What would Cory Booker do? Same as David Esrati would: The Pointview Solution

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.”)

via A Look at Cory Booker, the Social Media Mayor | Center for Social Media.

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.

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21 Responses

  1. larry sizer December 14, 2010 / 8:27 am
    David: Yes I want to help you get your 1000 signatures to get your name on the ballot, as a matter of fact I plan on coming up to your office to get my name on page one this morning. I get more information about Dayton from your RSS feed, then the Horse and Buggy Dayton Daily News offers. The only problem with your article is, this is not just a Dayton Thingy, it is a country Thingy. The moral fiber of the county is gone along with the nickle coke, 50 cent gasoline, and an honest government. Stay on Dayton’s keister, as Dayton needs more people like you to bring sanity back to the way it was, or the way it could be.

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  2. Gary Leitzell December 14, 2010 / 10:22 am
    David,
    Instead of telling us what you WOULD do, why not do it and impress us with the results!

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  3. Joe Mama December 14, 2010 / 12:01 pm
    The mayor seems more upset over criticism in the blog press than the fact that his city residents must take their own life into their own hands while walking to the store in the North Main area.

    The mayor has the bully pulpit. But he probably won’t use it because it conflicts with playtime.

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  4. David Esrati December 14, 2010 / 12:35 pm

    Mayor Leitzell- better yet, why don’t YOU DO IT. You are paid $45K a year to run a 9 minute meeting once a week.

    However- if you, and the rest have to pass the buck, I’ll do it.

    Unfortunately, because your police chief doesn’t have the money to send patrol cars fast enough- or enough officers on the street (and since Shelly Dickstein probably can’t make an arrest)- I might have to carry a sidearm to protect myself.

    Since you think the Wild West is ok- maybe you can deputize me?

    And, I’m pretty sure Ice Bandit will come out with me too. Any other takers?

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  5. larry sizer December 14, 2010 / 12:45 pm
    @Gary Leitzell
    You’re not fixing your roof now Mayor, time to do some Mayor work in place of barking at the end of your chain, then again you might be confused with what David has placed on your plate, and all you have as a weapon is your bark and no action. Too may do the same, but not as the same. David has brought it to your attention as well as the voting reading public, now is your time to do it, or get off the pot, and I don’t mean the smoking kind.

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  6. Shortwest Rick December 14, 2010 / 1:22 pm
    I’ll contribute what I know works David, we’ll need a point person on Pointview willing to recruit common cause neighbors.

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  7. Hall December 14, 2010 / 2:27 pm
    I have to admit, I’m confused about the relationship that you and Gary have…

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  8. Allison December 14, 2010 / 3:08 pm
    Friends when they agree, not-friends when they disagree.

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  9. Jeff Dziwulski December 14, 2010 / 6:17 pm
    Well, y’know, the bad guys have to live somewhere, and that “somewhere” is the City of Dayton. 

    I suggest the good citizens of Pointview get while the gettin’s good  (except it aint so good)…so whoever’s still living there, who stayed in the neighborhood as it (apparently) declined, is SOL.   Good Luck! 

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  10. Deborah Cool-Llorens December 14, 2010 / 9:51 pm
     
    As Gary’s wife I have a biased opinion, but I’m going to give it anyway.
     
    To Esrati: You know as well as I that Gary does far more than run nine-minute meetings. (Shame on you.) He has led many neighborhood initiatives before he was elected mayor, let alone as a mayor. You have taken his comment in the wrong light. He would like to see you succeed in taking this initiative.
    I’m a habitual reader of your post, but I notice a constant thread. It appears to be very easy for you to criticize, but quite another matter for you to put your money where your mouth is. Why do you wait to do anything? Whose permission do you need? You have some very good ideas, but I don’t see any of those ideas coming to fruition. If you want to help the Pointview neighborhood, then contact their neighborhood association. When was the last time you went to a neighborhood meeting? Talk to Kevin Jones, chairman of the Fair River Oaks Council Neighborhood Priority board. Go to their church gatherings. Once again, your ideas are very good, but get off your pulpit.
    From our own personal experience, it will be the residents of Pointview who will eradicate the illegal activity. Shortwest Rick is correct. A lead person is needed to unite the responsible citizens of Pointview. And no, you don’t need to carry a deputy’s badge to do it. Since you are planning to run again in 2011, perhaps this could be your ticket.
     
    With respect,
     
    Deborah Cool-Llorens
     
     

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  11. David Esrati December 14, 2010 / 10:03 pm

    @Deborah- I’ve been doing this as long as Gary has been in Dayton. I’ve put my money where my mouth is- in South Park- and self funding my first three campaigns. I’ve put in countless hours- been to neighborhood meetings all across this city. I’ve been the social media alternative to the DDN for the last 5 years- and long ago- had an e-mail zine that did the same.

    I’ve rehabbed 5 buildings- served as neighborhood president, and helped numerous small businesses get their start. I don’t think my credentials are really at question. I just am not trusted with a microphone- there are years of me getting cut off at 3 minutes at City Commission meetings in the past- and arrested for asking why don’t we follow the law on Commission meetings.

    Gary could take the lead on this, he IS getting paid to be the Mayor. But, since he wants to see me do it- I guess I’ll have to.

    I’ve asked Gary to lend his name to my petitions as part of my nominating committee- and he’s backed off, because I’m a “democrat”- hell, the party won’t even accept me- but that’s another story. I’d like to see him take a stand- any stand- and use that bully pulpit he worked so hard to snatch from the hat lady.

    Haven’t seen it yet. Still waiting. But if we’re going to play, lead, follow- or get out of the way….. he’s going to have to take a position- and so far- it was “get out of the way.”

    I expect more.

    and- to Allison- I still consider Gary a friend. I still respect him- I like him. I just want to push us all out of our status-quo comfort zone.

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  12. Hall December 15, 2010 / 9:24 am
    I’ve asked Gary to lend his name to my petitions as part of my nominating committee- and he’s backed off, because I’m a “democrat”- hell, the party won’t even accept me

    Easy solution, David: Declare yourself an Independent. God knows why you want to associate yourself with the Democratic Party based on how you talk about them here ! And as you say, they won’t accept you either.

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  13. Deborah Cool-Llorens December 15, 2010 / 10:02 am
    Mr. Hall,

    You are absolutely correct!

    Respectfully,

    Deborah Cool-Llorens

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  14. David Esrati December 15, 2010 / 10:42 am

    I’m an independent democrat. Not going to change. I don’t believe in the Republican agenda- I’m not willing to say ok to no limits on guns- meaning I can’t be a libertarian- and despite the local party- I still believe in the National ideals.

    Not that anyone in Congress does. Gary took a Republican endorsement- even though he isn’t. That’s selling out too.

    We’ve not seen an unendorsed candidate win in this city since Dean won in a special election.

     

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  15. Mayor McCheese December 15, 2010 / 11:26 am
    “Smackdown.”      Really??? That makes me want to say “Mom, you’re embarrassing me.”

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  16. Jeff Dziwulski December 15, 2010 / 4:26 pm
    I went back and re-read the opening post  This caught my eye:

    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.

    Gee, I wonder why?  “Instead?”  Instead?   Could it be because ESRATI himself made blog posts on these very two topics, which generated a bunch of comments.  

    Then Esrati comes on and makes a comment about the crime situation in Pointview (originally reported in the DDN), and then complains about people commenting on his own previous two blog posts instead of doing something about Pointview, which was not even a topic on this blog nor a news story until very recently? 

    Uh, ok, whatever,  dude…

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  17. Pat Offenberger December 15, 2010 / 7:05 pm
    As a former President of the neighborhood association that includes Pointview, I’ll give David credit for giving a damn about our neighborhood. He attended several of our meetings and contributed ideas to battle problems we had at the time in our neighborhood. I fail to see WHY it would be necessary for David to lead the battle to take back Pointview. The last I knew he wasn’t the city’s leader, nor is he the chief of police.
     
    How is it that the city can prioritize other neighborhoods problems yet ignore one that has had a long history of success interrupted by a criminal element? We saw the success of Wright-Dunbar (with a lot of help from city coffers, and increased police presence), and many other neighborhoods. Do the police even care about this area? Recently, there was a quite bad accident in front of my home, on a major East-West street in the Northern Redcrest neighborhood. I called 911 immediately after the crash, and my phone system “timed out” after about a minute of ringing away. To be kind to the 911 center, they did call back to my home about 15 minutes later, after an officer “happened along” and saw the crashed car. The first law enforcement on the scene? A Harrison Township deputy, who apparently contacted DPD via his radio.
     
    What resources are our fair city prepared to implement to assist the residents of this neighborhood? We’ve had a long history of working with 5th District to maintain a neighborhood quality where residents could feel safe. We had community policing officers detailed to our neighborhood, we even funded a sub-station for the officers. Our neighborhood even won an award from the city for our efforts to form a cooperative effort with the DPD. Yet now that we have a trouble spot, now we get an attitude of “well, you let it go down, prop it back up with a cute name.”
     
    Absentee landlords is not just a symptom of the mortgage crisis. We’ve had the same issue for 20 years, we saw housing stock in this area go without repair by landlords, with little to no help from the city. We had a housing inspector attend our meeting one month, and then refuse to answer questions from residents. He then passed word to me via the Priority Board that he felt was insulted by our residents, and that he’d NEVER attend our meeting again. The “insults?” Our residents asked him why he had no problem issuing housing violations to area residents who lived in their homes, but somehow all the problem properties owners who lived outside of our neighborhood weren’t cited.
     
    I’d be willing to bet every member of the city commission read this blog, or are informed as to what’s said here, so, kids, it’s time to earn that cash you get from the taxpayers of this city. Take the lead to assist neighborhoods in need! Or continue to ignore us, and watch us mobilize to replace you with someone who will lead!

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  18. Hall December 15, 2010 / 7:55 pm
    Pat, your comments about the housing inspector(s) don’t surprise me. It takes multiple calls or reports from multiple residents (or so it appears) before they respond. Then if they do, no one will tell you. The “issue” remains so for all you know, no inspector came out and calling the housing department you’ll be told they can’t give that information (officially … I have had one individual there provide me info).
    As for citing local residents/homeowners vs absentee, out-of-town landlords, think about it: Who is it easier to get compliance from ? Maybe the housing inspectors are rated on citations issued/resolved issues.

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  19. David Esrati December 15, 2010 / 8:00 pm

    @Pat-

    I’m working on a plan to try to bring some help- along with Rick Rinehart and a few friends who used to jump out of airplanes for a living.

    Enough is enough. The people need help. The people will have to depend on other people.

    Thanks for the support.

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