I don’t have much patience for folks who complain about life while sitting still. Anyone who knows me can attest to this.
If you want things to be different, step forward.
Here in our neighborhood, which has been our home for 3 1/2 years now, this is especially important. Historic Northeast has seen its share of problems. Home to some of the first residential neighborhoods in Kansas City, it has gone through a series of economics dips and crashes.
Good old urban decay.
People have walked away from some of these houses. Let the back taxes pile up and the houses crumble as they sought safer places to live.
But recently there has been an upsurge in folks moving INTO the area instead of out of it. There are still some magnificent homes here, ones that can be had for a fraction of what they would cost anywhere else in the metro. It was one of the reasons we moved here.
Our 117-year-old house has just about everything I could ask for:
- Three times the square footage
- Five city lots (about .4 acres) to garden on
- Centralized location
- Cost less than our 1,100 square foot home in the suburbs
- Quality brick walls and hardwood floors
- Excellent neighbors
And that last one, the neighbors, really make a difference. The community as a whole seems more invested in the area than my fellow suburbanites ever were in our previous home.
Last week we saw on Real Northeast, a Facebook page dedicated to keeping residents informed and engaged, that a new local eatery had suffered their third break-in since opening in October.
Someone broke out the side door glass at Rambo’s last night. They squeezed through the security bars in place. They stole a bunch of stuff. They cannot catch a break. Please make it a point to come eat at this place as soon as you can. He needs our support.
And a while later, an event was created to show this local restaurant that their neighbors cared…
And then someone else (not me) had the bright idea of bringing in the media. I immediately jumped on board and emailed three local stations: KCTV5, FOX4News, and KSHB.
I’ve noticed a trend in news reporting around here. Or should I say a lack of news reporting?
KSHB is the only news station that I have seen actively reporting on news in our area. And so I wasn’t too surprised to hear from them. We set up a time to meet today, and I made sure that Michael Stringer, the organizer of the event, knew about it. He was the one who had thought of it after all, and I wanted the credit to go where it was due.
That said, his schedule didn’t allow for it, so guess who got tapped?
Yep. Yours truly.
By the end of the interview, I was a bundle of nerves. Josh from KSHB news also interviewed Michael Donnici, another local resident, and the news story aired on the 6pm news.
My point in telling you all this is not to bang my own drum. Although I will admit to a bit of fangirl “Squee, I was on the news!”
Instead, it is this message: We can change things for the better. We can stand up. We can take part. We can bring attention to hard-working, honest businesses (instead of predatory payday loan companies) and support them.
Olivia and Rambo are lovely folks. They make the best damn fried okra I’ve ever eaten and the hamburgers and fried chicken are also delicious!
I want businesses like those gracing Independence Avenue. Not some damn pawn shop.
Whether you stand up and enact change by planting flowers, helping out neighbors, or organizing an event like today – just DO it.
We can make our street, our neighborhood, our community, our city a better place. All it takes is showing up.