Alexandria’s West End

My family and I have lived in our Monroe Street home for two years now.  During this time I have listened, learned, met with neighbors and tried to figure out exactly what it is I could do that would help make my neighborhood better.  I looked at other’s failed plans and, although they were good, they all seemed to lack the “How to get it done” part.  It seems like everyone was waiting on someone else or, maybe the city, to wave a magic wand over this blighted area and it magically reincarnate into a beautiful thriving community.  Unfortunately, this has not happened yet.  I am sure if it were within their power to do so, Mayor Roy or other city leaders would have waved a magic wand in a heartbeat.  However, I do not believe “Wizardry 101” was a required course during their years of college education. 🙂

So, that left me puzzled and full of questions.  I am not arrogant enough to think that I can conquer where others have failed…but why did they fail?  Part of the conclusion I have drawn is: I believe that many people complain but don’t ever offer a solution or offer any personal involvement to tackle the issue.  Many people complain about nothing getting done, but when someone stands up to do something, they attack them too.  That leads me to conclude that certain people just like to complain and it doesn’t matter what the issue is, they’ll never be happy!  There is a certain lady (she no longer lives here) who was also very passionate about a variety of issues.  But, when she approached city leaders and the council, she told them: “You are of no use, you have never helped us and you never will.”  Well then, she had already help defeat her own argument.  This reminds me of a joke, it goes something like this:

There was a man who ran out of gas and broke down on the side of the road in a rural area.  He knew there was a gas station close by, but he didn’t quite make it.  He got out of his car and looked around to see if there was a house nearby so he could borrow a gas can.  Through the woods he could make out the glow of a porch light.  So he started walking towards the house.  He said to himself: “Hmm, what if they’re not home.  I bet they are all sleeping.  They will probably be really mad at me for waking them up in the middle of the night.  I bet they are going to be mad.  All I need is a gas can.”  He kept walking and as he got closer he kept getting more and more nervous and upset. “Yup, they probably will tell me to go away.  I bet they won’t even have a gas can and if they did, they probably won’t let me use it.”  So, he got to the house and knocked on the door and when the door opened the man shouted “KEEP YOUR OLD GAS CAN, I DIDN’T NEED IT ANYWAY!” and stormed off.

The man in this story borrowed trouble and defeated himself before he could even get out the gate.  Since living on Monroe Street, several people have told me “the city won’t do this, the city won’t do that” so I decided to give their theory a try.  When I saw a code enforcement violation, I called code enforcement.  Surprisingly, code enforcement (most of the time) took care of it.  When I see a street light out, I call or send an email to First Call, the utilities division comes right out and fixes the lamps.  I have reported fighting in the street, the police department promptly shows up and takes care of it.  So far, I have proved all of the “that will never happen” folks wrong.  It seems they defeated themselves in their minds and therefore gave up altogether.

As I told many city leaders and volunteer groups, I stand at the forefront to volunteer my time to do whatever is necessary to make Alexandria’s West End Neighborhoods a better, safer and nice place to live.


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