As residents of Beach Drive, who live not far from Emma Schmitz Park, we joined with others to take part in Greggette Guy's vigil on Sunday evening. After taking a stand to walk united in her memory and listening to her father's tearful plea to make the park safer, some ideas have been formulating.
Greggette's father would like the dark lower sidewalk of Emma Schmitz, often covered in graffiti and not in street view, to be closed at dusk and better lit. He would also like a memorial in her name. What if we, as a community, come together to have a light installed to make the lower sidewalk safer and have it dedicated in Greggette's name?
I'm reading on West Seattle Blog tonight that the Seattle Police Department state they feel the murder probably took place in that section of the park. Representatives from the city have shared stats of how safe Beach Drive is…in my opinion, two murders in that park in that area in 20 years in the same area is not acceptable. Pruning back and removing shrubs is not enough. Even with ALL shrubs removed, a murder or other crimes could happen without anyone being able to witness from the street. The lower sidewalk, as Greggette's father said on Sunday evening, is a "death trap".
Via Facebook today, I noticed that Sally Bagshaw was promoting a "large public funds neighborhood match" program. I feel that the city should have the responsibility of keeping that sidewalk safe and well lit to avoid crimes. Perhaps our Beach Drive community can help raise funds to do something special to dedicate the lighting in Greggette's memory. Funds may also be raised to help increase the reward for tips leading to the capture of her murderer.
Again, just some of my thoughts in light of recent events.
What can we do?
What can you do?
Who do you know?
I'm proud to be a West Seattle-ite and love my neighborhood. I'm so saddened about what happened to Greggette. Let's take action as a community to do what we can to make sure this doesn't happen again.
I would love to start fund raising and would appreciate hearing any advice or input from our readers who have experience with this.
Everyone and anyone reading this post CAN do SOMETHING.