Sunday, November 28, 2010

Anti-violence rally last week

I attended the rally organized by the Peoples Organization for Progress last week on West Front Street. I was struck by the hunger of the participants for leadership to emerge in Plainfield to address the problems facing the youth of our city.

Most of the recent focus by elected officials has been on law enforcement solutions like spot shotter technology and promoting anonymous tips to the police about criminal activity. And there is no doubt about the importance of the police department to ensure the safety of Plainfield residents. But lets be honest. Law enforcement will not solve our gang and drug problems. We need to get to the causes.

So I was encouraged when Councilwoman Annie McWilliams put the idea of a youth master plan on the table at the last Council meeting. It is a starting point. Bring together all the adults and young people who are currently serving as role models and providing services, opportunities and mentoring to young people. Get them to work in a more coordinated way. Bring more volunteers into the helping process. Learn from other cities that have implemented best practices in youth programs.

There are signs of hope. I heard one of the youth baseball leaders say at a recent Council meeting: why can't the two leagues play each other so the kids can mingle. I would prefer we have one league but hey this is a step in a positive direction after many months of accusations and ill will between the adults of the two leagues.

If we want our children to become good citizens, we adults will need to lead the way.


olddoc said...

What plan? What table? I heard nothing specific except a mention of a plan that will be proposed in the future.
Get with reality, the table you have is overburden and needs to be sub-devided into two.

Cory Storch said...

Dear Olddoc - when I mentioned the youth master plan, I did not mean to imply that we have one or that we have begun working on one. Therefore I am heeding your comment and have corrected my blog post to clarify what I meant - by adding "the idea of" before "youth master plan". I will try to be more precise in my wording in the future.

Anonymous said...

I am glad to see a council person thinking outside the box. Business as usual in Plainfield will not be sustainable without tax base increases,revenue increases,cost reduction or both. Layoffs will not solve the problems of Plainfield without a long term plan. The unions are not the problem because the fiscal management and the ability to attract a new tax base has long been the problem. Crime will go up fires will increase and more people will stay away from calling Plainfield home. Keep fighting and speak to the unions yourself. Do not rely on administration info.