Community Works To Take It To The Streets
Saturday, June 30th 2007, 3:34 PM CDT
Some people who live in North Tulsa are trying to make a difference; they want to take back their streets from criminals. They told The News On 6â€™s Joshua Brakhage it begins by standing together and rooting out violence. He reports neighbors admit they're biting off more than any of them could chew alone, but they say they have to start somewhere. And it's a mission they've set to music.
It began with a prayer, but the solemnness quickly turned to spontaneity with singing and dancing. It's this community's way of rallying around a common cause.
"This is a day when everybody's on the same page, old, young, rich, poor, it makes no difference, black, white, race nothing makes any difference today, because we're all on the same page," Take It To The Streets coordinator Mary Riggins said.
The goal Saturday was to turn violence into vibrance. Organizers admit it will take a community wide effort, and it won't come easily. They say one of the biggest challenges is simply getting neighbors to report crime in the first place.
"Don't be afraid to do that because after they get through doing to your neighbor, they're going to come back and do it to you, so you might as well snip it in the bud right now," said Riggins.
Another challenge is preventing the next generation from following the road that leads to crime, drugs and gangs.
"We all as adults have to pay attention to our young people," State Representative Jabar Shumate said.
"Yes!" the crowd responded.
Kids who will one day take the lead in their communities took the stage on Saturday. With music and motion they made a statement for peace.
"Stopping the violence in our community, getting kids off of drugs, out of gangs and into the arts," Riggins said.
Organizers tried to plant the seeds of a love of reading in those too young to dance; with the hopes they'll help write a new chapter in North Tulsa's history.
Witness intimidation is a big problem on the northside. That's why police are trying to line up anonymous tipsters who can help curb drug use and gang violence in North Tulsa. So far, 65 people have signed up to help stomp out crime.
Watch the video: