With that being said, let me now begin with my complaint.
The first thing that I read in the Blade right off the bat
that indicated that the beginning of this endeavor, if I can
call it that, was the headlines. “Toledo holds its first gun
violence town hall meeting.”
There are several things wrong with this statement. First of
all, if the mayor and city officials are truly concerned,
after all these years, why is it the first? After all these
deaths, why is it the first?
Secondly, the past conversations have implied that we have a
youth problem. Why are we solely talking about guns, when
the primary problem that we have is: what should we be doing
for our youth?
The third problem that I have from reading about the meeting
is that somebody decided that it was time to put the entire
blame on our police. Are you kidding me?
And last, but not least, the statement that, “Everything
that you address here will be put into action, or we will
attempt to put into action. What that looks like, we don’t
You are kidding me right? Tell me that you are not making a
public statement that clearly says, “We don’t have a clue
nor a plan.”
Now for clarity’s sake, I would like to know what page we
are all on, because so far, the beginning of this things
sounds like a recipe for miscommunication. Are we talking
about gun violence, which would include everyone in the
Are we talking about saving our youth, which would mean that
this thing would need to be much more intensive?
Are we talking about gun confiscation? Are we talking about
creating programs or are we talking about creating a
process, something that will be ongoing, measurable,
repeatable and profitable, because if you are not, don’t
waste your time starting off on the wrong foot.
Another thing that I would like to know is who were the main
stakeholders who were there, beside parents and concerned
citizens? Were there people in attendance whom one could
consider to be movers and shakers? Who were the people with
the critical resources for an undertaking of something of
this magnitude? Talk to me if you can!
Were City Council members there? Was the mayor and his
entourage there and engaged? Were union officials, teachers,
principals and school administrators there? Was the police
department there as stakeholders? What business
representatives, owners and CEOs of companies were there?
Are you including clergy and what general expectations do
you have for the stake holders?
And where were the youth, if in fact we were expecting youth
to show up? What were the demographics of the people there?
Were blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asians all included? Does
this issue affect the entire city? It certainly does when it
comes to the budget.
These are just a few questions, but I have many more and I
can guarantee you that the questions can get much harder,
much harder. I’m finished for now but there will be another
round of questions and concerns and, trust me, I am prepared
to help, but I’m not going become engaged, unless I see more
than crumbs thrown to the side for a few disgruntled
citizens to play with. I want to hear some serious talk
about a serious problem that has existed not just in Toledo,
but across these United States for years.
I said it before, and I’ll say it again, “I do have a vision
and a plan!”