Safe Streets held its annual Superstar Celebration this morning. The non-profit organization recognized a neighborhood group that’s worked to fight crime and three individuals who’ve helped to improve community safety.
Congressman Norm Dicks also was given the Director’s Award for his years of service to Pierce County and his support of the non-profit organization.
Here’s a little more from Safe Streets about this year’s Superstars:
Congressman Norm Dicks (Director’s Award)
Representative Norm Dicks Congressman Dicks has been a staunch supporter of Safe Streets since its founding in 1989. He has been a major proponent of Pierce County’s regional gang prevention effort, as well as the successful Washington State Methamphetamine Initiative.
Pac-Yak Neighborhood Group
Members of the Pac-Yak Neighborhood Group fight crime on all fronts. Their extensive efforts help make Tacoma’s South End a better place. A regular neighborhood patrol reports and deters suspicious activity. Residents work with the Tacoma Police Department to reduce dangerous driving through their streets. Cleanups are conducted to combat blight. Pac-Yak participants also network with other block groups to share information, and attend citywide symposiums and trainings to build new skills. Members of the Pac-Yak Neighborhood Group are making their streets—and Tacoma—safer for everyone.
Gloria Ripoli sees herself as both a businessperson and a neighbor with a vested interest in reducing crime. As owner of Gloria’s Bar and Grill in Tacoma, she watched Pacific Avenue undergo many changes until she realized that it was time take action. Now she is a key member of an anti-prostitution campaign. She also uses her business to support the “Just Yell Fire” child self-defense program. Gloria Ripoli has seen Pacific Avenue change over the years. Now this small business owner is helping the neighborhood make a change for the better.
Jodi Bretz believes that empowering the residents of Prairie Ridge is the best way to turn her community around. In her work with the Prairie Ridge Maintenance Company Homeowners’ Association, Jodi collaborates with Safe Streets to get people involved. Frequent events bring neighbors out of their homes to meet one another. Her enthusiasm inspires teens and adults alike to attend block group meetings and volunteer. Supported by Jodi Bretz, the people of Prairie Ridge are rediscovering a sense of pride in their community.
Anthony Wood developed a passion for prevention during his involvement with Youth Leading Change. As Stadium High School’ chapter president, he used YLC’s leadership training to guide other students in various community service projects. They tackled tough issues like prescription drug abuse, drunk driving and dating violence. One major project—a public service announcement—won a state competition sponsored by the Attorney General’s Office. Anthony Wood is a dynamic youth advocate. His commitment to helping others make good choices makes him a compelling voice against drug, alcohol and violence.