Keepin’ it Gangsta, but not… or, what’s in a name, really? (Aug 08 Crime Maps added)

So I’ve been on this intermittent campaign for the last six months or so, I have been documenting news stories about my community culled from keyword (“South Phoenix”) searches of mainstream media. They have almost exclusively portrayed the area I call home in a manner that would have people believe that the violence in my neighborhood could rival that of the most gang infested areas of LA. They’ve had some of my readers wondering why I don’t move.

That’s not to say that the gang activity isn’t “bad enough” but it’s just curiouser and curiouser as time goes on that ALL the stories are negative. 

I could get into a lot of statistics about media and minorities, but in the interest of time I will assume that a) you are already familiar with the issue or b) if you’re reading this you have access to a search engine and if you want to know, you will find out. But in contrast to the negative slant of the media coverage, statistically, my neighborhood is in the low to moderate range for violent crime as well as property crime although property crime stats are higher.  None of the red zones are in South Phoenix/South Mountain Village/SoMo.

Monthly Reported Violent Crimes
Monthly Reported Property Crimes

I love this community.  There are beautiful and inspiring stories that play out in these streets EVERY DAY.

But when they do, if the media reports them, the inspirational peice takes place in South Mountain Village. When a passerby stops and makes a heroic effort, it doesn’t happen at a South Phoenix bus stop… it’s a Valley bus stop.

Verna McClain: A South Mountain Village Icon
“It’s been a wonderful 20 years. The Fiesta of Independence brings people in our diverse community together for a great cause, to celebrate new citizens of this wonderful country.”
When told she would be recognized at the 20th Fiesta of Independence, Verna replied, “Well, if you must, but there’s no need for it. It takes everyone together to make it work.”
In fact, she says, it takes it takes a village. South Mountain Village, to be sure.

2 injured after car plows into Valley bus stop
Oct 13 8:59 PM EDT
PHOENIX b Two people were injured after a vehicle reportedly slammed into a Valley bus stop.

Superheroes summoned to Downtown Phoenix campus
Arizona State University, Tempe – Sep 24, 2008
The coalition will receive help from about 30 first graders from Valley View Elementary School in the Roosevelt District. The students will be dressed as

Roosevelt School District safe from State takeover Fri Aug 1, 2008
The State Board of Education decided Thursday that it won’t take over the Roosevelt School District because new achievement results show the district’s schools have improved. Arizona lawmakers appr… more…

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