NLNA Board Elections – Results!

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Congrats to new NLNA board members! Serving on the board is a great way to give back to the neighborhood.

NLNA Welcomes New Board Members

Last night (5/19/16) at the annual NLNA board of directors election, neighbors elected Roneil Jackson, Donald Hoegg, Ira Upin, and Joe Mikuliak to at-large board seats. Joining them were incumbents Jeremy Lindenmann, Chris Somers, and Anne Waginger, who were re-elected. Also re-elected were Matt Ruben (President) and Steve Richman (Treasurer). Congratulations to our new board members!

The annual election for the NLNA Board of Directors will take place at the General Meeting on Thursday, May 19th, at 7:00 PM at the Northern Liberties Community Center at 3rd & Fairmount Streets.

We will be electing President, Treasurer, six regular Board seats, and one half-term Board seat.  Each candidate will speak for one or two minutes at the beginning of the meeting.

In order to vote, you must be 18 or older and live in or own or operate a business in Northern Liberties. You also must be registered to vote in NLNA elections. If you have voted in the past few years you are registered. If you are new to Northern Liberties, or have not voted in elections since before 2006, you will need to register. Please bring proof of residency such as your driver’s license or a utility bill.

There is no absentee or on-line voting.

The following people are running for office:

President, Matt Ruben
Treasurer, Steve Richman
Sunny Bansal
Mary Hausler
Donald Hoegg
Roneil Jackson
Sasi Judd*
Mike Kunz
Jeremy Lindenmann*
Joe Mikuliak
Chris Somers*
Ira Upin
Anne Waginger*
* indicates incumbent

Below are their statements in random order:


Matt Ruben:

Our community has undergone major, constant change for well over a decade now, and I’ve been honored to serve as NLNA President during most of that time. We’ve accomplished a lot together, but there is more to do. Among our most important tasks are (1) strengthening the the commercial environment along 2nd Street and throughout the neighborhood; and (2) maintaining a strong community fabric that enables us to fight for quality of life without descending into excess negativity, and that enables us to remember to take pride in all the wonderful things our neighborhood has to offer.

As NLNA President I will continue to work assiduously in these two areas. It is my earnest hope that two years from now, we’ll be able to look back and see that we’ve made clear progress on both fronts.



Steve Richman:

Thank you very much for nominating me to serve another term as the Association’s Treasurer.  For the past four years my priorities have been to ensure transparency and the prudent management of NLNA’s finances, so that the organization is accountable and can continue to provide a high level of services to our community. I am pleased with the successes we have achieved in both areas and I am happy to say that our financial position today is stronger than ever.  Looking to the future, and given the dramatic changes taking place here in Northern Liberties, it is vitally important for the NLNA to be well positioned financially to meet new challenges and take advantage of new opportunities. I look forward to helping achieve those goals and appreciate your support.



Anne Waginger:

I have been on the board for several years and continue to enjoy the opportunity to work closely with friends and neighbors, doing everything we can to ensure the smooth running of the business of the NLNA. I help staff the office, co-chair the Operations Committee (responsible for the community center and its apartments), oversee outside rentals of the Center, process and make bank deposits, and see to the details of the annual appeal (choosing the mailing list and printing labels, printing letters and flyers, and mailing the packages).


Chris Somers:

I currently serve as a board member of the NLNA and look forward to continuing to do so for the next term.  I take a lot of pride in being part of an incredible group of devoted people and doing what I can to give back and help improve the neighborhood on several fronts.   In addition to being a resident since 2004 at 2nd and Poplar, am also a local business owner since 2009 through my real estate company REMAX Access (1033 N 2nd St).

As a current board member, I have acted as a liaison of sorts between the residential and the business community offering a unique perspective as a board member.  One example that is exciting is the potential of a Business Improvement District where efforts have been made to get this up and running which could unite many local business owners and generate funding for improvement along the 2nd St corridor.

Further, I established and moderate one of the Northern Liberties Facebook groups with the goal to help enhance community awareness over a broad range of topics.

And lastly, I support the NLNA annually through charitable donations by giving back a percentage of commissions generated from real estate sales in Northern Liberties.


Ira Upin:

I am an artist and have been a developer/contractor. My wife and I moved to Northern Liberties in 1977.

I have been on and off of the NLNA board a number of times over the years serving as VP in the late 70’s. I have been a member of the zoning committee for many years serving as co-chair for the past 8 years.

In between my time as an NLNA bureaucrat I have overseen a number of independent projects beneficial to the community. Along with a friend and fellow artist Susan Moore I conceived and ran the Art in Northern Liberties event, a one day series of group exhibits and open studios that ran for 4 years bringing 1000’s of visitors to our neighborhood.

In 2006 I took the concept 1 step further and came up with the idea for the NoLibs guidebook that netted the NLNA $40,000 in revenue. With my contractor’s experience I volunteered as the general contractor for the renovations of the space that is currently the NL Mailbox Store. Currently I am serving in the same capacity for the final phase renovation of our community center building and outdoor space.

So, you could say I’ve been ’round the block a few times in Northern Liberties. I have instructed my children to bury me in our backyard on American St. when I die. I am committed to Northern Liberties. I was asked to run for the board once again so I would appreciate your vote.


Donald Hoegg:

Don has lived in Philadelphia since 2008, though he is a relatively recent transplant to the neighborhood, where he lives with his longtime roommate, Tom, and a puppy, Ava.  A graduate of Temple University, he is currently pursuing his Masters of Public Administration at the University of Pennsylvania Fels Institute of Government and working in public finance.  A dedicated urbanist, he plans to dedicate his energies to quality of life and zoning issues if elected to the board.

Outside of the daylight hours, he can often be found at The Blind Pig, spending time with his neighbors and keeping the staff company, or going on walks with Ava.  He also serves as treasurer of the Fels Student Association, is an active member and President Emeritus of a Temple alumni association, and volunteers with the Boy Scouts of America.


Jeremy Lindenmann:

I am pleased to accept this nomination to continue my service on the NLNA Board of Directors and it would be an honor to continue to serve in this capacity.

Since joining the board a year ago, I have learned much about the neighborhood and the work of this organization.  In addition to my duties as a board member, I have served as Co-Chairman of the Town Watch and Public Safety Committee.  In this capacity, we have facilitated the increase in communication and cooperation between residents and the police districts which serve the neighborhood.  This has resulted in greater police attention to our neighborhood and the apprehension of those responsible for many property crimes in the area. If given the opportunity, I hope continue to foster this important and productive relationship with our police.

I aim to continue to address the needs of residents and businesses.  As an attorney, I am an experienced problem solver.  Where there are disagreements, I will work to build consensus.

Mary Hausler:

As a long, long, long time resident of Northern Liberties I have seen it all and loved most of it. I particularly enjoy the influx of young people, their fresh perspective and their wonderful young families.

I served on the board of directors for 6 years in the 80’s and early 90’s, a particularly rowdy time in our history. That was fun! We stopped the moving of the Phillies Stadium here and changing the face and climate of our neighborhood.

Now that I’m retired, I find that I can again contribute to Northern Liberties. In addition to serving as an active board member, I want to form a neighborhood artists’ group that occasionally exhibits their art in various venues in Northern Liberties. I will define art as original, handmade 3D or 2D items and performance art. It would be fun to have an art exhibit in Northern Liberties with Northern Liberties artists and hear a NoLibs musician or a NoLibs CD playing in the background.


Mike Kunz:

My name is Michael Kunz and I am running for one of the open seats on NLNA’s Board of Directors.  My wife, Joanna, and I moved into the neighborhood last June, right before we had our son, Henry.  We have really enjoyed living in Northern Liberties this past year and really appreciate how involved and developed the sense of community is here.

I am interested in joining the Board because I want to help the community grow stronger and because I want to be involved in helping to shape its future.  I am particularly interested in working towards having more community-wide events, finding new ways to help clean up and spruce up the neighborhood, and in fostering ties between those who have been in Northern Liberties a while and those who are more recent transplants, like my family.  Please vote for me, thanks!


Sasi Judd:

What I would like to say is simple. Northern Liberties is my home so I care very much about the quality of life here for myself and all of us.

Having been on the Board for the last two years, I found that attending the monthly meetings has helped me learn about and become involved with activities that include various committees and fundraisers.

I would like to be on the Board again to help in this capacity.


Joe Mikuliak:

The NLNA board of directors used to spend significant time deciding to support or oppose zoning changes in the neighborhood. Then a standing Zoning Committee was formed. It is tasked with running open meetings where neighbors ask questions and offer opinions and recommending to the board whether to support, negotiate, or oppose zoning changes. Board members have trusted the ZC and usually ratify motions passed by the committee.

I have been active in the NLNA since 1979, a member of the Zoning Committee since 1987, and a member of the board from 1987 to 1993.

I would like to be on the NLNA board again. If elected, I could help present the Zoning Committee report at board meetings and answer questions.

The board has more important things to do than re-debate zoning changes – the board keeps the NLNA an active, growing, positive force in the neighborhood. I want to help with that too.


Sunny Bansal:

I initially moved from New York to Philadelphia for graduate school endeavors. Little did I know, this city was in the beginnings of a renaissance. I rented my first house in Queens Village. For work and business, I would travel through the neighborhoods in Philadelphia. As I channeled new streets and grounds, I made mental observations in gentrification and development, similar to changes I witnessed happen in the different neighborhoods of New York City 10 years prior.

The city of Philadelphia grew on me, I never thought it would be my home, but after 4 years I decided to become a home owner in Northern Liberties. I learned from experience(s) in New York, and applied them in Philadelphia. I am motivated to commit my time to this board, because of the vision for high quality lifestyle that is conducive to young professionals, children, and family life.

My strength is in ‘damage control’. I am resourceful and a problem solver. I place a high degree of attention on quality of living, as I see to directly correlate to holistic well-being and personal growth. I am a persistent individual that hopes to foster our neighborhood to consistently take the right steps toward functional and healthy living.


Roneil Jackson:  

When I first moved to Philadelphia, I served as a City Year Corps Member at Overbrook High School in West Philadelphia. My job was to personally provide academic & leadership skills for over a dozen students. I attended class with my students daily and provided after-school programming in order to keep my students safe and instill positive values including work ethic and perseverance. Many of my students did not have a stable place to live, food to eat or even family to care for them. This experience played a major role in my desire to root myself in Philadelphia and reach out to the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association in order to continue on with my mission of community service, development and foster genuine partnerships with my fellow neighbors.

As a member of the board. I’d bring an abundance of community service, mentorship and voter outreach experience along with a unique perspective of our community, a passion for service and willingness to collaborate with all perspectives on issues that matter to the board and community members of Northern Liberties. I am interested in being involved with several aspects of the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association including liberty lands committee and also the zoning committee. However, I’d like to assist the NLNA  in any and all aspects of the Association as needed.

Thank you for considering my request for membership on the board for the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association. I feel fortunate to be a resident of such an incredible neighborhood with neighbors who’re truly caring of their community. I tell my wife, friends, and colleagues that Philadelphia to me is the best place for those who are truly interested in service. As we grow and age deeper into adulthood and further into our careers, Philadelphia and Northern Liberties is also continually growing. We are truly a part of an organic neighborhood rooted in proud American history and incredible promise. We have the unique opportunity of translating promise into an improved Northern Liberties for our future and our children’s future.