Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Numbers

On Monday, 11/17, the Cincinnati police performed a sweep of a violent criminal gang mostly residing in the Northside community. The police claim the gang had about 100 members.
That night I went to a Northside Community Council meeting to hear Councilwoman Qualls discuss Form Based Zoning Codes and got an earful about the big bust. I also heard the Community Council's Membership Secretary, Melody Smith, report that the number of citizens active in the Northside Community Council topped out at just over 200.
The population of Northside is a little over 9,000 with about 6,600 adults. this means roughly 3% of the population are officially active in the community. Obviously you don't have to be a member to be active and not all the members actually do anything. From what I have seen, probably less than 2 dozen people are actually doing 99% of the work. From what I have heard, Northside is one of the most involved communities in the city.
So, how the hell can our communities improve when the numbers of people who give a pooh are so close to the numbers of people who want to tear the community apart and establish a warlord type rule of fear and violence ?
My level of community involvement works out to about an hour a week (woopteedoo). I am not a member of the NCC but I think I might just go down and plunk down the $5 membership fee. If Northside's 9,000 residents each put in an hour a week toward their community, the neighborhood would put wealthier communities in the area to shame. Just communicating and being aware of what is going on is incredibly important.
I am probably preaching to the choir, but -GET INVOLVED.
Here are links to other neighborhoods websites councils in Cincinnati.

Camp Washington
College Hill
Columbia Tusculum
Hyde Park
Kennedy Heights
Mt. Adams
Mt. Lookout
Mt Washington
North Avondale
Over the Rhine
Pleasant Ridge
Sayler Park
University Heights


DP said...

I don't know the exact percentages, but I'm pretty sure Mt. Lookout has comparable community council involvement. It seems like most meetings (there's only 6 per year) have about 10 community council "directors" and 10-15 citizens and about 5 of those are a group of seniors with nothing better to do on a Monday night.

Apathy abounds until there is a "problem".

Quimbob said...

NCC meetings usually draw about 75-100 people.