Northside Neighbors United!, a new ACORN community group, led a Lowry Avenue walking tour on August 1 to raise awareness of neighborhood problems and demand changes from elected officials. Approximately 45 neighbors, politicians, police and community leaders walked from North Regional Library to Farview Park.
In attendance were 4th Precinct Lt. Don Banham, mayoral candidates Peter McLaughlin and Farheen Hakeem, City Council candidates Don Samuels, Natalie Johnson Lee, Diane Hofestede and Aaron Neumann, and community leader Lance Knuckles.
Throughout the tour, walkers engaged officials on the most pressing neighborhood concerns. Safety, the group’s top priority, was focused on by stopping at the now abandoned Police Sub-Station on Lowry and Emerson. Northside Neighbors United! stated that they want 25 of the 60 new officers that Mayor Rybak has agreed to hire placed in the Northside. They also said that officers should walk the beat in key areas like Lowry and Lyndale Avenues. Leaders also pointed out boarded-up houses on Bryant Avenue and corner stores that are commonly hotbeds for drug dealing. At the end of the tour, police and politicians were given a chance to speak and committed to working with the new group in making the Northside a better place to live.
Northside Neighbors United! is currently making plans for a more focused Northside campaign that will coincide with this fall’s city elections. The group meets the first Thursday of each month. To get involved call Brandon Nessen at 651-642-9639.