Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The community is coming together!

After our initial meeting with City Council person, Dwaine Caraway, I have heard great things about how people have been stepping up and coming together in order to present an accurate picture about city services that we pay for, but that haven't been addressed in our Turner Courts/Rochester Park neighborhood.

As I was browsing the internet and preparing for our Town Hall Meeting on January 5, I found this link:

I thought this link would be helpful as we move forward and become more efficient at reporting city services that need to be addressed. If you have any problems with the online system, I'm sure Sylvia, in the Educational Outreach Center at Turner Courts, would be happy to help you report any issues.

Town Hall Meeting!!
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Date: Saturday, January 5, 2008
Place: After-School Academy/Community Room

What will be addressed???
The community of Turner Courts has created an agenda of issues including police patrolling, playground safety, street lighting, adequate sidewalks, transportation (DART), and much more.

Who will be there???
Dwaine Caraway (our City Council person) along with representatives from the police, code compliance, public works, and other city offices.

Why do we need you there???
Dwaine Caraway is bringing everyone to the table so that we can point out the issues we face in Rochester Park. We want as many from the community as possible so that the city will see that, just like other neighborhoods, we are concerned about ours and our family's safety and well-being. We want to be a collective voice that is willing to work with the city, but also expects the city to work with us.

Please invite your friends and neighbors and come join us! We are all learning. As we learn what the city is responsible for and what we can do, we plan to build a stronger relationship with our city council and get better at holding the city accountable to things that we pay for with our tax dollars.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Making changes

Thank you to Wyshina, Ms. Haynes, Monique, Sylvia, Bernard, Lori, and Dana coming out to the meeting with Dwaine Caraway today! I hope everyone felt like they got to voice their concerns...and I hope you were satisfied with the response. (I hate that I forgot to take pictures!!)

Though Dwaine said he was going to get right on those issues, we need to make sure we get our part done so the city is unable to make excuses for the repairs they are responsible for. We want the city to see that we want our neighborhood to be better and we are willing to do our part to make it happen as long as we have their support…even if we’ve tried before (as I know many of you have made calls before).

We have tentatively planned a
Town Hall meeting
January 5, 2008
10:00 a.m.
Location: After-School Academy

Please write this down and plan on attending!

Before that meeting, there are several things we need to accomplish…
1) Writing down the specific address of EVERY street light that is out—Who wants to be responsible for that?
2) Ms. Haynes calling about the DHA change in paying rent
3) Getting the word out about the Jan. 5 meeting—inviting friends, neighbors, etc. We want to begin showing the city that we will show up…but we also can’t get discouraged when people don’t. We just need to persevere. People will start coming out when they see that things are actually happening.
4) Visit the churches across the street and find out what community efforts they have…and just get to know them in general…begin building a relationship with them (maybe invite them to visit the ASA or the EOC)—Who wants to be responsible for that?
5) Begin our own meetings/conversations.

We need a Resident Council here at Turner Courts. But, we don't have enough people to make it work--President, Vice President, Treasurer, Chaplain, Sergeant at Arms, and 2 alternates. I suggest that we just start having lunch/community conversations and begin talking about the issues and working on them. As we attract more people and create leadership within our own group, we can advocate for a resident council.

Wyshina had a great idea I think would be great for us to start working on…I am going to look into getting us all trained and deputized to be people who can register voters. If we can do that, we will probably do it during our ASA staff development meeting (anyone can attend though). I’ll let you know when we get the person to train us.

I want to hear your comments about the meeting. Make comments below. (Ask Sylvia if you need help doing this)

Thanks again for coming today! I look forward to the possibilities!!

Friday, December 7, 2007

I Still Have Hope!!!!

On Monday the meeting I think went rather well. I know that we can't conquer all the issues but when you get to talking about all that we face as residents, it's hard not to want to conquer them all. My hope for this meeting with Mr. Carroway is that he at least will show up, then maybe he will let the other committee member know our concerns. See! I found that a lot of the residents here have truly given up on changes to this community. Me, I have not. My plan for the future is to move but I still want to be involved with the residents of Turner Courts. My days have not always been pleasant living here but I have come along way in my perceptions of the residents. There really are some nice people here. I just wish that the people that have a say so in how things can be better, tell us what we can do, and maybe that would give the people hope. And that there are people from City hall that does listen and care!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Addressing community issues

I mentioned in a previous post (Dark Streets and No Transportation) that I was interested in getting a bunch of you together to find out what issues are important to you so all of us can talk and figure out the best solutions to those issues...and figure out how to get the city involved, if needed.

Well, the time has come! :)

We will be meeting:
Tuesday, December 4
10:00 a.m.
Educational Outreach Center
(6601 Bexar St)

This meeting will be in preparation for our meeting with our city council person, Dwaine Carroway, on December 18.

Please join us Tuesday! We need to hear from you!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I want to congratulate all of you for a successful training. I know that you really enjoyed yourselves!! I am praying for each of you. Some of you may have already found employment and some may not have, but stay encouraged. I am going to start up another program soon hoping that you would love to be a part of it. All of you are very special women!! The next class starts up in December if anyone would be interested. To amny it may seem that they don't need traing on job readiness but truth of the matter is we all do!!! I too need to enhance my skill for the work place and I have also been working since I was 14 years old. You are never too!! old to learn some new skills. The more you know the more you Grow!!!! Happy Thanksgiving and I will see yall ladies yes Ladies!! real soon.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Women of Today!!!!

Yesterday started the first day of the adult Job Readiness Class, what a joy. Their was 13 women to attend. Sherika Ricks, Lori Cullom, Michelle Shepard, Alexia Cullom, Kaiesha Hallman, Kechia Strain, Jocquelyn Smith, Dana Arnick, Ashley Jones, June Mason, Gayle Barnes, Michelle Hallman and Lekeythe Hunter. Very strong women that know what they want. I am so glad that they made up in their mind that they did not want to stay in the same situation forever. They talked very deep about what they wanted in life. I see that they are not destined to stay stagnated. I feel passionate about this class. I think that something good is going to come from this class. I pray that these women continue to keep up the good work and that they never lose sight of what God as placed in their paths. True, we live in this community and it seems as if we are living at the dead end of the street but we have climbed over the top. I am determined to bring about a change in the minds of those that I come in contact with, I know that somebody is listening, If it is only one or two I have touched I have fufilled my goal." I am not here to be served I am here to serve" This is what God requires of all of us. So I encourage everyone to pray constantly for each other.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Dark streets and no transportation

Have you noticed how dark it is as you drive down Bexar Street by Turner Courts? I didn't really notice it before, but now that we've had Daylight Savings time, it seems much more apparent. Probably because it's dark when the kids leave the After-School Academy...and it's darkest right there.

As I drove down Bexar, I noticed the street lights right along Bexar and the one on the corner of Bexar and Parsons are both really dim. I wonder how many more are like that. If anyone else is interested in doing anything about that, let me know. Maybe if we get several people together, we can get Dwaine Carroway, our city council member, down here and we can talk to him about it.

The other thing that bothered me is when I found out the DART buses don't run down there after dark anymore. That is something like 6:00! What about people going to or getting off of work?? That's not right. I heard it's because people have been throwing bricks or eggs and such at the buses (maybe some of that would decrease if our street lights worked). If that's true and people are doing that, I wouldn't want to drive in that either. BUT...we don't need to just accept it! We need to do something! What can we do? Could we form some sort of watch group and communication with the police for kids/people who do that? Can we talk to DART? Maybe this is another issue for Dwaine Carroway. After all...he is OUR city representative!

We can't expect him to do it all by himself. We have to work together. But at least we could start the conversation. Who is interested?? Let me know or let Sylvia know and she can get in contact with me.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Moving Forward!!!

The progress of the Educational Outreach Center has been going very well. I have asked two of the partiscipants to enter an entry on the monthly newsletter and they have agreeded. Also starting on November the 12th we will be having a program called Adult Job Readiness class to be held right here at the After School Academy. How great is that. All the people of Turner Courts want is for someone to believe in them. I do!! I have been down the road they are now traveling on and it was not easy, so I know how it feels to be struggling. Yes! you do first have to take the first step, and turst me, God will take the next step. I have hope, and I will continue too!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

"They Said It Couldn't Be Done"

This summer Ms. Janet had a great idea, she thought, let's open up a computer lab that the adults can use. So we brainstormed about it. We decided to set a time from 10:00am to 2:00pm, Tuesday-Thursday. This would give adults time for themselves while their children were at school. It worked out really well. The name of our new lab is called The Educational Outreach Center. At the EOC they can search for jobs, work on their resume, look for scholarships and financial aid and we provide community resources. We also have a children's library for those parents that still have little children. The best thing about having a computer lab is we have free!!!! Internet. It was a struggle at first trying to recruit people in but after a pep talk from Ms. Janet I felt a lot better. I still have my disappointing times but I know that my hard work is not in vain. We now have about 10 residents a day that come into the EOC, how great is that!!!! I still have a lot of things that I need to do to make it successful but I am never going to give up.