Do you want to be a part of the solution?

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Where are the “doers” in Austin, the doers I can see?

My husband and I have tried to be “doers,” and all we get in return is a lot of talk.

It seems the good of the one outweighs the good of the many.

We have four aldermen representing Austin, and instead of joining forces to create a single voice for the good of Austin, each one touts about what “they” have done for an area, rather than the whole of Austin.

And then there are the churches; yes, I do dare to talk about them.

Now I have to admit there are a few churches that are truly trying to make a change, however, they butt heads with the many other churches that are only out for themselves.

Again, the good for the one outweighs the good for the many. So instead of pulling together and become one voice for Austin, the churches work their own agendas.

Then there are the many, and I stress many, organizations in Austin that do a lot, but others are doing the same thing for their area and not the good of all Austin. They don’t pull together to become one voice for Austin.

The police department is doing the best it can, but it takes the community to help with that, too.

And that brings me to the community: Wake up everyone, and smell the coffee because it’s burning.

Look at what outsiders see.

After being an outsider and now living in Austin I see both sides. Believe me, the outsider view of Austin is truer than what the community in Austin sees.

What do outsiders see?

Well, I hope you can handle the truth because here it comes.

What kind of stores do we have that promote business growth? Barber/beauty salons; unhealthy, fast-food outlets; convenience stores that sell chips, candy and soda; and liquor stores.

That is the main businesses in Austin, besides the many store-front churches. Do you think that a large corporation is going to invest money in Austin when Austin can’t even seem to invest in itself?

And what else helps stunt the growth in Austin? Safety.

When outsiders see people hanging around a store, mostly liquor and convenience stores, do you think that someone who wishes to shop in Austin or possibly open a store in Austin is going to? No! Let me repeat, no!

Because of the lack of safety, who in their right mind feels safe walking into a store or down the street when there are gangs of dealers and older people drinking, selling cigarettes and hanging out?

And don’t let me forget the residents of Austin.

My husband and I are block club presidents. On our block, which I am sure is like many others, we have worked hard to get rid of the gangs standing on the corners in our block. We also started a newsletter and a Facebook page to keep the residents informed.

Let me give an example of what I am upset about with the residents: Clean & Green just happened April 26. We had three vacant corners to clean after the long winter. I had two homeowners volunteer, and the rest of the help came from outside of the block.

Now the residents on my block cannot say they were unaware due to the newsletter I had put out. And everyone has calenders to write the date down or a phone to remember the date. Only two residents helped.

And now the lots are filthy again, and it’s only been a week. No one seems outraged or to even care.

And that brings me to a point about the residents of Austin: There are a lot of companies, organizations and people outside of Austin who want to come and help to make Austin a great and vibrant community.

But when they see what kind of businesses we allow to open up, when they see the trash we throw on the ground and walk by it, what do you think they think of Austin and its residents?

That we are wonderful people, no! They see Austin and its citizens as they are.

Non-doers, not wanting to help themselves and willing live with and create trash all around them; that’s what outsiders see and think. Do you want that?

Then be a “doer.”

A “doer” will get our four aldermen to stop caring about their own wards and come together in one voice for Austin. With the four of them working as one, advocating for Austin, what things they would be able to accomplish – such as attracting better businesses, improving our schools, beautifying our community.

Oh my, am I dreaming; Austin might even become an area where everyone wants to live. Like Wicker Park.

A “doer” can have the churches be another voice for Austin, shouting for safety and helping stop the violence.

Churches can get their parishioners and residents to help clean and beautify where they worship – not just come out on Sunday, looking good themselves, but applying the same to their block where they live.

And they can work with the police to get rid of the criminal elements, not just come out on Sunday, go to church, come home and lock their doors.

A “doer” will wake up and smell that coffee burning and do something about it, not just talk about it.

A “doer” will make the good of the many outweigh the good of the one.

What are you?



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