Make some noise

So of­ten, when we see something in the city that both­ers us, the re­ac­tion is to gripe.

Wheth­er it’s a spouse, a neigh­bor, or the poor guy at the oth­er end of the bar, Phil­adelphi­ans are con­stantly get­ting an ear­ful from each oth­er about trash on the streets, graf­fiti, or a long aban­doned build­ing that is drag­ging down the block.

Un­for­tu­nately, it seems that the people who are paid to deal with those com­plaints — our elec­ted city of­fi­cials and the em­ploy­ees they ap­point — aren’t hear­ing the mes­sage.

While any City Coun­cil mem­ber will surely tell you they hear plenty of grip­ing, the fact is those com­plaints are too of­ten brushed away with ex­cuses about over­burdened agen­cies or hav­ing to work with­in the sys­tem.

And yet, mi­ra­cu­lously, when the right kind of pres­sure is ap­plied, prob­lems that have festered for dec­ades are sud­denly ad­dressed and dealt with.

As you can read in this week’s Star cov­er story, the people of East Kens­ing­ton and Fishtown are learn­ing that put­ting big qual­ity of life is­sues in­to the glar­ing light of pub­lic con­dem­na­tion can have a real im­pact when it comes to get­ting the city to do its job.

Maybe a call to the 311 hot­line or your loc­al City Coun­cil rep­res­ent­at­ive won’t in­stantly make life bet­ter on your block.

But how about 50 calls from 50 angry res­id­ents?

You’d be sur­prised what a little col­lect­ive noise can get done.

While grip­ing to your neigh­bor might let you blow off a little steam, think about what you can get done by get­ting or­gan­ized and put­ting the pres­sure where it be­longs — with the gov­ern­ment we elec­ted and pay to deal with these is­sues.

Make some noise, people, and don’t stop un­til you know you’ve been heard.••

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