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I am Mark. Pray with me today: I pray for a renaissance. We have great ingredients in our community and it is time to make them better. Help us to preserve the integrity of our community as we build a strong place that is bright and diverse. Let it celebrate our brothers and sisters and the vibrant heritage of South Dallas.
We need the church. We need the church in very real ways. Brothers and sisters in Christ, this great community needs you.
We need jobs. We've got to bring jobs back to this community. Church is not just for preachers, that's what I love about church. When you are talking about how churches can be a part of the community, you have to take a look at everyone there. Maybe someone has a friend who is connected to a grocery store chain. If we could get a grocery store here it would provide food to a community and lots of jobs, then we could begin to take real steps towards strengthening the community. Churches are networks for people and networks of people can affect change. The right person hears the story and the next day a glimmer of hope for an economically friendly food store could be more than just a glimmer. Did you know that the city has 3 million dollars right now that they would give someone to move a grocery store here? But it's not just about a job. We need better transportation. We need Dallas Area Rapid Transit to have better train schedules, more stops and more reliability. People need transportation to work. If I get a job, now I can go to a job in an affordable way and then I can provide. Being able to provide means that we control the destiny of our family. It changes the stature and attitude of a person. That confidence then goes to their children. Jobs are more than just jobs - a job is a ripple effect that leads to children having a better outlook on learning and the future.
Let's talk about police officers. Chief Brown has said that they are overworked and we, in South Dallas, feel the real pull of this. We have a dog problem. We had a young lady, a veteran who had served this country with pride, killed by a dog. That shouldn't happen. We need animal control. We need people to educate animal owners on how to spay and neuter their animals. We can do better. South Dallas needs code enforcement. Many vacant lot owners aren't present here. We don't have anyone to enforce the rules with those owners. The residents work to keep their houses nice and their yards clean but next to every resident is a lot or home owned by someone who has never been here and doesn't care. Without city code enforcement help, it won't get better. We don't just want random police officers who have to be in 3 different communities a day. How do officers get to know a community? There is tension between civilians and officers because we don't know each other. If officers could be community police officers, they would know those who are here for who they are. We wouldn't be judging based on what someone looks like or where they are standing but on who belongs in this community and who is out of place.
No faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. -Hebrews 11:1