Has Janessa Ramirez been forgotten? It has been more than six weeks since her senseless death. One alleged perpetrator has been arraigned; one was arrested and released.
Is that the last we will hear about this case until it goes to trial? Are we now going to wait until the next innocent victim dies at the hands of gang members? Or will any of our city officials consider using proactive measures toward preventing gang violence?
There are a multitude of vacant storefronts throughout each council district that could easily be converted to youth centers, which would provide youngsters with alternative, positive activities. Has anyone approached the owners of these properties to ask if they would join in a cooperative effort by donating some of their spaces for this purpose? Has anyone researched the availability of grant money with which to furnish and staff these centers?
The most meaningful manner in which to honor Janessa’s memory is to do everything possible to ensure a similar tragedy does not happen again. If someone has already initiated any of the above suggestions, they are to be commended. If not, there is no time like the present.