ROUGH NOTES ON MLK MEETING
Technical difficulties getting started prohibited Loren’s taking attendance, but he believes the meeting included David Young, Brian Salvatore, Steph Pedro, Kathryn Brandl, Garrett Young, Elizabeth Roselli, Maurice Loridans, and others. Rough notes are as follows:
Garrett reported on the bike coop; will be in May when they need everyone's help; Maurice and Garrett and Ian webb met recently about it.
A coop could help with education and safety training as well as serving as a used bike and parts depository. Steph went to a bicycle clinic recently for young people and found that 60% of the bikes had training wheels on them because so many don't know how to ride; and that's for all income groups.
In terms of location the highland center was discussed because of recent changes; Rutherford House is
another possibility as well as places downtown; the YMCA is also a possibility, especially if they get an additional new space; Caroline Eckel is working with them.
Cora Allen Day is coming up; this is in honor of a Shreveport, African-American lady who built the Corinthian Temple in the 30's. Robert's doing the illustrations for the children's coloring book for third graders, and there will be an essay contest for eighth graders. There will be a ladies breakfast as well. Also, on March 7th school kids will be at the Municipal Auditorium watching the video about Cora Allen and they'll be filmed for their reactions. Cora Allen may have been the first black woman in Shreveport to buy her own car and as well as to go to Europe.
As it was Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, the group watched the slide show from thecolorofchange.org.
It was noted that King blossomed out of civil rights. It was asked who has carried it forward? Maybe not an individual, but organizations have, like colorofchange and moveon.org.
It was noted we have two separate communities in Shreveport and there's a lot of separation by race. Other communities are trying to resolve that by having dinners with purposefully mixed race.
Blanc et noir had a dinner at Brothers and it was sadly homogeneously black.
Tutu Baker was a black-white commission formed after Cedar Grove.
It was noted ABS members could go to the Tuesday morning breakfast club; once a month a gathering of black community leaders; head of the local NAACP chapter is head of it.
Best to meet with an already established group, otherwise can be uncomfortable.
There’s also a musicians group that meets (over breakfast?) at the McDonalds at Jewella and Greenwood.
It was suggested that ABS take a month talking to every neighborhood association and asking what concerns them. Can talk to churches as well. We need to go to them and find out what they need and are interested in.
The group discussed how I-49 divides the city, and then how it may not be facilitating growth to have the extension go through the city. Truck stops and distribution warehouses such as in Dallas would
destroy the neighborhood. We need to specify what economic development.
With the bike-ped plan funding from the community foundation Steph and Carolyn are starting counts. Pledge cards for amount of biking; education outreach is in the cards too. Not enough funding to actually draw up a plan though.
As to people who get on facebook and say we should work on XYZ, they need to persuade us and contribute their own leadership to it. We may need to reiterate there again the grand plan of ABS; come in and champion a plan and the group will help, but we're not an army waiting for orders from anyone. We're a “thinkubator”; thinking about ideas to get them going. If you have an idea, put it into discussion and see how far it goes. Putting in a request isn't enough. You have to persuade others to join you.
BTW, Elerbee Road residents thought they were getting a bike lane...