Thursday, June 14, 2007

neighborhood stage

So, there’s this alleged gang in my neighborhood, according to the neighborhood granny watch.* According to the granny watch report, there is a middle aged man who is moving out because his teenage son got jumped by the Asian gang that lives in the house immediately behind my property. In a report to the neighborhood crime complaint person entitled, “Trouble in Paradise” she talks about how those kids have been intimidating this man’s teenage son, so he wants to move out ASAP to where the gang can’t find his son. And he won’t report anything because he’s afraid of retaliation. She goes on to talk about me and how I was on the council and would have an inside perspective but “who knows? for all [the granny watch] knows I might be a member of the gang.”

I decided to respond...

I talked with M last night, who lives in the house across the street from the "house of Hmong kids who jumped his youngest." I've also been keeping an eye on them and talked to M and others about the possibilities in approaching the problem. We could do it the "Revival Row" way or we could get the city involved. If we get the city involved, it would just be a matter of reporting the house as an unregistered duplex and the property owners, which live in the upper portion of the house would get fined and all that good stuff. Then they most likely would reconsider renting out the bottom part to the said "gang." It is also very likely that the home is over-crowded and the new landlord licensure laws would crack down on them pretty hard. So, if we want to go about it this way, we would have to find out for sure if the property was registered as a duplex, which I am assuming it is not.

However, part of me feels badly about tattling on my neighbor to my big brother city and using good tax dollars for something we could see about resolving ourselves. Especially since we don't know exactly what is going on there. Remember *** H. Street. It was the problem property of the neighborhood 5 years ago. Everybody wanted them out. Everybody complained about them. Yet 4 years ago we could have just called the city on them and run them out of the neighborhood, but Revival Row decided that wasn't really the Christian thing to do. So, we befriended them, made inroads into their lives, took care of their kids. We went to their family reunions and invited them to our parties. We did all this while the drugs and alcohol and the police calls and the violence flowed freely under our noses--but we got some good barbecue out of it and some second hand highs. And look now, they've moved somewhere else and decided to go to rehab and live a different life.

Maybe we can talk to the family that owns the “new problem property.” Ask them what is going on with their renters. I have conversed with the lady and done business with her ex-husband. Her present husband snowblows my sidewalk, for which I am tremendously grateful. And yea, maybe I should go "become a member" to this "gang" and give everyone the insider scoop. :)

Incidentally, it was granny watch who named my little community “Revival Row.” She is agnostic but she likes us and has taken under her wing all those kids from that previous problem property. She does more for them than we do now.

* What is the neighborhood granny watch? Well, it’s all quite high tech. It’s that "granny" that sits in her rocker with a cat on her lap, looking out her window at all the goings on in the neighborhood. It’s a really good idea to be friends with the granny watch, because she helps you and she is quite entertaining. Bring her a plate of food every now and again so she won’t have to make her own supper. And if you are her friend the worst she’ll ever do is call the police on your friends who stop by for dinner because they just look like trouble. She will also notice when you come home at 3 am after a late night study session. And she might put out a rumor about the reason your whole house is full of women is because everyone is gay. So, you just tell all your roommates to invite a guy friend over and walk down the sidewalk in front of her window and hold hands. I love granny watch! And by the looks of it, I will be granny watch some day.

No comments: