Thursday, October 2, 2008

September 2008 / Meeting Notes #2

Hello First Creek Neighbors & Friends!

Another amazing turnout at the neighborhood meeting last week! We got updates on the latest code enforcement, the latest drug house closure, the tribal police, Metro Parks, World Vision, David Whited, Block Watch, Citizens’ Patrol, T.E.A.M., etc. It truly is a beautiful thing to see so many entities working together and accomplishing so much. We also had a surprise visitor of distinction….our City Manager, Eric Anderson himself!!!! How about that for results!!! He is truly impressed with our efforts and enthusiasm here in the First Creek Neighborhood. Liz Fortenbury from TCC told us of the Puget Sound college-level initiative to get students more involved in their neighborhoods. So we can look forward to more support from TCC, UW and others!!!

There are lots of ways to volunteer. Jeanie Peterson of the Hilltop Action Coalition says she asks her group for just one hour a month. What could you do for one hour? Or 15 minutes a week? Or two minutes a day? It all adds up and it is all beneficial. Upcoming and on-going opportunities abound and include such things as just being on the phone tree, keeping your porch light on at night, cleaning up around your house and block even if you didn’t make the mess, being a Block Watch Coordinator for your block, Designing a logo, making copies of flyers, reporting suspicious activity even if you think somebody else already called or even if you think it won’t matter---because the city keeps statistics if nothing else, planting flowers and trees, painting over graffiti, being a citizens’ patrol volunteer, tutoring at the park, etc. It’s all about being a good neighbor!

We also had an amazing presence at a special workshop by John Campbell on Saturday of last week. Folks from various Tacoma neighborhoods were there but we had the most people!!! John is a reknowned expert on solving neighborhood issues and overcoming challenges. His ideas are unique and useful. (If you’d like a recap of that, let me know and I will send out Jeanie’s version to you.) People from all over Tacoma were there, including Code Enforcement officials, CBS representatives, CLO’s, Assistant Chief Sheehan, and Eric Anderson. The food was great and it was a day well worth spending. If you ever get a chance to attend one of John’s trainings you should DEFINITELY Go!!! Did I say we got in for free?!?!?!

John suggested we each make it a goal to meet at least 6 neighbors and get to know them by name. We don’t have to be friends to be good neighbors. It makes it a lot easier to talk about a problem if you already know each other by name over a period of time.

3 things necessary for crime to occur:
1. Ravenous Wolves aka criminals
2. Sitting Ducks aka victims
3. Dens of Iniquity aka opportunities
We can decrease crime by educating would-be victims and helping them to feel safe and protected. (knowing our neighbors, block watches, phone tree, citizens’ patrol)
We can decrease crime by keeping the neighborhood and our homes clean, secure, and free of hiding places (shadows, overgrown bushes and blackberries, abandoned vehicles)
By doing these few things we make it less inviting for the wolves.

For more of John’s ideas go to

We also got free energy-saving light bulbs from the city so we can all keep our porch lights on at night. Criminals are like cockroaches…they don’t like light! It’s a great way to deter crime for only pennies a month! (Requires less than one minute a day to turn on at night and turn off in the morning)

Rumor has it that we will be the next CBS area so there is an upcoming opportunity to show our numbers and be heard. Here is an excerpt of an email I got:

What concerns do you have? They can now be taken care of . Potholes, overgrown vegetation, too many cars in a yard, need more street lighting, how about a new play area for kids, garbage cans on corners so the garbage is contained? Neighbor gang or drug problems? Tell as many neighbors as you can.I can not stress this enough. You must be at this meeting to get your problems on the list or someone else will get their streets cleaned up first. If you have not been involved in your community before now, this is the time to do it. Let's work together to clean up our neighborhoods.You hear about all the other neighborhoods and their success stories, let's create our own. How would it feel to be able to walk the streets without fear and look around and say 'We did this, It is now a safer, cleaner neighborhood'.It takes all of us. Look around your neighborhood, make your list and bring it with you to: Lincoln High School on the 22nd of Sept. 7 PM.

Our next First Creek Neighborhood meeting will be Wednesday, October 1st at 6:30 pm. We hope to see you there!

As recommended by John Campbell, the first fifteen minutes will be for discussion of new concerns, question, or suggestions. If there is an issue or project you want us to work on, bring your skills and be prepared to lead the project or volunteer to find others who can. It is each of our jobs to take on as much leadership as we can bear to address the issues at hand.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”—Edmund Burke

We all must be PART of the SOLUTION or we are part of the problem. Newcomers are welcome and we realize they may need some time to digest things before being ready to help out but we value each and every one who attends!

(Please spread the word to those who are not on my email list)

Submitted September 19, 2008 by Lena T.

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