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Confronting gangs in Lodi — what’s next?

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Posted: Saturday, April 21, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 1:05 pm, Tue Apr 24, 2012.

What do you think is the key to reducing gang activity in Lodi?

We asked our readers in a poll on Lodinews.com for their opinions on how to reduce gang activity in Lodi. Below are their responses:

  • More police enforcement. We need the cops on it. — 41 (12 percent)
  • Get kids involved in some other activity after school. Keep them off the streets. — 17 (6 percent)
  • It's a parenting problem. Mom and Dad should take more responsibility. — 96 (30 percent)
  • Churches and local non-profits can help provide resources to the Eastside. — 6 (2 percent)
  • There is no single approach to solving this problem. The community needs a combined approach. — 162 (50 percent)

Be creative, be proactive

Asked to brainstorm some ideas for residents to make a difference, Maria Cervantes, principal at Heritage Elementary, offered the following list:

1. Lodi Parks and Rec-organized activities at Lawrence School, George Washington School or Heritage School.

2. Scholarships for children to participate in organized sports or activities.

3. Intersession and summer activities at the above-mentioned schools.

4. Boys Scout and Girl Scout Troops at the above-mentioned schools.

5. Mentors who are interested in sharing their expertise and getting to know a child and their family.

6. After-school organized athletic activities at the above-mentioned schools for fifththrough eighth-grade students.

7. Art docents who would volunteer to organize art activities after school.

8. Music lessons after school or during school breaks at the above-mentioned schools.

9. Junior Giants Baseball.

10. Organize basketball leagues at the Boys & Girls Club.

11. Affordable swimming lessons at Blakely Park, or scholarships for socio-economically disadvantaged families.

12. Paid or unpaid internships/community time for high school-age students at government offices or private businesses.

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