Community Activism Does Work... ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Community Activism Does Work...

 The Capital's editors recently wrote the following regarding the recent drop in reported crime:

But none of it would have happened if Annapolis citizens hadn't gotten fed up, organized themselves and insisted that their elected representatives listen to them. They were dismissed by some complacent officials who, in essence, insisted the residents were exaggerating and that the city was doing about as well against crime as it could reasonably be expected to do. But the citizens stuck to it, and they won out. Don't tell us that community activism doesn't work. It has helped make the streets of Annapolis safer.
Amen to that. I was not a leader in the Eastport Gunfire group but merely a sideline player mainly focused on reporting on their activities despite the ambivalence and hesitancy of some of its leaders in working with me, even though ignoring me decreased their influence. However, I did show up at the City Council with dozens if not hundreds of neighbors demanding that our mayor and police department take action. You may recall that the mayor ran to The Baltimore Sun and responded by calling us "rhetorical bomb throwers".  And she added:
"What I don't get from them is an indication that they want to partner in any way," she said. "To assert that we're ignoring the issue is plain folly."
 Baloney! It was immediately after that outrageous and inexcusable outburst that I openly called for her resignation on this blog. I had also been calling for the resignation of then Police Chief Joe Johnson. It took state-level response and action to get things moving, including bringing in a new police chief with the drive and desire to bring about a drop in criminal activity. And it worked. But it did start because of citizen activists and my hat is off to all those neighbors who got involved. Please don't fall back in the woodwork. Please stay involved.... Thank you.

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