I hate to make this a campaign statement- but, forming committees is NOT the way you quiet a problem neighborhood. Nor is sending letters- the way to solve the problems on Pointview is to camp out- just like Newark Mayor Cory Booker used to do:
For five months in 2000, Booker took to the streets; he lived in a motor home and parked it on the worst drug corners in the city, inspiring residents and businesses to fight against drug dealing and crime. For this, TIME magazine called him “The Savior of Newark,” and he proved to the city and the nation that he is dedicated to fighting inner-city problems.
via Cory Booker.
Compare this to Dayton:
For neighbors and police, Pointview Avenue has become a place to take a stand. A steadily rising 798 calls for police help have occurred in three years on just the first two blocks off Main. Burglaries, fights and robberies are among them. Police catalogued 147 crimes.
Longtime residents say they’re terrified.
Last month, Dayton Police sent out letters inviting 51 Pointview property owners to a sit-down conference to coordinate a response. Thirteen of those letters went out-of-state.
The effort, dubbed The Pointview Project is an example of problem-oriented policing, a Department of Justice-endorsed philosophy promoting partnerships and problem-solving.
Police hope landlords all over town take notice and sign up for the effort, as well as form alliances where they own properties.
via Neighborhood residents take a stand against crime.
And while I sit here and think about the millions spent on “winning GE” to come to town, I can’t help but think that the people who need to come first are the hard-working, honest people who live on Pointview, which at one time was a beautiful, working-class neighborhood, who have watched their property values drop into the basement. What would $500K in community policing look like in this trouble spot?
If I were on the Commission- I’d have the Chief of Police sleeping right next to me in a motor home that’s clearly marked as a neighborhood-support vehicle. In the summer- we’d be cooking out with the people in the area- and clearly making a stand against the punks with guns who think the law doesn’t apply.
I’d activate the neighbors with social media tools- and ask others in the city to respond via twitter- to come and drive around, come out and turn on the lights, to walk their dogs- to stand up to the thugs- to activate the people to take back their neighborhoods en masse. Just think what happens when there are lights on on every porch, people walking- all with cell phone cameras and flip video- looking to identify and stop the bad actors in this Dayton Tragedy?
Booker frequently uses his Twitter and Facebook pages to encourage his constituents (and anyone else interested) to join night patrols. He includes, with these requests, links to a YouTube video which features him interviewing members of the night patrol. He requests each person to state why they decided to participate, then turn to the camera, state their names and say “I’m taking responsibility.”)
I’d be asking the Marine MP company to do their weekend drills alongside us. I’d be asking high school football teams to come out and have a block party after the games to showcase our good kids that we care.
Instead, we’re arguing about parking spots for a coffee shop, handing millions to a company that makes billions– and leaving the people of Pointview to fend for themselves.
Anyone want to lend me a motor home? Chief Biehl, ready to camp out? Residents of Dayton- ready to take a stand? Mayor Leitzell- ready to lead? Joey Williams- ready to take the suit off? Nan Whaley- ready to do something other than tear down houses? Concerned Christian Men- ready to get back to your roots? All of our priority board people? Neighborhood presidents? Off-duty city employees? Can we park our firetrucks on there too? Let’s light up the night, support the honest people who pay taxes without a break, and bought into the American Dream without an incentive package- get their investment protected.
I think we have the people- but we’re lacking the leadership. Maybe we should ask Dayton Development Coalition director Jim Leftwich to supply the motor home- he’s got the money.
It’s time we started worrying as much about the Pointviews before the “Episcenters” – because that’s where our people live.
Oh yeah, one more thing- want to help me collect 1,000 signatures to put my name on the ballot once again and help get me elected in 2011? Thanks.