When I moved to the 4000 block of Shenandoah in 2005 (where I still live, with my wife and son), it was one of the neighborhood’s most challenged blocks, with open-air drug deals happening at the corner of Shenandoah and Thurman – what the hyperlocals now refer to as “Downtown Shaw.” Fights and shootings were commonplace, and the thought of things turning around seemed out of reach for many.
Over time, block residents began to change the game, working with police, city officials and other stakeholders to consistently report violent crime, and address problem properties. One group of residents started Dorothy Park Community Garden, partnering with Gateway Greening. Another saw to it that a vacant lot became Juanita Park. Through this combination of providing beautification and recreation activities, along with directly addressing safety issues, this same block is now one of the neighborhood’s most stable, with several businesses located at the intersection of Thurman and Shenandoah.
It’s just one of many examples of what can happen, when residents work together, and public safety should be no different.
As Alderman, I will:
- Partner with grassroots efforts to implement the Neighborhood Ownership Model: a proven tool set to help empower neighbors, making sure every voice is heard.
- Support funding for our children to have meaningful employment, recreation, and personal development activities that put their creative gifts to best use.
- Work toward a community-oriented policing model. Our police work best when they work with the community. To that end, I will: 1) advocate for community policing programs that serve to develop relationships between police officers and our residents; 2) work with our state legislative allies to secure funding needed to incentivize officers to live in the neighborhoods they serve.
We’ve gotten this far, by working together. We’ll get even further by doing the same. As safety committee chair of the Shaw Neighborhood Improvement Association, I’ve been committed to leading that effort, and as your Alderman, I’ll do even more.