Orlando Ramos

Candidate for Ward 8 Springfield City Council

Public Safety

As your City Councilor, public safety will be one of my top priorities. I believe that crime is not just a public safety issue, but an economical issue as well. The city of Springfield has been recently ranked as the 12th most dangerous city in the country. Even if we choose to dispute the study, the “perception” of the city being a dangerous place is enough to scare people and businesses away. Crime is a local issue that can be handled at the local level; we can be tough on crime by being tough on crime prevention—but it has to be a collective effort between law enforcement, parents, community people and businesses, and neighborhood councils; the police cannot do it alone! I support and will work towards implementing the following ideas:

Neighborhood Sub-Stations:

The city of Springfield already has a large number of police officers on the streets. I do support an increase in police presence during the summer months; however, this alone is not the answer. I support the idea of each neighborhood having a (police) “sub-station” as a way to help improve the emergency response time, as well as a tool to help prevent crime.

No Snitching Code:

Over the years, the idea of “no-snitching” has threatened the city and has—in many cases—obstructed justice (see article). As your City councilor, I will do everything that I can to reverse this code; and encourage our young people to abandon this code of silence.

Working Together:

“Go at it alone, you can go fast. Go at it together, you can go far.” -Unknown

In order to attract new businesses to our area, and improve the quality of life for all of our residents, we have to address public safety! Ward 8 is one of the safest wards in the City; and I want to make sure that we keep it that way; but it is important to remember that just because we have ward representation now, does not mean that ward councilors should be focused only on issues that are in their ward. What happens in other wards is our problem; we are all in this together! Crime in any part of the city affects all of us. That is why it is important that we all work together to help reduce the crime rate.

Youth Programs:

Speaking to the youth at the Springfield YMCA

Speaking to the youth at the Springfield YMCA

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” -Frederick Douglass

I strongly believe in investing in crime prevention. We have to take preventative measures. And we can do this by providing our young people with alternatives to being out in the streets—by providing opportunity. As your City Councilor, I will do my best to provide that opportunity for our residents.

Indian Orchard Branch Library

Indian Orchard Branch Public Library

In the fall of 2009—following a wave of violence in the city—I helped organize a series of anti-violence rallies in Ward 8 (see video). This was an opportunity to get input directly from the youth. I discovered during these rallies that many of them were just looking for “a place to go.” Unfortunately, that is an area where our city is

limited. I believe that the city needs to invest in keeping our libraries open more than just a few days a week; and keep our youth centers open on evenings and weekends. I believe that a youth center IS an anti-drug program; a library IS an anti-gang program, because these are the types of activities that are going to keep our children off the streets. If elected, I will be committed to finding ways to increase funding for youth programs/activities.

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