Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Ball is in Your Court!

What Did You Do In The 
Great War of the Streets Daddy?
By Nick Ashton, CEO/Founder, 
Tracometry Group of Companies.

Whenever you hear, as a citizen, that there is to be a town hall meeting, you just know it is going to be a bunch of politicians, city officials and those with the most egotistical hidden agendas espousing their mantras and pet phrases and nothing will get done.  Words, just empty words and a chance for you to grab some shut-eye in a church pew.


I have been to some of the most boring corporate and civil meetings in my time and last night was not one of those nights!

Of course it started late, when are you people going to learn the respect of starting on time?  The moderator, Amos and yes there is an Andy somewhere, did not pass out cookies, but did, pass out the rules of speaking for the night.  Two minutes and two minutes only and he would shout “time”.  Oh he did!
It was a town hall meeting for the public to voice their wants, needs and solutions on the crime ridden streets, not to just talk, Amos, like all that attended, wanted to hear about solutions.

A couple hundred people attended this event with a panel from public safety, law enforcement, council, state attorney’s office and a juvenile judge.  The panel were there to listen, they did, intently.  They are as frustrated as those that attended and voiced their views.

The speakers for the evening numbered over 55, who made their personal points.  This included a child of seven (7) and a man of seventy-seven (77).  Amos, the moderator, asked that younger people come speak and a few come forth.  The majority of speakers were over thirty-five (35) and made their points.  It had been stated that the street violence problems were predominantly those aged eighteen (18) thru thirty-four (34), which I personally dispute and so did others.  Children from the age of nine (9) are being used as drug mules, intimidated by their elders and are on the street university of shame, death and a sure way to that road to incarceration. 

The comments and solutions ranged from opening non-alcoholic clubs for the youth, more basketball courts, family group mentoring and teaching the children more at school. 

I say we need parenting, instilling Trust, Respect and Pride back into the neighborhoods. It is about values, a simple five letter word that is nearly been eradicated from society.

We cannot use our thumbs to fight our way out of the problem.  Twitter, Facebook, and other social mediums are in fact, unsociable, as they do not allow for face to face interaction and communication.
I just read what a local television news channel partially reported about the evening:
Why don't we teach the law in school to children that they know that they are up against," said another resident.
U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett wasn't on the panel, but he gave sobering statistics about the crime rate in the east side neighborhood.
"A young black man is 85 percent times more likely to be a victim of homicide than the national average," Hogsett said.
Councilor Lewis said enough is enough and something has to be done.
"We need the parents at the table, grandparents at the table, auntie, uncles, everyone, wrapping ourselves around our youth and talk about how we help them," she said.”
Items plucked from the air that really do not even represent the street level problems.  The simple fact is, Any Town, USA is in dire need for those folks to do something positive.  Boredom is a blight and those young people think they are bored today, wait until they get to twenty-five (25), if they reach that heady milestone in life.
The younger folks seem to think it is the responsibility of local government to fix the issue with money.  Local governments don’t have money, in fact they are so overwhelmed with monies owed to them, that a budget shortfall is the norm.  It is the fact that responsibility of the individuals has been thrown out with the bath water and society does not seemed to have noticed.  Or have they?
It is going to take laying out the facts, the real facts and communicating with the instigators, their parents and being as hard on the situation, that it will have to come all sides to solve this problem.
Knowing the depths of the real problem is the first step, not some study over six months.  Law enforcement has a heck of a job on their hands and believe you me, they are fed up with it, just like the sane parents, which are few and far between.
The analytic facts must be presented with the simple solutions of invigorating Trust, Respect and Pride back into the neighborhoods.  It is time to pay the piper and be realistic on all fronts.
Sure I have an agenda, the Pied Piper Project, to revitalize the neighborhoods, attract commerce, so folks can get jobs and pay their way daily in society.  The day of handouts is long gone and self-support is required now, sure we can teach this, heaven’s we do it in Africa for entire villages and they are not killing each other!
Money is always the issue and some say that money is root of all evil and the piper must be paid.  Cities cannot just give monies that they don’t have.  Monies owed must be recouped, collected and used for daily needs.  No politician wants to say no, but right now they have to. 
recoupeit, will change that, collecting the monies owed in very professional manner will fund the projects and law enforcement needs to keep the peace.  
Yes, I have an agenda!  Why, this is my home, I live here and want to have an environment that is safe for all.
It was the youngest speaker, just seven (7) years old that echoed the problem, wanting no more violence.  The most senior, seventy-seven (77) lives in a neighborhood full of the problems and wants it back to what it used to be.
Can we do that for both these people at opposite ends of the social spectrum?
Of course we can!

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