Open Our Parks
Open Our Parks
My name is Antonio Lewis and I'm a 33 year resident and 4th generation member of the Southside of Atlanta. I grew up in the parks, library and barbershop in our community and I am concerned that the City of Atlanta Department of Parks has eliminated those outlets for children in my community.
For the past few years, Empire Park, a park in my community, has had a barricade blocking cars from entering. Before the barricade was placed, this park was heavily trafficked to the tune of 200+ people daily using park amenities.
The closure of this park, along with the closure of the park closest to it, Cleveland Avenue Park, serve no good purpose to the community of thousands that only have these two parks to use public spaces. The park closures have prevented children from having a safe outlet to play and exercise, thus leading them to seek other less desirable activities to get into.
Both of these parks I hold dear as they were built and strategically placed in areas that are in close proximity to many of the residents. When I grew up, I walked to the Cleveland Avenue Park everyday to play basketball, read a book or magazine, and fellowship with my schoolmates. When my friends and I built up enough strength on the basketball court, we would walk over to Empire Park to play the crew of guys that also attended the same high school as I did. This built a camaraderie. The two parks served as my outlet away from the troubles of my daily life as a youth in my community and it saddens me that other kids do not have the opportunity to experience the same joy.
Please help us by signing this petition to send a message to Doug Voss, Director of Atlanta Department of Parks, that we will no longer accept this aggressive display of neglect from the city and we demand that they remove the barricades at once!