Thursday, May 28, 2009
Neighborhood Mayors Walks.
Our current Mayor hosts "Mayors walks" every year in various neighborhoods around our city. This year the "Twin Towers" neighborhood was chosen. In fact, it is the third or fourth time Mayor Rhine McLin has toured this neighborhood in the last eight years. This time things were different. Normally, our Mayor focuses on trash and tall grass around the vacant and foreclosed houses. Something had changed this time around. This time the neighborhood leaders developed their own plan. They picked up all the trash along her route, and the tall overbearing grass and weeds were trimmed at all the vacant structures. Many of these structures were vacant eight years ago.
Why did they do this? Their first reason was so that Ms. McLin would have to focus on the real problems, such as boarded up vacant houses and not a piece of flying plastic debris. These are the same homes that have been deteriorating since she was elected back in 2002, and are the same properties that have been previously brought to her attention. The second and most powerful reason was that this neighborhood has realized that they can no longer depend on our city government for help. They took it upon themselves to assume responsibility for a cleaner, better neighborhood. Those that partook in the clean up feel great about what they did. This is empowerment. When I am Mayor I will have regular meetings with leaders from the neighborhoods, churches and non-profit sectors. Together we can assess the needs of the community, develop the programs and resources that are needed to empower citizens of Dayton. I will actively support and promote programs that emphasize property ownership, fiscal responsibility, job training and entrepreneurship. Things that promote future leadership.
While Ms. McLin was focusing on the vacant structures that she should have noticed in past years, I was able to focus on talking with the residents of the neighborhood who are not impressed with the faux pas of the previous eight years.
Kudos go to neighborhood leader, Leslie Sheward and her volunteers in Twin Towers. Lets get ready to teach more neighborhoods how to do this!