Enlightened Capitalism

Essays about how to harness people's natural desire to create wealth and improve their quality of life to solve global problems such as war and poverty.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Caring & Safety

As you know, Affinity Neighborhoods sponsors neighborhood cleanup events, where we pick up trash, plant trees, and talk to residents about how great their neighborhood can be. Lots of people worry about me when I go alone into high-crime places, but for the last 12 years, somehow I have always known that when I am going there to serve and to show respect for the people there, I am safe. I have never been confronted or threatened, though I have witnessed thousands of crimes in these neighborhoods.

Our Director of Neighborhood Revitalisation, Dimitri Hodgkinson, plans and coordinates the street cleanup events in Compton and the surrounding areas. He has the following anecdote to share.

I just want to preface it with the following challenge: Be open to the idea that YOU cause everything in your life! Care for others, and caring will be all around you.

David Frayne
Founder, Affinity Neighborhoods

From: dimitri@affinityneighborhoods.com [mailto:dimitri@affinityneighborhoods.com]
Sent: Friday, June 24, 2005 12:46 AM
Subject: Affinity Reaches Gang Members Unknowingly

Hey Affinity,

Before I share with you how our very own Compton/Watts Revitalization Area Manager, Hector Fernandez, evaded a mugging, I want to let you all know the clean up event we were planning for this Saturday, June 25th, was postponed at the request of the resident whom we are teaming up with. I will update all of you when we put it back on the calendar.

So get this. Hector is in Compton the other day waiting for the bus after dropping off his van at the auto shop. Low and behold, a big fella, likely a gang member, decides to push Hector and interrogate him for why he happened to be hanging out in "his" neighborhood. As you can imagine, Hector is thinking, great my car breaks down, now this. Hector explains he is on his way back to work, waiting for the bus, all while realizing this guy is either about to threaten him for his wallet or jump him simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You'll never guess what happens next. So the guy says, "oh yeah, who do you work for?" And Hector, who happens to be wearing one of our bright green Affinity t-shirts, points out the shirt and tells the guy about Affinity. So this guy goes, "oh, Affinity, I've heard about you. Didn't you just do a clean up at the alley over by the Douglas Park Apartments* the other day? I was supposed to go help out over there, but got there a little late." He proceeds to acknowledge the work we are doing and tells Hector how great the alley looked when we got done.

Thought you might like to hear that. Can you imagine? Would have never guessed that a bright green shirt and picking up some garbage would earn that kind of respect. Apparently it does.
Have an excellent weekend everyone.

*The Douglas Park Apartments were one of the worst crime zones in Southern California, with weekly shoot-outs, constant drug dealing, arson, burglary, etc. They are now under new management, with a totally new attitude. Affinity catalyses these changes.

Dimitri Hodgkinson
Affinity Neighborhoods
235 E. Broadway Ste. 920
Long Beach, CA 90802
Off: 562-437-6476
Fax: 562-268-8789
Cell: 310-984-4361
Email: dimitri@affinityneighborhoods.com


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