Sunday, April 04, 2010

Todd Elliott Koger Position Paper: Top Priorities 2010 Election -- Gun Violence Allegheny County, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania



As is always the case at rallies against violence, there will be eloquent and impassioned speeches about the need for self-esteem, the value of education and the importance of conflict resolution. What won't be in the offing are easy answers about how to deal with the plague of gun violence . . . .

The answer is simple. It starts with one man or woman, committed to a set of specific and result-oriented procedures and good faith, coming forward and requesting nothing more than the opportunity to do some good. The answer isn't as complex as local decision makers claim.

We don't need another politician who is visible only before election time, always followed by the media, meeting with the already self-disciplined and organized block watch groups or tenant councils. We need someone welcome by those normally "too hard to reach" because he or she produces tangible results and is trusted as a "homegrown" trying to do some good.

Sometimes just being there, available and willing to help a struggling individual secure a working refrigerator for his Mom, a child's bed for his kid, or curtains/mini blinds for the windows at the individual's girlfriend's apartment, will keep a troubled individual out of harm's way!

What's needed is a trusted advocate steadfast to the challenge of canvassing the most dangerous neighborhood [door-to-door, corner-to-corner, housing-project-to-housing-project] to redress those barriers that have systematically prevented inner-city residents from becoming productive participants in mainstream society.

In short, black fraternities and sororities arose from the hostility students experienced in the early 20th century and its support systems and social networks have shaped and nurtured our youth cultivating many of today's leaders. Through support suppression activities and a "bridge" to prevention, as well as neighborhood reclamation and restoration, job training and support service, one trusted black leader will offer a greater proportion of the region's most needy population opportunity to better interact with society.

Out of the 87 homicides, in 2009, in Pittsburgh, 62 (71 percent) were Black. 55 homicides, in 2009, were Black men.

Todd Elliott Koger is that trusted black leader!