RETHINK. REBUILD. RESTORE.
“We are One City. We Are Wilmington.”
The plan put forth by the Cabrera for Mayor Team involves a three-fold strategy that addresses several of the priorities that the citizens have told us are top on their list. This plan is not to be inclusive of all that we could and will tackle, but when addressed will have the effect of impacting related concerns. In addition, note that the three strategies and related efforts are not stand alone, but involve interplay among each other as do all things.
“It’s time to RETHINK the way we do business.”
The RETHINK strategy is all about ASSET DEVELOPMENT. Asset development drives economic growth. In Wilmington, we have much untapped potential that needs to be developed and leveraged for the good of all.
CITIZENS AND CONSTITUENTS
The citizens of Wilmington are its greatest asset. We believe the lives of all citizens are valuable. Not only valuable, but have a contribution to make.
Partnering with organizations and agencies to target the unemployed, under employed, and displaced in Wilmington with training and intern opportunities, i.e., Interfaith Housing partnership with Dept. of Labor Construction-Learn while you work; Local 55 LiUna Union Apprenticeship Program and Certification.
Working with organizations and agencies to continue to improve the quality of life and mobility for seniors and those with physical limitations:
- Accessibility to handicap ADA sidewalks and parking spaces
- Improve transportation and mobility
- Assign a Senior Citizen Liaison/Ambassador on-site at the Housing facilities/Centers once a month. The Ambassador will actively engage with the seniors and differently abled community providing the necessary assistance and accessibility to services they may need.
- Tax Exemptions for Senior Home owners- make the renewal process less tedious, and better promote
- Seniors At Work – offer and promote work opportunities for seniors who want to utilize their wisdom, experience and continue to make contributions to society.
- Scholarship opportunities for continued education classes- keep exercising the mind!
- Generation Connect – Bringing together Youth and Seniors and offering mentorship, tutoring and life skills education
The City of Wilmington is a resource of untapped potential. As a representative of the will of the people and the investment of the taxpayers, we can and should do a better job of building capacity and leveraging our resources.
- Efficiency audits to determine what works, what doesn’t, be lean and stay within the budget.
- Partner with Corporate America and Businesses by allowing them to participate in creating a stronger and better Wilmington. They too can be part of the change, and they want to be, they haven’t been asked.
- Ensure common sense legislation that can strengthen our nuisance laws (legislation already introduced by Councilmember Cabrera)
- Disorderly Premises – hold those engaged in disorderly behavior accountable not just property or business owners. Police enforcement with citations and a court issued fine.
- Provisional Business License- Six nuisance points or more, must meet with Law and L & I I, fix it or risk having license permanently revoked.
- Landlord Certification-educate landlords on best practices to Deter Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. (CPTED)
States no longer view the safety of their neighborhoods as the sole responsibility of the police. Throughout the nation, cities in areas plagued by crime and violence are uniting to work with their state’s government. Together, they’re able to combine knowledge and resources to identify and remove the sources of crime, drug use, and juvenile delinquency in their state. Developing and sustaining these partnerships requires strong leadership from our City’s mayor, city managers, city planners, and other elected officials.
- Team Cabrera will form statewide relationships that collaborate with city, county, and state leadership to circle around and achieve common goals.
- State legislators will be aligned to support the goals of Delaware’s largest city.
Critical to turning things around in Wilmington is the engagement and mentoring of our young people. Creative initiatives for youth are key to the healthy growth and sustained viability of any City.
There are many organizations doing great things, i.e., Chains, Inc., Reed’s Refuge, CELEB, Stop the Violence Prayer Chain, community centers and more, we must support them, and continue to do more. Continuing to build on and support outcome-based programs that focus on the combination of education, job training, and eventually, employment. These critical three experiences allow youth to reconnect with communities from which they feel alienated and help build the self-esteem and self-confidence that many lack.
Tax credits for businesses and organizations that establish active, mentoring programs and internships with City Youth.
No Space Left Behind
Team Cabrera will partner with and work together with community leaders to identify empty buildings in key Wilmington neighborhoods and enlisting local business, philanthropists and state government to partner with City of Wilmington to create Boxing Centers, Art Development Centers, and recreational facilities named after those who invest in the community. These efforts coupled with youth mentoring and training will help usher in new ways to settle differences and advance destinies.
User-Friendly Business Services
We want businesses in Wilmington to get to business. People do not go into business to spend exorbitant amounts of time filling out forms and jumping through hoops. In order to support the success of businesses in Wilmington, we will setup the Office of Business Services to ensure that we streamline the permitting and licensing process so that businesses can start and grow in Wilmington.
Ensure implementation of the Disadvantages Business Enterprises directives that are currently in place.
The development of job creation and training initiatives focused on IT and other high-growth areas will take priority. Efforts such as 1313 Innovations, The Mill, The Coin Loft, need to continue to be supported and multiplied. This will bring a great return for Wilmington.
smART (Showcase and Market Artists and Recognize Talent) Wilmington
Working hand in hand with an innovation district will be a Creative District. Art as a Business! Lets keep driving this economic engine home and revitalize our City, our communities, our youth through the ARTS.
Mounting evidence concludes that effective partnering with community churches and leaders not only reduces crime and delinquency, but promotes prosocial behavior and solutions to crime, drug use, offender treatment, and ex-prisoners returning to society.
Wilmington has a multitude of community churches and leaders who want to work together but lack a City leader’s vision to support their desire to make a difference.
- Incorporate ways communities, congregations, and faith-based organizations are forming partnerships across the nation that provide the human and spiritual capital to effectively address crime, offender rehabilitation, and the substantial aftercare problems facing former prisoners.
- Employ strategies based on support systems fueled by volunteers who desire to make a difference in their communities, saving countless millions of dollars that produce measurable results, allowing good neighbors to make a difference in the lives of others.
NON PROFIT & CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS
Adopt a Block
The effective leadership and engagement of nonprofit and civic organizations to continue to grow the “Adopt a Block” philosophy. Partner with spokespersons from various associations with a stake in the outcome, such as the New Castle Chamber of Commerce, Delaware Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, Delaware State Chamber of Commerce, Black Chamber of Commerce, and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to create block teams. Block teams would be led by Block Champions and consists of all members of the community, i.e., educators, police, citizens, businesses, and community organizations. Block teams form an identity (what do they want for their block) and that identity is turned into art and that art is shared with the world.
“It’s time to REBUILD our communities and neighborhoods.”
The REBUILD strategy is about COMMUNITY INVESTMENT. Through revitalization, we will create a sense of pride in our city by empowering and educating residents on how to restore, protect and grow their communities and neighborhoods.
In multiple Wilmington neighborhoods, more than half of the rental properties are owned by absentee landlords who have no stake in their community’s outcome. Absentee landlords with transient tenants breed trouble, and troublesome properties house the social instability that’s destroying our neighborhoods. The Cabrera for Mayor Team is calling for a renewed sense of pride in our communities. A city-wide campaign to encourage and educate citizens on the benefits of no-cost, low-cost home ownership programs, providing incentives to rent in and/or own, not rent out, properties.
WILMINGTON HOUSING INITIATIVE (WHI)
WHI is about turning rental payments into mortgage payments, and giving the citizens of Wilmington something to call their own. Lets increase homeownership in Wilmington! Renters are making rental payments on homes they could easily own and pay less in mortgages! By partnering with lenders and community organizations, we will focus on the neighborhoods where 70% of the homes are rental and increase opportunities for home ownership. This initiative will perform strong outreach to help single moms and young adults become homeowners.
Live Where You Work
Attracting and keeping the workforce in Wilmington. Promoting and continuing to grow the Arts, Nightlife and Culinary offerings in Wilmington. Economic, Business and Neighborhood revitalization projects such as what Nueva Esperanza did in the North 5th St. corridor of Philadelphia, and the Jonestown Project in Baltimore, are examples of neighborhood revitalization that include live where you work spaces, multigenerational, cultural and mixed income residents. Wilmington’s major arteries such as W. 4th St., Northeast Governor Printz Blvd., 9th St. and Washington St. to name a few are prime examples of areas where Live Where You Work Spaces can be developed. Market Sreet Mall and LOMA (Lower Market Street) are prime examples of where Live Where You Work spaces are taking off.
Keeping our workforce in Wilmington and strengthening our neighborhoods
Vacant Spaces into Vibrant Spaces
Wilmington’s Land Banking Initiative which is in the final stages of implementation will help transform Wilmington neighborhoods from Blight to Bright. Land banks are governmental entities or nonprofit corporations that are focused on the conversion of vacant, abandoned, and tax delinquent properties into productive use. With over 1700 vacant properties the Wilmington Land Bank Initiative is a step in the right direction in helping to ReBuild Wilmington.
Parallel to WHI would be an effort to partner with and train existing and would be landlords in CPTED. CPTED is Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design that takes a multidisciplinary approach to deterring unwanted behavior through property layout design as well as property look and feel.
Hercules Building, now 1313 Innovation, is a great example of CPTED certified environment. Vantage view point from all areas – any suspicious activity can be seen and captured. Let’s make all our neighborhoods just as safe as 800 French Street.
The blight and the physical deterioration of our City’s streets, which increases offenders’ perceptions that areas are vulnerable to crime and that residents are fearful and would do nothing to stop crime. The physical deterioration of our city’s streets not only influence the behavior of potential offenders, but also shapes the way residents behave and what they think about their neighbors and their neighbors.
Physical improvements that reduce the signal of vulnerability and an increase to the commitment of joint protective activities. Recycling initiatives that have been shown to actually work in other communities. Citizens that become advocates of clean street initiatives, sensitive to the idea that creating clean streets creates pride of community, reduces crime, and attracts people and businesses.
Incorporating best practices, such as:
- A Recycling and Trash Work Plan
- The City’s contracted recycling and trash hauling companies follow a work plan yearly that assists the City in the reduction of waste and increase in recycling, to include Spring Clean Up, Fall Clean Up Campaign, a Get Caught Recycling Contest, a Solid Waste Management Survey, Recycling Workshops and Small Business and Church Recycling Program
- Enacting the “broken window” theory, applied successfully in cities like New York (Bronx), which proved than an ordered and clean environment – one which is maintained –signals that the area is monitored and that criminal behavior will not be tolerated. Conversely, a disordered environment – one which is not maintained (broken windows, graffiti, excessive litter) –signals that the area is not monitored and is one where criminal behavior can continue with little risk of detection.
- Enlisting the help of the community and the Block Teams to take back its streets.
- U.T.T. – Clean Up The Trash – Employ the under and unemployed to keep our most distressed and polluted neighborhoods clean, especially along heavily traveled arteries. Partnerships with Corporate and Business Community to adopt a neighborhood, and organizations such as RVRC – Rick Van Story Center, Ministry of Caring, the Breakfast Mission to name a few and have them assist with hiring by providing referrals. Pay living wages. Utilize same concept for Fall Leaf Removal and Winter Snow Storms. Snow Angel initiative, assist with snow removal in hard to reach streets and neighborhood. Focus on Seniors and differently abled households. Each neighborhood will be asked to provide collateral manpower and help shovel and plow each other out.
“It’s time to RESTORE civility to our streets.”
The RESTORE strategy can be summed up in two words – PUBLIC SAFETY. We need to believe that we can all work and live together in Wilmington in safe and crime free neighborhoods. Wilmington must become more aggressive in its effort to reduce crime and improve our City’s image as a safe place to live and grow careers, businesses, and families.
Crime Prevention Strategies
- An Action Team whose members include the mayor’s appointed staffer, police chief, police union spokesperson, and Attorney General’s office.
- The revisit of Project Safe Neighborhood with an effective gun unit charged to remove illegal guns from circulation, identifying criminal offenders and working with the U.S. and/or Delaware Attorney General’s office, in conjunction with Delaware’s Fusion Center.
- A review of the Task Forces that have been most effective across the country, such as those formed by County, State and Federal law enforcement agencies, or headed by the Attorney General’s office to target high risk offenders, or with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and other federal agencies to track and target oversea suppliers (i.e., intercept the economy of the drug trade and associated violence of trafficking.)
Innovations in reentry are critical to Wilmington’s success. Working with reentry leaders in our community we would establish an Office of Prevention, Intervention, and ReEntry to create a pipeline for people entering back into our communities. Vocational training, early intervention, and prevention programs to create a reentry pipeline that reduces recidivism and partners with ex-offenders to become contributing citizens, positive family members, and productive workers. We must stop the revolving door of incarceration. Continuing to support the great work of community leaders like Pastor Derrick Johnson and others by hosting expungement events for low-level offenders to enable a future that includes a job, housing and the pursuit of happiness without the infringement on the happiness of others.
Statistics show that for every $1,054 spent on mentoring, the net benefits amount to a whopping $4,524 in reduced costs to victims and members of the community. Wilmington can lead the way in the way it puts people to work, from drop-outs to non-violent offenders.
- A Prisoner Reentry Council to identify community assets and coverage gaps and assist the Department of Social Services, the Department of Labor and the Department of Education in the improved coordination of services to equip the incarcerated with a Personalized Re-Entry Plan that will include jobs, housing and mental, physical and spiritual support systems.
- Educate the community on available programs and resources, such as the Workforce Investment Program, DelTech and DelState education and skills training programs, and the state and federal funding available to support one’s training.
- No-cost, low cost home ownership programs that create job and skills training opportunities for ex-offenders who will be employed to demolish abandoned or forgotten housing, transforming communities with parks, affordable housing, and other beneficial public functions (see WHI).
- Engaged neighborhood groups and public/private organizations whose goal is to support and mentor people who are re-entering community from prison successfully (see Adopt a Block).
- A restorative justice approach to test new strategies that help people integrate from prison successfully.
- ReEntry & Intervention Specialist will use as a home base the neighborhood sub-stations where the community policing officer and constituent services ambassadors will be physically located in the most distress neighborhood. Four proposed locations in the Wilmington Hot Zones.
CIVIL DIALOGUE FORUMS
The City can lead by example by starting monthly Civic Dialogue Forums. Trained in the strategies and skills of civil discourse months forums focused on varying topics can be hosted by forum partners, i.e., police union, businesses, civic leaders, mothers, pastors. Rather than find how many ways we can be divided but look to where we can agree. When we do this we will not only grow our city, but grow the lives of the citizens in the City.
We all want a strengthened force empowered to do their jobs with a clear and simple plan to dismantle dysfunction and create a solid force that reframes it focus of “law enforcement” and creates measurable outcomes with a renewed focus on other functions, such as keeping the peace, maintaining order, and building communities.
Communication and genuine relationship are key to crime prevention. True leaders usher in proactive response programs and escort citizens toward easy access to crime reports, and increased opportunities for volunteer collaboration that creates measurable results. Police leaders and mentors to connect to juvenile offenders and their families with the goal of reconnecting to community.
Sharing Wisdom: The transition of an aging police department where necessary, leveraging and passing on wisdom to younger, less experienced force which residents often have a harder time accepting and/or dealing with.
Stronger Safer Neighborhoods
- Restore community policing, each sector will have its own Community Policing Representative.
- Boots on the Ground, walking patrols in smaller sectors allows for personal interactions, building trust and close relationships with neighborhood patrol officers.
- Through the block ownership facilitated by the Adopt a Block effort, we will build strong community and policing partnerships by creating smaller sectors for officers to patrol and engage the community
- Cops on the Corner Initiative
- Incentivize and encourage officers to live in one of the 180 vacant corner properties.
- Use the tools that are at our disposal such as the Real Time Crime Center, Preventive Data Driven Analytics, NIXLE – the current Community Notification System.
- Use NIXLE to its full capacity by informing residents when crimes are committed or trending in their neighborhoods and within the City. (Reverse 911)
- Train Block Team members on the capabilities and benefits of the existing systems.
- Incentivize Landlords who implement CPTED Initiatives. (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design)
Quality of Life
Safety Audits – CPTED
Neighborhood Residents. Similar to how Energy Audits and weatherization save on energy bills, Safety Audits will identify deficiencies and help YOU crime proof your home and neighborhood by providing CPTED Certification (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) classes. The certification is administered by the American Crime Prevention Institute. By providing these classes to neighborhood leaders/organizations, they in turn become the safety auditors. This alone could create jobs and revenue for non-profits willing to become auditors. Grant opportunities are available for these initiatives.
Parks and Recreation
Safer Parks – Maintenance and Neighborhood Park Patrols
- Park beautification and maintenance must be a priority and reduction of vandalism in our neighborhood parks. Regular maintenance and daily park patrols will keep parks safe for children, seniors and all of the community to enjoy.
- Continued and Enhanced support for the Summer Arts Program & Movies in the Park. Council member Cabrera introduced the first movies in the park while working at the Grand Opera House in partnership with the Sills Administration.
- Four Legged Friends – Identify and create Dog Friendly Spaces! Dog Parks with open and enclosed spaces for various size canines and their unique temperaments.