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  Taking Back the Iron Triangle
March 27, 2010

Yesterday, Richmond had two more homicides.

But, today, I visited two big community events in the Iron Triangle that gave me hope.

The first was at the New Greater Faith Ministries, 29 - 8th Street, Richmond CA 948045, 510/323-6931. This was an outdoor  community celebration that will go on into the evening with a youth concert. Pastor Williams and his congregation are committed to taking back the community from violence and particularly target young people, giving them hope, meaning and productive alternative to a lifestyle of violence. This church is right next to the Richmond Greenway, which looks great. It is freshly mown, free of graffiti, and I saw a number of young people from Urban Tilth working on the community garden near Lincoln School.

Iron Triangle One

The second was just a few blocks away at the Bible Way Community Church (201/223-8200, thelifeproject@yahoo.com) on Macdonald, just across from the Bay Area Rescue Mission at 201 Macdonald. Dr. Sydney Keys has started the LIFE Project (Love, Involvement, Family and Education) with the mission of addressing the total needs of people in the community, focusing on education, child welfare, health care, recreation and counseling. I toured the brand new facilities that included a computer center for job search and after school tutoring, a theater and workout room, along with the churches chapel.

Iron Triangle Two

It is this kind of community dedication to taking back the neighborhoods from violence that can and will change Richmond.

Iron Triangle Three

Incidentally, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Iron Triangle looking better. Streets were clean, and vacant lots were mown. The parks were clean. Even the street medians were looking great. The photo below is of Garrard Boulevard replete with spring poppies. I saw no trash anywhere. Good job, Public Works! There is something in the air here that I haven’t seen for a long time, and I think it is a better future.

Iron Triangle Four