The Wingnuts went to the Southern Barton Heights Community Association meeting last night at the Goal Post on North Avenue. It was really great to meet with all of our neighbors again. We have a really fun and loving community association. We are happy to be a part of it.
Unfortunately one of the longer portions of the meeting involved hearing reports from a cop from the 4th Precinct. Even though there had not been much crime at all in Southern Barton Heights, his presentation was lengthy. I’ve never understood why so many community associations insist on a police report being one of the main sections of their meetings. It seems to simply inspire fear. One of the things that he told everyone about was a person who was wanted by the police. Because apparently the police thought he might have had a gun, and instead of asking him first (he might have had a conceal carry permit for all they knew) they TACKLED him. Imagine how surprised you would be if anyone just tackled you out of the blue. I seriously question if this person realized right away that it was a cop that tackled him. Anyways, he was wrestling with his attacker (who happened to be a cop) and then ended up on top. He hit the cop with the butt of his gun and then ran off, probably because he realized it was a cop. It seemed to me that this situation was an example of police brutality, and not of anything positive for the community.
One of the other main issues people brought up to the cop was prostitution. Apparently there are a lot of folks in Southern Barton Heights who spend a good amount of energy snitching on people that they suspect of being drug dealers and prostitutes. This seems like it is really counter productive, and likely involves a good amount of racism. Who is it that they are suspecting of prostitution and drug dealing, and why. And is calling the cops actually a good solution to this in our community? Probably Not. It seems like we need to have more community dialogue about what it is that people perceive of as the problem with sex workers (it falls into the category of victimless crime) and what would be more effective and positive solutions to the particular things that folks view as the problem with sex workers. Prohibition does not work, and landing more people in jail is not a solution to the problem. It just stops the situation.
Southern Barton Heights has a lot of good energy, and a lot of residents who clearly care about the area and their neighbors. But that does not mean we always know the best solution. If we want to build a more positive and inclusive neighborhood, we will probably need to do more thinking outside of the box. And obviously folks will have to do lot less snitching.
The next two Southern Barton Heights Community Association Meetings will be June 15th and July 20th at 6:30 pm at the Goal Post Restaurant at 2400 North Avenue.
We will also have a neighborhood cleanup on June 19th- time TBA, check back.
We are also starting a SBHCA Newsletter. Submissions are due by June 1st. The email for submissions will be email@example.com but that email is not quite yet operational.
Wednesday May 26 at 6pm will be Councilman Chris Hilbert’s Meeting at the Police Academy.
June 5th at 10am will be the Northside Back to School Rally Organizing Meeting at the 4th Police Precinct
Saturday June 12th will be Councilwoman Robertson’s Meeting at the East End Old Court Building at 2000 Mecklenberg
Saturday June 12th is also the Neighborworks Resource Group Community Day at 2712 Chamberlayne Avenue from 11-3