Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Northeast Times: Keep the Faith

From the Northeast Times:

Is Frankford a lost cause? Is it no longer worth fighting for? Is it a community way beyond stagnant that has no hope of getting new blood and no future? Is it time to pack it in and write Frankford off as a ghetto lost forever?

Or should Frankford’s boosters, its movers and shakers and true-blue believers keep fighting with all the tenacity they can muster to bring the community back from the dying?

If you live or do business in this city of neighborhoods and parochial interests —or even if you just like to visit — the answer is obvious.

Of course it’s worth fighting for. Despite its crime, grit, and for some people, its sense of hopelessness, Frankford has history and majesty and potential.

The reason to believe is clear in our cover story today, the first in a series that will take a look at the stunning decline of a once-great neighborhood and efforts to turn it around.

Some short-term solutions could include town meetings of the minds involving local, state and federal officials, neighborhood activists, police brass, average citizens — schedule as many town meetings as it takes to make believers out of everybody — and borrowing some of the 10,000 new cops that state House Speaker John Perzel wants to bring to Pennsylvania. In fact, saturate Frankford’s residential neighborhoods and business strip with uniformed police officers, and watch the crime rate plummet. That’s a giant first step toward salvation.

Everything starts with hope. Frankford still has lots of it, and lots of good people. The population is changing — it’s changing fast — but the community will not slip away if the folks insist that good prevails over evil. And that can only happen if those with a vested interest in Frankford’s future open their eyes and face the music:

This community is indeed worth preserving. Reports of Frankford’s death are wildly premature.


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