care about your community, you may be a good candidate for your local municipal council.

February the 6th marks the kick off of the campaign season when petitions may be picked up  — that could be the beginning of the next big adventure of your life.

Are you passionate about Farmland Preservation or Smart Growth? Would you like to see vibrant, walkable commercial districts in your community?  Are you a supporter of bicycle infrastructure?  Passenger rail?  We encourage you to consider throwing your hat into the ring.

Did you know that for many local government races, you only need to get ten signatures on your petition in order to be on the ballot for the spring primary?  They do need to be signatures of people in your party from your municipality.  The modest number is hard to believe, but true.  The numbers of signatures you need depends on where you live, but the threshold is relatively easy to meet.

RenewLV has long encouraged civic engagement.  By serving in local politics you will be engaging at a deeper level with your community…and that’s where real change is possible.   At RenewLV we encourage citizen engagment and for you to consider running for your local municipal council.

If you already have been serving on your local municipal council and you are an advocate for farmland preservation or Smart Growth,* now would be a good time to consider running for your county council /commission.  With the rapid loss of farmland in our region, it has never been more important than now to have farmland preservation advocates as Lehigh County commissioners and on Northampton County Council.

The primary will approach quickly.  February 6th is day you can first pick up a petition. 

Where do you go?

Northampton County:  670 Wolf Ave, Easton, PA, 18042 Questions?  Call: 610 829 6260

Lehigh County:  17 South 7 Street, Allentown, PA Questions?  Call: 610 782 3194


     Pick up petitions:  Date Feb. 6th

Start circulating petitions: Feb. 14th

Submission deadline: March 7th

Number of Signatures:

Northampton County

Township: 10

Borough: 10

Bethlehem: 100

Easton: 10 or 100*

Others: 10

*Please contact Northampton County Feb. 6th for clarification

Northampton County Council: 250

Lehigh County

Townships: 10

Boroughs: 10

Cities: 100

District Commissioners 100*

*There are no “at large” seats in this Lehigh County commissioners’ race.  All seats are for one of the five districts

Penn State Extension is offering a workshop on running for local office on Tuesday, February 7th.

RenewLV is a non-profit and cannot endorse specific candidates.

*What is Smart Growth?

Smart Growth is a way to build cities, towns and neighborhoods that are economically prosperous, socially equitable and environmentally sustainable. (Smart Growth America)

Smart Growth is planned economic community development that attempts to curb urban sprawl and worsening environmental conditions.

Smart Growth is an urban planning and transportation theory that concentrates growth in compact walkable urban centers to avoid sprawl. (Wikipedia)

Smart Growth advocates for mixed-use development with a range of housing choices and neighborhood schools. (Wikipedia)

Correction:  the Lehigh County League of Women Voters reminds us:  “there ARE at-large commissioners in Lehigh County, but none are up for reelection this year. Check League of Women Voters of the Lehigh Valley Home Page for information on what positions are open this year (in Lehigh County only). Also, when collecting a certain number of signatures in order to be a candidate, people need at least fifty percent more, or even better twice as many. Signatures are frequently contested by opponents.”

Renew Lehigh Valley is a non-profit organization committed to promoting smart growth and smart governance in order to revitalize our core communities, preserve open space, and establish an economically and environmentally sustainable foundation for our region’s future growth. 

Click here to donate to RenewLV

Mulligan Moments of 2016 – Public Activism Edition

Thanks, Lou Cinquino, for giving attention to a worthwhile redevelopment project in the Lehigh Valley. We hope to have “Mulligan Moments” breaking out all over the region, but kudos to Catasauqua for being first!

Taking Mulligans

Sometime a mulligan is more than just a mulligan.  It’s a way forward that breaks abruptly with the past and establishes a whole new perspective on the world.  Here are two Mulligan Moments that may be harbingers of new understanding and appreciation of what’s best about our great nation and the towns that we live in.

The most startling and emotional moment came at the contentious location of Standing Rock, when a gathering of veterans offered a very public apology for transgressions of the United States government, military, and citizens upon the native peoples of the land of North America.  Seeking forgiveness is a humbling step.  And accepting forgiveness is a tremendous gift to all parties involved.  May this moment be the mulligan that heals and protects  and brings peace and justice to our nation and our Native American family.

A dear friend and inspiration of mine, Joyce Marin…

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