Saturday, July 11, 2009

Neighborhood Clean Sweeps

This was my view of Dayton between 8:30 AM and 11:30 AM this morning.

I volunteered to help our neighbors in Twin Towers neighborhood with their alley sweep. Our city used to allow neighborhood groups to organize alley sweeps in order to get rid of trash and debris that accumulates in our alleys due to negligence. About 5 or maybe 6 years ago the city made the decision to stop offering these alley sweeps. I know this because I wrote a grant application for $20,000 from a Community Development Block Grant Fund to get the money necessary to pay the city to continue the alley sweeps. I dressed in a top hat and tails (like a magician) to do a 5 minute presentation before a committee that decided where the grant money would be applied. We were not awarded the grant but the presentation made a lasting impression on the members of the committee who worked for city hall that the commissioners made the decision to set money aside to accommodate 20 alley sweeps that year and every year since.
This is one of those little things that I did many years ago that few people know about. Something that continues to make our city a better place to live today. I guess my point is this; if you don't like the policy or law, fight to change it. In this case, rather than go to a commission meeting and complain (which would have had little effect in the three minutes allotted and no discussion afterward) I took my case before a group that had the power to influence the top decision makers and the end result was acceptable. In reality, the result was better because if the grant was awarded, the alley sweeps would have only benefited a few neighborhoods for two years.

When we were almost finished, one of the city drivers took this group picture of all the volunteers. I'm on the far left wearing the Dayton Dragons hat. I'm not afraid of hard work to make the community better.

It began to pour with rain at 11:30 so a few spots will need attention this week. Twin Towers has a good group of committed residents that will make sure the job gets finished in the next few days.

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