Mugged Not Muffled – Using Issues Forums to Fight Crime

When someone you know or a neighbor is a victim of crime, particularly violent crime, it hits home.

In my own neighborhood Issues Forum covering Standish and Ericsson in Minneapolis where we have close to 10% of households interacting daily, Erik Mitchell shared:

I hope to see everyone at the public safety meeting Thursday–I got the flyer today (thanks, Shirley!).

Also, just an update for those of you who are curious–one of my neighbors saw the girls who mugged me, and he saw them rifle through my purse in his yard. They left my checkbook, so he was able to track me down. He also saw their faces, which he is telling to the sergeant in charge of the case. The transit police also called me and said they have the muggers on camera, and they are also passing on that info to the sergeant.

I doubt they’ll find the girls, but there’s clearly a larger issue we need to address about crime in the area. I’m grateful to live in a neighborhood where incidents such as this get a response–thanks again for your thoughts and (especially) action. – Jenny Mitchell

If your neighborhood doesn’t have its own active online forum (be that an e-mail list, web forum, blog, social networking group, etc.) you are missing out! No one knows if only 1% or 20% of local communities are covered by similar active online spaces (would make a good research project). While the world is amazed at the use of Twitter in Iran, I would argue our democratic revolution online is happening locally right under our noses but instead of the dramatic stopping power of protest, we are in a civic building mode that is beginning to help us meet public challenges even if the results are not made for television. At E-Democracy.Org we are plotting ways to extend these online spaces across neighborhoods (our Issues Forums are started by local volunteers working with (hopefully), but not waiting for permission of government, neighborhood associations, etc. who simply don’t have our experience nor confidence when it comes to hosting truly two-way online communication) in the Twin Cities and beyond. If you want to help us or simply step up as a forum manager in your area, let us know.

If you have stories about local online forums/places doing good in your own community or neighborhood where people have moved from talk to action, please share your story via the blog comments.

2 thoughts on “Mugged Not Muffled – Using Issues Forums to Fight Crime”

  1. Steve,
    I was saddened to hear about the attack on your wife

    (It actually was Erik Micheal’s wife, but I am sure the same applies. Comment by E. Davis – Blog Facilitator)

    but glad to know she wasn’t seriously injured. Keep up the good work and I hope the cops find the perpetrators.

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