What Lexington Needs: Youth Nightlife Options, by Corey Hart
[photo by Aimee Tomasek]
This ailing city is in need of a great deal of things. For the past couple of years, the cries of the youth have been ignored by parents, city officials, and the city of Lexington as a whole. So, does it take a tragedy to open the eyes of Lexington? Since adults and city officials are ready to listen to our cries, these are the things that will help improve youth and adult relations in Lexington.
First of all, youth need more activities in the inner city. For example, all the malls and dance clubs are out in the suburbs, making it hard for most youth to reach those places. If you have stores open up in the inner city, a youth who does not have a car doesn’t have to steal a car just to make it out to Fayette Mall. Also, all the great dance clubs are out Harrodsburg Road, and other places which are far out of downtown. Why can’t we have a Club Zero in the inner city?
Second, Lexington needs more recreational facilities that are open after 11 pm. At 11 o’clock, the city of Lexington is dead, and that’s a problem.
The problem is, most of the youth come out of the house around 11 o’clock, and there’s nothing for them to do.
One organization that can play a key role in this problem is the inner city church. Whatever happened to bowling leagues, lock-ins, basketball leagues, and late-night roller skating sponsored by the area churches?
I ask myself a question: I wonder how many of the youth rioting belonged to an area church? I imagine only one-third belonged to a church. Even without participation of the inner-city churches, we can still open up more recreational facilities after dark. Why not open up a recreational facility at each end of town? These facilities can close around 1 am. I guarantee once the youth have something to do after dark, the violence will decrease dramatically.
In addition to that, the youth of today need some cultural awareness. Today’s youth know nothing about their history and where they came from. What must we do to address this problem is set up programs that will make youth aware of their ancestors and what they went through.
These programs should educate the youth what our ancestors had to go through to get where we are today, and that the struggle is not over.
In conclusion, maybe these ideas will not work in the city of Lexington, but it is a starting point.
The city will never get anywhere if we do not start from somewhere.
Right now, this city cannot turn anything down, because any positive suggestion is a good suggestion.
But it’s up to people like you and me to take the initiative to stop the bleeding. We are the band-aids that can heal Lexington.
Corey Hart is the mayor of the Metro Micro City Government in Lexington.
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