The strength of our city lies in our communities.
Community focused investment can serve everyone. It can look like allocating funds to restore access to pools, to rehabilitate homes, and to provide increased opportunities for summer youth employment. It means prioritizing safe community spaces such as providing the resources for a community center and both revitalizing and maintaining Troy’s parks to host programs that are inclusive and unifying. Community focused investment can help to build a more vibrant city.
We can all agree that we want to feel safe in our neighborhoods. However, safety cannot be solely dependent on policing. Public safety must include more concentration on access to mental health services, trauma response, substance abuse rehabilitation, and crime prevention programs that work with people holistically. We can also have a safer city for everyone by holding absentee landlords accountable for compliance with code enforcement to prevent fires and ensure families have safe places to live.
With so many vacant and boarded up buildings in the city, Troy has an opportunity to foster space and growth for small businesses throughout the city while also collaborating with existing programs to provide support for home ownership. We need a comprehensive, decentralized plan that uplifts communities, provides opportunities for employment, maintains our sidewalks and streets, increases accessibility to healthy food, and keeps our streets lit and clean for every neighborhood in Troy.
Angela Davis once said, “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.” In the spirit of those words, let’s get to work for visible and tangible progress and equity for our communities in Troy.
D. Colin Charlestin