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Garfield Weed and Seed program faces federal cutbacks, local criticism
by Andalusia, Rustbelt Radio Friday, Jul. 15, 2005 at 9:51 AM

Rustbelt Radio's report on the Federal Weed and Seed program in Garfield, the Bloomfield Garfield Corporation, and interviews with Garfield residents. audio: 18:26 in either mp3 or ogg vorbis format.

audio link: MP3 at 12.7 mebibytes

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On June 13th members of the Bloomfield Garfield Corporation, members of various east end organizations city officials and state government representatives gathered in front of an abandoned building in Garfield. They chose that spot to highlight the "gang presence in the area" and host a press conference to express their outrage at possible federal cutbacks of the Weed and Seed Program. Weed and Seed is a federally funded program that was started after the 1992 Los Angeles uprising as a Republican-led response to what they saw as “the social and economic deterioration of America's inner cities." Since then, the program has spread to about 300 neighborhoods across the country, including many in Pittsburgh. The basic premise of Weed and Seed is to weed out criminals and prevent "Narcotics traffickers and violent criminals from distributing drugs and terrorizing local residents." 50% or more of the Weed and Seed funds go to increased law enforcement. The seeding is aimed at community projects that are devoted to “revitalizing distressed neighborhoods and improving the quality of life in the target communities.” Weed and Seed has been a controversial program since its inception. In Seattle in the early 90’s a coalition of 55 community organizations banded together to fight Weed and Seed. While the program was still implemented in Seattle, the organizations were successful in forcing limitations on police street tactics.

The press conference was hosted by Aggie Brose of the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation. Speakers at the press conference stressed the importance of keeping Weed and Seed in operation. Some thought that the Government was possibly pulling their funding because Pittsburgh did not support Bush in the Presidential election. We will now hear from Aggie Brose and some of the other speeches.

[ 1:32 ]

While the press conference took place, many Garfield residents stood by. Some were confused because even though they lived in a target neighborhood they were unwarare of the program or simply had not been notified that the event was going to occur on their street. Others were there to express their outrage, not at the possible cutbacks to the program but instead their opposition to Weed and Seed itself. Julia, a longtime resident of Garfield voiced her opinion of Weed and Seed and the Bloomfield Garfield Corporation.

[ 2:14 ]

James who lives on Broad Street, where the press conference took place also gave his opposition to the program.

[ 3:35 ]

While most of the press conference focused on the Weeding and law enforcement aspect some speakers addressed the issue of seeding and the increased need for housing. However, many residents did not agree with the Bloomfield Garfield’s approach to redevelopment. We will hear from blank ( I have it written at home) and neighborhood residents Flo and Mike.

[ 1:48 ]

Some who attended the press conference thought it was tragic that funds were being cut and came out to show their support. We will now hear from Gwen Elliot of Gwen’s Girls.

[ 1:26 ]

Ricardo is an owner of Yard Sale books, a reading room and lending library on Penn Avenue. When we asked his opinion of Weed & Seed, he spoke about what he saw as the true origins of crime.

ogg vorbis version
by Andalusia, Rustbelt Radio Friday, Jul. 15, 2005 at 9:51 AM

audio: ogg vorbis at 9.4 mebibytesaudio: ogg vorbis at 9.4 mebibytes

smaller file, faster download, better quality. mp3 is obsolete, use ogg vorbis!

gentrification will be stopped by any means necessary
by durruti Friday, Jul. 15, 2005 at 4:45 PM

It's time to make these yuppie's lives a living hell. We must create a atmosphere where the ruling class fears to enter particular neighborhoods. We all know where yuppies are not welcome, do your best to show them some hospitality!

Yuppie Scum The Class War Will Come

by John Tuesday, Aug. 09, 2005 at 9:46 AM

Class war? What a moron. I'll bet you are white and live in Bloomfield. How do you gentrify a city that loses 10% of its population every ten years? Have you ever lived anywhere else? That's really harsh.

seeds are jobs
by worker Saturday, Nov. 12, 2005 at 7:43 PM

Class war? grow up kid. garfield had a 25% vacancy rate as of 2000. i'm sure it is much worse five years later. they aren't weeding enough with all of the pimps, hookers, and dealers out on the corners. they aren't seeding enough with all of the empty store fronts and art galleries plaguing the business area.

also, that lady shouldn't have been interviewed if she doesn't know the difference between an 80,000 house and a million dollar house.

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