I walk in my neighborhood everyday. Sometimes two or three times a day. That’s what life is like with my dog. She gets bored or perhaps she senses that I need to move (i.e. exercise) instead of staring at this small screen, so out we go into the neighborhood. As we walk, we encounter neighbors, animals and things I find annoying. Like graffiti. Or litter. Or dog poop.
Shouldn’t somebody be doing something about these annoyances? Don’t we have people who work for the city to take care of these things? Well yes, and no. Recently, graffiti has been on the up-swing in my neighborhood. Two years ago, I marveled that I had moved to an area where there was virtually no graffiti. Now? I’m really annoyed. It’s as if I was followed. But what is really going on is much deeper. 1) It’s summer and kids are bored 2) Unemployment is still high 3) Gang activity is increasing and 4) Budget cuts have hit my town.
So how will our quality of neighborhoods be maintained? How can we keep it neat and clean? We had a big incident in the neighborhood park last month involving gangs. It was foretold by the increased graffiti in and around the park. Not that I read “gang tagging,” mind you, only that I was aware of the increase, the large gatherings in the park, then the incident, where someone was assaulted.
I photographed what graffiti I could on daily walks, emailed pictures to people at the city and stayed in communication with my neighbors. It’s still a daily challenge and I still get annoyed when we get “tagged” the following day after something is painted over. I live and work here. I’m one of the somebodies who works to keep our neighborhoods neat and clean for everyone. And yes, I also pick up dog poop. My dog’s, always. Others, only sometimes. I could be better. 🙂