People Push For Change in Frayser

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(Memphis) Two different groups in Frayser took steps Saturday to make their neighborhood a better place

It was a packed house at Promise Land Baptist Church. People living in Frayser crowded into the church as part of a new push to take over their community.

It’s a neighborhood that houses one of the biggest populations in the state. However, with 50,000 people living here, it also has its issues.

A newly elected 15 member Frayser Neighborhood Council is hoping to make changes.

“We already knew there were 1800 vacant houses. We already knew Frayser was a hot spot of crime. We already knew that 14 of 15 schools were underperforming,” said Shep Wilbun with Vision 20/20.

Community Organizers are hoping Frayser sees significant improvement in 7 years. The plan is called Vision 20/20.

“I wear glasses, so I know 20/20 is perfect vision. We are trying to have a perfect standard,” said Wilburn.

Around the corner, a smaller crowd sat down with Memphis police officers to help build a stronger relationship. Some organizers say that relationship building starts with trust.

“Some African-American men feel like they have been stopped because of the color of their skin,” said Melissa Millier-Monie, with Community-Police Relations.

Many area politicians showed their support for Saturday`s events in Frayser. Memphis City Councilman Harold Collins tweeted a congratulations message. Mayor AC Wharton says change can’t happen if people leave everything up to politics. He`s happy to see the efforts and hope they continue.

“The conditions they are trying to correct didn`t occur overnight. it’s going to take a process to sustain it,” said Mayor Wharton.

While not everyone agrees on how to make those changes happen. Everyone is on board about one thing.

“We have to come together as a community,” said Frayser Neighborhood Council President, Marron Thomas.