District 9 City Council candidate Yusuf Hakeem said he plans to create a task force, ‘District 9 Goes Back to Work,’ whose goal would be creating workable plans for bringing more jobs in and getting people to the jobs that exist.”
He said as he talks with residents of District 9, he finds that crime and safety are at the top of their concerns for their neighborhoods.
“I am also a 46-year resident of what is now District 9,” he said. “I share the concerns of the people I’m speaking with.
He said that reducing crime and preventing young people from joining gangs goes far beyond putting more police on the street — although that is a priority also. “I will build trust between residents and law enforcement through my credibility with both groups,” he said. “And yes, we must put a higher value on the difficult work of the police and give them the respect and support they deserve.”
He said prevention of crime by law enforcement “must be aided by continued responsible citizen action aimed at cleaning up the neighborhoods, alongside a coordinated effort on the part of government, houses of worship, foundations and nonprofits to give our young people an avenue to what life is and can be. We know they need to belong to something greater than themselves. We must emphasize the value of education, self-respect, self-esteem and development of good work habits in maintaining a job that pays a family wage.
Mr. Hakeem said there is no need to duplicate services and programs that already exist, but that better coordination is needed between them, along with community commitment and support. “I am the candidate who can generate that support,” he said. “That’s been my record for many years of service in this district and will be again as city councilman.”