Why is Lakeisha is running for Ward 5 Alderman?
Lakeisha Purchase believes we need a stronger eyes, ears and voice for the residents of Ward 5 on the City Council. She will stand up for the northside and fight to keep businesses on our side of town. She believes that downtown Springfield is working hard to retain its brick and mortar businesses, but together as a community, we need do more to support them. We need to work to keep landlords accountable to a strict city code. Lakeisha sees a vibrant community utilizing neighborhood police officers to ensure safer streets. She envisions this community as thriving and inclusive place to raise a family.
Lakeisha is passionate about:
Lakeisha and her husband Courtney are small business owners who are focused on revitalizing historic properties on the north end of Springfield. Lakeisha believes in helping residents preserve the character of their homes or businesses. She has invested in properties on the northside because of the allure of mature trees, unique architecture and neighborhoods full of vibrant families. Renovating houses to make them comfortable homes for people in their neighborhood is part of Lakeisha and Courtney’s commitment to building a strong northside community.
Lakeisha’s vision of a vibrant community is one that easily connects city services, retail, arts, nonprofits, retail, colleges, medical campuses and more to residents with ease. Ward 5 is unique because it appeals to residents across generations and unites people of diverse backgrounds. This ward has lots of potential, but it risks losing brick and mortar stores if something isn’t done quickly. The northside cannot afford for one more store front to be abandoned. The loss of Shop ‘n Save was detrimental to our community and a massive setback for our seniors or disabled citizens who are unable to walk to their local grocery store.
We have two growing hospitals, national monuments, state monuments, downtown state workers and strong union families who reside in our ward. We are diverse and we should be proud, and together we can do more to promote economic development and job growth to keep Ward 5 thriving.
While knocking doors, Lakeisha heard concerns raised about safety. Families want to know that there is a strong police presence. The need for a neighborhood police officer (NPO) is vital. Too often the local NPO term rotates every three years and the strong relationships built over time aren’t sustained. Perhaps a junior police program could be better promoted to students interested in law enforcement. The city of Springfield has junior police academy for ages 8 – 12 that should be better promoted for long term minority hiring. We must retain our residents for longevity purposes. Too often our younger generation is finding employment away from Springfield. Anything our community can do to help the NPO in turn helps all of us. Empowering others to step up and put eyes, ears and voice to the streets means the safer we can be.
We need a stronger neighborhood watch within the area. Neighbors should be given resources to help reduce crime, including the promotion of the non-emergency phone number to report suspicious activity, fly dumpers and more. The more we are effective with communicating with each other as residents, the stronger we become. It goes back to the old line, “If you see something, say something,” but who is speaking up when no one is answering? It’s time we take back our city by empowering our residents to reach out to not only the police department, but with each other too. When an alderman teams up with the local Neighborhood Police Officer to host neighborhood coffees, things can change with time.
Springfield Police Department Crime Statistics for 2015, 2016 and 2017
* Murder: 11; 6; 11
* Sexual Assault: 103; 99; 91
* Robbery: 257; 250; 251
* Agg. Assault/Agg. Battery: 880; 946; 864
* Burglary: 1,131; 1,250; 1,206
* Theft: 3,997; 3,681; 3,960
* Motor Vehicle Theft: 193; 226; 315
* Arson: 57; 45; 49
* Human Trafficking: 1; 2; 2
Total: 6,630; 6,506; 6,749
Source: Springfield Police Department
Springfield is home to state government where we have many social service agencies who assist seniors, but they are not advertised well. We have lost our ability to put pen to paper to advertise resources available to seniors. Many seniors have no access to computers, so putting forms and information online may save the trees, but not our seniors. It’s time we go back to community style bulletin boards at our local grocery stores and let our seniors know what services they can use. Our city leaders can be better job at promoting these free or reduced fee services. As your elected alderman, Lakeisha vows to hold monthly senior coffees and listen to their concerns. She will post flyers in highly visible places and won’t just advertise on social media. Strengthening our senior services is vital to make our northside community feel like home.
Maintain Quality Neighborhoods and Hold Landlords Accountable:
Our Ward 5 has a high, non-owner occupied housing population. It requires vigilance to ensure that landlords maintain their properties. The Springfield Department of Public Works should do their due diligence and enforce city codes properly, assign citations and collect fines. Our neighborhoods have suffered with fly dumping, unkempt rental properties, weed infested lawns, relentless barking dogs, and unsafe sidewalks which pose a tripping hazard to our seniors. Ward 5 needs a stronger eyes, ears and voice to make sure its residents are best served and Lakeisha Purchase wants your vote to do this and more.