Friday, March 10, 2006

Mail Bag: Blog Into Action

It's once again time to dip into the mailbag to reply to some of the comments that have been left by others. In response to my post about posting warning signs on bulk garbage that's left out in Warrendale, CanoeCarver wrote in to say:
Can we as a community get as upset about all the drugs and prostitution. For Chrissakes, just throw out your trash...What will destroy this area is the drugs and prostitution. let worry about the scandalous garbage dumping when we get rid of the really toxic trash.
I'm all in favor of cracking down on drug dealers, drug users and prostitutes (who are usually drug users and work closely with drug dealers). I've written about it on more than one ocassion. There ought to be more police officers on the streets and prostitutes ought to get more than a simple fine when they're caught.

However, I don't think that we as a community should ignore other issues such as blight and illegal dumping. If there's one thing that I've learned by living here for several years, it's that when folks see trash piled up all over the place - they come to the conclusion that folks in the neighborhood don't care what goes on.

And when people draw and maintain that conclusion, it's becomes an open invitation for every drug dealer, pimp and prostitute in town to set up shop. Rudy Giuliani came to national prominense by advocating a "Broken Windows Strategy" - that is dealing with stuff like trash before it encourages the drug dealers of the world to set up shop.

He based his strategy on a book by Michael Levine called, Broken Windows, Broken Business: How the Smallest Remedies Reap the Biggest Rewards. Quite frankly, I think Rudy Giuliani and Michael Levine were on to something. Their strategy helped to transform New York City from the Rotten Apple to what it is now.

The same thing can work for Detroit.

1 comment:

canoecarver said...

I too have grown up in Warrendale. I own a house now, my parents still live in Warrendale, as did my grandparents. I've seen the steady decline. I remember being a kid and having the water department open the fire hydrants in the summer and close off streets for block parties, I remember when there was a Park and Recreations team that would come to Greenview Park to teach arts and crafts to the kids. This change that we see now predates the last several years. When I was in high school, my classmates came to Warrendale to by pot from their dealers. When I say I live in Warrendale, people still say, "Oh, I used to buy my pot, coke etc. from a nice guy in that area." My point, you might ask? The drugs were there, they pre-date this so-called blight. The blight did not bring the dealers. So, what about this blight and dumping? I call it lazy homewoners and those owners who can't sell so they rent to section 8's, who in turn really don't care because they're renting. No self-respecting person wants to live in an area where hookers are walking by their children on the way home from school, and drugs are being sold in front of their house. I guess we will have to agree to disagree. My house is for sale.