You may wonder why every article I write about the Weinland Park Community has such a positive undertone. It is simply because every time I participate in a meeting, event, encounter a resident or a worker in that neighborhood, I am greeted with such warmth it is overwhelming. And last night’s Civic Association meeting was no exception. When asked to introduce myself at the end of the meeting, I had to let the community members and the Civic Association know that I was simply blown away by the participation and level of commitment within their community.
Within the past year I have taken a position with a non-profit organization that is not within the perimeters of Weinland Park. As a result of a grant, it is now part of my job responsibilities to recruit WP community members to participate in activities at this new organization. During a conversation with a co-worker (who is also a past WP resident), he stated that getting people from WP community to participate and pass a drug test would be difficult. He followed by telling me and another co-worker that, that particular community (WP) was saturated with drug users /abusers. Though there may be an inkling of truth to that statement, because what community does not have its share of problems, drug users are not in the majority there. The people that I have encountered at different meetings and events have been those dedicated to re-building their community for their children and the future of their families.
My co-workers statement made me wonder, how long ago did he live there and when was the last time he visited WP. More than that, his statement inspired me to spotlight some of the community members. From March thru June 2013, I plan to feature two people a month that either work or live in the WP community. Since beliefs can be changed, I will say that I know from past and recent experience that this neighborhood is filled with talented, hard-working, family oriented individuals. And now more than ever, they are working hard to improve their quality of life.
There are so many great things happening within the community that I cannot list them all. But in closing, let me leave you with some of the positive things taking place in WP that I learned from last night’s WPCCA meeting.
• Crime has decreased 33% in WP.
• There has been a large increase in committee activities.
• All committee budgets are in the black.
• The first neighborhood dialogue on 2/12/2013 was a huge success. Dialogue circles will conclude with an action forum on 3/27/2013.
• The Northside Library will begin reconstruction within the year.
• The Out of the Closet thrift store and pharmacy broke ground for their new building at the northest corner of North High St. & 5th Ave.
To learn more about what’s going on in Weinland Park, visit www.weinlandparkcivic.org