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Saturday August 19th 2017

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OPEN LETTER TO COMMUNITY: We must safeguard precious human lives

BY MOHAMED FARAH

Dear friends, fellow neighbors, and community members,

I write to you today with a heavy heart to first send condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones in the recent tragic shooting in our neighborhood. It was only 24 hours prior to this incident when I was with residents at Stewart Park having lunch after a day of cleaning the neighborhood.

It is vital that we have a real conversation about violence in our neighborhood and ways to keep our children and loved ones safe. This past week I have been reflecting on how we can make our community safe and enriching.

As a parent of two little ones, this recent shooting gave me nightmares and I have been reevaluating how safe my family is in our community. I have real concern for the safety of my children, other children, and my fellow community members in Ward 9.

As we all know human life is precious and we should do everything in our power to safeguard the lives of our neighbors and fellow community members.

I have no doubt that you are as concerned as I am about recent violent incidents. That is why I feel that we must set a new direction as a Ward when it comes to the safety of our community.

Safety has to be a top priority moving forward and we must stand up and take ownership of our issues.  As a community we can do much and reach far if our voices are united.

For starters, I suggest we have an ongoing presence of police patrol, which will help deter crime, promote positive relationship between community members and police, and lastly it will help ease residents’ minds about safety. However, this should be just the beginning.

We need to find opportunities for our young people in order to deter them from joining negative activities, such as gangs. We have been facing gang violence for centuries as a nation. This is not something new.

We should be able to find and implement programs that can enhance the quality of life of our young people and provide them with enriching opportunities. As a community, we should have town hall meetings to analyze ways to come up with more preventive measures of safety on our streets and neighborhoods.

If any of you are interested in discussing this matter in person, I encourage you to start the conversation with family, friends, and fellow community members.

As president Obama said, “It is up to us, as parents and as neighbors and as teachers and as mentors, to make sure our young people don’t have that void inside them. It’s up to us to spend more time with them, to pay more attention to them, to show them more love so that they learn to love themselves, so that they learn to love one another, so that they grow up knowing what it is to walk a mile in somebody else’s shoes and to view the world through somebody else’s eyes.”

All of us matter and our voices, opinions, and ideas should matter. Let’s demand change and let’s not allow fear to keep us confined.

Sincerely,

Mohamed Farah

MOHAMED Farah is a resident of Minneapolis and “a proud member of the Ward 9 community currently serving as the Executive Director of Ka Joog, one of the leading nonprofit organizations tailored towards enriching the lives of young people by utilizing positive elements of education, mentoring, employment, and the arts.” www.kajoog.org

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