HOUSTON - Months before Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced his anti-crime initiative, members of the Houston Super Neighborhood Alliance were pleading with the City for law enforcement intervention and meaningful collaboration with impacted citizens.
Their reason - a rapidly eroding quality of life due to widespread fear.
"I think people are terrified to just go walk the dog. They are terrified to go to the grocery store for 30 minutes because they are afraid they are going to come out and be assaulted just getting in the car, just putting the groceries in the car," said Stacie Fairchild, who leads the Alliance's crime reduction committee.
Fairchild calls the Mayor's latest effort far "too late" and lacks meaningful input from the everyday citizens her group represents.
"I think it has already escalated. We are number one in nation right now for homicides and that is not a good thing...and that's my frustration that the Mayor is not listening to the neighborhoods," said Fairchild.
Past Super Neighborhood President Juan Sorto says he's dumbfounded as to why Mayor Turner would launch a "holistic" Citywide initiative without inclusion of citizen volunteers on the "frontline" of the fight against neighborhood crime.
"The frustration is - Who is doing what and why are we not being included in the decision-making process?" said Sorto.
With gunfire and burglary steadily increasing in her Washington Avenue community, Fairchild says the Super Neighborhood Alliance remains ready and willing to partner - as long as city leadership is willing to listen.
"We don't need to hold press conferences. We just need to get to work," said Fairchild.