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Aldine Y.O.U.T.H. Community Forum called a success

By SYLVIA BOLING Special to the Northeast News 
The first “Our Community Talks”  meeting held on March 19th at the Aldine Y.O.U.T.H. Community Center, 4700 Aldine Mail Rt.,  was truly fantastic. 
We had over 50 people in attendance representing law enforcement, parents, youth, High School students, college students, business, government, senior citizens, community service, probation officers, healthcare, Metro, other service providers, etc.—all races, ages, genders, income levels, etc. 
The discussion was lively and very reflective. So many people felt that the meeting was really what we always needed and want to continue with a series of follow up meetings.
Of course, we did not have time to discuss all issues in detail, but did get general feedback on many of them. 
We started out with some statistics about the plight of many of our low-income youth and how much we are paying to keep them incarcerated, with little or no return on investment. 

We defined the word “community”, defined what crime means— the effect it has on all of us including some of the root causes, the sheriff discussed some of the crimes in our area, the topic of domestic violence was discussed as it was one of the big issues in our community (Aldine Y.O.U.T.H. is having a workshop on this topic on April 11).
Art Murillo, from METRO, discussed some transportation issues. All levels of education and need for other educational opportunities in our community were also discussed. Lots of good ideas and thoughts were shared by many on these and other topics.
We would like to make this forum a monthly community meeting, each month discussing a specific community topic, again making sure that people are there with information needed and also a cross section of the community represented. 
The goal will be to discuss the issue and then to brainstorm on solutions and how everyone can and should be part of making our community better, perhaps forming committees toward this end. 
This forum presented  a wonderful opportunity for community networking and building new relationships, which is vital if we are ever going to be able to heal and improve our neighborhood. 
 Thank you to all those who attended our first “Our Community Talks” meeting. 
If you are interested in attending the next meeting and sharing your ideas and offer your solutions and help, please call the Aldine Y.O.U.T.H. Community Center at 281-449-4828.