The Relationship Between Urban Blight and Gun

The Publisher of the Ward 7 Observer has an email signature that reads: “Rebuilding our community together. One family at a time.”

The Northern Ohio Recovery Association uses a similar motto:  Building Communities of Recovery and Resilience.

Both speak to the well-being of the community. As a trained Epidemiologist we look for the illnesses in a community and how to solve those illnesses collectively. Interpersonal violence in general and gun violence, in particular, destroy individuals, place families in perpetual grief and fracture the communities that the victims are from.  The irony, of course, is that most of the time the victims and victimizers are from the same community. Community is originally a word in Latin, communities, which can be translated as public spirit. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community#:~:text=The%20English%2Dlanguage%20word%20%22community,communis%2C%20%22common%22).

The public spirit connects us as human beings across race, gender, culture, and language. The bullets that rip through one black teenager’s lung, pierces the soul of his mother. The bullet that tears through the hand of a young girl who aspired to write a best-selling novel, smashes her family’s aspirations. Cleveland, Ohio is a city that has been under the siege of COVID-19 and Gun violence since the Spring. 

This article addresses the connection between the COVID-19 Epidemic and increases in firearm assault in the city of Cleveland. “What is known is that the coronavirus resulted in record unemployment, dire projections for evictions, and brought many of the underlying systemic socio-economic problems into sharp focus.” https://www.cleveland.com/metro/2020/07/experts-police-say-surge-in-gun-violence-in-cleveland-nation-to-coronavirus-related-stressors.html.

In large urban areas where people of color are marginalized, gun violence has increased. Chicago and Philadelphia are also undergoing this phenomenon. Here, it is the area of Saint Clair and Superior; the neighborhood and adjacent neighborhoods of Cleveland are connected to the national trend. How can this be addressed? Sometimes dialog is the jumping-off point. NORA has been given an opportunity through a Common Ground discussion on Zoom, Sunday, September 20, 2020. Starting at 11:30 AM the public is invited to join in the discussion. The technology will allow stakeholders, grassroots organizers, and advocates the opportunity to interact with Commander Dorothy Todd of the 3rd District. She will be available to answer questions about the community along with her officers’ patrol. Communities have spirit and this will be addressed by Karis Tzeng of Asia Town. She works hard to promote the culture of Asians who live in urban Cleveland.

Please join the Zoom discussion: Blight and Bullets: How Renovating Neighborhoods Reduces Gun Violence, Sunday, September 20, 2020, at 11:30 AM. Email me so you can have input into this important discussion:            lrose-rodriguez@norainc.org.

Talk about the problems so that they will be uncovered; silence blankets what will be discovered.

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