While San Diego is one of the safer big cities in the country statistically, leaders in one community are acknowledging a recent uptick in violent headlines.
Those leaders met Monday at the Malcom X Library in Emerald Hills, in the heart of District 4, to unveil their “Peace Movement.”
The movement, spearheaded by City Councilmember Monica Montgomery, revolves around a community relations action plan. Assemblywoman Dr. Shirley Weber, City Councilmember Vivian Moreno, and San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit were present at the unveiling, too.
Included in the plan are things like graffiti clean-up, something that sounds small on the surface but is actually, as one gentleman described to NBC 7, the writing on the wall that something's wrong in the community.
It also includes making sure streets are well lit and puts an emphasis on giving youth safe spaces.
NBC 7 reporter Alex Presha took a walk with Odessa Quinones and Bishop Cornelius Bowser down a stretch of Paradise Valley Road where there isn’t a streetlight for more than half a mile. Not far away sits a memorial for a homicide victim.
“So this is why things get a little tricky in this neighborhood and it makes it easier to do things you shouldn't be doing in the light,” Quinones said.
“And when you drive by or walk by these memorials that are set up, it really reminds you that a life has been lost,” Bowser said.
Leaders say the action plan will help squash some of the neighborhood tension.
When asked if the plan had enough community buy-in to really affect change, Quinones said, “Of course. “I'm always going to have hope that the people have that spirit within themselves to see the spirit and joy and happiness within their community. I definitely do.”