Thursday, December 01, 2016

Community Celebration

Join your friends and neighbors on Wednesday, December 7th at 9:30 am at at the vacant lot - 634 16th Ave S in the Bartlett Park neighborhood.  We will be celebrating the many good things happening and the bright future to come.

Update: Here's a report from the Challenger, 

(Affordable) Home building resumes in Bartlett Park

Good News!  A few highlights:

  • Innovation Center is about to be built on 11th Avenue South.  State Representative and now Senator Darryl Rouson provided critical support here and throughout the community. 
  • New tennis courts are coming to the newly rebuilt historic tennis center
  • New homes and renovated homes on every block
  • Historic home preserved and moved to 13th Avenue South
  • NAACP awards special honors to Bartlett Park Neighborhood Association, The Paris Project and Your Place
  • Newton Avenue Model Block
  • Nuisance strip club closed
  • Nuisance adult bookstore closed and replaced with several new businesses
  • Within the past 18 months three new restaurants and a retail store have opened 
  • Bartlett Park Community Garden celebrates 10 years and continues to grow. A new solar powered water pump was installed this year.
  • Bartlett Park Community Resource Center will be relocating to a new home in the neighborhood. This center has been open 5 days a week staffed by neighborhood association volunteers for over 20 years.
  • The Community Redevelopment plan has begun with $66 million of funding from future property taxes. Bartlett Park is a small part of this area but will benefit both directly and from improvement of the whole southside. This plan  has the potential to be different from the past 40 years of redevelopment which hurt residents and actually increased poverty through forced relocation, destruction of the social fabric and demolition of low cost homes. To help residents as well as absentee property owners this plan needs resident involvement and leadership.
  • NHS Homeowners Center offering classes and community events
  • And, construction of new affordable homes will be announced.

The Bad Old Days

We hate to remind folks but local residents remember the almost three decades when this neighborhood was devastated by often very violent crime. The reputation of a drug hole hangs over us so we note that things have changed. We are completing 8 years of peace, free of the gunfire that ruined life for so many.

On April 4th 2009 the neighborhood said "enough is enough" and decided to drive away the street drug sales that defined us and caused so much bloodshed. That morning a shootout by rival groups at Uhuru House spilled over into our neighborhood and ended with a drive by shooting that sent 54 bullets through our neighbors front window and killed a much loved 8-year-old little girl named Paris Hamilton. She was the 3rd murder victim that year but residents rose up by the hundreds for street protests and rallies. Police were able to build on this dramatic desire for safety for our children and gain cooperation from those of us who lived next to drug sales. Community police had just committed extra officers and they found renewed commitment from us to report crime. Tips from residents put public street corner drug dealers out of business. There was only one more killing in June of 2010 and none since then.

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