Coalition of the Winning
The good news is that the efforts of the MPD, our building's management team, and at least six residents (by my count) have immeasurably improved the quality of life here in a very short period of time, and we did it by speaking out. This is the only way to keep the information flowing.
I welcome all of the other Mallbrook tenants to join me in sharing information and helping us keep a watch on our neighborhood, starting with our own building and the streets and alleys that surround it. The good news is that this isn't hard or even dangerous.
In the next few weeks I'm going to look into buying an outdoor patio table and chaining it to one of the fences inside of the community garden areas, so that we can spend time outside in the back alley, perhaps get a small charcoal grill, and help get some eyes on the alley. I know that this can be done, because several of the Residence Halls on the University Campus have similar setups. If anyone is known for stealing outdoor furniture and doing crazy/stupid/illegal stuff with it, it's rowdy college guys. So, if the University can pull it off, I'm sure we can set something up in our alley.
Once we have a place to meet, we can hold cookouts and the like. Bring out a transistor radio, listen to baseball games, and generally have peaceful gatherings that are respectful of our neighbors' need for quiet while keeping some eyes on the alley. Spending time back there will give us more opportunities to police it for litter and garbage, and if anyone in the building has a dormant green thumb they might help maintain some of the area gardens.
Thanks again to the folks in the building who've spoken up and helped management to clean up our home. We're winning.