Sunday, September 17, 2006

Historic Faubourg Treme Association Takes Aim at Blight, Crime and Grime

Adolf Bynum, Beautification Committee Chair, Initiates Treme Cleanup Day

Since Katrina, Naydja and Adolf Bynum have spearheaded a new and more solid neighborhood organization in Treme. Prior to the storm there were a number of factions vying for control of this neighborhood because it stands as an icon to the culture and history of the city. We have the Backstreet Cultural Museum which is dedicated to the history of the Mardi Gras Indians, St. Augustine Church, the African American Museum, and Charbonnet's Funeral Home, and we were also the home of Joe's Cozy Corner, where Kermit Ruffins spent a good deal of his time. We also have Armstrong Park, home of Congo Square and we can claim the old Treme Market as part of our colorful past as well as Storyville. So there has always been a high degree of interest from various groups to steer the neighborhood.

Pre-Katrina, it suffered from a rash of drug violence which has been plaguing the second line scene for the past few years. Joe's Cozy Corner was the site of a few murders. North Robertson street still suffers from some bad elements who persist but we could see that the storm had created a vaccuum of leadership and for a while, crime. We decided this was the time to get start a very solid and very professionally managed neighborhood organization that would welcome all residents, erasing the past bad feelings that existed between old, ineffective groups that had failed to make any real positive impact in the area. After Katrina, the blighted ghetto looks more like a slum. The Historic Faubourg Treme organization is dedicated to the smaller historic area of Treme and focused on our main problems of Crime, Blight and Grime. In order to be successful, we have to keep our mission very focused, we want to make a measurable difference.

Trash is a big problem citywide right now. People can't seem to remember what a trash can is used for, throwing household trash in the street in grocery bags. Debris, which is everywhere was being picked up by the Army Corps of Engineers but we need to get residents back into the habit of renting dumpsters for construction debris.

We cleaned up a couple blocks of N. Robertson in late July preparing for our first ever Night Out Against Crime. This, the day after a quadruple murder on St. Ann and
Claiborne. But we hosted a very nice Night Out event and the media showed the good things happening in our neighborhood. We're a determined group.

On Aug. 20,2006 Adolf hosted a cleanup of most of the neighborhood that included many many residents and the city's sanitation department provided staff and trucks.
It was another great step toward our mission.

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