Mayor Perez's Major Reforms? This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

November 17, 2017
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It’s a common misconception, in my opinion, that the only way to bring about change to an area is to become president. That’s, in a sense, stating that other positions with power can’t bring change. I disagree! I believe that change starts within a community, with the change that individuals advocate and what a Mayor helps bring to the town. Looking at it through the scope of government, greater change occurs when change happens at the local level and grows outward to a grand scale. Yet, the most difficult choice that a person with power and a will to create change has,is, where does one person start? The most advocated answers are fighting homelessness, clean the streets, or limit the amount of pollution. But then what? Clean the streets only for more people to dirty them once more? Start placing reforms to stop the production of certain products that cause pollution, only to have people strike to have said items back? Or take people off the streets into homes and having the possibility of having some of them go back to their original state?
I see one recurring cause of the problems within a community, my community and others: people. Yes, people. The same people that throw trash on the streets, carelessly buy objects that harm the environment and blame homelessness on the individuals because of mistakes that they have “chosen” to make. Okay, now what? People are at the root of most of the problems within my community, my town, my Wilmington. And the problems? The problems that highly affect my town are gang activity, unsafe streets, the unsanitary conditions that many neighborhoods are in, and countless others.
Issues I would address would be the people within my town. By placing programs that make it a requirement to attend meetings and in exchange for forgiveness for things such as a minor parking ticket. Giving the community enthusiasm about what not only they can receive but what they can do. Educating the people of a town that they have the power to initiate the change that they wish to see within their own community, that it’s not simply up to the people with the big bucks or the influential. By sending surveys or questionnaires, electronically or via mail, letting not only adults but teenagers and even children, who are ten or older have a voice. This will then be an effective way to find common grievances or concerns that the general public has. Next comes determining what would be the best and most effective way to correct the issue, by making contests, such as this scholarship, or receive some type of recognition.
I would also create more programs for children, from young toddlers to old adolescents, to have a safe place, where they can go to, without having to pay for any of the services. A place that’s open 24/7, where they will find shelter, food and an adult that is there to help them. I know that this type of institution would cost money, especially if it wouldn’t charge, which is why it would raise some money through fundraisers, suggested by the children and staff and by partnering with schools that wish to donate to the noble cause. If children, especially those that come from low income households, whose parents might have to work long hours or multiple jobs, have this type of safe haven open to them, they’ll feel less compelled to join a gang.  This would make the children and their families feel more secure and at peace, by knowing that their children won’t be in the streets committing crimes or making pacts with reckless individuals that don’t care about their lives. By starting small, with the people of the town, especially the children, it will trigger a butterfly effect. This would lower one of the main problems in my town, which are gangs and the violence they bring with them. Now the incident of hearing that a family’s child or a close friend has been killed by other members of a rival gang, won’t be an everyday thing.
Now I’m simply a 17-year-old girl, by the name of Ashley Perez, that only has about a dollar in her pocket, but that doesn’t and won’t stop me from dreaming about the day that my town, my Wilmington, no longer being considered a dangerous place. Because the Wilmington I know, has an amazing culture, mixing the community of Latinos, African Americans and with a hint of Asians, all coming together, leaving their mark in the community.






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