By Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson A group of concerned Memphis citizens gathered at the Club House in T.O. Fuller State Park, where Jimmy Warren is Park Manager, on Saturday, February 23, 2019. “The purpose of us coming together is to support each other and present a united front for addressing concerns about our neighborhood and community,” said Co-organizer and Walker Homes/West Junction Vice President Linda Street. “Rep. Barbara Cooper held a meeting on November 24, 2018, and she suggested that the different associations come together.” After a prayer and a brief introduction, the meeting swung into action with representatives of various organizations sharing information on hot topics in their specific neighborhoods. The discussion turned to the audience and individual problems in various neighborhoods. The conversation spread out to the audience and included both comments and concerns. Additional participants took turns speaking at the podium. “First let me thank you all for coming out,” said meeting co-organizer Gwen Wrushen Nelson, President of the Walker Homes/West Junction neighborhood association. “We cannot answer all of the questions to the things that have been stated here today. This is just the beginning… Many of our top priorities have been expressed by you. As an example the flooding... in the West Junction area. That’s something the West Junction/Walker Homes association has been pursuing and working on since 2012. We’ve had state, county, and local officials here... to tour the area. When we bring groups together that have concerns, there is strength in numbers. Another concern is ours is what people see when they drive down Mitchell Road to get to T.O. Fuller State Park. On the south side you’ve got stagnated water, you have, right next to the park where our children have to play, there is a creek running, there is no fence or anything and there is a potential for danger for these kids. There are no sidewalks for the students at Mitchell High School to walk down Mitchell to get to and from their homes to the school. We also talked about how the city and the Landbank takes our houses when we fail to pay our taxes. These are some of our concerns.” “The taxes are secondary,” said Councilwoman Curry. “People lose houses because they stop making their payments. That’s the reality. They lose their homes because they stop making payments and because they don’t come to banks to see if there is a way to save their homes.” Curry went on to discuss the many programs that are available for people to save their homes and how people need to take advantage of grants and loans for home repairs. Rep. Barbara Cooper also commended those in attendance and encouraged them to call her when she could be of assistance with community concerns. Another meeting is scheduled for 12 noon, March 16 at the park. A separate meeting will be held at 5:58 PM on Tuesday, March 12, at Greater Faith Tabernacle Ministries, 905 E. Shelby Drive at Fairfield Road to discuss similar matters. Topics of discussion will include (1) community blight, (2) much needed improvements to our streets, curbs, gutters and sewage system, and (3) placing pressure on business owners who are not keeping their businesses and parking lots clean and free of trash and debris. 15 Sis. Linda Muhammad (seated) attended Saturday’s event to help spread the word about the Inaugural Block Party, sponsored by Muslims In Memphis Islamic New Africa Connection, set to be held on March 9 from 2-7pm at the historic T.O. Fuller State Part. For details, call (901) 265-2756. (Below) Saturday’s Community “One Voice” meeting at the T.O. Fuller State Park was the first in a series of meetings designed to create a united front for addressing concerns about our neighborhoods and communities.

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