No More Needles at the Park!
No More Needles at the Park!
Kids love baseball! History teaches us that children involved in sports develop higher self-esteem, build leadership skills, share responsibility, have stronger relationships and are better communicators. We parents, leaders, and clergy committed to the Rochester Hispanic Youth Baseball League (RHYBL) have come together to petition the City of Rochester leadership for assistance in maintaining, supporting and enforcing safety at the Baden Street Park and at the Don Samuel Torres Park. Instead of serving as a haven for children to experience sportsmanship, play, community and learning, these parks are undulated with garbage, poor lighting, transient populations, drug paraphernalia, alcohol bottles and cans, active drug use and blatant violence. We refuse to allow our children to become statistics. We refuse to submit to the drug dealers and traffickers that frequent these parks, and we refuse to give up our right to play ball!
We, the undersigned, and our children, bear witness to the distasteful conditions surrounding our parks and have experienced threatening situations, exposure to active drug use, had to run for safety during a violent fight, and we have unknowingly practiced baseball while an active shooter was in the area. Adverse childhood experiences stand to affect the long-term mental health, well-being,and future opportunities of our kids. How can we as parents work to teach civic duty, awareness, and uphold important values when faced with adversity? How can we fight to end the crippling poverty and social disenfranchisement subjected to our youth daily? We have some ideas.
For the safety and integrity of ALL the children and families using Rochester parks for safe recreation, we propose the following:
1. Better lighting. Some practices last until dusk, and more lighting in the park areas will discourage negative behaviors that are more commonly committed in shadowy areas.
2. More signage. Clearly posted regulations, like no smoking or alcohol use, can help deter drug and alcohol use in the parks while also providing a way of reminding patrons about the expectations during park use.
3. Increased Police presence. With police officers in view and a common sight, criminals will be deterred from committing crimes.
4. Awareness. Share the knowledge of the experiences that teams and families are having at the park. This will highlight these struggles and help provide more solutions.
5. Empowerment. Work with families, administrators, leaders and parents to provide opportunities that will change the impact of poverty and violence on the youth of our city. RHYBL wants to train parents and community members on safety, leadership, and game etiquette as well as Narcan administration. RHYBL parent leaders stand to create long-lasting change.
6. Build Relationships. Help foster a safer environment by being transparent about your commitment to safety and reducing the violence and drug use at our parks.Bring families closer to city officials with meaningful change.
Please join us as we fight to highlight the plight of our players, families and community. Let's make the 2020 RHYBL Baseball season the best one yet!