Frayser Residents Rally For 2020 Plan - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Frayser Residents Rally For 2020 Plan

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) – - A Frayser group's plea for funding from the Memphis City Council is put on the back-burner.

The group is asking for a half-million dollars to help fight crime and to take care of abandoned houses.

It's indicative of the civil rights movement in 1968, activists fighting for equality. In this case, it's busloads of folks from Frayser, pleading with members of the City Council, for equality once again.

Frayser resident Stephanie Love says, “We have been stepped on and we have been abused. We have done exactly what the city of Memphis wanted us to do come together as a community and figure out a way to change our community, we did that."

Hundreds of Frayser residents loaded up on buses, in cars and packed the city council chamber. They created a plan for the future, called Frayser's 2020.

Director of Frayser 2020 Shep Wilbun says, "Quite simply we believe that by the year 2020, Frayser will not only be a better neighborhood than it is today, but it will be transformed into one of the best in the country."

Neighbors are asking the City Council for $500,000 to fight crime, demolish 45 abandoned homes and create mini-community centers.

President of the Frayser Neighborhood Council Marion Thomas says, "This is a resident driven initiative where residents are coming together saying we want to take control of our own destiny and we want to empower our community."

Empowerment was short lived, when residents in the poorest zip code in the city realized they didn't have the votes to pass the initiative.

Wilbun says, "There's no more important issue in letting citizens know that you care when they take the initiative to stand up for themselves, organize themselves, plan for themselves and then say we just need a hand up not a hand out."

But they all say they will continue to fight to improve not only their present community.

Love says, "It's for the future children who are coming up. We as a community and as adults we must show our children, if they invest in hard work that change is gone come."

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