I love my neighborhood. I’ve lived here for a pretty long time and the neighbors that I’ve had over the years have been pretty rad. We’re an amazing neighborhood filled with genuine hard working people who care about their neighborhood too. We’ve had some less than stellar neighbors, but thankfully they moved away.
The area I live in gets a bad rap and because some less than stellar things happen, say blocks from here, the media paints this picture that the entire area is horrible, no good, very bad. There have been a few incidents, but generally, my area is very good. As a kid we knew where the “bad” part of the neighborhood was and we weren’t allowed to go there.
I’m tired of people painting the entire area has a bad place to live. It’s so much fun here. My neighbors are awesome, the kids are always playing on the street. And because I’ve lived here a really long time, I’ve appointed myself the unofficial-official neighborhood watch.
Well, I’ll tell you why. I want these kids on the block to grow up having a safe neighborhood to live in like I did, my friends did and my sister did. I want them to know that their neighbors are looking out for them and trying to prevent anything from happen. When new neighbors move in, I like to go over and say hi. When I see something funny, I make note of it. We even have a neighborhood association where we meet monthly during the school year. I love having that sense of neighborhood pride.
A handful of bad apples are making this area look bad. The thing is crime happens everywhere, even in the “classy upscale” areas. Citizens can make their area even better. How? Don’t be afraid to report something funky. Clean up your neighborhood if you see trash lying around; get to know you neighbors, make your presence known in the area (COPPS – Citizens on Patrol Program is an excellent way of doing that). Host a barbecue in your neighborhood… pull your neighbors together to bring a dish and bring their own meat, burgers or whatever they want. Ask to chip in money to rent a huge grill. Call the city to see what you have to do to have a block party (for a small fee and signing of waivers and a consent form signed amongst neighbors, the city will shut down your street for a couple of hours). Talk to your neighbors to see what all of you can do to make your neighborhood a safer place to live.
It takes one person to have an idea… it takes a village to get that idea in motion.