A local alderwoman warns her community that the city is "under siege" after a quadruple shooting left three people dead and a young girl orphaned and hospitalized. Alderwoman Pamela Boyd is now calling on her neighbors to come up with solutions. She hosted a town hall Tuesday because she says it's going to take more than the police to change the streets.
"I've only been in office two months and I've been in a whirlwind," Boyd said to the crowd. "The only way we're going to make it happen is if we come together and make it happen."
Toni Cousins also took the mic. She represents Riverview West Florissant Development Corporation and several other community organizations.
"We have the derelict properties," Cousins said. "We have trash."
They have deadly shootings. At the town hall meeting, they prayed and lit eleven candles. Each candle was for each person killed in the community since January 2017.
"It's real clear that we need services," Boyd said.
Boyd says she can't transform the streets alone. She asked everyone to join a committee on safety, housing, voter engagement, or sanitation.
"All of those components work together," Cousins said.
The options give neighbors like Annetta Booth an opportunity to volunteer.
"I've lived in the 27th Ward since 1970," Booth said. "Be the eyes and ears for the aldermen."
Cousins says a safety zone project will be launching soon.
"We're going to be looking at four to five blocks that are just the worst of the worst within this area," she said.
The plan involves boarding up and cleaning up vacant buildings.
"We're not just going to stop there," Cousins said. "After looking at those areas, we'll focus on the next four or five."
Organizers say they understand not every neighbor is aware of these plans. That's why they're encouraging those who came to the meeting to go door to door to spread the word in hopes of getting even more people involved.