I feel like this blog has been kind of depressing lately, and I don’t really like that. So I’d like to highlight some at least somewhat cheerier news.
Here’s one about a program some community members are working on to reduce crime:
The program targets people between the ages of 18 and 35 and focuses on prevention, intervention and enforcement. Program officials will try to place people in jobs and then monitor their success.
“Street outreach workers have the ability to deliver on commitments to provide employment for people caught up in cycles of violence and homicide,” said Ron Snyder, Oakland Community Organization’s executive director.
The Oakland Community Organization started working on the program in October. Then community members met in February, April and May to discuss the program, Snyder said. In June, the mayor’s office and other potential project partners examined the idea, Snyder said.
It is not known how much the program will cost, where the money will come from or when it will become a reality, but given a recent spike in violence, the pressure is on.
I hope it works out for them. I have no problems with violence prevention and job training programs – in general I think we should have more of them. But I find it very frustrating that the Mayor’s office seems to focus only on prevention. What I’d really like to see come out of City Hall is a way to augment our police force. Temporary CHP patrols are nice, but what we really need is long-term, sustainable funding for more officers of our own. Still, I’m happy to see residents getting out there and trying to make a difference.
I’m not so sure how I feel about this one:
Oakland Saturday kicked off its rededication of 23 parks and recreation centers as a stand against rising violence in the city.
For every rededication, the city will label each park a drug-free zone and will erect a peace pole as a visual protest against crime, according to parks and recreation.
Not really sure how a peace pole is going to make any difference, but I do think its nice to see people using their public parks. (BTW, if hanging out in the park is your thing, the City is showing Mad Hot Ballroom at dusk in Mosswood Park tonight. I think it looks sweet.)