I have been working closely with the new fledgling Historic Faubourg Treme Association and they are doing what everyone else is doing, setting up committees, bylaws and the board of directors for their new 501(c)(3) but before I went out of town I wanted to DO something to make an impact in the streets. So I set up a cleanup day on N. Robertson to get ready for our Night Out Against Crime. We got bogged down in a zoning issue with a developer right at the time when we could have been getting more community involvement and when our President and my boss came back from overseas, she called and was concerned because we had not flyered for the clean-up day, hadn’t gotten a dumpster, yadda yadda. I said, well, if three of us show up, and you don’t have to, I know we are all overextended, then we’ll do what we can do.
She came, I didn’t have a dumpster, but I did somehow absorb that the Elysian Fields public dump station is open. And they are taking EVERYTHING. Tires, stoves, refrigerators, paint and even dead cats. So, we got one of our
members who has a truck to make the runs. Scott made 4 runs. We had to shovel up some nasty shit. There is this thing that girls do when we are confronted with scary nests of roaches and maggots and these tiny scorpions we couldn’t identify . . . we pogo. Well, we were screaming and pogo-ing and we got up the nastiest piles of household trash you can imagine.
We also got someone from the neighborhood on cutting weeds and mowing and we even opened the sewer, we went beyond the call of duty and we got our block and a half ship-shape. My boss said to me the night before, “Are you drunk, we should cancel it.” I said, “Look, I was here doing this in October, before we had anyone to call.”
Then, halfway through, WDSU showed up too! I couldn’t have planned it better, I heard I was on the tube but I am sure you wouldn’t recognize any of us in our do-rags. I don’t have cable but I heard we were all on there. This was the morning after the drive-by quadruple a couple blocks away, it was very healing. We got a lot of ‘thank-yous’ and ‘we support you’ from the residents. I just love seeing the impact a handful of hard-working people can make, it’s real and it’s measurable. Quit talking about it and Just Do It.