This is response to the post “Looking for Duluth apartment” in which “j-i-l-l-o” posted that someone was looking for a centralized location in Duluth and “Losjasmo” said that was a synonym for “ghetto-town.” “Wildgoose” took offense. So did I.
This summer I heard Majora Carter speak and something she said really struck me. “Ghettos don’t just happen … they are planned.”
When I first moved here, I was appalled as we drove up Sixth Avenue East. I wondered why such a beautiful city did not care more about this stretch of road and why the city government and the landowners didn’t work together to beautify it. We were looking to relocate for my husband’s employment.
Research says simple things like trees, bushes and flowers actually affect the crime rate and our health, so I am a big proponent of keeping trees, planting flowers and adding nicely trimmed shrubs.
I have heard that some SMDC employees are too scared to walk to Whole Foods Co-op. This should never be. One of the first steps to making a community safe is making sure the environment looks friendly and inviting.
Neighbors are working with the city to plant trees and add a bench to the little triangle above East Second Street inside of Sixth Avenue East. At the top of Sixth Avenue East just as it turns into Central Entrance, UDAC Mailing Services agreed to let neighbors plant an orchard. These actions will go a long way to beautify that stretch of road. But we must not stop there.
Central and East Hillside is full of children. We just had Hillfest, a celebration of East Hillside and Central Hillside at the intersection of Fourth Street and Sixth Avenue East on Sept. 18. The organizers want it at that exact spot to unite Central and East Hillside and call attention to our neighborhoods; and to let people who usually speed by know that children from Central Hillside’s Nettleton School, which will soon close, will be crossing this street to get to Grant School.
I used to hate weeds, but my friend, Prophetess Naomi-Tamar, who grew up in a ghetto, told me whenever she saw something green she was happy, even if it was a weed. So now, whenever I see a weed growing up out of the asphalt along Sixth Avenue East, I said to myself, “Go weed go! At least you’re something green.”
Ensure that our city is both beautiful and safe. Own property in that area? Plant a tree or add flower containers. Think twice before paving an area over without adding landscaping. It is for the health of our city and for the individuals who live and work here. In the words of Majora Carter, “Ghettos don’t just happen, they are planned.”
Editor and General Manager