Monday, May 20 2013 12:41 AM EDT2013-05-20 04:41:21 GMT
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Sunday, May 19 2013 11:20 PM EDT2013-05-20 03:20:39 GMT
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Sunday, May 19 2013 4:39 PM EDT2013-05-19 20:39:12 GMT
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Sunday, May 19 2013 11:17 PM EDT2013-05-20 03:17:30 GMT
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Sunday, May 19 2013 11:04 PM EDT2013-05-20 03:04:43 GMT
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Monday, May 20 2013 6:04 AM EDT2013-05-20 10:04:48 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Increasing pride in West End neighborhoods will help decrease violence. That's the idea behind a new program to clean out trash in alleyways.
No one claims that clearing those illegal dumps is the answer to West End violence. But supporters say the "Clean it Up" program is a small piece of a larger puzzle.
With every handful of garbage and every truckload of trash, workers were clearing away months, even years, of despair. They were work release inmates from Metro Corrections, enlisted to clean up alleyways in Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott's West End district.
It's garbage that she says is most often dumped by people who don't live here. "For me, that's unacceptable, so I'm going to stand up and fight back," said Scott. Her "Clean it Up" program targets 12 alleyways in the month of July, starting with an alley near 32nd and Greenwood -- the scene of the deadly shootings on May 17.
"What I'm hoping," she says, "is that people feel some renewed sense of hope. They felt forgotten, left behind, ignored for so long that it's time for people to feel some hope and some pride, and some reclaiming of our neighborhoods."
Scott knows this program is largely symbolic, that she can't possibly clean up all the illegal dumps. But she's hoping that residents will follow her lead.
"I think it's a wonderful effort," said Pastor Vincent James, who is pastor of Elim Baptist Church, literally around the corner from the May shooting spree. "One of the things I know about trash is that trash attracts trash. And so it just keeps getting worse and worse. And now, having an effort to clean it up, it gets better and people start taking more pride and they start picking up even when they see trash themselves." Scott says the program uses no Metro Council funds.
"Money is not always the answer," she says. "Being creative is the answer, and not always relying on government. Our role is to provide what we can provide for folks, materials, resources, tools , information. But then it's the people in the neighborhoods who are really going to have to keep this going."
Scott has also purchased five surveillance cameras for her district as part of Metro Council's larger effort to curb illegal dumping.