When I ride around Merced on public transportation I get to see many things around my community. Since the bus goes throughout Merced I’ve noticed the different areas of my city. Some look nice while others look run down. Something that stood out to me the most was the abundance of empty lots, desolate fields and abandoned buildings. Most of these abandonment’s are located in the southwest part of Merced, the so-called “ghetto” part of our city. It bothers me how this represents our community. Passing by abandoned buildings, yellow fields and empty lots, I feel like my neighborhood looks trashy and unsafe, especially the parts that are already stereotyped as ghetto. It adds to the negative stereotype of that part of Merced.
Torn down buildings and empty fields and empty fields that were once so ful of life stay still with no activity whatsoever. It saddens me that these places are no longer used or wanted. I want our community to look as nice, friendly and active as possible! I thought that since these places aren’t being used, the people of Merced could take advantage of them. As I was thinking about this, ideas started rushing through my head. I thought of turning those places into parks, play fields, new shops and more.
If I could change the apperance and make something positive that everyone could use, Merced would be a happier, healtheir place. Changing these places from negatives to positives would improve the appearance and hopefully bring the community closer together. Turning an abandoned building into a place of entertainment would attract new people and excite the old. Instead of kids being inside watching TV or on the computer with nothing productive to do could now go to parks around their houses. Empty parking lots could be used as places for fundraisers for different community groups through flower and fruit stands, or makeshift car washes to help pay for the funeral expenses of a lost loved one.
I’m aware that trying to make a change doesn’t happen overnight but petitions, talking with community members and meeting with city officials and organizations can slowly start the process of change. I believe that our community could thrive and Merced can look like a more vibrant, active and safe place to live.