Changing south Cape

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More than 100 hardy individuals braved temperatures near freezing to walk more than four miles through south Cape Girardeau neighborhoods recently to draw attention to an area in need of revitalization and support.

The march, organized by a couple of church leaders in the area, drew city officials, school officials, representatives of several church denominations and others.

South Cape Girardeau has its share of problems, but it also has a fairly strong core of individuals who see potential for the area and who are seeking help from the rest of the city to make positive changes happen.

Parts of south Cape Girardeau are plagued by drug dealing and other criminal activity. One area, along Hanover Street, has been particularly hard hit by arson, including one fire in which a man died.

Drawing attention to the situation is a worthy endeavor, but the real work will be turning the affected neighborhoods around. That will take more than a display of support. It will take the involvement of the residents of those neighborhoods, residents who have the most at stake.

Momentum from the recent march could propel individuals and groups into action. Now is the time to take action. Perhaps a good start would be to define what it is that needs to be accomplished in south Cape Girardeau, how those changes can be measured and what the timetable should be.

There is hope for south Cape Girardeau, and the march was a good indication of that. Now comes the hard part.

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