Grass roots effort to help rebuild part of a community

Walmart Neighborhood Market (KSN Photo)

WICHITA, Kansas – When the neighborhood Wal-Mart closed and a Quik Trip closed at 13th and Oliver, Wichita city Councilwoman LaVonta Williams asked the community to help. This weekend, some in the community responded.

“And we are trying to get something started. Basically smoking meats, selling dinners today,” says community activist LaLa Williams. “And we are doing it here to get people passing by to see what we are doing, and we are working towards getting a building.”

Williams and others brought out food for sale in a vacant lot off 9th and Madison this weekend. It was to rally support for, perhaps, opening a new store.

“I think, I stand for most of the community. We need to get some things in here for the kids to do. Some kind of, I don’t know, something for the kids to do with work,” says LaLa Williams. “Things to do with getting prepared for jobs and stuff.”

Lala Williams hopes to get the community interested in investing in itself. And, she’s answering a call from councilwoman LaVonta Williams.

“So, I’m so excited. February 23rd,” says LaVonta Williams.

On the 23rd, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at 104 North Madison, LaVonta Williams is helping to host a reinvestment meeting.

“To discuss issues, concerns, opportunities, trends and new ideas and approaches on how to promote neighborhood rebuilding and reinvestment efforts in this area,” says LaVonta Williams. “Because so many of our community neighborhoods are older neighborhoods. And we’ve lost many houses. So, to reinvest in those neighborhoods is very important.”

LaLa Williams says what she took part in over the weekend is a good start.

“Well, I would like to see some buildings put up and some programs started,” says LaLa Williams. “And some job opportunities.”


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