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

Ways to lower crime in a neighborhood

1. Pick up litter in the streets sidewalks, and front yards.
2. Ask residents to help pick up litter.
3. Plant trees along parkways and in front yards.
4. Plant flowers along parkways and in front yards.
5. Water the trees & flowers we planted.
6. Mow & edge grass, trim overgrown bushes and trees.
7. Fix stucco, siding & facias. Paint houses.
8. Replace, repair, &/or paint fences. Add trellises and arbors.
9. Paint over graffiti. [Or, decorate the graffiti and frame it such that it becomes art.]
10. Pray. Then act.
11. Ask residents to pray for their next door neighbors.
12. Ask residents what they like about the neighborhood, how it could be better, and what they could do right now to make it better. Inspire them to visualise a great neighborhood.
13. Use the tactic from "Excuse me your life is waiting" of feeeeling what it is like to live in a great neighborhood, and pumping up this feeling for at least 16 seconds.
14. Invite the residents to the Landmark Forum. Have a bunch of neighbors do it together.
15. Open a healthy restaurant in the neighborhood.
16. Find every 15 year old and get them to apply for a job. Find an assortment of jobs so that we can match up the jobs with the skills and inclinations of the teenagers. Provide transportation, or find jobs along public transit routes.
17. Clean up the public transit, make it quiet and comfortable. Play Enya over the PA system.
18. Make an offer on every property in the neighborhood so that people know what they are worth.
19. Have a LOCAL Realtor offer to list all the properties.
20. Have three LOCAL loan brokers offer competitive loans on every property.
21. Have three LOCAL contractors bid on renovation projects in conjunction with an appraisal service to explain what added value the projects would bring and a loan specialist to explain how to finance it.
22. Offer a class on personal finance, career growth, and investing.
23. Have a LOCAL property manager offer to manage each property.
24. Offer classes in self-help, relationships, success, overcoming adversity, and inner dialogue.
25. Offer credit repair assistance and debt restructuring.
26. Get everyone in the neighborhood a bank account, and train them to use it effectively.
27. Get every 18 year old to apply for college, whether or not they finished high school.
28. Start a football league, a hockey league, a baseball league, a basketball league, a soccer league, a lacrosse league, a racketball league, a golf league, a swimming league, a ping pong league, a tennis league, a badminton league, a volleyball league, a track & field league, and an equestrian league.
29. Offer martial arts programs, fencing, and tai chi.
30. Start a barbershop quartet. Start a men's chorus, a boy's chorus, a girl's chorus, a women's chorus, and mixed choirs. Have gospel choirs and classical choirs and hip hop choirs.
31. Start an orchestra. Start a jazz band. Start a Dixieland band. Start a bluegrass band.
32. Start an opera company. Start a children's theatre troupe. Start an improv group. Open a live theatre. Open a cinema (have strict rules, constant supervision, and security at all times).
33. Open a cafe. Open a bookstore. Open a music store. Open an art gallery. Open a toy store.
34. Offer art classes. Teach painting, drawing, sculpture, glass blowing, arts & crafts.
35. Create a matching database for friends, activity partners, and dating. Require full identification and limit enrollment to residents in order to ensure accountability.
36. Hold mixers and dance parties.
37. Get neighbors together for regular meetings to brainstorm ways they can help each other.
38. Offer healthy food. Open an organic grocery store. Open an organic or raw food cafe. Offer healthy alternatives to unhealthy meals and snacks.
39. Open an excercise gym. Create exercise teams and fitness buddy groups. Form bicycle clubs.
40. Open a yoga studio. Hold aerobics and pilates classes. Offer physical fitness training.
41. Mount cameras in places where crimes repeatedly occur. Mount cameras on every porch until the crime rate is zero.
42. Install lojack in cars.
43. Get everyone to voluntarily get fingerprinted.
44. Ask all residents to voluntarily allow an elected committee to perform a visual inspection of their premises. Work to build trust to the point where this would be acceptable. Advertise to everyone that this is the goal, that people would have nothing to hide, and that there would be sufficient trust in a selected group of community volunteers, that they could take a scientific view of the neighborhood and note what the actual situation is.
45. Offer language classes, in ESL, Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, etc. Encourage everyone to learn Spanish in particular. Offer language tapes and books.
46. Get everyone in the neighborhood to vote in all elections.
47. Get everyone in the neighborhood to attend all city council meetings.
48. Establish a path of intense beauty, using trees and flowers and sculpture and signage and monuments, that starts at a particular intersection and winds through the neighborhood on the streets with the highest percentage of supporters of the project.
49. Encourage people to walk and bicycle in their neighborhood.
50. Hold lecture series with motivational speakers.
51. Get a dumpster and let everyone on the street throw stuff away.
52. Hold a streetwide garage sale, where everyone is encouraged to get rid of everything they aren't using.
53. Make a list of all residents and what they are good at.
54. Have a block party, barbecue, or common meal.
55. Install solar energy on the roofs.
56. Install wind power, cisterns, greywater systems, and mulch piles.
57. Create a fruit cooperative, where neighbors agree to share the fruit from their backyards.
58. Review each residents utility bills, and figure out ways to lower them by conservation.
59. Encourage residents to get their cars smog checked, drive lower emission vehicles, reduce driving, and reduce other polluting activities.
60. Encourage residents to reduce the size of lawns, and use native and low water usage plants.
61. Get the residents to recycle more than 50% of their waste products, and buy recycled products where possible.
62. Establish a biodiesel club, where members share the cost of a good mechanic and loaner cars, and cooperate on fuel delivery and storage.
63. Make a list of all the neighborhood's leaders (political, religious, academic, business, social, artistic) and have them meet regularly and discuss ways to help each other.
64. Set up a program for residents to regularly visit hospitals, nursing homes, and jails.

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