March 28th Weekly Update!
Date: Thu, Mar. 29, 2007First of all, a reminder that Thursday evening will bring a wonderful opportunity to hear the perspective of the FBI on the violent crime situation in New Orleans. Chip Hardgrave, the FBIís Violent Crime Supervisor here in town, will address SilenceIsViolence and other grassroots organizations and will offer his guidance regarding community involvement. We had been hoping to hear from Jim Bernazzani, the regional director of the FBI, as well, but Mr. Bernazzani has been called out of town. The evening should be extremely interesting nonetheless! Here are the details:
Thursday, March 29
Audubon Tea Room (Magazine Street at Audubon Park) City Walks:
We held our first City Walk this past Sunday, walking from the Marigny to the Seventh Ward. It was truly invigorating to bridge these two neighborhoods on foot and to bring our two communities together at Sealís Class Act in the Seventh Ward. This Sunday we will start back at Sealís and walk into Mid-City. If you are a resident of the Seventh Ward or Mid-City, please join us, whether along the route or for the reception at Parkway, where the Rebirth Brass Band will perform. Here is the complete route:
START: 7pm, Sealís Class Act (2169 Aubry St., at the intersection of N.Miro and St. Bernard). Cros St. Bernard on N. Miro; follow N. Miro to Esplanade Ave. Turn RIGHT on Esplanade and LEFT onto Broad St. Continue on Broad to Dumaine St.; turn RIGHT and follow Dumaine to Bayou St. John. Turn LEFT at the Bayou and LEFT onto Toulouse St. STOP: Parkway Tavern (**); reception with the Rebirth Brass Band. Transportation will be provided back to Sealís between 8 and 9pm.
It is remarkable how strong the impulse is to reclaim the streets of our city. Mayor Nagin, for instance, has begun a series of crime walks in different portions of the city on alternating Fridays. And as we began our City Walks this past week, Pastors Raphael (New Hope Baptist Church) and Gabriel (Progressive Baptist Church) were starting their own series of walks through Central City. The walks are taking place every evening through late April. They begin at 5pm at New Hope (1809 LaSalle St.) and move through different parts of the neighborhood each day, ending with a prayer circle at the intersection of Felicity and South Robertson at 6pm. Please go out and support Pastor Raphaelís walks one of these evenings if you canóand whatever neighborhood you are in, re-assert your right to sit on your stoop, stand on the sidewalks, and walk through the streets of our city.Police Interaction Logs:
One of our ongoing initiatives is the documentation and transmittal of the interactions citizens are having with police around our city. We collect your experiences and submit them on a weekly basis to the NOPD Superintendant and appropriate dsitrict captains. These police interaction logs are important for the immediate feedback they provide to the NOPD, as well as for the documentation they are creating: We are tracking not only individual experiences, but also trends, and are establishing a documentary basis for a broad and productive dialogue with law enforcement that incorporates citizen input. What is more, NOPD leadership has been quite responsive to these logs so far.
With all of these motivations in mind, we are looking to expand the police interaction log program. Right now, we collect these logs at Sound Cafe in the Marigny and over our website. Over the next two weeks, we will begin distributing and collecting logs at additional locations around the city. If you own or frequent an establishment that you think would be a useful site for citizen responses regarding the police, please let us know and we will try to include that location in our distribution. And please use our website to report any interactions you have with the police, whether positive or negative: www.silenceisviolence.org.
Also on the subject of police-citizen interaction, we will host a Fifth District police meet-and-greet event next Thursday, April 5 at Sound Cafe. Please come by between 5 and 7pm to meet our platoon leaders and officers. Music and some light refreshments will be provided. We will hold these events from time to time, always at different times of day so all schedules can be accommodated.We hope to see many of you tomorrow evening for our forum on violent
crime with the FBIó Peace,
Ken, Helen, and Baty