Leaving my high-priced apartment, I prepare to take my morning walk through Uptown in East Mt. Airy’s neighborhood. As I pass the complex where the management, in my opinion, is supposed to help keep clean, I see trash all around. And yes, as renting tenants, it is also our responsibility to help pick up trash and keep things clean. But because we pay rent, the expectation is that clean-up is what the landlord is going to do and unfortunately, in a lot of instances, that is not the case.
So how do we begin to clean up Philly? What steps do you take to get started? When does the city decide to make a change? You know that there is an election coming up and candidates that are running for an array of offices — as a matter of fact, there are several officials running for one particular office (mayor).
Anyway, when it comes to these individuals running for these positions, what approach are they taking to help clean up this city? Our streets are also in need of being repaved — potholes are decimating the tires and affecting drivers who are simply hoping to get to their destinations safe and sound. Residents are trying to avoid trees falling down all over Fairmount Park. The sewage systems in our neighborhoods are experiencing a lot of construction where old pipes need to be fixed, leading to detours, road closures, and other inconveniences that interfere with our travel to work each morning or to other destinations.
So I ask again, when does this city begin to get cleaned up? It does not seem really difficult in terms of getting started, but it seems to be rather challenging to find the funding and then find the individuals who want to bring these issues to the table, discuss them and implement solutions.
A week ago, I was traveling down Kensington Avenue on my way to school, when I felt like the El train was going to fall on top of me as I traveled beneath the underpass. It felt like I was imprisoned on a street in my own city.
I don’t know where you have been in Philadelphia or if you live here, but take a walk or drive around the city yourself to see if you can visualize what I see. With a major clean-up, the beauty I remember as a main feature of this city of brotherly love and sisterly affection can be experienced all over again like it was when I was a child growing up here.
So as we continue to make change and beautify our city, let’s beautify ourselves, our thoughts and our movements. I don’t have all the answers. I just know that I have a part to play. I ask you to walk in solidarity with me by taking someone with you to the polls on May 16. Because the time to register has passed, make sure that those that are unsure about going to vote are informed. Maybe you can take them on a field trip so that they can see that it is safe and that it is necessary. So help us — you and me — and everyone else as we clean up this city. It is time for a change, so let’s all do our part. Until next time… PEACE!
cj is a poet, educator, motivational speaker, and inspirational writer who resides in Philadelphia. If you were moved by this piece, shoot cj a “like” or comment at [email protected].
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