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Local Neighborhood Leaders Reignite Dorr Street Renovation Discussion


By Tricia Hall

Sojourner’s Truth Reporter


Toledo residents have either heard of or remember the shops, services and residential housing offered along Dorr Street decades ago. Local neighborhood leaders organized a first of several panel discussions to reignite the need to renovate Dorr Street.


The Saturday, October 10, event was moderated by community advocate and mortgage lender Julia Lee and included panelists: Chloe Aquart, Center for Court Innovation; Kimberly Cutcher and Shaulonda Jones, Toledo Local Initiatives Support Corporation; Washington Muhammad, Community Solidarity Response Network; Trish Newman; Pastor Keith Polin, Urban Christian Development Institute; Officer Donald Scott, Toledo Police Department; Sister Virginia Welsh, Padua Center and St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church; and Pastor Le Roy Williams, Search-Lite Community Church.


“Welcome everyone, especially on this beautiful Saturday. Let’s talk about why we are here and why it’s important to discuss Dorr Street,” explained Lee during opening remarks. The panelists were invited to share memories from the days when Dorr Street was home to black-owned businesses and served as the core of the black community in Toledo.


“We all want more community involvement this time around. I’m here to help to move this idea forward, and want to avoid focusing on self-serving goals,” explained Pastor Williams.


Saturday’s conversation served as a launching point for continued conversation about the impact of Urban Renewal and impact of communication gaps on the families located in Englewood and Junction, how to build coalitions with partners that focus on homeownership, unemployment, generational wealth and other issues that impact the family dynamic.


“We need to have a conversation within the community, but for today, let’s start with who we have. There were many other people that were invited, including city council, the credit union, and the mayor, because we need everyone involved to pull this together and bring back our business district. Let’s figure out how to rebuild,” explained Lee.


Julia Lee

Kimberly Cutcher

Pastor Le Roy Williams


The conversation began to address the actions that negative influences that block building a community, including trust, police and community relations, and neighborhood engagement.


“Police and community relations are a huge issue. There has to be commitment from the police that they believe that we can police ourselves. We lose our sense of individuality but also lack the courage to stand on our principles when we see wrong doing. We need our police, but they must protect and serve,” stated Pastor Polin.


“It starts at home, raising our families and supporting our neighbors, but with other organizations, it is about partnerships with residents. There are leaders that can bring people in but we need more residents engaged. It is all based off trust,” shared Jones.


“Neighborhoods with community engagement should identify all priorities and then bring in other partners to move that vision forward,” added Cutcher.


The panel discussion continued by discussing the actions and conditions that contributed to the downfall of Dorr Street, so those actions and conditions will not repeat in the future. Several examples were mentioned including property damage and criminal activities. The group plans to continue the discussion and invite additional neighborhood leaders, elected officials and agency representatives to assist with a plan to renovate Dorr Street.



Copyright © 2019 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 10/15/20 12:22:38 -0400.

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