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Don’t give up the fight

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San Bernardino Mayor Judith Valles and three city councilmembers put up a gallant fight but lost by a 4 to 3 vote in their effort to ban firework sales during the 4th of July celebration.

The city has a long history of letting non profit community based organizations engage in these sales so they can raise funds to carry out their programs for the rest of the year. It is hard to argue against the church you go to that selling fireworks is a menace to the community. It is hard to argue against your neighbor’s small son or daughter that selling fireworks is a potential fire hazard to their neighborhood. It is hard to argue against the Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, Rotary Clubs of the city (that once did and some still do) sale fireworks during this patriotic day.

All of these wonderful people and organizations are somewhat correct in their argument because they were and are still told by the maker of these fireworks, that these fireworks are safe and sane and would not hurt anyone. I used to by them and my wife would say “why do you spend your money and have it go up in smoke, plus run the risk of hurting the kids in the process.” I would never answer because there was no good answer to that question.

Even though they lost the vote they are correct that the selling of fireworks are unsafe in our cities and carries the potential of doing much harm to or neighbors. We must seek other ways for our charitable and community based organizations to raise monies to carry out their worthwhile programs.

The United Way was supposed to provide some answers however, many of the agencies would not cater to the real underserved youth of some neighborhoods. Many of the large companies have ignored the needs of our communities as they rake up larger profits and put little back into the communities they make the profits from. For example some banks, supermarkets and convenient stores used to line the streets of inner city neighborhoods. That is not the case anymore. Very few lower income neighborhoods have any of these services anymore. In some cases the larger churches have vacated the hoods and gone to larger pickings. All of them are located on the outskirts of these neighborhoods so they are accessible but not a part of the people.

Seldom do we see efforts being made by corporations, especially in the Inland Empire, providing their name or money to help the needy. And when they do provide assistance they never give it to a Black controlled or owned organization. It is always to another group who say they will provide the service.

So to the Mayor and city council, continue to seek better ways to fund our much needed programs so our community based organizations will not have to engage in potentially harmful enterprises. Ask some of your contributors what is their commitment to the community and not to you. Ask the fireworks makers how much have they contributed to fire protection, police services and water projects in our community. Ask how much have they contributed to local burn units or healthcare services. Don’t give up the fight so our money won’t go up in smoke.

To contact Hardy Brown email: hardybrown@blackvoicenews.com or call (909) 888-5040.

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