Op-Ed: I haven’t done enough and we need to do more
By Rep. Brandon Ellington, District 22
“As a State Representative, I spend more than half of the year outside of Kansas City. I try to be as accessible as possible by attending community meetings when time permits, providing free legal courses, holding town hall meetings and community events and trying my best to sponsor and support grassroots community organizations when I can. That is still not enough.
“Upon returning home this year, it was brought to my attention that a drug house had set up shop next to my satellite office on 38th and Chestnut, which is unacceptable for a number of reasons. After several days of observing traffic, I approached the individuals at the house and respectfully informed them that they couldn’t set up shop on this block. As their clients approached the house, I informed them that the block was under surveillance and strongly suggested they refrain from coming over here again.
“My goal here is not to paint myself as a tough individual, promote vigilantism or encourage snitching. I’m writing this as an open request for assistance from concerned citizens, organizations, employers and those that are fed up and willing to work to create a sustainable systemic action plan to not only engage but to fundamentally change the scope of what we will allow and consider acceptable in our collective culture.
“We have a long list of topics that require the development of viable solutions from issues such as unemployment, high murder rates, lack of social concern and education. These issues will not be resolved through quick fixes and I’m not looking for individuals who believe we will have a solution implemented and all problems solved within 3 to 6 months. Again, I’m looking for individuals that are committed to fundamentally changing the standard of what is acceptable in our community.