Editor, Commonwealth:

For every problem that we must face for recent shortcomings, I have seen more bickering about the issue than creating a solution for the problem.

The state of our communities, hospital, school and population is self-inflicted. Let’s be honest with ourselves. We’ve been reactive instead of proactive. We have not been ahead of the curve with the new developments of the world. We have not exhausted all innovative ideas to combat unforeseen barriers that were headed our way. What did we do? We stuck to our guns and stayed on the worn-down path that we know is not going to get better, even though we still hope that it will.

If taxes are an issue in Greenwood, creating options to strengthen our sales-tax base should be a focal point. These options should have the interest of the biggest consumers in mind. Entertainment is a multimillion-dollar operation when run effectively. There are surrounding colleges and universities that have a plethora of students on their campuses. Creating atmospheres that can generate money for the city is possible. This is not limited to a bar or another hole-in-the-wall club. Surely these are not the only options. However, they can be obtained in the least amount of time and can build capital to create bigger and better outlets.

If the outlook of the community is an issue, put more pressure on landlords or property owners who are neglecting their responsibility of maintaining their property. By law, the city has the right to address the issue if they consider the issue a health hazard for the community.

We must exhaust every outlet to obtain blighted property. The city contracts out the demolishing of blighted homes. We can instead work closely with the school district’s vocational department to either fix or demolish the property while also maintaining the grounds. The money that is used to pay those companies can now help our schools while also giving hands-on training for our kids who don’t desire to be the doctors and lawyers of the world.

If the school is an issue, support the school district. Provide yourself as an ally to the district and not a person who always has something negative to say. We are shareholders who possess a skill that could be valuable to a child’s life. A child is always looking for a blueprint to emulate. In most cases, the blueprint that is most accessible is not always the best to follow. Come out. Talk to principals, teachers and superintendents, and see how we can become a servant to ensure the school is a success.

If we want things to change in the Greenwood-Leflore area, we must change our uber-conservative methods and think outside the box. We must become proactive and not reactive. We must become problem solvers and not complainers. If we don’t, the issues we face will become 10 time worse.

Are we going to wait for a superhero to save us from our mistakes?

Kenderick Cox

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