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Power Moves: Christina Hernandez is Philly’s new director of legislative affairs

Christina Hernandez. February 23, 2018 Category: ColumnFeaturedLongPeople

Power Moves is a semi-regular column chronicling leadership movements within Philly’s social impact community. Send announcements to

1. Christina Hernandez will head up the city’s legislative priorities.

The current assistant director of legislative affairs will replace Director Robert Murken, who resigned effective March 9. Murken oversaw the Philadelphia Beverage Tax legislation that was implemented last year.

Hernandez joined the Mayor’s Office two years ago after working as an assistant district attorney. This past January, the Temple University Beasley School of Law grad received the Gloria Casarez Award for her “deep commitment to public service, and exemplary display of leadership skills learned through the Leading for Change Fellowship Program,” according to a release.

2. Playworks PA added nine board members.

Since December, the nonprofit that promotes the benefits of play for youth has added nine new members to its Pennsylvania advisory board.

  • Brigitte Addimando, partner at 7th Planet Consulting
  • Pamela Barnett, fellow at Best Teachers Institute
  • Brad Boone, member of the Industrial Services Team at JLL
  • Richard Ellis, VP at M&T Bank
  • Jamie McClammer, associate attorney at Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox (board observer through the Bar Association’s Board Observer Program)
  • Erin Reilly, CEO at Pop Promos
  • Matt Valenti, associate athletic director of sports performance and student development at University of Pennsylvania
  • Kellan White, first deputy city controller at City of Philadelphia
  • Sterling Wilson, founder and president at Pop Promos

Cherri Gregg. (Courtesy photo)

3. Cherri Gregg is the AIDS Fund’s Favorite Straight Person of the Year.

The KYW Newsradio community affairs reporter will officially receive the honor at the 19th annual Black-Tie GayBINGO fundraiser for local HIV/AIDS emergency services on March 24.

From our Partners

AIDS Fund’s event will also honor the From All Walks of Life Fund Advisory Committee with the Founders’ Award.

4. Community Design Collaborative has three new board members.

The organization that connects pro bono designers to nonprofit projects has added three advisors to its 2018 board:

  • Kevin Flynn, VP of environmental, planning and engineering consulting firm AKRF, Inc.
  • David Gest, land use and real estate attorney with Ballard Spahr LLP
  • Lea Oxenhandler, Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow and architect/design manager at People’s Emergency Center Community Development Corporation

5. Micah Sims is Common Cause Pennsylvania’s new executive director.

The fifth-generation minister from West Philadelphia took over the Harrisburg-based good government nonprofit last month, replacing longtime head Barry Kauffman.

Sims stated this week that Common Cause may contest the state’s recently redrawn congressional map on grounds that it may disenfranchise non-white voters but later announced the group had found “no violations” of the Voting Rights Act.

Marcel Pratt. (Courtesy photo)

6. Marcel Pratt is the City of Philadelphia’s new solicitor. 

Pratt is the current chair of the Law Department’s litigation group and previously worked as an attorney in the city’s Civil Rights Unit.

The city solicitor is Philadelphia’s chief legal officer. Pratt replaces Sozi Pedro Tulante, who worked in the position for two years, on March 9, pending City Council’s confirmation.

Tulante will become a full-time professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, according to During Tulante’s tenure, he oversaw the city’s suing of prescription opioid manufacturers and defended Philadelphia’s sanctuary city status.

7. Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers’ new CEO is CHOP PolicyLab founding co-director Kathleen Noonan.

Noonan, a lawyer and most recently PolicyLab’s senior legal advisor, has been picked to take over the coalition of hospitals, primary care providers and community reps that uses shared data to better address patients’ needs.

PolicyLab (not to be confused with the benefit corporation PolicyMap) is the CHOP research center for patients who engage most frequently with the healthcare system.

Kevin Johnson. (Courtesy photo)

8. Kevin Johnson left Philadelphia Opportunities Industrialization Center to run for Congress.

The president and CEO announced his run for Pennsylvania’s First Congressional District at the beginning of the month.

Officially, Johnson, who is also the lead pastor of Dare to Imagine Church, has taken a leave of absence from the workforce development organization, where he has worked for the past three years.

The city’s former deputy mayor for public engagement, Dr. Nina Ahmad has also announced her candidacy for the district, along with a slew of others.

9. Heather Shayne Blakeslee quit her EIC gig at Grid.

The local, sustainability-focused print mag’s editor in chief stepped down in January after over two years.

In her final editor’s note for the magazine, Blakeslee wrote:

“I’m looking very forward to continuing to contribute to the magazine while I put my energy into other creative projects, but the past three years have been a wonderful, long season. It’s been an intellectual, creative, collaborative and, at times, emotional challenge to give the magazine a cold, spare spine of truth but to leaf it out with beautiful stories of positivity, resilience and hope. Everything changes — but you can expect that to stay the same. Thank you for reading, and for striving for a happy ending.”

10. Phoenixville’s Colonial Theatre is losing its longtime executive director.

Mary Foote will step down from the historic Chester County arts hub by the end of the year, according to Vista.Today. She has worked as its head for 20 years, before which she served on the committee pushing for the theater’s revitalization.

“With the completion of our major expansion project and the opening of our remarkable new wing, it just felt like the right time to move on to new pursuits,” Foote said.


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