From March 26, 2010–Here Comes the Neighborhood

Posted on January 3, 2011


Here Comes the Neighborhood–Open Letter to Public Safety Committee     Edit

    I went to last night’s meeting of the Public Safety Committee of the Kingston Common Council (on  March 25 2010 at 7 pm at the Common Council chambers, prepared to make a short address.   Unfotunately, the meeting was not planned to allow  the “Public” to comment on concerns about their safety.  I allowed Mike D’Arcy of the the newest Neighborhood Watch to represent the concerns of the public.  Below, I present the text of the address I planned to give, complete with my stage directions to myself.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Good evening, members of the Common Council, distinguished panel members, and representatives of the press.

         I am Lei Isaacs of 17 Levan Street, right over there.  (motion to left.)

         My neighbor, Isabelle Malone of 22 Levan Street died earlier this week.   She had lived at that address her entire life.   The house was built by her father.  Her funeral was Tuesday.


         To turn a familiar phrase around, here comes the neighborhood.


         When that football bounced off her plate glass front window early last September, terrifying her and causing her to spill her medications so a Public Health nurse had to come and sort them for her—-


        —that was the last football game to ever negate her legal right to peaceful enjoyment of the homestead on which she and her family had paid taxes for over 80 years.


         When Kingston Police Officer E. Osterhought asked her why she didn’t open the door when someone rang her doorbell at 4 a.m.—


     —-That was the last time she was ever subjected to the tender mercies of the Kingston Police Department.   (catch in voice, touch cheek.)


          [For a full report of the incident with the Terrorist Football Game and Officer Osterhought, see out Sept 14, 2009 post “My Letter To The Sheriff’s Office.”]


          The last time she called Kingston High School’s security to have a student’s illegally-parked car removed from the parking space outside her home reserved for persons with mobility challenges—-


        —–that was the last time she ever made that call.  (Look down, clutch notes.  Look up ,raise voice.)


        Yesterday was the first day of the rest of our lives.  Here comes the neighborhood.


        It is the neighborhood your son–your grandson–(point to individual legislators)will grow up in.  It is the neighborhood your daughter will have to travel through to attend High School.


          It’s probably the neighborhood where your car is parked right now.


         Isabelle Malone spent her life struggling to enforce our  civility.   She is no longer in the Ninth Ward.    What the people in this room decide, will determine where the neighborhood–and the city–go from here.


          Here comes the neighborhood.  Will it be one we can be proud of?  Will it be one we can survive?   That is in your hands now.


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